STAMFORD, CT, May 24, 2000 - The
XFL, a new professional football league jointly owned and run
by World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc and NBC, announced
today that veteran sports public relations specialist Steve Griffith
has been named the league's Vice President of Corporate Communications.
Griffith will oversee the XFL's external
communications and build the Stamford-based media relations office
for the league, which continues to surge toward a February, 2001
"This is a key role and Steve Griffith
is a perfect fit,'' said Basil DeVito, President of the XFL. "He's
got the major league experience and diverse background that we
need. More importantly, his pro-active style dovetails with the
XFL's philosophical approach.''
"The XFL is going to have an impact
across the full media spectrum,'' said Griffith, who has spent
the last five years as Director of Communications for the Worldwide
Senior Tennis Circuit and Director of Marketing and Public Relations
for RHB Ventures. "It's going to be fun. I expect to be on
the phone a fair amount.''
Originally a sportswriter with the (Bridgeport)
Connecticut Post, Griffith moved into the public relations field
as Sports Information Director at Manhattan College in 1980. From
there, he went to NBC Sports as a Sports Media Representative.
While at NBC, Griffith worked on all of the major events, including
Super Bowls XVII and XX, the 1982 and '84 World Series, Wimbledon
and the French Open, the Rose, Orange and Fiesta Bowls, the Breeders
Cup, the Skins Game, CART auto racing and world championship boxing.
In 1986, Griffith went to Madison Square
Garden as Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the re-launch
of Madison Square Garden Boxing under Bob Gutkowski, then President
of Madison Square Garden Network, and Vice President/Matchmaker
Bob Goodman. The unit immediately established a program of twice-monthly
shows and brought the sport back to the Garden's main arena with
a series of major and world championship bouts involving Mike
Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Riddick Bowe, Buddy McGirt, Pernell
Whitaker and Hector Camacho, among others. At the Garden, Griffith
was the only staff member to sit on both of the company-wide marketing
and public relations committees.
Later, he became Vice President, Public
Relations for Garden State Boxing, a joint venture between Bob
Goodman Productions and the renowned promotional firm, Main Events.
There, Griffith handled a host of projects, including serving
as Evander Holyfield's publicist through his first two fights
against Riddick Bowe and his fight against Michael Moorer. During
that time, he also worked several major boxing events as a senior
account executive with MediaWorks of Linwood, N.J.
In 1995, Griffith joined another start-up
endeavor, the Champions Tour, as Director of Communications for
the fledgling senior tennis tour featuring Jimmy Connors, Bjorn
Borg and Guillermo Vilas. The tour had launched with three events
in 1993 and eight in '94 before expanding to 19 events around
the world in 1997 and now 21 in 14 countries on four continents.
The circuit, now known as the Success Magazine Tour in the U.S.,
is co-owned by RHB Ventures, a sports and entertainment management
and marketing firm located in Berwyn (suburban Philadelphia),
Pa. In addition to his duties with the senior tennis tour, Griffith
has headed up the Public Relations department at RHB, acquiring
and servicing a host of sports and entertainment accounts.
Married and the father of two, Griffith
has a B.A. in Journalism from St. Bonaventure University.
The XFL's inaugural season will start on
February 3, 2001 with a 10-game schedule to be played at major
stadiums in eight cities, culminating with two semi-final playoff
games and a championship, which is scheduled for April 21. Through
subtle rule changes designed to enhance the action and speed of
the game, along with technical innovations that will bring fans
inside the huddles on to the sidelines, the XFL is designed to
accentuate the action that football fans crave.