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Volume 27 No. 27
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Brittany Bowlen Returning To Broncos In VP Role

The Broncos will announce today that Brittany Bowlen, daughter of late owner Pat Bowlen and his expected successor, will join the team Dec. 2 as VP/Strategic Initiatives. Bowlen will be given a broad portfolio that touches much of the team’s business operations and calls for her to speak regularly with other NFL clubs. The newly created position is the strongest sign yet that the three-person trust overseeing the Bowlen estate intends to officially name her controlling owner, though its authority to take that step remains in litigation and arbitration.

"Brittany’s expressed an interest in earning the right to succeed her father, and this is the next step in that process,” said Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis, also a trustee. “She’s focused on that goal and is working toward it. We’re looking forward to her returning to work for the Broncos, knowing that her experience can help us in a lot of areas and that she has the potential to succeed her father."

Bowlen, 29, will report to both CCO Mac Freeman and CFO Justin Webster. She will oversee the south development project at Empower Field at Mile High, implement a strategy to improve the fan experience, collaborate across departments on business analytics, develop a diversity and inclusion plan, and monitor industry trends for best practices that can be applied in Denver.

Pat Bowlen died in June, nearly five years after he relinquished control of the team after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. But Brittany Bowlen has competition for the right to replace him. In September, Bowlen’s oldest daughters, Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Klemmer, asked a court to invalidate the Patrick D. Bowlen Trust, claiming he was not mentally competent when he created the trust in '09. The trust is operated by Ellis, Broncos Exec VP & General Counsel Rich Slivka and Denver attorney Mary Kelly. Separately, Bowlen succession is also the subject of NFL-directed arbitration, which former Browns and 49ers executive Carmen Policy is leading. Policy has been asked to determine whether the trust has the authority to choose a successor.

The trust has not formally identified Brittany Bowlen as its chosen successor, and sources say there is no set timeline for her ascendance. However, the NFL generally wants a single controlling owner identified as soon as possible. Brittany Bowlen’s performance in the VP role will influence the speed at which she’s promoted, sources said. A graduate of Notre Dame with an MBA from Duke, Bowlen has spent the last 18 months as an associate at McKinsey. She also spent time as an analyst with the Broncos and spent two years at NFL HQ in the league’s junior rotational program.