2022 SEVT Award Recipients
SEVT Lifetime Achievement Award — Greg Sankey
Greg Sankey became the eighth Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference on June 1, 2015, and immediately embarked on a journey to build upon the SEC’s recognized success, strong foundation and rich traditions.
Sankey first joined the SEC staff in 2002 as Associate Commissioner for Governance, Enforcement and Compliance. He was elevated to Executive Associate Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for the league office in 2012, becoming responsible for the day-to-day operation of the SEC Office.
Prior to joining the SEC staff, Sankey was Commissioner of the Southland Conference for nearly seven years. He joined the Southland Conference staff in 1992 where he served as both assistant and associate commissioner before he was named commissioner in 1996 at the age of 31.
Prior to his term at the Southland Conference, Sankey was Director of Compliance and Academic Services at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA. While at Northwestern State, Sankey also coached the Demons’ golf teams for two years, earning the Golf Coaches Association of America District VI Coach of the Year award in 1991. Before his tenure at Northwestern State, he was the Director of Intramural Sports at Utica College in upstate New York.
A native of Auburn, NY, Sankey earned his master’s degree from Syracuse University and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York College at Cortland. Sankey and his wife, Cathy, reside in Birmingham, AL, and have two adult daughters, Hannah (and her husband, Rod) and Moriah.
SEVT Distinguished USC Alumni Award — Jessica O'Neill
Jessica O’Neill joined the Dash in March 2022 after spending the previous nine years with the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte FC. In her most recent role as Director of Marketing and Communications for Charlotte FC, O’Neill supported the Major League Soccer expansion club’s record-setting launch. In addition, she spent eight years in ticketing with the Carolinas Panthers, driving new and incremental revenue from all stadium products including suites, membership clubs and hospitality areas. In Houston, O’Neill is focused on growing reach, engagement and revenue across all areas of the Dash, while also working to identify opportunities to improve the player experience at the Club.
SEVT award categories and history
Lifetime Achievement in Sport and Entertainment Award
The Lifetime Achievement in Sport and Entertainment Award recognizes an industry veteran for achievements of lasting impact over a number of years in the fields of sport, entertainment, or venue management. He or she embodies the professionalism, commitment to excellence, and business savvy that has propelled sport, entertainment, or venue management to become a key industry in the 21st century.
- 2022: Greg Sankey, Commissioner, Southeastern Conference (SEC)
- 2019: Linda Deckard, CEO/Publisher, Deckard & Associates
- 2018: Ben Sutton Jr., Founder and Managing Partner, Teall Capital
- 2017: Peter Luukko, Executive Chairman, The Florida Panthers Hockey Club and Co-Chairman, Arena Alliance, Oak View Group
- 2016: Frank Roach, Chief Everything Officer at Frank Advice and Principal with Pinnacle Venue Services
- 2014: Kenneth Feld, Chairman and CEO, FELD Entertainment, Inc
- 2013: Tim Leiweke, CEO, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment
- 2012: Brad Mayne, CFE, President and CEO, MetLife Stadium (home to the NFL's New York Football Giants and New York Jets)
- 2011: Alex Hodges, Chief Executive Officer, Nederlander Concerts
- 2010: Mike McGee, CFE, former Executive Vice President, North American Business Operations, Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc.
- 2009: Tony Tavares, President & Chief Executive Officer, Sports Properties Acquisition Corporation / President & Chief Executive Officer, ProEminent Sports LLC
- 2008: Claire L. Rothman, retired, General Manager / President Great Western Forum (home to the NBA Los Angeles Lakers and NHL Los Angeles Kings)
- 2007: Jim Hunter, Vice President, Corporate Communications, NASCAR
- 2006: Wilson Howard, President, Southeast Region Live Nation
- 2005: Dr. Bernie Mullin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlanta Spirit, LLC
- 2004: Ed Snider, Chairman, Comcast-Spectacor
- 2003: Allen Becker, Founder, PACE Entertainment Group
- 2002: Roy Kramer, former Commissioner, Southeastern Conference
- 2001: Abe Pollin, Chairman, Washington Sports and Entertainment
Pioneer in Sport and Entertainment Award
The Pioneer in Sport and Entertainment Award recognizes an individual for an innovative contribution in the fields of sport, entertainment, or venue management. This recipient has pioneered an idea, strategy, program, or product that has altered the way our industry does business and resulted in an achievement generally recognized for its long term significance.
- 2021: Sheila Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts and president of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics
- 2019: Tim Pernetti, Executive Vice President, Endeavor
- 2018: Abe Madkour, Executive Editor, SportsBusiness Journal
- 2018: Richard Weiss, Publisher, SportsBusiness Journal
- 2017: John Platillero, Founder and CEO, EventBooking
- 2016: Sonny Vaccaro, Sports Marketing Innovator and Athlete's Rights Advocate
- 2014: Jane Kleinberger, Founder, Paciolan
- 2013: Michael Cohl, President, IES Iconic Entertainment Studios
- 2012: Barbara Hubbard, Executive Director, American Collegiate Talent Showcase (ACTS)
- 2010: Liza Cartmell, Group President, ARAMARK Sports and Entertainment
- 2008: Humpy Wheeler, retired, President, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (the first racing company to go public on the NYSE) / retired, President, Lowe's Motor Speedway (33 years)
- 2007: Coach Willie Jeffries, retired, head college football coach South Carolina State University, Howard University, and Wichita State University
- 2006: Allen J. Bloom, former Executive Vice President, Marketing & Sales, Feld Entertainment, Inc.
- 2005: Leigh Steinberg, President and CEO, Leigh Steinberg Enterprises, Tollner, Moon, and Steinberg Sports Management
- 2004: Fred Rosen, Former President and CEO, Ticketmaster Group, Inc.
- 2003: Katherine Switzer, Women's Running Pioneer, First woman to compete in Boston Marathon (1967)
- Founder, Avon Running Global Women's Circuit
- 2002: Roy Kramer, former Commissioner, Southeastern Conference
- 2001: Hank Jones, President, Sports Design
International Executive in Sport and Entertainment Award
The International Executive in Sport and Entertainment Award recognizes an individual who has greatly impacted the fields of sport, entertainment, or venue management. This recipient's passion for the industry and business acumen has forged partnerships and transcended borders, contributing to advancements recognized both nationally and internationally.
- 2014: Craig Lovett, Partner, Incognitus; Paul Lovett, Partner, Incognitus
- 2011: Guy Ngata, General Manager, Mercedes-Benz Arena (Shanghai, China)
- 2010: Aldo Giampaolo, Executive Producer, Cirque du Soleil (Montreal, Quebec)
- 2007: Harvey Lister, Chairman, and Rod Pilbeam, Executive Director, Ogden IFC (Queensland, Australia)
- 2006: Lawrence Chia, Chairman, PICO (Hong Kong)
- 2005: Alejandro Garza Díaz, Corporate Director of Planning and Promotion, CIE Entretenimiento (Mexico)
Academic Achievement in Sport and Entertainment Award
The Academic Achievement in Sport and Entertainment Award recognizes a scholar whose research and/or teaching has made a significant positive impact in the fields of sport, entertainment, or venue management. This recipient's analysis of trends and industry research has led to meaningful dialogue between academicians and industry professionals.
- 2019: Dr. Cheri Bradish, Director of the Future of Sport Lab, Chair of Marketing Management, Ryerson University
- 2018: Dr. Daniel Mahony, President, Winthrop University
- 2017: Dallas Branch, Associate Professor Emeritus, University of West Virginia
- 2016: Lisa Pike Masteralexis, Associate Dean for Administration & Associate Professor Sport Management. ISENBERG School of Management, UMASS Amherst
- 2013: Dr. Matthew Shank, President of Marymount University
- 2012: Dr. William A. "Bill" Sutton, Founder and Principal, Bill Sutton & Associates / Founding Director, Sport and Entertainment MBA Program, Department of Management and Organization, University of South Florida
- 2011: Dr. Packianathan Chelladurai, Professor, School of Physical Activity & Educational Services, The Ohio State University
- 2010: Dr. Annie Clement, Professor and Attorney, Sport Administration Program, University of New Mexico
- 2009: Dr. David K. Stotlar, Director, School of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Northern Colorado
- 2007: Dr. Peter J. Graham, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, University of South Carolina
- 2006: Glenn M. Wong, Professor and Attorney, Department of Sport Management, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts
- 2004: Dr. Charles Higgins, Associate Professor, Emeritus Sports Administration, Ohio University
- 2003: Dr. Herb Appenzeller, President, Appenzeller & Associates
- 2002: Dr. Guy M. Lewis, Chairman, Department of Sport Administration, University of South Carolina
Outstanding Corporate Partner in Sport and Entertainment Award
The Outstanding Corporate Partner in Sport and Entertainment Award recognizes a company for its long-standing commitment and exceptional service to the fields of sport, entertainment, or venue management. Through its programs and business practices, this company has reached out to our patrons and improved their spectator experience. Our industry looks forward to a continued partnership with this award recipient.
- 2014: Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC)
Accepted by: Jay Purves, Vice President, CSC Nevada
- 2010: AEG Facilities
Accepted by: Dale Adams, General Manager, Gila River Arena & Vice President Event Development AEG Facilities
- 2009: Comcast-Spectacor
Accepted by: John Page, Chief Operating Officer, Global Spectrum
- 2008: Ticketmaster
Accepted by: Mike McGee, Executive Vice President, North American Business Operations
- 2007: Feld Entertainment, Inc.
Accepted by Kenneth Feld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
- 2006: The Coca-Cola Company
Accepted by Chuck Fruit, Senior Advisor, Marketing, Strategy & Innovation
- 2005: Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
Accepted by Laura Sawyer, Senior Vending Account Manager
- 2004: Anheuser-Busch Companies, “Sound Attitudes and Good Sport”
Accepted by John Kaestner, Vice President of Consumer Affairs
Distinguished USC Alumni in Sport and Entertainment
The Distinguished USC Alumni Award recognizes a graduate of the University of South Carolina who has made a significant impact in the fields of sport, entertainment, or venue management. He or she embodies the professionalism, commitment to excellence, and business savvy that has propelled sport, entertainment, or venue management to become a key industry in the 21st century.
- 2022: Jessica O'Neill, President, Houston Dash & Houston Dynamo Football Club, COO
- 2018: Mike Boykin, CEO, Bespoke Sports & Entertainment / Rosalyn Durant, Vice President, College Networks, ESPN
Distinguished Service Award
- 2021: Nicole Tepper, Co-owner of Carolina Panthers and Charlotte FC