NFL marketer Julie Haddon named NWSL's first CMO – AdAge.com

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The National Women’s Soccer League has poached a top NFL marketer as its first-ever chief marketing officer. Julie Haddon, most recently the NFL’s senior VP for global brand and consumer marketing, was hired for the role. She joins as the 10-year-old NWSL as it seeks to move beyond a 2021 coaches abuse scandal, while also striking a new media rights deal.
During her five-year tenure at the NFL, Haddon has been credited with leading campaigns related to the Super Bowl, NFL Draft and the league’s social justice initiatives. She previously worked for DreamWorks Animation and eBay.
At the NWSL, Haddon will oversee advertising, media, fan/player marketing, promotions, social media, influencer research and more. The league today also announced the hiring of Tatjana Haenni as chief sporting director in a role charged with collaborating “with players, league officials and stakeholders to implement sporting strategies that distinguish and sustain the NWSL as the world’s premier women’s professional soccer league.” She was previously director of women’s football at the Swiss Football Association.
 
Also coming on board is Bill Ordower into the positions of chief operating officer and chief legal officer. He was previously a partner at law firm ArentFox Schiff LLP and also has experience in roles with Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing, the marketing arm of MLS.
“Throughout the hiring process we were intentional about finding individuals who not only have the experience and qualifications necessary to succeed in these roles, but also a genuine enthusiasm for the future of the league,” NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said. “I am confident Julie, Tatjana and Bill will add tremendous value to the league’s front office operations, and I am excited to have them on board as we continue taking the NWSL to new heights.”
Haddon stated that “working with a leader like Jessica, the players, clubs and the league staff to help grow and scale the NWSL into a global sports powerhouse is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
The hirings come as the 12-team NWSL begins negotiating a new media rights deal. Its three-year-pact with CBS and Twitch expires next year. In July, USA Today reported that Berman had already had “preliminary conversations” with CBS about a renewal.
Berman was hired in March, replacing the previous commissioner Lisa Baird, who resigned in late 2021. She left amid a scandal that involved inappropriate behavior by five NWSL coaches, including alleged sexual misconduct. 
Berman was previously deputy commissioner and executive VP of business affairs at the National Lacrosse League.
 
In this article:
E.J. Schultz is the News Editor for Ad Age, overseeing breaking news and daily coverage. He also contributes reporting on the beverage, automotive and sports marketing industries. He is a former reporter for McClatchy newspapers, including the Fresno Bee, where he covered business and state government and politics.
 

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