A sports industry veteran with over 16 years of experience, Tom Penn serves as the President and Co-Owner of Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), which burst on the Los Angeles sports scene with a record-setting first season as an MLS expansion team in 2018.
Penn helped LAFC make history both on and off the field in its inaugural season, as LAFC sold out all 17 of its MLS home matches and set an all-time MLS record in points (57) for an expansion team while qualifying for the Playoffs. Under Penn, LAFC was named to Fast Company’s annual list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019 and saw Banc of California Stadium became a true destination in L.A. for fans, families and casual bystanders, as nearly 453,000 fans attended LAFC matches in the first season.
Named the 2018 Sports Executive of the Year by the Los Angeles Sports Council, Penn was integral in the design, build and completion of LAFC’s $350 million-dollar home in the Heart of Los Angeles, Banc of California Stadium. The world class, 22,000-seat stadium is the first open-air stadium built in the City of Los Angeles since 1962 — and it opened to wide acclaim as one of the country’s premier outdoor venues.
The Co-Founder and President of the Sports Leadership Institute, an organization that creates private meetings and programs for sports team owners, sports executives, college AD’s and retired athletes, Penn is also a Turner Sports NBA Analyst. Previously, he was an analyst for ESPN, regularly appearing on SportsCenter and other programs.
Prior to joining ESPN in 2010, Penn spent four seasons as Vice President of Basketball Operations and Assistant General Manager of the Portland Trail Blazers. From 2000 – 2007, Penn served as Assistant General Manager and legal counsel of the Memphis Grizzlies, where he worked closely with legendary NBA executive Jerry West in team related matters.
After graduating from the University of Illinois Law School, Penn worked as a criminal defense attorney and began representing basketball players as a player agent in 1994. In 1995, he founded a company that organized tours of Europe for American basketball players designed to showcase their skills for European teams.
Penn is a longtime Board member of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and the Children’s Cancer Association in Portland. He graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame in 1990 and the University of Illinois College of Law in 1993.