SBJ/April 18-24, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Former NFL exec Steeg will steer championship game for Pac-12

Jim Steeg, the former NFL executive best known for running the Super Bowl during its enormous growth in the 1980s and ’90s, is going to work for the Pac-10 Conference as the director of its inaugural football championship game.

The Pac-10, which will be renamed the Pac-12 on July 1, plays its first conference championship football game Dec. 3 at the campus site of the team with the best league record. Steeg, who worked at the NFL for 35 years and spent 26 of them in charge of the Super Bowl and other special events, will plan and execute the Pac-12’s championship game.

The conference is hiring Steeg as a consultant but he’ll carry the director’s title.

“The unique concept of playing the championship game at a host school will provide a chance to work with all 12 conference members and put their stamp on the event,” Steeg said in a statement from the conference.

Larry Scott, the Pac-10’s commissioner, called Steeg “the pre-eminent expert in building and managing big football championship events.”

During his years with the NFL, Steeg focused on growing the Super Bowl from a big game into a weeklong celebration. The league created signature fan festivals, such as the NFL Experience, under his watch and he turned the pregame and halftime shows into highly anticipated events.

From 2004 to 2010, Steeg served as the San Diego Chargers’ COO.

He’ll hit the ground running for the Pac-10 this month and plans to tour each of the 12 campuses and stadiums in preparation for the championship game.

“Our focus is to create the most exciting and entertaining championship environment in college football,” Scott said.

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