SBJ/20100712/A Day in the Life

Game Day with Keith Bruce

SportsMark President Keith Bruce saw an opportunity to expand the agency during the 2010 World Cup by becoming the official World Cup corporate hospitality sales agent in the U.S. and Canada . During the last month, the agency managed the hospitality programs for FIFA partners Visa, Sony and Yingli Solar. Bruce allowed SportsBusiness Journal to join him on June 23, the day of the U.S.-Algeria match, to see what his job entailed.

Text by Tripp Mickle
Photos by Adam Jacobs

8:00AM Bruce heads out of his Johannesburg apartment for a staff meeting to start the day.

8:45AM Meets with Visa’s transportation team and Walt Dobrowolski (left), head of SportsMark’s World Cup operations.

9:50AM Heads into the FIFA MATCH hospitality offices.

10:10AM Chats with Mike Kelley, head of FIFA MATCH Event Services.

11:15AM Reviews the semifinal and finals VIP program outline during a Yingli Solar client review session at Yingli hotel headquarters in Montecasino.

12:20PM Works the phone while being driven to Pretoria for the U.S. Soccer pre-match event.

1:05PM Arrives at the U.S. Soccer luncheon, held at the U.S. Embassy, with Michael Lynch, head of global sponsorship for Visa.

2:35PM Walks into the stadium with Chris Pepe, head of FIFA/football management for Visa.

2:55PM Meets former President Bill Clinton in the VIP suite prior to the U.S.-Algeria match.

3:15PM Tours the field with TV personality Drew Carey, minority owner of the Seattle Sounders and a colorful fan of Team USA .

3:56PM Cheers for Team USA as it takes the field.

7:00PM Reviews the next day’s agenda with SportsMark CEO Steve Skubic while at Soccer City.

8:40PM Watches the start of the Germany-Ghana match.

9:15PM Discusses sales projections for the knockout rounds with Francois de Zedtwitz, head of international hospitality sales for FIFA in the FIFA super suite.

10:55PM Leaves the FIFA Match suite in Soccer City 15 minutes after the end of Germany ’s 1-0 victory over Ghana .

12:10PM Arrives back at his apartment in Johannesburg, more than 16 hours after starting his day.

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