Championship Connections: Matt Browne ’16 credits Elon experience in his journey with reigning MLS champs

Browne graduated from Elon with a bachelor's in business management and is the current manager of business development for the New York City Football Club.

If there’s one piece of advice Matt Browne would give to current Elon students, it is to make connections with as many people as often as possible.

“Networking is something that I started in Elon, and I tell every student that I talk to that’s still in school, I wish I did more of it because it’s big in any industry. But in sports and entertainment, networking is the name of the game,” he said.

The connections have helped support Browne as he has worked his way up to become the manager of business development for the New York City Football Club, which in December took home the Major League Soccer title. In his role, Browne oversees the new business and sales team at the club, having worked his way up through the ranks – beginning as an account executive in September 2017.

Matt Browne ’16 is the manager of business development for the New York City Football Club.

“My degree is in management, so I always wanted to get into leadership,” Browne said. “It’s been a nice ride with NYCFC, and I’ve enjoyed a nice career coming back up home to New York.”

His start in the sports industry began as an undergraduate at Elon. Along with an internship with the minor league baseball team Rockland Boulders in New York, Browne was an intern at the Burlington Royals when Ryan Keur ’12 was the general manager of the team.

Keur would select a current Elon business and sport management student each semester to intern for the team, and Browne was selected to work with the team.

“I was working at the Royals three times per week throughout the spring of my senior year, getting hands-on experience in the industry,” Browne said. “So, when I graduated, I had some solid experience and was able to go directly into a company called Legends.”

Legends is a sports and entertainment company, and Browne worked at their offices in New York at One World Observatory as a group sales associate.

The sport entertainment industry is a small world, Browne said, and after his boss at Legends connected him to someone within NYCFC, he hasn’t looked back. But if not for the experiences he gained at Elon, through internships or classes with Assistant Professor of Sport Management Mark Cryan, Browne said may have never pursued a career in the field.

“I got first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in sports and what my career might look like. Those classes with hands-on experience went a long way,” Browne said. “Elon set me up to gain the experiences that I needed to show me what I really wanted to do in my career.

“There’s a certain point in school where a lot of people don’t know what they’re going to do after college and I think a lot of these experiences exposed me to things outside my comfort zone and pushed me to develop what I wanted to do,” he added.

Browne (third from left) at the wedding of his classmate Alexander O’Neil ’16 (fourth from left).

Browne says Elon holds a special place in his heart. It’s an institution with a strong community with members who are keen on helping each other. It’s also a place where he met lifelong friends and his fiancé, Laura Murphy ’16.

Since graduating and interacting with various alumni who have helped him along his journey, he has decided to pay that forward and offer guidance to the next generation of Phoenix.

While working with Legends, Browne connected with Stephen Braye, professor of English, to set up an event for the Elon in NYC summer term class at the One World Observatory. Once he moved to NYCFC, Browne worked with Braye to welcome Elon students annually to the team’s offices for a tour and match at Yankee Stadium, where NYCFC plays its home games.

“I’ve learned that mentoring is important to me, to give back my time and invest in students that are still going through the process,” Browne said. “I’m always happy to be involved with Elon. I’ve seen the power of the Elon connection, how willing and able other Elon alums are to hop on a call or connect. It’s a strong network.”