Mark Waller, NFL's Top Exec On Int'l Issues, Leaving At End Of Season
NFL Exec VP/Int'l Mark Waller is leaving the league at the end of this season. He will continue as an adviser thereafter. Waller has held various roles at the NFL, including CMO, but he is best known for his work on the int'l agenda. Under his leadership, the NFL began playing regular-season games in London and in Mexico, and he has been an advocate of ultimately having a team in the U.K. The pending departure comes on the heels of two of the five int'l games this season relocating because of stadium issues. Waller said his transition had been in the works for six to nine months as the league rethought exec roles, and he cited no negatives in why he was leaving. Waller: “The business is doing well, but clearly there is an opportunity to do more.” The int'l venture will now fall under Chief Strategy Officer Chris Halpin, who is being promoted to the new position of EVP/Chief Strategy & Growth Officer. Halpin will report directly to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and will also oversee sports gambling, which Waller had helped manage. Halpin had the title of chief strategy officer, and for the past 18 months has been working to develop a data analytics team to help measure return on investments.
NEW RESPONSIBILITIES: The idea of Halpin's new EVP role is to take his expertise and apply it to new areas of growth, from sports gambling, int'l and other as yet unidentified markets. Halpin also will be in charge of identifying potential new owners, a program started under former EVP/Business Ventures Eric Grubman. The idea is for the league to find possible owners who can easily buy a team when a club becomes available. Halpin additionally will be responsible for strategic transactions, meaning company investments or purchases the NFL makes. Waller plans to consult for the NFL and others, with a focus on trans-Atlantic sports.