President and CEO, Houston Super Bowl Host Committee
Sallie Sargent has enjoyed a diverse and exciting career over the past 30 years. Her special event management background with sporting events includes six Super Bowls; 14 years managing sponsor relations and special events for the Fiesta Bowl and the first Bowl Championship Series (BCS); producing the Charles Barkley Roast for the NBA All Star Game; and overseeing corporate hospitality for the PGA’s Phoenix Open. She also played major roles in the 2004 Democratic National Convention, the 100th anniversary of Ford Motor Company and the 2012 Centennial Celebration of the State of Arizona.
Over the past four years, Ms. Sargent has held the position of President and CEO of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee successfully positioning the Houston community to stage the “Greatest Ever” Super Bowl in recent history – Super Bowl LI on February 5, 2017.
Her appointment to this position by Houston Texans’ owner Bob McNair and Host Committee Chair Ric Campo was a direct result of her role in developing and overseeing Houston’s bid process that resulted in the 2013 award of Super Bowl LI to Houston. Her subsequent fundraising and business planning for the 2017 event included securing 16 Founding Sponsors in 2014 that brought in the first $24M of the total $55M raised in the private sector. Over 10,000 volunteers were trained and deployed to work Super Bowl LIVE, a 10-day fan festival leading up to the big game with a 92% volunteer show rate. The Houston Super Bowl Host Committee employed 40 full time team members, 60 contractors and engaged over 100 civic and business leaders as board members and advisors. In finalizing her responsibilities for the Houston Super Bowl, Ms. Sargent is currently in the process of securing $25M from the state of Texas as part of the Major Event Reimbursement Program.
Prior Super Bowl experience includes staging myriad events for the Arizona Host Committees dating back to Super Bowl XXX. Signature events include “The Big Ticket Gala” during Super Bowl XLII that raised over $500K for the local organizing committee, featured Jay Leno and 25 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame attracting some 1,200 guests and community leaders. Ms. Sargent also created and produced the highly successful Super Bowl Business Development Program at the request of Governor Janet Napolitano and the Arizona Department of Commerce as an economic development strategy for the state.
Ms. Sargent continued her work with the Arizona Host Committee post Super Bowl XLII, by compiling and presenting the bid for Super Bowl 2012 to the NFL owners in May 2008. The City of Phoenix acknowledged her expertise and hired her again to create the presentation for the bid for NCAA’s Final Four Basketball Tournament.
In 2010, Ms. Sargent was retained to conceive and implement a global communications program for Viad Corp, parent company of GES Exposition Services, to support a year-long culture shift that occurred due to several significant mergers and acquisitions. This effort included creating and producing quarterly Town Hall meetings simulcast to over 3,000 employees, developing and organizing round table discussions between front-line employees and senior executives and creating interactive web-based communication.
Her communication and video production skills have also been utilized by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to produce Town Hall meetings and video magazines to improve communications and negotiations between Convention Center management and union employees. Her direction and production talent has earned national recognition through several Telly Awards.
Beyond her special event expertise, Ms. Sargent began to develop her destination marketing experience in 2006 when the City of Minneapolis hired her to write the bids for both the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. After several months of proposals and site selection visits, Minneapolis was awarded the Republican Convention that was held Labor Day 2008.
As Senior Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications for GES from 1999-2005, Ms. Sargent spearheaded the company’s marketing communications division, oversaw the company’s re-branding effort, and was a key contributor to the company’s long-range strategic planning. Additionally, her responsibilities included staging numerous special events associated with some of the largest and most recognizable conventions in the world including Consumer Electronics Show, MineExpo, Electronic Entertainment Expo and National Restaurant Association.
Prior to the tradeshow and convention industry, Ms. Sargent was the Director of Marketing and Promotions for America West Airlines (now American Airlines) a position she was offered after successfully negotiating with the NFL on behalf of America West to be the official airline sponsor of Super Bowl XXX.