Rebooted XFL Hires NBC Sports Lawyer as Legal, Business Chief

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The XFL, whose third attempt in a non-NFL football league debuts in February, has hired veteran sports attorney Wendy Bass as chief business and legal officer.

For the past two years, Bass has served as Senior Vice President of Programming and Rights Management for NBC Sports Group. She oversaw acquisitions and programming, and managed digital media strategy and partnerships.

At XFL, Bass will lead the legal, human resources and technical departments.The league announced her hiring on Nov. 29. statement.

the new league sold for $15 million come out of bankruptcy in 2020 ownership group Led by actor and entrepreneur Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and former Goldman Sachs Group partner Gerald Cardinalof RedBird Capital Partners LLC.

Previously ruled by pro wrestling mogul Vince McMahonapplied for by XFL Chapter 11 Protection In April 2020, the coronavirus pandemic forced the start-up league to cancel the season After just 5 games.

The restarted XFL is player draft Last month, eight teams participated in Washington, St. Louis, Seattle, San Antonio, Orlando, Las Vegas, Houston and Arlington, Texas, near Dallas. The league is based in Arlington.

Earlier this year, XFL signed a partnership Data sharing and football research with the of the league Several Notable sports investment Written by RedBird’s Cardinale with broadcast rights agreement On ESPN owned by Walt Disney Co.

Bass, who was not reached for comment, until recently reports to XFL President Russ Brandon, brother of Greg Brandon. was a legal counsel For the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Russ Brandon was once President and CEO of Bills, and his former general manager, Doug Whaley, is now XFL’s top player personnel executive.

Bass joined NBC in 2005 after serving as an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York.she continued work with law firms Negotiated in the years that followed Media rights deal For major sporting events, include Olympics, PGA Tour, Wimbledon, Kentucky Derby. With NBC Sports executive Gary Zenkel president of the network Olympic businessformer Cahill Gordon Associate.

Legal lineup

McMahon’s initial vision for XFL was created in partnership NBC Sports is the sports programming division of Stamford, Connecticut-based NBCUniversal Media LLC, a media and entertainment conglomerate owned by cable giant Comcast Corp.

handful Lawyers played an important role In McMahon’s XFL, enjoyed success About TV and stadium attendance before the pandemic stopped play.McMahon initials XFL debut in 2001 Lasted months before him and NBC unplugged.

Some former XFL lawyers moved on to a new position. Mari Friedman, whom the McMahon-led league hired to replace its former general counsel, Roxanne Kosarzyckiwas named best lawyer For the NFL’s Washington Commanders this January.

John Wilson, K&L Gates’ sports law and technology trading partner and interim general counsel for the XFL when Friedman went on maternity leave ahead of the league’s pandemic bankruptcy, said he’s no longer in an alternative football outfit. Said no advice. He hoped the league would be the best in the next iteration.

Alec Shiner Former General Counsel One of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, who are now sports and media investment partners at XFL private equity owner RedBird, did not respond to a request for comment on Buss’ hiring. RedBird last year hired Michael Chiaravalloti, former managing director of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s private bank, as chief compliance officer and in-house counsel.

RedBird was advised by Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson on purchasing XFL. Sidley Austin represented the Johnson campaign in the transaction. closed Late 2020.

According to public records, Joel Tragesser, managing partner of Quarles & Brady’s Indianapolis office, has been working on the trademark for the latest version of XFL. Tragesser did not respond to a request for comment.

June of this year, McMahon Settlement long term unlawful dismissal dispute Former XFL commissioner and former quarterback-turned-sports executive Oliver Luck, right after McMahon got off As CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.

luck, former associate In the current Norton Rose Fulbright, about $24 million Contract payments McMahon wanted to void fire him for good reason After the XFL stopped playing two years ago.

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