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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Professor of practice Danny Morrison stands with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey.


The SEVT Awards recognize distinguished leaders in the field of sport, entertainment and venue management across a range of award categories. 

2021 SEVT Award Recipients

SEVT Pioneer Award — Sheila Johnson
Sheila Johnson has built an incomparable career in sport and entertainment management.  As CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, she oversees a growing portfolio of luxury properties and lifestyle businesses whose locations include Virginia, Florida, Jamaica, and Charleston, South Carolina.  The company ranks as one of the largest minority-owned, women-owned companies in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

As a partner and vice chairman of Monumental Sports and Entertainment Ms. Johnson is the only African American woman with ownership in three professional sports teams: the Washington Mystics in which she serves as the team’s president and managing partner; the NBA’s Washington Wizards; and the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals. 

She has spearheaded efforts to promote investment in female-led enterprises and to spur the development of the Washington region as a center for commerce and innovation. An ardent supporter of education and the arts, she serves on the board of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, as chairman of the College of Performing Arts at The New School, and as founder and chair of the Middleburg Film Festival. 

Ms. Johnson is also known as a television pioneer, having been a founding partner of Black Entertainment Television, and she has extended her influence into the realm of feature films and documentaries as well.

In addition to all this, she is an accomplished violinist who holds a bachelor of arts in music from the University of Illinois, as well as honorary degrees from many other institutions.

SEVT Distinguished Service Award — Nicole Tepper
The Distinguished Service Award annually recognizes an industry leader who has used their platform to give back to the community.  The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding service to the field while encouraging high standards of service among members of the sport and entertainment management community.

In addition to serving as co-owner of the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte Football Club, Nicole Tepper has proven herself to be a dedicated philanthropist and she is a determined champion for education, diversity and inclusion, as well as the advancement of the sport industry. In 2020, she was instrumental in establishing the Nicole and David Tepper Scholars Program at the University of South Carolina's Department of Sport and Entertainment Management.  This prestigious program is now in its second year of awarding scholarships to a cohort of four incoming sport and entertainment management freshmen each year.  Her recent philanthropic work has also included providing emergency relief funds to Louisiana communities affected by Hurricane Ida; supporting new parks and playgrounds in Rock Hill for children with special needs; and ensuring that students across the Carolinas have needed school supplies. Mrs. Tepper offers more than financial support – she gives her passion, her mentorship, her time and her energy to the causes she believes in.  You can find her in public school classrooms, and even on the Carolina campus, meeting with students to share her knowledge and to help break down barriers that might stand between students and their goals.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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

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