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Volume 21 No. 26
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Forty Under 40: Kevin Demoff

Kevin Demoff is about to run a team in Los Angeles — for the second time. The Rams executive, who oversaw the arduous relocation process that in January culminated in the NFL approving the team’s move from St. Louis, ran the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League in the early 2000s.

The Avengers’ owner, Casey Wasserman, hired the 23-year-old Demoff at the suggestion of NFL general manager Bruce Allen, then with the Oakland Raiders. Demoff was working for a website developer employed by the Raiders, but he was steeped in football connections through his father, agent Marvin Demoff.

After a few years in the AFL, and a trip back to school to get his MBA, Demoff was on to Tampa Bay, working with the Buccaneers as right-hand man to Allen, who had also moved to Tampa to be general manager. He joined the Rams in St. Louis in 2009, with Stan Kroenke gaining majority control of the team not long after.

Demoff said the relocation process has been painful and hard for everyone. “As you are trying to build a stadium elsewhere and rebuild a team, either you are going to end up tremendously disappointed or your fans are,” he said. “It is a really difficult position. I feel terrible for the fans, and the city; everyone.”

But now, looking forward, Demoff said his biggest fear is letting down the NFL and the league’s 31 other teams. That’s because of the opportunity that’s been granted to the Rams. “Truly what keeps me up at night,” he said, “is the league has handed Stan and the Rams their greatest opportunity in the last two decades: entry into L.A.”

— Daniel Kaplan

Kevin Demoff

Los Angeles Rams | COO / EVP, Football Operations
Age: 39
Where born: Los Angeles
Education: Dartmouth College (B.S., history; MBA, Tuck School of Business)
Family: Wife, Jennifer; children, Claire (9), Owen (7)

Advice I’d give to my younger self: Try to spend as much time as you can outside of your sport to get new ideas. The most innovative ideas our staff comes up with originate from other leagues, other sports or other industries. Think of our job as being in the content business, technology sector and hospitality industry, and then bring those industries’ best practices back to sports.

2016 will be a good year if: The Rams win the NFC West.
Person in the industry I’d most like to meet: Theo Epstein.
I’d like to change jobs for a day with: Adam Rapoport, editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit. I would love to spend my day with a staff charged with understanding the world’s best food trends and ideas.
Group supported: Children’s hospitals.
Most thrilling/adventurous thing I’ve done: Riding a Vespa on cliffs in Elba.
You’d be surprised to know: I got beaten badly on “Double Dare.”