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Sports Alumni Roundtable Speaker Bios

Matt Higgins, Executive Vice President, Business Operations for the Jets

As Executive Vice President of business operations, Matt Higgins is a driving force behind the revitalization of the franchise under Chairman and CEO Woody Johnson. Higgins oversees the team’s efforts in marketing, sponsorships, legal and public affairs, merchandising, social media, broadcasting and human resources. His initiatives have accelerated the club’s transformation into a national brand.

Higgins was instrumental in the groundbreaking joint-venture behind the New Meadowlands Stadium, a $1.6 billion state-of-the-art facility that opened in September 2010. Under his guidance, the club expanded their corporate sponsor base by 25 percent and raised $300m through the sale of PSL’s during one of the most adverse economic times in the nation’s history. His unconventional perspective and leadership were fundamental in bringing Super Bowl 2014 to New York/New Jersey, making it the first cold weather Super Bowl in NFL history.

Higgins worked to bring media production in-house in order to expand the content capabilities of the team in support of a growing roster of cable and web programming that includes five shows on SNY, one show on CBS, several programs on Verizon FIOS, and several recurring web based programs.

Earlier this year, Higgins introduced a groundbreaking approach to social media by creating Ultimate Fan, the first Facebook application developed by an NFL team. The application allows the club to increase fan engagement and draw new fans, and it has created a new revenue stream for the team.

Higgins played a prominent role in the club’s relocation from Long Island to New Jersey. He developed and oversaw the approval process and sponsor integration to build the team’s state-of-the-art facility in Florham Park.

Higgins has been a key executive at the organization since his arrival in 2004. Higgins joined the Jets as Vice President of strategic planning, and was elevated to Senior Vice President of business operations in 2007. He was named Executive Vice President of business operations in 2008.

Prior to joining the Jets, Higgins was the Vice President of Communications for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), the agency charged with rebuilding the World Trade Center in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks. During his tenure, the agency completed the largest design competition in history - resulting in the selection of Daniel Libeskind’s master plan - and selected a design for the Sept. 11 national memorial from among thousands of submissions. Before the LMDC, Higgins served as press secretary to former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani; he became the youngest person ever to hold that job in New York City when he was appointed in (year) at age 26.

Higgins was recognized for his work as one of Crain’s New York Business “40 Under 40,” honoring the top 40 executives under the age of 40 in New York. Higgins serves on the board of PENCIL, an organization that fosters partnerships between the private sector and New York City schools. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Queens College and a Juris Doctorate from the Fordham University School of Law, where he served on Law Review. Born in Bayside, NY, and a survivor of testicular cancer, Higgins now resides in New Jersey with his wife, Michele, their son Matthew Jr., and daughter Collette. 

Senior Vice President, Events
National Football League

As the Senior Vice President of Events for the National Football League, Frank Supovitz oversees a staff of event professionals that stages some of the most prestigious and widely-viewed sports events in the world, including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Experience, NFL Kickoff, the NFL International Series, and NFL Draft.

Supovitz joined the NFL in January, 2005 after overseeingevents for the National Hockey League for 13 years, most recently as Group Vice President of Events & Entertainment.  His NHL experience included producing and managing the NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL Entry Draft, the Stanley Cup Finals, the NHL Awards Television Special, and international competitions across the globe in Canada, Europe and Japan. 

Prior to the NHL, Supovitz served as vice president of marketing/coordinating producer for EVENTURES, a New York-based mega-event production firm (1989 - 1992), and as director of special events and special projects for Radio City Music Hall Productions (1985 - 1989).  His past credits include the Presidential Bicentennial Procession in New York, the 1990 Goodwill Games Welcoming Ceremonies in Seattle; New York City's historic “Operation: Welcome Home Ticker Tape Parade,” the Stanford University Centennial, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of U.S. Olympic Festival '89 in Oklahoma City, the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia, and the Super Bowl XXII Halftime Show in San Diego.

Supovitz was a featured personality in the NFL Films production of NFL Full Contact, a six-episode documentary on the behind-the-scenes world of NFL events that aired on truTV in 2010.  He was inducted into the Event Industry Hall of Fame in 2006 and received an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree in Sports, Entertainment & Event Management from Johnson & Wales University in 2003.  He is the author of The Sports Event Management & Marketing Playbook (2004), and co-author of  Dollars & Events:  How To Succeed in the Special Events Business (1999), professional and academic textbooks published by John Wiley & Sons.

Frank Supovitz (Queens College, CUNY ’79) lives in Merrick, Long Island with his wife Catherine and sons Matthew, Ethan, and Jacob.

Howie Rose is the full-time Mets play-by-play announcer on WFAN Sports Radio 66. He started his broadcasting career in 1975 with “Sportsphone” while working as a freelancer on local New York radio. Stints followed at WHN, where in 1977 he served as the station’s sports director and an on-air sportscaster, and at WCBS News Radio. From 1984 to 1986 he hosted a TV sports show on Cox Cable.

In 1987 Mr. Rose became an original member of the WHN sports air staff when the station switched to an all-sports format. He spent much of the next seven years as the host of “Mets Extra” and the nighttime slot on WFAN. While there, he joined the New York Rangers broadcast crew as one of the play-by-play voices along with Marv Albert, and continued doing Rangers games through 1995. That same year, Mr. Rose joined Sportschannel (which later became Fox Sports New York) as play-by-play announcer for the New York Islanders. He continues to announce Islander games for FSNY and the MSG Network.

Rose earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and was one of WQMC Queens College radio’s first sportscasters.





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