Adolpho Birch III, Senior VP of Business Affairs/Chief Legal Officer for the Tennessee Titans
Adolpho Birch III is in his second season with the Titans as Senior Vice President, Business Affairs & Chief Legal Officer. He joined the organization in 2020 after spending 23 years at the NFL headquarters in New York.
Birch’s responsibilities with the Titans include legal affairs, government relations, community impact and business planning and strategy.
In his first season with the team, he took on an important role in the organization’s on-going discussions with Metro Nashville government and the state of Tennessee on the potential development of the stadium campus and a re-imagined Nissan Stadium. He also has been a catalyst on re-defining priorities for the team’s Community Impact department moving forward.
As an advisor to Commissioners Paul Tagliabue and Roger Goodell, Birch served in many senior-level roles throughout his time at the league office, prior to joining the Titans.
From 2015 to 2020, Birch served as the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Labor Policy & League Affairs. His broad range of duties covered labor negotiations, litigation matters, government relations, player engagement, employee development and the league’s critical response team. He helped develop, administer and enforce policies respecting the integrity of the game and the reputation of the league, including those on substances of abuse, performance-enhancing drugs, gambling and criminal misconduct.
Working with government officials, he also advanced the NFL’s legislative, political and regulatory interests on key issues such as youth concussion laws, the league’s tax status and the FCC’s blackout rule.
In supervising the NFL’s player engagement efforts, which encompass a number of programs to support player and employee off-field success, he helped improve access to continuing education, financial education, career development and clinical assistance.
Additionally, he served on several executive working groups and cross-organizational committees including those related to sponsorship, legalized sports betting, media advertising policy and disaster relief.
Birch began his career with the NFL as Labor Relations Counsel from 1997 to 2007. His primary responsibility in that role was the enforcement of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, including player and club contract and injury grievances, benefit matters and salary cap disputes. He later was promoted to Vice President of Labor Policy and Player Development (2007–2010), Senior Vice President of Law and Labor Policy (2010–2012), and Senior Vice President of Labor Policy and Government Affairs (2012–2014).
Prior to his work in the league office, Birch clerked for the Honorable Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. He then worked in private practice in Houston as an associate at Fulbright & Jaworski and later a labor and litigation boutique.
A Nashville native and graduate of Father Ryan High School, Birch attended Vanderbilt University Law School as a Patricia Roberts Harris Scholar, serving on the Editorial Board of the Vanderbilt Law Review and earning his juris doctorate in 1991. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard University, where he graduated with honors in government.
Birch is involved with several professional and philanthropic organizations, including Vanderbilt University Board of Trust (Secretary); Sports Lawyers Association (Board of Directors); Partnership for Clean Competition (Board of Governors); Business of Sports School, New York City (Industrial Advisory Board); and Why Not Sports? (Advisory Board). In May 2021, he was elected to the Board of Directors for Ingram Industries. That same month, he was elected to serve as a Director for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.
His father, A.A. Birch, Jr., was the first African-American Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court and became the first judge to serve at every level of the Tennessee judiciary. In 2006, the city of Nashville named its new criminal justice building after him.