JW Johnson—Haslam Sports Group Executive Vice President, Partner

James Wood "JW" Johnson III is the President and a Partner of the Haslam Sports Group (HSG). Johnson helps lead the strategic direction of the organization's business side, particularly focused on media, marketing, partnerships, fan experience and digital content. HSG owns and operates the National Football League’s Cleveland Browns, Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew, and the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks.

HSG was formed in 2019, shortly after JW, his wife Whitney, Dee and Jimmy Haslam and other Haslam family members expanded their sports interests and investments when they reached an agreement with Major League Soccer to operate the Columbus Crew. The Haslams, Johnsons and partner Dr. Pete Edwards direct the organization's long-term strategies and day-to-day functions. In five seasons as investor-operators, the Club captured two MLS Cups (2020 and 2023), their second and third championships in league history, and the 2021 Campeones Cup. Less than two years after breaking ground, the Crew opened their newly constructed downtown Columbus stadium, Lower.com Field, in July of 2021. Designed to complement the city of Columbus' modern, dynamic, and diverse characteristics, Lower.com Field will anchor Astor Park, a mixed-use development neighborhood in Downtown Columbus. The Club also completed the construction of the world-class OhioHealth Performance Center for its training grounds in June 2021.

In addition to his role on the business side with the Browns, Johnson served on the head coach and general manager search committee member that identified Kevin Stefanski and Andrew Berry to lead the organization in their respective areas in January 2020. He was also one of the Browns' primary advocates, along with ownership and other team executives, in bringing the NFL Draft to Northeast Ohio in 2021 and MLS All-Star Game to Columbus in 2024.

In 2023, the NBA Board of Governors approved an HSG ownership share purchase of the Bucks, giving the family-run conglomerate ownership stakes in three of the five major North American professional sports leagues.

Johnson's professional background includes 15 years at CBS Sports, three years with RIVR media, and in 2013, he created 3 Sons Media, a creative agency and full-service production and post-production company based in Nashville, Tenn. The company has worked with the NFL, NIKE, ESPN, and NASCAR brands. 3 Sons created all the in-game video content for the Tennessee Titans in 2016 and helped produce the Browns' in-game content for the past five seasons.

While with CBS Sports (1994-09), Johnson was an Emmy award-winning associate producer and associate director. He covered some of the most significant sporting events in the world, such as the Masters, Super Bowl, and Final Four.

Johnson has a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and communications from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Cleveland Browns Foundation and chairs the foundation's fundraising committee. He is also a board member for Destination Cleveland and was named to the UH Haslam Sports Innovation Advisory Panel.

He and his wife, Whitney, have three sons: Hank, Ross, and Max.