Lexington, KY – John P. (Jack) Kelly has been hired as the Chief Executive Officer of the World Games 2010 Foundation, Inc., the entity in charge of putting on the 2010 FEI GamesTM in Kentucky, the world equestrian championships.
Kelly, 60, currently is both the secretary-general of USA Baseball and the CEO of the Space City Sports Commission in Houston.
“I’m very enthusiastic about again having the opportunity to lead a major international sporting event, particularly one like the 2010 FEI GamesTM in Kentucky where so much infrastructure, excitement and support for the event already exists,” said Jack Kelly. “When the FEI awarded the Games to the Kentucky bid team, they did so with high expectations. I’m confident that we can meet and exceed these expectations and bring great credit to Kentucky.”
Kelly is also the founder and CEO of Event Partners, Inc., a broad-based sports consulting and event management and advisory company. Since 1995, the company has worked with more than 100 clients on all aspects of major event bidding, site selection, planning, operations, marketing, funding and management.
“I think Jack is the perfect fit for what the 2010 FEI GamesTM need,” said World Games 2010 Foundation Chairman Jim Host. “With the equine expertise that we have in the United States Equestrian Federation and the Kentucky Horse Park, the political backing of both the city of Lexington and the state of Kentucky and the talents of all of our foundation members, Jack’s talents will help make these games a complete success.”
In addition, Kelly served from 1990 – 1996 as both the president of Turner Broadcasting’s Goodwill Games, Inc., and the director of all Turner international sports efforts, overseeing all aspects of the $100 million-plus enterprise, including managing all national and city relationships, conducting television negotiations, maximizing television syndication as well as creating a worldwide merchandising and licensing program.
Through Event Partners, Kelly also has served such clients as the Olympic bid and major event efforts of multiple U.S. and international cities and countries, the U.S. Olympic Committee, the 1996 Paralympic Games, 14 U.S. national sports governing bodies, Disney’s Wide World of Sports, five U.S. states and more than 100 municipal clients.
From 2000 – 2002, Jack also served as the CEO of the Bowling Proprietors Association of America (BPAA), the national trade group for the business of bowling – a period of time which saw the BPAA reach record levels of membership, sponsorship/fundraising and trade show participation.
Prior to his sports management roles, Kelly spent 16 years as a successful corporate executive serving as an officer of two Top 50 U.S. corporations (Tenneco Inc. and the American General Corporation). He has also served as a president of two separate U.S. Olympic Festivals in Houston (1986) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (1990). In addition, he was the co-chair of the U.S. Olympic Committee’s International Games Review Committee, a member of the 1994 World Cup Site Selection Committee and several USOC site selection committees.
“It is very exciting to think about not only representing the State of Kentucky with this event but also the United States,” said Kelly. “It is important for our national standing in the international sports and sports business community for the U.S. to successfully host major events like the 2010 FEI GamesTM and we will be up to the challenge.”
The FEI Games, known as the World Equestrian Games through 2006, are the world championships of the eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), and are held every four years. The FEI Games have never been held outside of Europe nor have they ever all been held together at a single site; both firsts that the Kentucky Horse Park will achieve. The 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games will be held in Aachen, Germany and run from August 20 to September 3. Approximately 800 athletes and 875 horses are expected to compete there. The 2010 FEI Games in Kentucky is expected to sell more than 500,000 tickets and have an economic impact of more than $150 million.