The Los Angeles Sports Council announced on Wednesday that LAFC President Tom Penn will be the recipient of the council’s 2018 Sports Executive of the Year award. Penn received the award after his team finished third in the Western Conference and went 34-16-9 in its inaugural season of MLS Play.
Penn will officially receive the award at the 14th Annual LA Sports Awards ceremony held on March 25.
“I am truly honored to receive this prestigious award, and I do so on behalf of our dedicated and talented employees who do the work every day,” Penn said in a statement. “Building LAFC and Banc of California Stadium has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I’m extremely proud of what the Club has accomplished over the past year. We are grateful to be recognized within the L.A. sports landscape as we continue to unite the world’s city through the world’s game.”
The LA Sports Awards are presented each year to celebrate the top professional athletics in the Los Angeles and Orange County region. Top honors include the best sportsman, sportswoman and coach of the year.
Penn was selected from an elite caste of executives across the city, including Jeannie Buss, who secured the Lakers’ blockbuster deal to acquire NBA star LeBron James this year. Previous honorees of the award have included Casey Wasserman, Stan Kasten and Arte Moreno.
In its first season, Penn’s club sold out all 17 of its MLS home matches and set a league record for most points by an expansion team with 57 total by the end of the season. He also contributed to the design of the team’s $350-million Banc of California Stadium, which will serve as a host site for the city’s future World Cup and Olympics as well as a venue for concerts and festivals.
Penn previously served as an NBA analyst on ESPN and was an assistant general manager for the Portland Trail Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies. He is also the co-founder and president of the Sports Leadership Institute.