July 23rd, 2024

Former CFL executive Christina Litz named president of Northern Super League

By Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press on July 8, 2024.

Christina Litz, the newly named president of the Northern Super League, is shown in this undated handout photo. The new Canadian women’s pro soccer circuit set to kick off in April 2025. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Northern Super League/Reanna Khan

Christina Litz, whose resume includes executive stints with the Canadian Football League, Woodbine Entertainment and Manitoba’s True North Sports and Entertainment, has been named president of the Northern Super League.

The new professional women’s soccer league is slated to kick off next April with franchises in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

“We’re really excited to have her,” league co-founder Diana Matheson said of Litz.

“She’s got such perfect experience at the CFL, with the (Winnipeg) Jets, doing a number of other things “¦ She knows the space so well,” added the former Canadian international. “And that’s exactly what we wanted coming into this.”

Matheson, meanwhile, is taking the title of chief growth officer, focusing on “developing further league opportunities,” according to the league.

Litz, a Winnipeg native, worked on Bay Street after earning her law degree from the University of Manitoba.

She joined CHUM Radio and Television as role of director of business and legal affairs before working for Telus, Rogers Communications and eventually Corus Entertainment as vice president, digital content and engagement.

She spent five years with the CFL with her last position as chief marketing, digital and strategy officer, before serving as Woodbine’s vice-president, business development and revenue. In May 2021, she joined True North, leading the commercial side of the parent company to the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets and AHL’s Manitoba Moose.

Litz, a mother of two who will be based out of Winnipeg to start, says her career path led her to the new league.

“Really coming here is a full-circle moment where I really feel like I’m bringing who I am, my passions, my values, as well as the experience, and hopefully contributing to something that is really important for our country and for the girls playing this sport here – to have something to look forward to,” she said.

Matheson says Litz fits the bill perfectly.

“She gets the vision of this league,” said Matheson. “Which, of course, for me and the rest of us was the most important thing. She knows the ambition we have and the opportunity we have in Canada. I’d say we’re pretty in-sync.”

The league is also looking to hire several vice-presidents.

“So we’re pretty quickly here filling up the front of office,” said Matheson. “And then the league and all its clubs keep hiring and building pretty much as quickly as we can ’til next year.”

While her hiring was only announced Monday, Litz has been working for the league behind the scenes for “months now.”

“We are definitely a start-up but this is a solid group of owners,” she said. “And going back to my days at the CFL and being very close to the ownership model and group there, I’m really confident on who I see around the table, their level of engagement, their skills and knowledge and resources they’re bringing to this.”

Matheson says the majority player announcements will likely have to wait for the time being, given most are contracted to other clubs right now.

“There might be the odd one, but I’ll say the reality is most player announcements, for most of the rosters, are going to be coming in the latter parts of the year.”

Matheson says work on the league is going well, although there is still plenty to do.

“I think it’s going to be a sprint from now ’til next year and there’s probably going to be some things behind the scenes that aren’t perfect and (are) messy. But we’re going to be on-field next year and it’s going to be pretty incredible.”

“I think perfection is the enemy of getting this thing done, because it’s just so big.” she added. “The important part is we start next year and then we just get to grow and get better and better from there. But, at this point, I’d say we’re really happy where we are and especially with Christina coming in. She’s already made such an impact so far.”

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2024

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