NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2021 – Major League Baseball Players, Inc. (MLBPI), the business arm of the Major League Baseball Players Association, today announced the additions of Shawn McDonald as Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Robert Sanzillo as Vice President, Strategy, Operations and Legal Affairs, and the promotion of Zvee Geffen to Director of Licensing.
“The staff changes announced today better position MLBPI as we continue to support players with their commercial and licensing activities and expand our efforts with new partners and ventures,” said MLBPI Managing Director Evan Kaplan. “Shawn and Rob add broad and diverse legal and business experience that will benefit all aspects of our work. Zvee has demonstrated vision and creativity over the past three years and we’re confident he will help guide our licensing program to continued success in his new role.”
McDonald, who has degrees from Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations program and Harvard Law School, brings diverse business and legal experience to the newly created position at MLBPI.
McDonald joined Nike as Director of Business Affairs for its North America Sports Marketing group in 2013 and spent four years negotiating and helping manage Nike's sponsorship and licensing agreements with the MLBPA, NFLPA, MLB and the NFL. McDonald began his career in 2002 as a commercial litigator at Cravath, Swaine & Moore and later continued his practice at Norton Rose Fulbright.
Sanzillo is a former minor league catcher in the St. Louis Cardinals organization who served as an elected team representative. He advocated for the development of a plan that called for improved housing, meals, and education of Latin American players.
A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and Fordham Law School, Sanzillo has independently focused his career on emerging growth companies, serving as outside General Counsel and advisor to several start-ups.
Sanzillo spent the last two years as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Lacrosse Operations at the Premier Lacrosse League, a venture-backed start-up professional field lacrosse league. From 2013 to 2020, Sanzillo served as counsel at Herrick, Feinstein LLP, a prominent mid-sized law firm based in New York City, where he worked with clients to resolve complex litigation issues.
Geffen, who has been with the organization for three years managing portfolios of licensees across the trading card and memorabilia categories, will oversee the day-to-day operations of MLBPI’s licensing business in his new role.