In 2008, the SMA launched its annual “Veeck Address,” which honors the legendary sport innovator Bill Veeck. The Veeck Address honoree serves as Keynote Speaker for the SMA Conference. Past Veeck Address keynoters have included some of the industry’s leading innovators.
2018 Veeck Address Honoree and Speaker
Executive VP of Business Operations, Dallas Cowboys
Executive VP, Legends
As Executive Vice President of Business Operations for the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium, Estis works with the business leadership team to grow and strengthen the businesses. His area of expertise includes corporate partnerships, stadium suites and ticket sales, media and branding and third party events. His contributions have been numerous and industry defying as they include the most successful stadium suite and seat license sales campaign, a newly developed tour and catered event business, as well as several new business concepts for a professional sports organization. He is also leading the organizations new headquarters and world training facility project “The Star” which will open in Frisco in August of 2016. On this project, he has developed and executed new concepts such as the Cowboys Club that will help engage fans in ways never done before. He has also helped local organizing committee’s bring the NBA All-Star game, Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four, Academy of Country Music, NCAA National Championship Football Playoff Games and WrestleMania to North Texas. Estis has strategically created an industry-leading tour and catered event business for which his teams continue to set the bar for revenue generation.
Legends provides an integrated solution for creating a unique atmosphere for guests through Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality divisions synchronizing a 360 degree solution across its four platform—North America Professional, Collegiate, International and Attractions. As Executive Vice President of Legends, Estis is responsible for working with the leadership team and business leads to grow and strengthen the business. With his deeply-rooted industry relationships, he focuses on the development of large-scale projects, while remaining involved on a day-to-day basis on Global Sales existing partnerships. Estis' contributions to Legends during his tenure have been numerous and company defying. Most notably, he spearheaded creation and growth of Global Sales and led the division to become one of the most influential in its industry. In addition, his vision to bring CSL International into the Legends family identified a natural synergy and created industry advantages that have evolved to include Global Planning in Legends 360-degree business solution.
Before joining the Cowboys organization, Estis served as Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena from 2006-07. In this role, Estis oversaw all of the sales, marketing, community relations, communications, website and gaming operations. Estis became VP of Sales and Business Development for the Cavaliers in 2001. Since that time the Cavaliers saw attendance increase on average from 11,497 during the 2001-02 to 20,430 in the 2006-07 season. Estis also led the effort in adding several new premium-seating concepts to The Q. These include the Key Private Bank Court Club for floor seat holders, the Mercedes Benz Club and new in 2006-07 the Platinum Lounge and Suites. All of those areas are sold out.
Before reuniting with the Cavaliers (Estis’ career in sports began with the Cavs as a telemarketing representative in 1994), Estis was the Vice President of Sales for the Tampa Bay Lightning for two years. This followed his position in sales management for Palace Sports & Entertainment, which included properties such as the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Shock (WNBA), Detroit Vipers (IHL), Pine Knob Music Theater and Meadowbrook Music Festival. While at Palace Sports & Entertainment, Estis created the entry level inside sales program which has been a success throughout much of the NBA. Estis also spent 1996-1998 as a Client Services Manager for the leading executive recruiting firm in sports, Teamwork Consulting.
Estis is a 1993 graduate of Ohio University and a 1994 graduate of Ohio’s Sports Administration Masters Program. Estis was a four-year letter winner on Ohio’s basketball team and captained the 1994 MAC Championship team.
Previous "Veeck Address" Honorees
President, TD Garden & Delaware North’s United Kingdom Operations
Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena
Mark A. Tatum
Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Office of the National Basketball Association
SCOTT O'NEIL, Chief Executive Officer OF THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERs
Donna Orender, Former President of the WNBA