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Exploring Life & Business with Shane Hackett of Heartland Soccer Association

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shane Hackett.

Hi Shane, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I attended William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri graduating with BA degrees in communication and public relations. I also studied international business and literature at Harlaxton College in Grantham, England.

After graduating, I started my career at KCMO Radio in Kansas City and became the Director of Continuity and Executive Producer for Gannett, Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, KC Royals and Mike Murphy Show. I began my entrepreneurial career having been responsible for the creation and production of several nationally syndicated radio shows, including “Baseball Sunday with Joe Garagiola,” “Football Sunday” and “NBA Basketball Sunday.”

I found a niche in sports programming and news talk. Still under the age of 30, I served as President and General Manager of the radio stations KGU-AM and KTSS-FM in Honolulu, University of Hawaii Sports Radio Network, and WTIX-AM in New Orleans, Louisiana.

After selling the radio stations, I moved into integrated marketing using my experience in radio and advertising.

I became a partner and CMO at Legion Capital. Legion Capital is a private equity firm and an advanced direct investment portal.

I have founded, sold and invested in multiple broadcast, technology and training companies. Currently, I am Chairman of the Board at MarketLeverage, an Inc 100 Advertising Firm and Fortune 5000 company,

For the past 17+ years, I have served as the Executive Director and board member of Heartland Soccer Association. Heartland is recognized as the largest soccer league in the United States and operates over fourteen tournaments at the world-class facilities of SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex, GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex, Compass Mineral Sporting Fields & Swope Soccer Village.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Entrepreneurship is not a straight line or easy path. It can be a rewarding path but not an easy one. Working 80+ hours a week, worrying about making payroll in lean months, and the start-up phases are brutal.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Heartland Soccer Association?
Heartland Soccer Association is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization operates to support the development of youth soccer players with league and tournament play in Kansas City. Our operations are supported through league fees, sponsorships and donations by companies and individuals.

Heartland Soccer is the largest youth soccer league and tournament host in the United States with more than 4,000 teams and 70,000 youth players participating in league and tournaments. Heartland Soccer Association was formed in 1977 and has continued to be a leader in youth soccer with operations at four world-class soccer complexes: SCHEELS Overland Park Soccer Complex, GARMIN Olathe Soccer Complex, Swope Soccer Village and Compass Mineral Sporting Fields.

Our world-class soccer specific fields set us apart as a soccer destination. Additionally, the vast number of soccer teams allowing traveling teams to come to KC and find comparable competition at all our events.

I’m proud of the product we offer. Soccer offers so many benefits to the kids that play. We learn to work hard, be a teammate and compete. Getting great exercise doesn’t hurt either.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
Heartland is open to all kids 8 to 19. Our member league clubs program for younger children starting at the age of 3 and up.

Corporate sponsorship continues to grow. Heartland Soccer has opportunities for league and tournament partnership and sponsorship. Heartland partners with like-minded businesses who understand that investing in young people today creates a better community for all in the future. Partners are important team members in creating an increasingly growing soccer family in our community. Sponsorship provides businesses with increased brand visibility while making a direct impact on developing Kansas City’s youth through soccer.

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