The Edmonton Elks announced on Tuesday a significant change in the organization’s leadership, as the team and Victor Cui have mutually agreed to part ways. This development follows a challenging period for the team, both on and off the field.
Cui’s Tenure and Achievements
Victor Cui, who was appointed as president and CEO in January 2022, has had a storied career in sports marketing and management. An Edmonton native, Cui graduated from Archbishop O’Leary High School and later the University of Alberta, studying international politics.
After gaining local sports management expertise, including managing prominent events like the 2001 World Championship in Athletics, Cui left Edmonton in 2002 to acquire international sports marketing experience. His crowning achievement came in 2010 when he launched One Championship (MMA), growing it into Asia’s largest sports media property with a valuation of over $1 billion USD.
Challenging Times for the Elks
Cui’s leadership of the Elks came during a difficult time for the club, with a current season record of 0-9 and 22 consecutive home game losses. The team also suffered a net operating loss of $3.3 million in 2022 and experienced a decline in attendance.
Tom Richards, Chair of the EE Football Club Board of Directors, expressed the difficulty of the decision, stating, “We thank Victor for his work during his time with the Club. This was a difficult decision for everyone involved, but as a Board we believe it’s in the best interests of all parties to move in a new direction.”
For his part, Cui thanked the Board and emphasized his confidence in the team’s future. “I have made the difficult decision to step back from the Club and focus on my family. Despite the team’s current record, I have full confidence that the positives we are starting to see on the field will lead to success moving forward,” he said.
The Search for New Leadership
With Cui’s departure, the Elks will commence a search for their next president and CEO in the coming weeks. In the interim, the club’s day-to-day business operations will be managed by the existing business operations senior leadership team, with Richards offering support.
The Board expressed confidence in the Club’s senior business leadership team, adding, “Collectively, we are committed to making sure the Edmonton Elks remain a community-owned team that all Edmontonians can be proud of.”
Upcoming Games and the Road Ahead
The Elks are scheduled to visit the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thursday, Aug. 17, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. EDT. As the search for new leadership continues, fans and stakeholders will be watching closely to see how the team adjusts to this major change, and whether the Elks can turn around their challenging season and rebuild the community’s pride in the team.
This pivotal moment in the Elks’ history marks a turning point for the club, and only time will tell how the organization will evolve under new leadership. What is certain is that the commitment to success and community pride remains steadfast as the Elks forge ahead into a new era.
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