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SAFE Sports Management

Jerome Stanley - President
W. Jerome Stanley is president of SAFE Sports Management, a sports law firm headquartered in Los Angeles, California. SAFE Sports is one of the nation’s leading sports management firms, representing professional athletes from the NBA and NFL. A Los Angeles native, Mr. Stanley embarked on his career while a college student at USC working with a national sports representation firm on the development of college athletes such as Ronnie Lott and Marcus Allen. After college, Mr. Stanley worked first as an assistant in the office of Dr. Jerry Buss, owner of the Los Angeles Lakers and subsequently as Assistant General Manager of the Los Angeles Strings of the World Team Tennis League. This team, led by Martina Navratilova, won the world championship during Mr. Stanley’s tenure.

After earning his Juris Doctorate degree from USC law school and serving a student clerkship with United States District Judge Terry J. Hatter, Mr. Stanley worked for the Los Angeles based management firm of Management Plus Enterprises where he negotiated contracts and assisted in the management of the careers of clients such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Rodney Peete.

In 1989, Mr. Stanley started his own company, which has evolved into SAFE Sports Management. One of the first major deals he negotiated was NBA All-Star Reggie Lewis’ contract with the Boston Celtics for an unprecedented $16.5 million. Since then, he negotiated contracts and managed careers for clients such as Brian Shaw of the Los Angeles Lakers, Baron Davis of the Los Angeles Clippers, Chad Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals and Keyshawn Johnson formerly of the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys. Mr. Stanley is the first African-American sports agent to ever represent the number one pick of the NFL draft.

Currently Keyshawn Johnson is a co-host of the popular NFL Countdown show on ESPN, working from a four year contract negotiated by Mr. Stanley. In the NBA, Mr. Stanley negotiated the $90 million “maximum” contract of Baron Davis, the former UCLA star and current NBA All-Star. Having negotiated over ½ billion dollars in sports contracts, Mr. Stanley is expanding his professional Coach representation practice. Todd Haley is a SAFE Sports client and is currently the Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mr. Stanley served as a member of the Los Angeles Convention Center Commission. In that capacity, he helped oversee the marketing, finance, and management of Los Angles Convention Center. Mr. Stanley also has taken an active role as an advisor to officials in the area of convention business and tourism. Mr. Stanley has served on the executive council of New Coliseum Partners, where he was actively engaged in the city of Los Angeles’ effort to secure an NFL team. He is currently a member of the California Bar, the American Bar Association, the Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association, the Sports Lawyers Association, Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission Advisory Board and has been on the Agent Advisory Committee of the National Basketball Players Association.

In 2004, Mr. Stanley was elected Vice President of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners. This commission is responsible for the formulation of policy for all city owned airports, LAX, Ontario, Palmdale and Van Nuys. LAWA (L.A. World Airports) is a self sustaining branch of the city of Los Angeles. With an annual budget in the excess of $1 billion dollars, the board of LAWA deals with and creates policy in such areas as aviation, security, environmental compliance, contracting, real estate development, community interface, tourism and labor issues. Mr. Stanley, appointed by Mayor James Hahn, served in this capacity 2004-2005.

Currently Mr. Stanley sits as Commissioner on the Los Angeles Board of Recreation and Parks. This department operates over 390 sites for recreational use. Included in those sites are 400 parks, 180 recreation centers, 60 public swimming pools, 13 golf courses, 11 lakes, 7 camps and more than a dozen museums and historic sites. Its annual budget is $180 million and employs 8,000 workers.

Concurrently, Mr. Stanley sits as Commissioner on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission. This board oversees all activites of the Los Angeles Coliseum, longtime home stadium of USC football and the only venue in the United States to host two Olympics games, 1932 & 1984. The stadium and adjoining Sports Arena, also overseen by the Commission, has been home venue to the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Raiders and the Los Angeles Rams for several decades. The stadium was also the first home of the Los Angeles Dodgers upon their relocation from Brooklyn thus ushering in the west coast migration of major sports.

Christopher Ellison - Chief Operating Officer
Born in Los Angeles, Christopher Ellison attended college at Brigham Young University where he received his Bachelor degrees and started at strong-safety on the football team from 1996-1999. He then went on to attend Pepperdine Law School and graduated with his Juris Doctor.

Mr. Ellison is admitted to practice law in the state of California, and is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts in California (Central District).He currently practices law in the following areas: contracts, employment and civil litigation. Mr. Ellison has been a contract advisor for athletes for five years.

Mr. Ellison’s professional affiliations include memberships in the Sports Lawyer Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and is a NFL Players Association certified contract advisor.