Rebooted XFL Taps NBC Sports Lawyer as Legal, Business Chief (1)

The XFL, whose 3rd attempt at a non-NFL football league debuted in February, hired veteran sporting activities lawyer Wendy Bass as main business enterprise and lawful officer.

Bass invested the previous two decades as senior vice president of programming and rights management for NBC Sports Team. She oversaw acquisitions and programming and managed electronic media tactic and partnerships.

At the XFL, Bass will guide the authorized, persons functions, and technology departments. The league announced her hire in a Nov. 29 statement. Bass said by means of email the new league is performing with Latham & Watkins for media bargains, Quarles & Brady on trademark challenges, and Rochester, NY-dependent Woods Oviatt Gilman on other issues.

The XFL was sold for $15 million out of personal bankruptcy in 2020 to an possession team led by actor and entrepreneur Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. companions Gerald Cardinale‘s RedBird Capital Associates LLC.

Earlier controlled by qualified wrestling mogul Vince McMahon, the XFL filed for Chapter 11 security in April 2020 soon after the coronavirus pandemic compelled the upstart league to terminate its year soon after only 5 online games.

The relaunched XFL finished a preliminary participant draft very last thirty day period for its eight teams situated in Washington, St. Louis, Seattle, San Antonio, Orlando, Las Vegas, Houston, and Arlington, Texas, in close proximity to Dallas. The league is based in Arlington.

Earlier this calendar year the XFL finalized a partnership with the NFL on details sharing and soccer investigate. The league, a person of quite a few noteworthy sports activities investments by RedBird’s Cardinale, has broadcast legal rights arrangement with Walt Disney Co.-owned ESPN.

Bass said she was drawn to the XFL by Kevin LaForce, a former NFL executive who joined RedBird very last yr as a handling director and head of the private equity firm’s athletics and media business. LaForce, who labored with Bass when he was at the NFL and she at broadcast partner NBC, achieved out about the opportunity, Bass claimed.

The XFL said Bass reports to its President Russ Brandon, the brother of Gregg Brandon, who until finally just lately was basic counsel for the NFL’s Buffalo Expenses. Russ Brandon was also once president and CEO of the Bills, whose former normal supervisor Doug Whaley is the XFL’s best participant personnel govt.

Lawful lineup

Bass joined NBC in 2005 after serving as an affiliate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York. She continued to function with the law business in subsequent decades negotiating media rights discounts for significant sporting gatherings, which includes the Olympics, PGA Tour, Wimbledon, and the Kentucky Derby. Gary Zenkel, an NBC Athletics government and president of the network’s Olympics organization, is a previous Cahill Gordon associate.

McMahon’s initial eyesight of the XFL was developed in partnership with NBC Athletics, the Stamford, Conn.-dependent sports activities programming division of NBCUniversal Media LLC, a media and entertainment conglomerate owned by cable giant Comcast Corp.

A handful of lawyers experienced essential roles in McMahon’s XFL, which loved accomplishment on television and attended stadiums prior to the pandemic halting participate in. McMahon’s first XFL debuted in 2001 lasted a few months just before he and NBC pulled the plug.

Numerous former XFL attorneys have moved on to new positions. Mali Friedman, who the McMahon-led league hired to be successful its prior normal counsel, Roxanne Kosarzyckiwas named the best lawyer for the NFL’s Washington Commanders this previous January.

John Wilson, a K&L Gates sports activities regulation and know-how transactions companion who stepped in as interim common counsel for the XFL when Friedman went on maternity go away ahead of the league’s pandemic-pushed insolvency, claimed he’s no extended advising the option football outfit. He wished the league the very best in its next iteration.

Alec Scheiner, a previous normal counsel of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, now serving as a athletics and media investment decision husband or wife at RedBird. Very last 12 months RedBird hired Michael Chiaravalloti, a former handling director for JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s personal financial institution, to be its main compliance officer and in-residence counsel.

RedBird was recommended on its XFL acquire by Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Sidley Austin represented Johnson’s camp on the offer, which closed in late 2020.

This earlier June, McMahon settled a lengthy-working wrongful termination dispute with the XFL’s previous commissioner, ex-quarterback-turned-sports govt Oliver Luck, shortly after McMahon stepped down as CEO of Earth Wrestling Enjoyment Inc.

Luck, a former affiliate at what is now Norton Rose Fulbright, had sought just about $24 million in fork out beneath a contract that McMahon desired to nullify by firing him for bring about following the XFL suspended perform two many years ago.

Maria Flores

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