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Volume 21 No. 1
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Bruce eager to help Bay Area prep for Super Bowl

Former SportsMark President Keith Bruce was recently named CEO of the Super Bowl L Host Committee, based in San Francisco. The 26-year industry veteran has agency experience working with — and at — other large sports events properties, including the Olympics, FIFA World Cup and the NCAA Final Four. Bruce discussed his new job with staff writer Terry Lefton.

You’ve gone from planning events around some of the biggest sports events in the world to running one. What was the attraction?

BRUCE: It’s really an opportunity to do something that has never been done before, given that we’ll have the new Levi’s Stadium opening here. Those elements were really appealing, along with it being the single largest annual sporting event in the world. To be able to bring that to life is really attractive, and the team that won the bid is fantastic. We’ve got some of the most powerful people in the Bay Area behind us.

What’s at the top of your to-do list?

BRUCE: Our main objective is producing a great Super Bowl — the best the NFL has ever seen — and making sure that the Bay Area and Levi’s Stadium are placed in the regular rotation of Super Bowls by NFL ownership, like Miami and New Orleans. We have to ensure a great game-week experience and, at the same time, showcase everything here, from Monterey to the wine country, and everything in between.

Early on, what do you see as your biggest challenge?

BRUCE: One of the biggest challenges is making sure it is seen as a Bay Area Super Bowl. San Francisco is a hub of sorts. Santa Clara is where the game will be, but there will be a 60-mile stretch of events. Managing that footprint across the week or 10 days of pregame activity is something we’ll work hard on to get every municipality working together.

Other early objectives other than getting all the pieces to fit together?

BRUCE: We have $30 million in corporate funding pledged that we will be converting to sponsorships with a corporate partner program. We’re setting aside 25 percent of all corporate partner monies raised, with the hopes of making it the most charitable and giving Super Bowl ever. On the digital front, considering where we are and the new technologically capable stadium that will host the Super Bowl, we want to make it the best digital experience possible.