One of the most respected individuals in the sports and legal industries, Alan I. Rothenberg has more than 40 years of executive-level sports experience and is a renowned expert in the field of sports business and law. Rothenberg, who spearheaded soccer’s rise in the United States during the 1990’s as Chairman & CEO of the 1994 World Cup Organizing Committee, Chairman of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Games, President of the U.S. Soccer Federation and Founder of Major League Soccer, serves as the Chairman of Premier Partnerships, a sports and entertainment marketing and consulting firm.
A former President of the State Bar of California, Rothenberg practiced law in California for more than 35 years. However, he is best known for his success in revitalizing soccer in the United States and for his involvement with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. His love for sports and, in particular, for soccer has led him to serve as the chief executive for many diverse organizations.
Rothenberg, who served as President of U.S. Soccer from 1990-98, was CEO of World Cup USA 1994, the most successful event in FIFA history. The tournament averaged more than a still record 64,000 fans per game and had an operating surplus of more than $60 million. In addition to the World Cup USA 1994, he was the Chairman of the breakthrough 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup and Soccer Commissioner for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee. His other soccer interests include ownership of the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League from 1977-80 and his position as General Manager and General Counselor of the Los Angeles Wolves soccer club in the late 1960’s. For his accomplishments, FIFA has bestowed upon him its coveted Order of Merit.
Rothenberg also was known as one of the top executives in the National Basketball Association during the 1970s and 1980s. While serving as Vice President and General Counsel for Jack Kent Cooke, Inc. and California Sports, Inc., he represented the Los Angeles Lakers on the NBA’s Board of Governors from 1971-79. Rothenberg also was a member of the NBA’s Board of Governors during his tenure as President of the San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers from 1982-90.
Rothenberg, who appeared regularly on the ESPN sports talk program “Sportslook” as a commentator on the field of sports law, has been an instructor of Sports Law at the University of Southern California. He is the former Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Sports Law. He spent 10 years as a partner at Latham & Watkins and was a name partner at Manatt, Phelps, Rothenberg & Phillips for more than 20 years prior to joining Latham & Watkins in 1990. Marked by diversity, his law practice involved matters drawn from the banking, business, sports and entertainment fields.
Prominent in both civic and business realms, Rothenberg has served on several public company boards, including Arden Realty (NYSE), CPK, Inc. (NASDAQ), and Zenith National (NYSE)). He is Chairman of 1st Century Bank. He is President of The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. He was also President of the Music Center’s Fraternity of Friends and a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Museum of Science and industry. He is on the board and is past President of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, was Chairman of the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, is Chairman of the Los Angeles Sports Council, and is a member of the board of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and the Southern California Committee for the Olympics.
A long time resident of Southern California, Rothenberg received a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Law Degree from the University of Michigan.