Led by some of the most respected football minds in the game, The Alliance of American Football is an eight-team, single-entity structured league driven by high-quality professional football and fueled by a dynamic Alliance between players, fans and the game. Fans will be able to stream Alliance matchups live via the free Alliance app while accessing integrated fantasy options with real rewards — for themselves and the players they are cheering on. Players will have state-of-the-art protection on the field and ample opportunities off it. The Alliance will provide players a comprehensive bonus system, post-football career planning as well as counseling and scholarship support for postsecondary education. Founded by TV and film producer Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, The Alliance will begin a 12-week season kicking-off February 9, 2019 on CBS and culminating with the championship game the weekend of April 26-28, 2019.
Growing up along the sidelines of professional sports, Ebersol has built a career on telling the stories behind the sport. He is an award-winning film and television producer, director, and philanthropist. Ebersol has created hit shows, sold franchise film properties, and launched companies and foundations with global brands and personalities. His credits include: “Strike Team” (ESPN Films), “This Was the XFL” (ESPN ‘30 for 30’), “Gold Medal Families” (Lifetime), “The Moment” (USA), critically-acclaimed “NFL Characters Unite” (USA), “Rooster and Butch” (A&E), “The Profit” (CNBC), “West Texas Investors Club” (CNBC), “The Wanted” (NBC),” documentaries “Don’t Look Down” and “Ithuteng: Never Stop Learning.”
Hall of Famer Bill Polian is known for building multiple successful franchises during his 24 years as a General Manager. In all, his teams made 17 playoffs, eight conference championship games and five Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts.
Polian began his career as an NFL scout for the Kansas City Chiefs (1978-1982). He rose to league prominence as the General Manager of the Buffalo Bills, building a dominant team that reached four straight Super Bowls—the most consecutive appearances by any team.
Bill would work in the NFL office as Vice President of Football Development in 1993 and 1994 before becoming General Manager of the expansion Carolina Panthers from 1995-1997. Under his leadership, Carolina advanced to the NFC Championship in only his second season at the time the only expansion team in any sport to do so.
From 1998-2011, Polian served as President and General Manager of the Indianapolis Colts. During his tenure, he drafted Peyton Manning and guided the team to eight division titles and two Super Bowl appearances, including a Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears.
Polian is the only six-time recipient of the NFL Executive of the Year award and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
Troy Polamalu let his play do the talking during twelve electrifying seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. A consummate professional and leader who understood the power of an education, Polamalu utilized his time during the 2011 lockout to earn his degree in history from USC. In his role with The Alliance, Polamalu will work closely with players, ensuring they have the tools and resources needed to excel on-and-off the field.
Recognized by his flowing hair and dynamic, high-energy playing style, Polamalu was an integral part of the Steelers secondary. His memorable 2005 season resulted in a first-team All-Pro nomination and the first of his two Super Bowl titles. In 2010, Polamalu’s play elevated the Steelers to the best scoring defense in the league and earned him the AP Defensive Player of the Year award. Polamalu ranks among the best safeties of his generation.
Polamalu’s off-the-field contributions are just as impressive. In 2014, he was nominated for the NFL’s Salute to Service award thanks to his work benefiting veterans. Currently, his foundation is raising funds for humanitarian aid to American Samoa, the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, the FOCUSNA Back Pack Feeding Program and the Fa’a American Samoa Camp.
Polamalu is of Samoan descent and was raised by his mother’s family. Polamalu’s uncle Kennedy Pola is the running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings. Another uncle, Aoatoa Polamalu, played nose tackle at Penn State from 1984–1988. Polamalu is married to Theodora Polamalu and they have two children Paisios and Ephraim.
As Head of Football Operations for The Alliance, J.K. McKay administers his legal and football expertise to ensure policies, processes and rules abide by The Alliance’s vision of high quality pro football fueled by an unprecedented, groundbreaking and dynamic relationship between players, fans and the game.
McKay has been around the game of football his whole life. A 1975 graduate of the University of Southern California, McKay played on two national championship football teams (1972, 1974) and in three Rose Bowls (1973, 1974, and 1975). He was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1999 and spent three seasons in the NFL (1976-1979) as a receiver with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After retiring from professional football, he became a successful attorney in Tampa and Southern California, specializing in litigating complex business, real estate and environmental matters from 1983-1998. In 1998, he became Executive Director of Football Operations for Majestic Realty Co./New Coliseum Partners, where he spearheaded efforts to bring football back to Los Angeles and remodel the Coliseum.
In 2001, McKay supervised all aspects of football and business operations as Vice President & General Manager of the XFL’s first and only championship team, the Los Angeles Xtreme. McKay continued his legal career after the league folded before returning to his alma mater in 2010.
As a Senior Associate Athletic Director at USC, McKay navigated the school through potentially crippling sanctions. During his tenure, USC Football won two Pac-12 Southern Conference titles and played in four bowl games.
J.K. McKay is the son of former USC Trojan and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John McKay and the older brother of former Buccaneers general manager and current Atlanta Falcons president, Rich McKay.
Tom Veit, Head of Business Operations, The Alliance, has made a career of establishing and turning around franchises and leagues across professional and collegiate sports. Veit will drive all business operations associated with the launch and growth of The Alliance.
Veit has occupied senior leadership positions in the Arena Football League (AFL), United Soccer League (USL), Major League Soccer (MLS), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), XFL, and Collegiate Athletics.
In 1999, after serving as Director of Marketing & Operations for Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm and creating a sports marketing division for Clear Channel Communications, Veit was recruited as SVP of Sales and Marketing for the Tampa Bay Mutiny of the MLS. In less than two years, he revamped the team’s front office and led the largest single year revenue turnaround in MLS history at that time.
When the XFL was formed in 2000, Veit became the Vice President General Manager of the Orlando Rage. Under his leadership, the Rage became the number one team in revenue and tickets sales and set the record for highest average attendance of any Orlando professional sports team.
When the XFL folded, he returned to his Alma Mater, University of South Florida, as Associate Athletic Director before returning to the MLS as the founding president of the Philadelphia Union in 2008, overseeing every aspect of the team’s launch. In 2011, he joined the WWE as the SVP of Global Live Events.
Most recently, Veit served as Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer within the USL, leading the league to Division II status, granted by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).
A sought after sports and entertainment business expert, Veit has spoken at the Wharton school of business and served as executive in residence at Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management.
Over the course of a storied 14-year NFL career, Hines Ward proved to be one of the most resilient, reliable, physical and competitive wide receivers in league history. He is bringing these same traits to The Alliance, where he will mentor players and work closely with senior leadership to develop and uphold policies that set players up for success on-and-off the field.
Ward spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, becoming the team’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. In 2006, Ward helped lead the Steelers to victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. His five catches for 123 yards and a touchdown earned him the Super Bowl MVP. Ward and the Steelers returned to the Super Bowl in 2009, when they defeated the Arizona Cardinals for his second Super Bowl title. The four-time Pro Bowl WR retired from the league in 2012, one of just two players in league history with at least 1,000 receptions and two Super Bowl rings.
Ward’s challenging upbringing molded him into the athlete and man he has become. Born on March 8, 1976 in Seoul, South Korea to a Korean mother and an African American father, Ward was raised in Atlanta by his single mother. Over the course of his career he formed the Helping Hands Foundation to combat bi-racial discrimination and aid inner city and underprivileged youth in Pittsburgh and Atlanta. Ward was named the Steelers 2008 Walter Payton “Man of the Year,” and in September of 2010, President Barack Obama appointed him as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Jared Allen wreaked havoc on NFL quarterbacks for twelve seasons, playing with a level of passion and intensity few could match. Allen brings this same level of commitment and spirit to The Alliance as an investor and senior-level player relations executive, leaning on his professional football experience to help create and implement policies promoting the physical, mental and financial well-being of its players.
Allen is best known for his time with the Minnesota Vikings, where he was a five-time Pro Bowl DE and led the team to a conference championship berth. In 2012, he set the franchise record for sacks in a single season with 22, just a half sack short of the NFL record. Allen was named to the 50 Greatest Vikings list in 2010.
Allen began his NFL career in 2004 with the Kansas City Chiefs. He signed with the Vikings in 2008 and after six seasons in Minnesota, played two with the Bears before finishing his career with the Carolina Panthers, helping lead the team to Super Bowl 50 in his final season. After the 2015-16 season, he announced his retirement by posting a video of him riding his horse off into the sunset. In 2009, after returning home from a USO trip to US Military Bases in the Middle East, he founded Jared Allen’s Home for Wounded Warriors Foundation. The foundation aims to raise money to build homes for injured veterans.
Dick Ebersol, one of the most accomplished and influential media executives and producers in sports television history, will serve on the board of directors for The Alliance. As chairman of NBC Sports & Olympics from 1989-2011, he not only crafted the first IOC agreements for multiple Olympics, but as executive producer he also defined, then re-defined Olympic event coverage and storytelling. The 2008 Beijing Olympics remain the most-watched event in U.S. television history with 215 million viewers. Dick Ebersol’s many achievements at NBC also include creating “Football Night in America” in 2006, which established Sunday as the NFL’s new marquee primetime game. His influence extended beyond sports, co-creating the iconic NBC late-night show “Saturday Night Live.” A recipient of the IOC’s Olympic Order and member of the Broadcasting & Cable and U.S. Olympic halls of fame, Dick Ebersol was honored in 2009 with the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, an honor that was bestowed to him by his friend Muhammad Ali. In 2015, he was named recipient of the Sports Business Journal/Daily Lifetime Achievement Award.
Keith is an investment partner at Khosla Ventures. His focus at the firm includes consumer Internet, education, enterprise, financial services and digital health. Since joining KV, he’s led investments in Stripe, Thoughtspot, HealthTap and Teespring among many others. He also started the real estate startup OpenDoor, which aims to transform the process of selling a home through technology.
Keith has a unique and unparalleled track record as an entrepreneur, executive and investor. Over the last decade, he has forged several of the most important new social and commerce platforms. Keith began his career in the industry as a senior executive at PayPal [NASDAQ: PYPL, later acquired by EBAY] and subsequently served in influential roles at LinkedIn [NYSE: LNKD] and as chief operating officer of Square.
As a board member, Keith guided Yelp [NYSE: YELP] and Xoom [NASDAQ: XOOM] from inception to successful initial public offerings. Simultaneously, he also invested in other like-minded entrepreneurs with early stakes in YouTube [acquired by GOOG], Yammer [acquired by MSFT], Palantir, Lyft, AirBnB, Eventbrite and Quora.
Earlier in his career, Keith was a litigator at the preeminent Wall Street law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, after clerking for the United States Court of Appeals for the fifth circuit.
Keith holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University and a juris doctor degree with honors from Harvard University.
Justin Tuck delivered clutch, memorable performances on football’s biggest stage during his impressive 11-year career. As captain of one of the most formidable defenses in NFL history, Tuck was never one to shy away from a challenge. He joins The Alliance in an advisory role, leveraging his football acumen and unique player insight to help shape policies that are in the best interest of the players, fans and game.
In nine seasons with the New York Giants, Tuck recorded 18 forced fumbles and 60.5 sacks, placing him 6th all-time on the Giants’ sack list. He cemented his New York Giants legacy when he applied relentless pressure on Tom Brady and the then undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, to the tune of two sacks and a forced fumble in a victory. Tuck would earn his second title in 2011, registering another two sacks in a victory, becoming the only player in NFL history to have multiple sacks in multiple Super Bowls. He was inducted into the New York Giants Ring of Honor in 2016.
Tuck is currently enrolled in the MBA program at the Wharton School of Business in Philadelphia, PA and continues to expand his philanthropic work focusing on providing positive opportunities for today’s youth. In 2008, he and his wife created Tuck’s R.U.S.H for Literacy in an effort to bring the same opportunities that made them successful to low-income youth in New York, New Jersey and Alabama.