PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) _ Jim Connelly, who spent 16 years with the NFL, is returning to the league to head NFL Europe.

Connelly, who spearheaded the league's first international business operation from 1985-93, will be based in London. He will be responsible for day-to-day management of NFL Europe.

His other duties will include management and development of all commercial partnerships, the creation and execution of all fan and football development activities, and building local government and community relations.

Connelly joined NFL Properties in 1982 as a senior marketing director and was promoted to director of international marketing in 1985. From 1993-98, Connelly was senior vice president of consumer products for NFL Properties.

Since 1998, Connelly has been a sports marketing consultant and was co-founder and president of a sports and entertainment auction company.