Titans Add Trio to Front Office, Including Nashville Native Adolpho Birch III as Senior Vice President/Business Affairs and Chief Legal Officer


NASHVILLE – Nashville native Adolpho Birch III is returning to his hometown to work in a prominent role with the Tennessee Titans.

Birch, who most recently served as Senior Vice President – Labor Policy & League Affairs for the National Football League, joins the Titans as Senior Vice President/Business Affairs and Chief Legal Officer.

He's one of three new hires announced on Thursday by the organization.

The Titans have also hired Surf Melendez as the team's Creative Director, a new role for the organization. Dan Werly has been hired as the team's new General Counsel.

Birch, a 1984 graduate of Father Ryan High School who also holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a law degree from Vanderbilt, will oversee legal affairs and segments of human resources for the Titans, while also managing team initiatives related to state and local government, and business planning and strategy.

Birch has spent 24 years in the NFL offices, working in a variety of roles. His duties included labor negotiations, managing the drug testing program, government relations, sports betting, employee development and the league's critical response team.

Over the years, Birch has also worked with federal, state and local officials on key league issues such as youth concussion laws, the league's tax status and the FCC's blackout rule. He also previously directed the NFL's player development efforts, working with programs designed to support player and employee off-field success, focusing on continuing education, financial education, career development and clinical assistance.

Birch's father, A.A. Birch, Jr., was the first African-American chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court and became the first judge to ever serve at every level of the Tennessee judiciary. The city of Nashville named a courthouse after Birch following his long and successful legal career.

Adolpho Birch is slated to begin his new role with the team next month.


Melendez joins the Titans after spending six years with the Miami Dolphins as Managing Director, Content & Creative and was responsible for the creative direction of the team and Hard Rock Stadium. In his time with the Dolphins, the organization's content team gained recognition from the Emmy and Clio Awards. He also spent three years at adidas as their Sr. Brand Design Manager, Creative Director, and brings experience working at several ad agencies. With the Titans, Melendez will be responsible for team's creative direction, while overseeing digital/broadcast content and gameday production.

Werly joins the Titans after spending a year as the General Counsel for Nashville Soccer Club. Prior to joining Nashville SC, Werly was the Managing Partner for Sievert & Werly, where he represented a number of sports franchises in that capacity. He spent six years working for two Chicago-based law firms following his graduation from Georgetown Law School.

Last month, the Titans elevated Burke Nihill to President/CEO of the team when Steve Underwood retired from his full-time role as President/CEO of the Titans.

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