University of Southern California

Jeff Moorad

Jeff Moorad was born and raised in Modesto, California, where his love for sports began at a young age. His maternal grandfather, Frank Shaw, played 16 years for the Modesto Reds, then a Class C professional baseball team, before going on to become a successful businessman and ultimately the President of the Modesto Reds. It was Shaw who took Moorad to his first major league baseball game during the 1962 World Series in San Francisco. His father, Bill Moorad, an Honorable Mention All-American offensive lineman at the University of Illinois, advance scouted for his good friend, Ara Parseghian, when Ara coached at Notre Dame. It was Bill who took Moorad to his first professional football game, an NFC Championship game in 1970 at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, where the 49ers hosted the Cowboys. Moorad’s love of sports took hold as he became a fan of the Bay Area teams and, in particular, the Giants, 49ers, and Raiders and his boyhood heroes, Willie Mays and John Brodie..

Moorad earned an Associate in Arts degree from Modesto Junior College in 1976, where he served as Student Body President. He then earned a degree in Political Science (B.A.) in 1978 from UCLA, and received his law degree from Villanova University School of Law (J.D.) in 1981. After passing the California bar exam, he went to work for the Newport Beach office of a Los Angeles-based litigation firm. Practicing law proved to be short-lived as his true passion was sports and he left to found Moorad Sports Management, where he began specializing in athlete representation in 1983. Moorad’s client base took off in 1984 when he was retained by Will Clark and four other members of the U.S. Olympic baseball team, each of whom became Top 10 draft choices.

As co-principal of Steinberg & Moorad, Jeff and his firm did not stop at athlete representation as Moorad guided it into TV & Radio talent representation, as well as a variety of sports technology ventures, publishing projects, and community charitable projects. Consistent with his own civic commitment, Moorad demanded that his clients understand the responsibility of serving as role models in their community, encouraging them to contribute millions of dollars to community programs, including their own non-profit foundations and alma maters. Leading by example, Moorad endowed a $100,000 baseball scholarship in 1994 to his alma mater UCLA and recently finalized a $5.0 million gift for the “Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for Sports Law” at his law school, Villanova University School of Law.

Moorad is also active in helping to raise funds to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, through Augie’s Quest. The foundation is named after his good friend Augie Nieto, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2005 after he became one of the most successful innovators in the U.S. fitness industry as the founder, Chairman and CEO of LifeFitness. Moorad spearheaded Augie’s Quest’s partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) as well as assisted in fast-track research funding at Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), where scientists have already made significant research breakthroughs in the ALS space in less than four years. Moorad currently serves on the Board of Directors at TGen and is a Vice President for the MDA. He formerly served on the public Board of Directors at sunglass and apparel manufacturer Oakley, Inc. until the sale of the company to Italian manufacturer, Luxottica. He co-founded social media company ProTrade and served on the Board of Directors of its successor company, Citizen Sports Network, until its sale to Yahoo! in 2010. Moorad has been an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) for 12 years and has belonged to YPO chapters in Newport Beach, Arizona, and San Diego. He currently serves on the Chairman’s Council for the San Diego Economic Development Corporation.

In 1999, Jeff sold three businesses: Athlete Direct, a sports technology firm which he and 18-year partner Leigh Steinberg had partnered with AOL; Integrated Sports International, a New Jersey-based sports marketing firm; as well as his core business, Steinberg & Moorad, which was sold to Winnipeg-based Assante Corporation. After serving nearly five years as the head of Assante’s Sports Management Division, Moorad was presented an opportunity of a lifetime to follow the path of his grandfather and to run a major league sports franchise.

Moorad was named a member of the executive team of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2004. While with Arizona, Moorad was a General Partner, Chief Executive Officer, the spokesman for the Diamondbacks ownership group, and oversaw the day-to-day operations of the franchise. While with the organization, he hired a Club President, a Chief Operating Officer, a General Manager, and helped re-construct the baseball operations department. Taking over a team which lost an MLB-worst 111 games in 2004, Moorad oversaw a resurgence on the field, highlighted by an NLCS appearance in 2007, a major uniform re-branding campaign, and a dramatic reversal of the club’s payroll spending. During his four and a half years with the Diamondbacks, the club paid down more than $100 million of debt and became compliant with MLB's Debt Service Rule.

In March, 2009, Moorad and a mostly California-based group finalized an agreement with John Moores to purchase 100% ownership of the Padres over several years. He and his group have paid $147 million to date and presently own 49.3% of the Club. In conjunction with the transaction, Moorad was named Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, roles which he filled until March, 2012. Similar to his Arizona experience, the Padres business was declining when he arrived. On the field, the Padres lost 99 games in 2008 on a $74 million payroll. In the off-season just prior to Moorad’s arrival, the season ticket base fell from 15,000 to less than 8,400. Moorad reduced the payroll to $38 million, focused the Padres on a long-term strategy rooted in scouting and player development, personally negotiated a $1.5 billion Regional Sports Network agreement with Fox Sports (including a tax-free up-front payment of $200 million, and a 20% equity stake in the RSN), and poured resources into the ticket sales side of the business. Today, the farm system has improved from the 29th worst in MLB to a generally-recognized Top-2 system (recently rated No. 1 by three of the four significant ratings services), overall attendance has increased two years in a row (for only the second time in franchise history), season tickets have increased to over 11,000, the 2012 payroll is in the mid-$50 million range, and, although still developing, the Club appears well-positioned for future success on and off the field. After a significant re-structuring of the agreement with Moores and an agreement to jointly sell the Padres, Moorad served as the Vice-Chairman of the Club until August 31, 2012, focusing exclusively on assisting in the sale of the franchise. With the Club now sold (for a 3rd-highest ever price for an MLB franchise at $800m), Moorad is now exploring new opportunities and will be teaching a “Business of Sports” class as an Adjunct Professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management in the Winter Quarter.