About Xavier JamesXavier D. James is currently the Chief Operating Officer of The Major League Baseball Players Association. In this role, he oversees organizational infrastructure, human resources, finance, communications, information technology, budgeting, philanthropy, as well as provides support for the business department of the Association. Previously, he served as the Deputy Chief Operating Officer and a business advisor for the Association in connection with various complex matters including the formation of a for-profit subsidiary, brand marketing, operations, budget analysis, commercial revenue opportunities, and youth initiatives.
Prior to joining the Association, Xavier was the Founder and President of The James Group, which was a company that specialized in general contract negotiations including business matters in the sports and entertainment industries across both digital and traditional platforms. He has represented several professional athletes including Gary Sheffield, Oscar De La Hoya, Ray Lewis, and Bernard Hopkins. He was also an equity partner and the Chief Operating Officer of Gary Sheffield’s company, Sheffield Management and Entertainment Group LLC, which is a company that specializes in the representation of professional baseball players including Jason Grilli, Jemile Weeks, and James Hoyt.
Prior to founding The James Group, Xavier served as the Senior Vice President (Travel, Sports, and Entertainment) of MasterCard Worldwide where he oversaw MasterCard branded marketing (traditional and digital) programs. He began his professional career as a corporate and securities lawyer in New York at the global law firm, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, from 1993 to 1996. He served as in-house counsel for Viacom's publishing unit, Simon & Schuster, from 1996 to 1998, and went on to serve as in-house counsel for the Sports and Original Programming Department and the Vice President of Sports Programming of HBO from 1998 to 2004.
Xavier holds a degree (with honors) in political science from New York University (College of Arts and Science), a law degree from New York University School of Law, and an MBA degree from New York University (Stern School of Business). He has also served as an adjunct member of the sports business faculty at New York University (Tisch Center) (from 2005 to 2013) and was the recipient of the NYU Outstanding Faculty Service Award (2013).