NFL’s Smith and Atallah talk business with MBA students

New Orleans Saints starting defensive end Will Smith, standing, and NFL Players Association Assistant Executive Director for External Affairs George Atallah, seated, spoke to students about the business of the NFL in a special Super Bowl week talk. Photo by Cheryl Gerber.

Will Smith, starting defensive end of the New Orleans Saints, and George Atallah, assistant executive director of external affairs for the NFL Players Association, discussed the business side of football in a special Super Bowl week appearance at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on Tuesday (Jan. 29).

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith appointed Atallah to the newly created position of assistant executive director of external affairs in 2009. In that role, Atallah manages NFLPA media relations, strategic partnerships and fan outreach. He also served as the NFLPA’s spokesman on issues including the lockout and the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal.

Smith, a nine-year NFL veteran, was one of four current and former Saints who had their suspensions in the wake of the bounty scandal overturned by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The interactive talk, organized by Graduate Business Council President Albin Soares (MBA ’13), covered topics including the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, player marketing, the image of the game and what the future may hold for the NFL and its players. To see more photos from the event, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.