Jim Steeg

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Jim Steeg[1] (born November 29, 1950, in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American sports executive. He is considered the one individual who is responsible for growing the Super Bowl into the most popular one-day sporting event.[2][3][4]

He is currently a noted sports business, stadium and events consultant, advising companies on a variety of subjects, including business ventures, strategic planning, technology, media and community relations, marketing programs and events plans for sports leagues, organizations, conferences, teams and events; stadium operations; fan enhancement; stadium physical structure, and organizational structure. Included among the companies and entities he has worked and consulted with are the National Hockey League (NHL), the Pac-12 Conference, USC, UCLA, the Seidler/O'Malley Family in the purchase of the San Diego Padres, Qualcomm, STATS LLC, SMRI, Helms Briscoe, The Buckeye Store, the Rose Bowl, the Balboa Park 100th Anniversary celebration, Cleatskins, Prep Athlete, Frosty Towel, Elite Services and Multi Ventures Protection, and he has helped formulate Community Force, a national program for charitable fundraising. He was the Director of the inaugural Pac-12 Football Championship Game, and he was the Chairman of the Advisory Board for the United States Football League (USFL). Also, he was an Advisor to the Board of Directors of ePass, which developed technology to revolutionize the ticketing process in sports and events. He organized the first of Shaun White's Air+Style at the Rose Bowl in 2014. He was appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer to San Diego's Citizens Stadium Advisory Group (CSAG) in 2015 that identified a site and financing plan for a new football stadium in 110 days. He is on the Board of Pac Pro, a spring football league set to commence in 2018.

A highly sought-after speaker on sports business, stadiums and events, Steeg also has lectured and taught at more than a dozen universities in recent years. In Spring 2017, he taught an OLLI course at Duke University ("Contemporary Issues in American Sports"). He designed and taught a portion of a course at San Diego State University on collective bargaining. At Wake Forest, he designed and taught a course in contemporary accounting. He has taught at Biscayne College. Additionally, he is a regular expert in sports business on national and local sports radio and TV shows, and he also has hosted sports radio talk shows.

In 2002, Steeg was honored as a member of the inaugural class of the Special Events Hall of Fame.[5] In 2005, he was recognized as the Hoosier Celebrity of the Year by the Mad Anthony's, a charitable organization in Fort Wayne, Ind., where he spent his teenage years.[6][7] In 2008, he received the Pete Rozelle Award from the New Orleans Touchdown Club.[8] He was selected to the DeMolay Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Phi Delta Theta Sports Hall of Fame the same year.

Steeg received a Masters of Business Administration from Wake Forest University and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He currently lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with his wife Jill Lieber, a national award winning writer formerly with Sports Illustrated and USA Today, and currently a freelance writer and an author of books, her most recent being the memoir of three-time Olympic gold medalist beach volleyball icon Misty May-Treanor, titled "Misty: Digging Deep in Volleyball and Life."[9] He has two children, Bryce, a graduate of Duke University, the London School of Economics and Harvard Law School, and Darcy, a graduate of Princeton University, who received her PhD in Statistics from Cornell University.

He remains active in a variety of charities, having served on the boards of the Downtown YMCA of San Diego, the Make A Wish Foundation of San Diego, and the University of San Diego Athletic Department Executive Cabinet. He was co-chair of the Special Events Committee for the 2008 United States Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines in LaJolla, Calif. He has served on the boards of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of San Diego, Hunger Related Events, Babcock School at Wake Forest and Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla. He was instrumental in raising funds for the Ramsey (N.J.) High School Athletic Department.[10] He currently is Chairman of The AthLife Foundation.

Super Bowl[edit]

In his 35 years with the National Football League (NFL), including 26 years in charge of the Special Events Department (1979–2004), Steeg grew the Super Bowl from a championship football game into a week-long extravaganza, with events like "The NFL Experience."[11] He was responsible for all aspects of the Super Bowl, including site selection, stadium and practice site preparation and buildout; pre-game and halftime shows; national anthem performers; team, media, corporate and fan accommodations; corporate hospitality; television broadcasting; transportation; security; logo design, decorations and signage; ticket design, allocation and distribution; the NFL Commissioner's Party, and the oversight of the local community's Super Bowl Host Committee, as well as political relationships. Steeg oversaw and directed as many as 10,000 employees on site.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

He also managed Super Bowl charitable events that raised more than US$50 million for host communities and children. He also implemented the NFL's Super Bowl Minority and Women-Owned Emerging Business Program in the early 1990s. The program mandated that the NFL and its various vendors and corporate clients hire local minority- and women-owned businesses whenever possible. It has now been copied with all other sports leagues and many national events.

During his tenure, Steeg implemented many of the signature Super Bowl game-day-related elements that eventually became staples throughout professional and Olympic sports. This included the use of Jumbotron video screens; enhanced-audio TV broadcasts throughout the entire stadium; TV access at concession stands; entertainment plazas both inside and outside the venue; a corporate hospitality village, and environmental recycling. In addition, he launched and oversaw all of the League-sponsored Super Bowl charitable events off the field, including the NFL Youth Football Clinic, the NFL Cheerleading Spirit Clinic, the Super Bowl College Lecture Series, "The Taste of the NFL," "Gridiron Glamour," and the NFL Charities Golf Classic. He also was instrumental in developing and directing the NFL's Youth Education Town (YET) Centers, learning centers for at-risk children in each of the Super Bowl host sites from 1993-2005.[23]

Beyond his duties with the Super Bowl, Steeg had oversight of the NFL post-season schedule, the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, the American Bowl Games in Berlin and Barcelona, the NFL/Sr. PGA-Champions Tour Golf Tournament and all of the NFL's made-for-TV-events. Steeg developed the NFL Draft into a major annual event.[24]

San Diego Chargers[edit]

From November 2004 until April 2010, Steeg was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the NFL's San Diego Chargers, where he was in charge of all business operations for the team.[25] In his time with the team, Steeg worked to enhance the fan's game-day experience at Qualcomm Stadium, and in 2007, the Chargers were named the "Most Fan Friendly NFL franchise" by FansVoice.com. He spearheaded the team's transition in hosting training camp at Chargers Park. He headed the team's outreach into the Hispanic, military and neighboring communities in Orange and Riverside counties [26] and Mexico,[27] as well as improved Chargers' alumni relations. He worked to bolster the team's community outreach programs. On the business side, he developed new and stronger relationships with the team's TV and radio partners; initiated a drive to redesign and add content to the team's website; led the team into record participation in social media platforms, launched the total redesign of the team's uniform and logo designs,[28] and oversaw the team's 50th Anniversary celebration.[29]

During his tenure, the team's revenue streams grew through sponsorships, stadium concessions, merchandise and parking, as well as record sales of tickets, club seats and suites.[30] Concession and merchandise per capitas were among the highest in the NFL. The Chargers sold out 48 straight games under his guidance. Per his direction, the Chargers were at the forefront of professional sports in devising an alcohol game-day prevention program, called "Game Day The Right Way," along with being the first NFL team to utilize cutting-edge technology, including developing fan text messaging, JTech stadium response and the Venue Soft incident tracking program at games, as well as broadcasting a game in 3D. Under his watch, the Chargers were the first NFL team to experiment with Kangaroo TV (FanVision) and WiseDV. On March 31, 2010, Steeg left the Chargers to pursue opportunities that would allow him to take advantage of his professional and interpersonal skills while developing the innovative ideas he successfully has in his career.[31][32]

Miami Dolphins[edit]

Prior to joining the NFL's League Offices in January 1979, Steeg was the business manager and controller for the Miami Dolphins. In his four years with the Dolphins, he was in charge of all of the financial and business aspects concerning the club. He additionally oversaw the operations of the NASL's Miami Toros/Fort Lauderdale Strikers.


  1. ^ "San Diego Chargers Management Profile: Jim Steeg" http://www.chargers.com/team/staff/jim-steeg/f18de4c1-eea2-46a2-93fb-4d22c
  2. ^ http://www.chargers.com/team/staff/jim-steeg/f18de4c1-eea2-46a2-93fb-4d22cc
  3. ^ "Ringmaster Calls All the Shots for Greatest Show in NFL," by Jill Lieber, USA TODAY, January 19, 1998
  4. ^ "Tending to Super Bowl XXV -- and the Next 5 Years," By Rick Maloney, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal, January 22–28, 2001
  5. ^ Industry Legends: American Events Management Institute. http://www.usaemi.org/news/ONEWS.asp?id+92
  6. ^ "The Mad Skills of a Super Bowl Mastermind," by Blake Sebring, The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, June 11, 2005.
  7. ^ "NFL Executive to Get Red Coat," by Phil Bloom, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, May 20, 2005.
  8. ^ Touchdown Club of New Orleans, Pete Rozelle Award Winners. http://www.saintsnews.net/2009/02/12/touchdown-club-of-new-orleans-2009-honorees-announced/
  9. ^ Jill Lieber Steeg bio. http://www.sdwomensweek.com/bio_JillLieberSteeg.html
  10. ^ "Ramsey's Field of Dreams," by Ron Fox, Bergen Record, April 12, 1998.
  11. ^ "For 26 years, He's Been the 'Super' Man," by Mark Curnutte, Cincinnati Enquirer, February 5, 2005. http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d11/article?AID=2005502050418
  12. ^ "Even the Super Bowl Has a Quarterback," by Bill Murphy, Houston Chronicle, May 15, 2009. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/176223-even-the-super-bowl-has-a-quarterback
  13. ^ "Extreme Job Stress: Survivors' Tales," by Sam Walker, The Wall Street Journal, January 17, 2001.
  14. ^ "How Michael Jackson Redefined the Super Bowl," by Richard Sandomir, New York Times, June 30, 2009. https://www.nytimes.come/2009/06/30/sports/football/30sandomir.html
  15. ^ "The Evolution of an Extravaganza," by John Helyar, ESPN.com, January 29, 2007. sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs06/news/story?id=2747099
  16. ^ "Evolution of the Super Bowl," by Stacey Henson, The Saginaw News, February 2, 2008. http://blog.mlive.com/saginawnews/2008/02/evolution_of_the_super_bowl.html
  17. ^ "NFL Maestro," by Mark Schlabach, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, January 24, 2000.
  18. ^ "Jim Steeg: 'A Problem Solver, Not a Back-Slapper,' " by Doug MacEachern, Arizona Republic/Tribune Newspapers, January 28, 1996.
  19. ^ "All Super Bowl, All the Time," by Kyle Parks, St. Petersburg Times, January 16, 2001.
  20. ^ "He's Mr. Super Bowl," by Joey Johnston, Tampa Tribune, January 21, 2001.
  21. ^ "He'll Leave the Light On," the Florida Times Union, February 2, 2005.
  22. ^ "His Super Bowl Detail is Done After 26 Years," by Terry Lefton, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal, February 14–20, 2005.
  23. ^ "Charities Reap Super Share From the Game," by Jill Lieber, USA TODAY, February 1, 1999.
  24. ^ The American Dream Project. http://podcast.alley.com/podcast_details.php?pod_id=11984
  25. ^ San Diego Magazine, February 2005: Dialogue with Tom Blair. http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/media/San-Diego-Magazine/February-2005/Jim-Steeg
  26. ^ "Southwest Riverside County a Catch for Chargers," by Landon Negri, North County Times, January 16, 2010. http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/swcounty/article_c4063669_d9bb_53ba_b97a_f21154acb044.html
  27. ^ "NFL Finds Fans on the Other Side of the Border," by the Associated Press, September 27, 2007. http://www.msnbc.com/id121015273
  28. ^ "For the First Time in 18 years, the Chargers' Uniform and Logo Have Undergone a Big Makeover," by Kevin Acee, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 10, 2007. http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20070210-9999-1n10chargers.html
  29. ^ "50 Years and Chargin'!", by Mike Emmons, BoltBeat.com, July 12, 2009. http://www.boltbeat.com/2009/07/12/50-years-and-chargin
  30. ^ "S.D. Chargers Executive Adapts to New Pace," by Mike Allen, San Diego Business Journal, July 18, 2005.
  31. ^ "Steeg Moving on to Pursue 'Further Challenges,' " March 16, 2010. http://www.chargers.com/news/press-releases/article-1/Steeg-moving-on-to-pursue-further-challenges/e63b3eb9-117c-4d4c-bc57-f51262484464
  32. ^ "Steeg Stepping Down as Chargers COO," by Kevin Acee, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 16, 2010. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/mar/16/Steeg-stepping-down-Chargers-COO