Report: Canadian Olympic Committee CEO steps down to join Toronto’s OWL expansion franchise

Chris Overholt previously served as vice president with the Miami Dolphins and Florida Panthers.

Photo by Robert Paul via Blizzard Entertainment

Chris Overholt, the Canadian Olympic Committee CEO since 2010, has stepped down from his position to join the Overwatch League expansion franchise in Toronto, Ben Fischer of the SportsBusiness Journal said on Twitter.

Overholt served as the CEO of the committee since May 2010. He was also the vice president and chief marketing officer for both the Miami Dolphins NFL team and Florida Panthers NHL team before that.

With an extensive background in professional sports, Overholt will likely bring a knowledge of sports teams—with a specialization in Toronto—unseen in esports before. Not only did he head the top sporting committee in Canada, his stints with the Toronto Raptors and Toronto-based Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment could help further the expansion team’s reach into the traditional sports world.

In early August, reports emerged that Activision Blizzard was finalizing a $35 million deal to introduce Toronto as one of the Overwatch League expansion franchises. The reported investing group included Pittsburgh Penguins NHL team investor Michael Kimel and esports organization Splyce.

Toronto is just one of several reported expansion teams, with fellow Canadian city Vancouver, British Columbia, among others being linked to the Overwatch League’s second season. Both Canadian cities’ expansion teams remain unconfirmed by Blizzard, however.

Of the eight cities reportedly receiving an Overwatch League expansion team, only two—Atlanta and Guangzhou, China—have been confirmed by Blizzard. Paris, Toronto, and several others have not been officially welcomed into the league yet.