A Louisiana Life: Sports of All Sorts
When Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO Jeff Hundley tells people what he does for a living, he often fields the following query: That’s a full-time job?
It certainly is — and then some, Hundley says.
As the newly tapped head of the nonprofit Allstate Sugar Bowl, Hundley oversees the organization’s namesake game while guiding efforts to bring more national sporting events to Louisiana.
“No two days are the same — that’s what I love about this job,” Hundley said. “It never becomes rote.”
Along with helping to secure and host national events, the Allstate Sugar Bowl sponsors more than 50 amateur athletic events annually, from lacrosse to sailing, and serves as title sponsor for New Orleans’ annual Crescent City Classic. The organization also offers youth programs and awards scholarships to high school and college athletes.
The varied slate of national events and community programs keeps Hundley not just busy, but fulfilled.
“You really do make a difference in some people’s lives,” he said.
Though new to the CEO spot, Hundley has worked for the Allstate Sugar Bowl for over 25 years, most recently coordinating New Orleans’ successful bid to host the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship and playing an integral part in drawing the 2020 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four to the city.
The Iowa native, who played all-state football and basketball and then college basketball, spent seven years working for the University of Georgia Athletic Association before arriving to New Orleans.
Hundley cites the satisfaction of his job and the energy of New Orleans with keeping him and his family rooted in the city — and with the Allstate Sugar Bowl — beyond the three or so years he intended to stay.
As CEO, he looks forward to keeping the city competitive as a host site.
“For 25 years I had to be focused on the gritty details of our business and in this new position I’m learning to let go of some of that to focus more on the big picture — what’s going to happen down the road and how do we best position ourselves to remain at the top,” he said.
What do you enjoy most about living and working in New Orleans? The energy of this city is second to none and I really appreciate the ‘can do’ spirit of the people here. That’s big in the event business. And, of course, who doesn’t love the food?
What would most people be surprised to learn about the Allstate Sugar Bowl organization? Many people don’t realize the number of community programs and amateur sporting events we support throughout the year, and most probably don’t understand the role the Sugar Bowl Committee had to play in financing the bid to land the 2020 CFP National Championship. To bring the National Championship to New Orleans, the Bowl is providing millions of dollars in funding for an event that will benefit the tourism industry in New Orleans and across the state.
Which fan event do you, personally, most anticipate during the National Championship? I’m a big music buff and will definitely look forward to taking in the CFP’s Playoff Playlist Live at Woldenberg Park.