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Michelle McKenna, Who Shepherded Key Technological Projects for the NFL, to Leave League Office


Andrew Cohen

Michelle McKenna is leaving her role as chief information officer of the NFL, according to Sports Business Journal. Her last day with the league will be March 31, ending her nearly decade-long stay with the league.

McKenna joined the NFL as its first chief information officer in September 2012. Her tenure oversaw technology projects such as the installation of Verizon 5G’s network inside NFL stadiums, betting data distribution deals with Sportradar and Genius Sports and advancements to instant replay operations through Hawk-Eye. This season, McKenna also helped expand the league’s sensor-embedded mouthguard program to players on 10 NFL teams and four college teams.

“Under Michelle’s leadership, the league’s technology has undergone significant transformation,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in a league memo seen by SBJ. “She has led key initiatives that has brought more connectivity to our fans and cutting-edge technology to the game. She has served as an executive sponsor for the Women’s Interactive Network and has mentored many throughout the league.”

Prior to joining the NFL, McKenna worked at Disney, where she spent parts of 14 years in strategic planning and theme parks before finishing up as head of IT at Walt Disney World in Florida. She later led technology at the Universal Studios Resort in Orlando, where she helped launch Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 

“NFL Stadiums, to me, are like theme parks,” McKenna told SportTechie’s Tom Friend in an interview on Dec. 22, 2021. “But they’re a lot harder. Stadiums are a lot harder than theme parks. I’ll go on record as saying that.”

Goodell said in the memo that the NFL will soon begin its search for a new CIO.

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