Joe Ellis, the chief executive of the National Football League’s (NFL) Denver Broncos, has revealed that Brittany Bowlen “expressed an interest” in serving as the next controlling owner.
The announcement regarding Brittany Bowlen, 28, one of Pat Bowlen’s seven children, marks a significant development in the path towards the current controlling Pat Bowlen Trust choosing a successor to the franchise majority owner, who stepped down from his position to battle Alzheimer’s in 2014.
Ellis is a part of the three-person trust – completed by Broncos general counsel Rich Slivka and attorney Mary Kelly – that was established by Pat Bowlen to run the team and determine if one of his children is qualified to be the owner.
“She’s taken some steps, some good steps, along the way in terms of her education,” Ellis said in a news conference.
“We’re not anointing anybody or anything like that, but [Brittany Bowlen] certainly has expressed an interest and she knows it’s going to take some time for her to get ready.
“She’s not ready yet – she’s admitted that to us, obviously. We’ll see where it goes.”
Ellis and the trust clearly consider Brittany Bowlen to have the tangible and intangible qualifications to allow her to replace her father. Brittany Bowlen will soon start working at McKinsey & Co, a global management firm, after interning with the company last year. Her CV includes a finance degree from Notre Dame, a year apiece working for the NFL and the Broncos, a Masters from Duke and now her role at McKinsey’s Denver office.
Earlier this summer, Beth Bowlen Wallace, Pat’s second-oldest child and Brittany’s half-sister, went public with her desire to become the next controlling owner, citing her employment with the Broncos and her law degree from the University of Denver among other qualifications.
The trust disagreed and concluded she was not a viable choice, responding with a statement that said they had “thoroughly evaluated whether Beth is capable of succeeding her father as controlling owner”.
The NFL remains content with the trust running the Broncos until a candidate is deemed equipped to handle the job.
In May 2015, the NFL approved a policy to allow trust ownership of teams, a pathway for ownership to remain with the family. The Broncos are the first team to be run by a trust. Last year, the league granted a five-year extension to Ellis as delegated controlling owner.