Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Hall of Fame

Gayle Benson

Owner and Governor

New Orleans Saints & New Orleans Pelicans

Gayle Benson emerges as a remarkable leader within the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans organizations, assuming the helm after her husband Tom’s passing in 2018. She stands as one of only ten female owners in the NFL and one of three in the NBA. A native of New Orleans, Gayle graduated from Martin Behrman High School in 1966, embarking on a journey marked by success in both business and philanthropy.

Gayle’s love for the community is evident in the commitments she’s made, including funding the Louisiana Service and Hospitality Family Assistance Program through the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund and the Greater New Orleans Foundation. During her tenure with Tom, the couple generously funded the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center at Ochsner Medical Center, and the Stadium at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, as a testament to their commitment to education and sports. Gayle’s contributions extend beyond the sports world, proven when rewarded with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice for exemplary service to the Catholic Church. Most recently, her instrumental role in helping to secure Super Bowl LIX for New Orleans further underscores her dedication to her hometown.

It is with the utmost honor that we induct Gayle Benson into the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, recognizing her extraordinary contributions to sports, philanthropy, and the vibrant spirit of our beloved city.

Tom Benson

Late Owner

New Orleans Saints & New Orleans Pelicans

A native son of New Orleans, Tom Benson was born on July 12, 1927, and remained a vibrant presence until his passing on March 15th, 2018. His entrepreneurial spirit flourished in his early years as the owner of Tom Benson Chevrolet and Benson Financial, paving the way for his historic acquisition of the New Orleans Saints in 1985, when the team faced the threat of relocation.

Under his ownership, the Saints achieved unprecedented success, including their triumphant victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. Fondly remembered for his colorful personality, Tom introduced his iconic “Benson Boogie” celebration dance, adding to his legend.

Expanding his sports empire, Tom acquired the New Orleans Hornets in 2012, rebranding the team as the Pelicans. Yet, his impact extended far beyond the realm of sports. A dedicated philanthropist, he endorsed causes close to his heart, notably cancer care and research.

His generosity knew no limits, establishing an endowment fund at Central Catholic High School in honor of his son and contributing to the Benson Memorial Library. Tom’s kindness also reached educational institutions such as Loyola University and Tulane University, His legacy further solidified with his support for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, resulting in the renaming of Fawcett Stadium to the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

We proudly induct the incomparable Tom Benson into the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Hall of Fame, celebrating his indelible mark on sports, philanthropy, and the vivacity of New Orleans.

2024 Speakers

Marcus Brown

Chair, Super Bowl LIX Host Committee
Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Entergy

Marcus Brown is executive vice president and general counsel of Entergy Corporation, where he oversees the legal, ethics and compliance, corporate communications, federal policy, regulatory and governmental affairs, and corporate security and governance groups. He also provides legal counsel to the chairman and CEO, board of directors and senior management.

Brown helps drive Entergy’s leadership in sustainability and corporate social responsibility by focusing on growth, profitability and societal goals — especially those related to environmental protection, social justice and equity, sustainable development and economic development.

In addition to helping create a program that dramatically increased the pro bono commitment of the company’s lawyers and paralegals, he also helped establish a full time, in-house counsel role dedicated to pro bono legal assistance — a first amongst Fortune 500 companies.

The Financial Times named Brown one of the top in-house general counsels for companies worldwide in 2020. The National Legal Aid and Defender Association presented him with the 2020 Exemplar Award, and organizations like the New Orleans and Louisiana State Bar Associations and United Way of Southeast Louisiana have awarded him their top honors for community service.

Before assuming his current role in 2013, Brown was appointed senior vice president and general counsel in 2012. He previously served as Entergy’s vice president and deputy general counsel, where he was responsible for commercial and general litigation, affiliate rules compliance, bankruptcy, casualty litigation, and consumer law. Prior to joining Entergy in 1995, Brown was an attorney at Stone Pigman law firm.

He serves as chair of the 2025 Super Bowl Host Committee, chair of the board of directors for Energy Insurance Mutual, on the advisory board of the Tulane Center for Energy Law and the advisory council for the Laborde Energy Law Center at Louisiana State University. He is a frequent lecturer and publisher on topics impacting the utility industry and the legal profession.

Brown earned his Juris Doctor from the Southern University Law Center, where he was a member of the Law Review, and received an MBA from the Tulane University A.B. Freeman School of Business. He has a bachelor’s degree from Southern University A&M College.

Jay Cicero

President and CEO, Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation​​/​​Super Bowl LIX Host Committee

Jay Cicero began his career in sports in Group Sales and Marketing for the Shreveport Captains AA Baseball Club in 1986. He joined the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation in 1990 as Director of Special Projects and Director of Sales for the 1992 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. In 1993, Cicero was named the first General Manager of the AAA New Orleans Zephyrs Baseball Club. In 1995, he returned to the Sports Foundation as Vice President of Operations and was named President/CEO in June 1997.

As the President/CEO of the Sports Foundation, Jay has served in numerous senior leadership roles, including as the Executive Director of the 2002, 2013 and 2025 New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committees and the 2008, 2014 and 2017 NBA All-Star Game Host Committees, as well as serving on the Executive Committees of four Super Bowls, four Men’s Final Fours, four Women’s Final Fours, Twenty-one New Orleans Bowls, three NBA All-Star Games, two WrestleMania’s and the College Football Championship Game. Cicero recently was honored with the Dave Dixon Award while being inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Major sporting events successfully bid upon, contracted, and managed by the Sport Foundation include:

  • 1992 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials
  • 1996, 2005 and 2011 AAU Junior Olympic Games
  • 1996, 2003 and 2012 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament
  • 1999, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011 NCAA 1st/2nd Rounds or Regionals
  • 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2011 Bassmaster Classic
  • 2007 and 2008 Arena Bowl
  • 2008, 2014 and 2017 NBA All-Star Game
  • 2014 and 2018 WrestleMania
  • 2019 SEC Gymnastics Championships
  • 2020 College Football Championship Game (in partnership with the Sugar Bowl Committee)
  • 1991, 2004, 2013 and 2020 (Cancelled) Women’s Final Four
  • 2001-Present, Annual New Orleans Bowl
  • 1993, 2003, 2012 and 2022 NCAA Men’s Final Four
  • 1997, 2002, 2013 and 2025 NFL Super Bowl

Peter O’Reilly

NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business, International & League Events 2014-present

Peter O’Reilly joined the NFL in 2005 and has worked across multiple areas of the NFL business. He currently leads the NFL’s Major Events, Club Business Development, and International departments, overseeing both the league’s major year-round event platforms, including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Draft, and NFL Kickoff, working with the 32 NFL clubs on maximizing their business and fan engagement opportunities, as well as oversight of the NFL’s international strategy and business.

Prior to joining the NFL, Mr. O’Reilly held the position of Senior Marketing and Sports Manager for NYC2012, the New York City Olympic Bid. He also has past experience as Director of Production at the National Basketball Association where he spent six years. Peter began his career at ABC Sports working on the network’s college football and college basketball broadcasts.

Mr. O’Reilly received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Notre Dame, where he was also a Senior Football Manager, and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. He currently resides in Westchester County, NY with his wife and two children.

Jim Steeg

Senior Vice President, NFL Events 1979-2005

Jim Steeg spent 26 seasons in charge of the National Football League’s Special Events department, managing a budget of more than $135 million, the largest in the League office. He oversaw the Super Bowl, the NFL Draft, the entire NFL postseason schedule, the Pro Bowl in Honolulu, NFL-Sr. PGA/Champions Tour Golf Tournament, NFL Owners’ and other League meetings, and others. During his tenure, Super Bowl revenues grew from $5 million in 1979 to an excess of $250 million upon his departure in 2005.

In 2004, Steeg was named the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the San Diego Chargers. He led all business operations for the Chargers and assisted with the team’s drive to build a new Super Bowl-caliber stadium in San Diego and to ensure the future of professional football in the city.

Prior to joining the NFL in 1979, Steeg was the Business Manager/Controller for the Miami Dolphins. During his four years with the Dolphins, from 1975 through 1978, Steeg oversaw all of the financial aspects concerning the club. He also managed stadium operations; negotiated player contracts; coordinated team travel; implemented group ticket sales and season ticket campaigns, and initiated in-house merchandise sales.

Currently, Steeg serves as chairman of the Athlife Foundation, chairman of the UNC soccer club and head of the Architectural Review Board of Governors Club in Chapel Hill.

Born in Boston, Steeg received a Masters of Business Administration from Wake Forest University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He was the recipient of the Benjamin Harrison leadership award and also was a student advisor to the Board of Trustees.

Frank Supovitz

Senior Vice President, NFL Events 2005-2014

For more than 35 years, Frank Supovitz has been at the helm of some of the world’s most prestigious sports and entertainment events. Prior to serving as the Senior Vice President of Events for the NFL from 2005 to 2014, Frank led the NHL’s event team for 13 seasons, responsible for the NHL All-Star Weekend, Stanley Cup, and international competitions in Europe and Japan. He began his career at Radio City Music Hall – 9-time host of the NFL Draft – rising from an usher to Director of Special Events.

He founded Fast Traffic in 2014, an event management and consulting firm, whose event clients have included the Indy 500, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and New York’s South Street Seaport, among others.

Frank is an adjunct professor at Adelphi University on Long Island, New York and the author of five books, including What to Do When Things Go Wrong and The Sports Event Management and Marketing Playbook, the 3rd edition of which will be published in October 2024. He received an honorary Ph.D. in Sports, Event, and Entertainment Management from Johnson & Wales University in 2003 and appeared in a cameo role as himself in the 2014 Ivan Reitman film Draft Day.