Paul Tagliabue


Paul Tagliabue

2000 Sports Industrialist of the Year The Sports Business Daily
2001 Sports Executive of the Year The Sports Business Journal
2001 Most Powerful Person in Sports The Sporting News
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2000 Sports Industrialist of the Year

The Sports Business Daily

2001 Sports Executive of the Year

The Sports Business Journal

2001 Most Powerful Person in Sports

The Sporting News
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(Georgetown)...During tenure, NFL grew to unparalleled heights ... Committed to a “league think” philosophy, his leadership enabled NFL to address several key priorities ... The league expanded to 32 teams ... Nearly two decades of labor peace with the NFL Players Association ... League supported some 20 new stadium construction projects ... Established NFL as a global brand with operations in overseas markets … Created a league-wide internet network and subscriber-based NFL TV Network ... Secured largest TV contracts in entertainment history totaling $25 billion … Born November 24, 1940 in Jersey City, New Jersey.


Paul Tagliabue National Football League

During Paul Tagliabue’s 17-year reign as Commissioner of the National Football League, pro football grew to unparalleled heights.

Expansion, labor peace, new stadiums, international operations, unprecedented television coverage and revenues, internet and new technology development are just some of the successes accomplished during his tenure. Today, the NFL is not only the template for success among sports leagues; it is the standard by which all other leagues aspire.

Tagliabue was elected to succeed Pete Rozelle on October 26, 1989 to become the seventh chief executive of the NFL. A few months later, the new commissioner set the tone for his administration. At the March 1990 Owners Meetings, Tagliabue and Broadcast Committee Chairman Art Modell announced a new four-year TV deal worth $3.6 billion, which at that time was the largest in television history. At that same meeting, Tagliabue announced the formation of a Committee on Expansion and Realignment. The committee eventually recommended, and the clubs approved, the addition of two teams (the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers) who began play in the 1995 season.

In 1991, Tagliabue and the club owners, recognizing the tremendous potential for pro football on an international basis, launched the World League of American Football. The WLAF (later known as NFL Europe) was the first sports league to operate on a weekly basis on two separate continents.

Labor peace is another hallmark of Tagliabue’s stewardship. In 1993, the NFL and NFL Players Association officially signed a seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement which guaranteed more than $1 billion in pension, health, and post-career benefits for current and retired players - the most extensive benefit plan in pro sports. It was the first CBA since 1987 and the first of two successive long-term labor agreements with the players during Tagliabue’s tenure.

Under Tagliabue, the NFL also addressed many other key priorities. During the Tagliabue-era, the league supported the construction of some 20 new stadiums; created a league-wide Internet network and the subscriber-based NFL TV Network; and secured the largest television contracts in entertainment history, totaling some $25 billion.

Before becoming the league’s CEO, Tagliabue represented the NFL as an attorney at Covington & Burling, a Washington, D.C. law firm.


Paul Tagliabue's Career Capsule

Full Name: Paul John Tagliabue

Birthdate: November 24, 1940

Birthplace: Jersey City, New Jersey

High School: St. Michaels (Union City, NJ)


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