We’ve now just received word directly from the XFL that Seattle Team President, Ryan Gustafson has made his first business hires for the team.
Chris Savio, most recently the Director of Corporate Partnership Sales for Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC, as Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships, and Jim Christman, an NFL PR veteran with over 16 seasons with the Chicago Bears, as Team Director, Communications and Media Relations. Both are effective immediately.
Savio will oversee all elements of the team’s corporate partnership business, including strategy and development, marketing, retention, and activations on the local and national levels. Christman will work closely with Gustafson, as well as the league communications team, to lead all team communications and media relations activities.
About Savio: A Mercer Island, Washington native, Savio is a seasoned sports sales and marketing executive with a demonstrated expertise in business development, sponsorship sales, and grassroots consumer marketing. He began his career working with Ripken Baseball, Inc., directing the company’s amateur baseball business. Savio later joined the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens where he spent three seasons as an Account Executive on the Corporate Partnerships team, and in the spring of 2015, he moved home to the Pacific Northwest to assume his position with Sounders FC. Savio earned a B.A. in Recreation Management from the University of Hawaii at Hilo where he played NCAA Division I baseball.
About Christman: During Christman’s time with the Bears, he was part of a four-person communications staff charged with day-to-day team media relations for both business and football operations, as well as player and organization community involvement. He was selected by the NFL’s communications staff to work the NFC Championship game from 2007-17 in a variety of roles. Christman was also the team’s primary contact for the opposing team and the team’s and league’s broadcast partners while managing 20-25 coach’s and player’s media requests. In his role he also managed the team’s credentialing system and was the project manager of the media guide, responsible for coach, player and front office bios, historical information and general information on the franchise.