The XFL announced today that Bellevue native Ryan Gustafson has been announced as President of the XFL football team here in Seattle. The news follows the announcement of Jim Zorn as the team’s Head Coach and General Manager.
Gustafson, most recently the Vice President of Business Strategy & Development for Sounders FC, will be responsible for fan engagement and business operations such as ticket sales, corporate partnerships, marketing, content, communications, community relations, and the game day experience.
“Ryan is well-established in the Seattle sports community and Vince McMahon and I are proud to welcome him to the XFL family,” said Jeffrey Pollack, XFL President, and Chief Operating Officer. “We have no doubt he and Coach Zorn will have a strong partnership and together build something special on and off the field.”
The XFL will hold its inaugural season in February 2020 with Seattle playing their home games at CenturyLink Field.
“I’m excited to help bring the XFL to the Pacific Northwest and build a team that makes a lasting impact in our community,” said Gustafson. “I’d like to thank Adrian Hanauer and the entire Sounders family for the chance to be part of such a great organization. Growing up less than ten miles from CenturyLink Field, and with a love of all things connected to Seattle sports, I know how special fans are here, and I’m grateful to the XFL leadership for this truly unique opportunity.”
Starting in 2013, Gustafson previously spent four years with the San Diego Padres as manager of Business Strategy and Analytics. He was promoted to Senior Director, Strategy & Innovation in 2014 and again to Vice President of Strategy & Innovation in 2015. He then shifted to a senior analyst role within Major League Baseball.
“I’d like to extend Ryan a warm welcome,” said XFL Seattle Head Coach and General Manager Jim Zorn. “He’s a hometown guy with a wealth of front office experience, and I’m looking forward to working side-by-side with him to bring to life our team here in Seattle.”
Gustafson earned a bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics from the University of Puget Sound prior to graduating with a Master’s in Business Administration at Harvard Business School.