Each year the National Sports Forum features 80+ speakers from a variety of leagues, organizations, agencies and top spokespeople within the sports industry.
Below are the speakers for the 2017 National Sports Forum.
EVP & Chief Marketing Officer
In his 15th season with the Vikings in 2015, Steve LaCroix serves as the team’s Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer. LaCroix oversees all aspects of Vikings-generated revenues. He also leads the team’s radio and television programming, websites, digital and social media initiatives, merchandise and e-commerce operations, community and special events, marketing partnerships, advertising, branding, promotions, graphic design, fan relations and game day activities. LaCroix’s sales and marketing team will be responsible for the transition of fans, corporate partners and the Vikings game-day experience to TCF Bank Stadium located on the University of Minnesota campus for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Following the passage of stadium legislation in 2012, LaCroix immediately began a significant role on the Vikings stadium team, assisting with the design and construction process. He is also directing all sales, marketing and revenue-generating initiatives for the new facility set to open in 2016, including pursuing Naming Rights, Founding Partnerships, technology solutions and brand integration opportunities for the facility as well as overseeing multiple new offerings related to season tickets, premium seating, club seats and suites located in the stadium. Together with Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment, the third party assisting the Vikings in the sales process, LaCroix developed and managed the opening of the New Stadium Preview Center and its adjacent downtown offices. The Preview Center is a 7,500 square-foot interactive space, designed to give Vikings fans their first detailed look at the new stadium and the future game experience, is the largest ever built by an NFL team and overlooks the stadium construction site. LaCroix and the Vikings continue to explore all avenues to ensure the new stadium provides the premier fan experience for Vikings fans.
LaCroix has led a variety of additional new initiatives, including the team’s introduction of an enhanced Norseman logo and new uniforms in 2013, the second uniform change under LaCroix’s leadership. The club has also brought radio and television broadcast rights in-house and started year-round weekly television and radio programming. The Vikings have had multiple full re-designs of vikings.com and opened Vikings Locker Room official retail stores across the Twin Cities. Fans have been treated to the introduction of Viktor the Viking, the official team mascot, and the Skol Line drum line. Under LaCroix, the Vikings sellout streak reached 144 games at Mall of America Field.
Also included in LaCroix’s accomplishments is the launch of the Vikings Entertainment Network (VEN) in 2009. LaCroix helped take VEN to the next level with a first-class production studio at Winter Park, which was unveiled during the 2010 season and plays host to weekly TV and radio shows throughout the year. The studio is the home for Vikings-exclusive content creation for vikings.com.
LaCroix has served on the NFL Club Business Working Group comprised of eight club executives to help shape strategies for implementing league and club initiatives. LaCroix has served for several years on the Steering Committee of the National Sports Forum, the sports industry’s leading annual conference. LaCroix serves on the Board of Directors of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and Downtown Improvement District.
LaCroix’s charitable involvement includes serving as Treasurer of the Vikings Children’s Fund, which has raised and distributed over $10 million since 1978. LaCroix also serves on the Local Advisory Board of Clear Channel, as well as the Board of Directors of Hunger Related Events/Taste of the NFL, a national hunger relief organization and the recently launched Minnesota chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance, a national non-profit working to transform the culture of youth sports with a mission to develop “Better Athletes, Better People” across the state.
Prior to joining the Vikings, LaCroix worked as the Director of Sponsorship Sales for Pacers Sports and Entertainment in Indianapolis, IN, from 1999-00. His main responsibilities included overseeing the corporate sales efforts for the National Basketball Association’s Indiana Pacers, the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and other sports and entertainment events held at Conseco Fieldhouse, for which he negotiated the naming rights deal. Conseco Fieldhouse (recently renamed Bankers Life Fieldhouse) is widely considered one of the premier venues in the NBA and elevated the Pacers into the top third of the league in local revenue, despite being the NBA’s fifth-smallest market. LaCroix’s tenure with Pacers Sports & Entertainment began in 1991 as an intern in ticket sales.
LaCroix earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Iowa and his master’s at Western Illinois University. Steve and his wife, Sue, who holds her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Iowa, have two children – Katie and Alex. The LaCroix family resides in Minnetonka.
The National Sports Forum
7290 Navajo Road, Suite 204
San Diego, CA 92119