During Super Bowl XLVIII in New York City, I had the pleasure of attending the 5th Annual John Wooten Leadership Awards. The event honored executive leader, Jerry Reese, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the New York Giants. He has paved, broke and set many barriers in the NFL. He is one of the most successful executives in NFL history leading victories in Super Bowl XLII and XLVI, and during his tenure with the New York Giants has won two NFL East Championships. I asked Mr. Reese, “What is the importance of leadership? He responded, “Set the example of what you want to see.” Furthermore, also honored during the event was NFL Leader, D’Brickshaw Ferguson, left tack for the New York Jets. I was truly impressed with his diligence, determination and focus while playing in the NFL.
In addition, his is a philanthropist in giving back to his community through various community relations campaigns, such as United Way Team NFL. He established the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation, www.dbrickshawfergusonfoundation.org. An organization devoted to offering scholarships to deserving students and granting of assistance to food banks, clothing ministries and provides funding for needed church repairs. I asked Mr. Ferguson, “What is his leadership advocacy? He stated, “To give back means to service others.” The event also honored James Brown, CBS Sports Anchor with the Lifetime Achievement award, and Kevin J. Davis, Attorney, Garvey Schubert Barer with the Community Leader award.
Mr. John Wooten is an influential African American figure in the NFL. He was a football player; thereafter, became Director of Pro Scouting for Dallas Cowboys from 1975-1991. In 1991, he created the Player Program/Player Development programs for the NFL. He has been involved with the NFL for over forty-eight years as a prevalent leader who works to ensure the fairness to minority hiring in coaching, scouting and front office positions. The essence of the John Wooten Leadership award was created to give spotlight recognition to those in the sports industry who go over and beyond in giving deep commitment to their respective communities and understand the true value of giving back.
In 2002, I started my career in sports public relations. I manage the careers of NFL players in providing public relations, marketing and behavioral prevention advisement. This was my 12th consecutive Super Bowl attendance and by far one of the best. The City of New York has truly prepared the city for this large event by having great volunteers through the Super Bowl Host Committee, fully staff of the New York Police Department and additional resources to get easily access about all festivities. The traffic was not has hectic as one would imagine. All the networking events and parties were elite and grand. The NFL partnered with many non-profit organizations and corporate sponsors to promote giving back to neighboring communities through an engaging serious about outreach initiatives and star-studded fundraisers with A-List athletes and celebrities. This year’s Super Bowl has grossed over $550 – $600 million in revenue to New York and New Jersey. Overall, I would say; it was a successful Super Bowl.