Major League Soccer and World League of American Football executive joins XFL launch team
STAMFORD, Conn, February 28, 2000 — The XFL, a new professional football league launched by World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (NMS: WWFE), announced today that sports business veteran Billy Hicks has signed on as Vice President of Administration for the XFL. Hicks will oversee all day-to-day administrative operations of the XFL, which is scheduled to kickoff in February 2001.
“Our talented XFL launch team is substantially stronger today with the addition of Billy Hicks. His wealth of sports business savvy and experience in launching new leagues is a talent that few people can bring to the table,” said Basil DeVito, President of the XFL. “We’re extremely excited about the launch of the XFL and we believe that Billy will be instrumental to our success.”
“I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to build professional sports leagues and franchises from scratch and I believe that the XFL is on the right track for success. We believe that this new venture will excite sports fans across the country and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Hicks.
Hicks has an extensive and successful background in sports business. In 1995, he was named President and General Manager of the Dallas Burn, one of the most successful Major League Soccer (MLS) franchises in the league. During his tenure with the Burn he guided the franchise to four consecutive playoff appearances including a U.S. Open Cup Championship in 1997.
In 1991, Hicks was one of the founders of the World League of American Football (WLAF) where he served as European coordinator for the league. His responsibilities included generating contracts and negotiating with stadiums, television networks, governments, and corporate sponsors, as well as fostering relationships with international media. After launching the league, Hicks moved into the role of General Manager for the London Monarchs where he hired coaching, administrative and support staff, as well as developed an aggressive marketing campaign to launch the fledgling team. During the WLAF’s inaugural season, the London Monarchs lead the league in attendance and finished the season with an outstanding 11-1 record in route to a World Bowl Championship at Wembley Stadium in front of 63,000 fans.
Prior to joining the WLAF, Hicks also served as a sports and event consultant for the Colorado Silver Bullets women’s professional baseball team; as a Business Manager for the Dallas Cowboys from 1986-1989; and as administrative assistant with the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League. He has a B.S. in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University and a Masters of Sports Administration from Ohio University.
The XFL’s inaugural season will kickoff with a ten-game regular season schedule played at major stadiums in eight cities, culminating in a four-team playoff. Through subtle rule changes designed to enhance the action and speed of the game, along with technical innovations that will bring fans inside huddles and on to the sidelines, the XFL is designed to accentuate the action that football fans crave