Kelly put in charge of 2014 Super Bowl
The former president of American Express will oversee preparations for the NFL's first open-air, cold-weather Super Bowl at the New Meadowlands Stadium in 2014.
Al Kelly Jr. was named the chief executive officer for the game's host committee, committee co-chairman Jonathan Tisch and Woody Johnson announced Monday.
''This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and instantly struck a personal chord with me,'' Kelly said. ''As a lifelong resident of the region and an ardent football fan, I am eager to leverage my skill and experience in marketing and customer service, two of the hallmarks of American Express's success, to drive this landmark effort forward.''
The $1.6 billion New Meadowlands Stadium, which opened last year, is the only stadium to serve as the home to two NFL teams, the Giants and Jets.
During his tenure at American Express, the 52-year-old Kelly led day-to-day global operations for the company's consumer businesses.
The Super Bowl is expected to bring more than $550 million in economic benefits to the region.
''Having led one of the most successful Fortune 500 companies, Al is a great choice to lead our host committee and drive this effort forward energetically and efficiently,'' Jets owner Johnson said. ''We believe we have secured one of the best minds in the business world to guide us as we set out on this historic endeavor.''
Tisch said Kelly's professional career has been highlighted by success.
''At American Express, he set effective, strategic objectives, drove operating excellence, and assembled focused teams that produced top quality results, helping to mold the company into the innovative marketing and customer service powerhouse that it is today,'' said Tisch, a co-owner of the Giants.
Kelly said a search committee approached him in January.
NFL owners voted in May to play the 2014 Super Bowl in East Rutherford, marking the first time they had awarded the game to a cold-weather site that did not have a dome.
The NFL had required an average temperature of 50 degrees or a dome for a team to even bid on the Super Bowl, but the league bent the rule to let New York and New Jersey bid.
The coldest kickoff temperature in Super Bowl history was 39 degrees. Average February temperatures in East Rutherford is 24 to 40 degrees. Of course, the possibility of snow, freezing rain, blustery winds and all the accompanying elements could make this one of the most interesting Super Bowls in history.