Steve Wille’s career has focused on both client and agency sides of the communications business with particular emphasis in the sports and destination marketing industries.
Work for agencies in San Francisco as well as Austin’s GSD&M involved leading agency strategy for Bank of America, the Wall Street Journal, Coors, Qantas Airways, Philippine Airlines, Australian Tourism, the PGA Tour, Ben Hogan Company and the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Wille was hired away from agency work by one of his clients, Pebble Beach, to guide one of golf’s most iconic brands. While at Pebble, Mr. Wille led the marketing and organization of two US Opens, nine PGA Tour events as well as international professional tennis and classic car events. Brand development included the launch of an apparel line and a multi-category licensing program in the US, Asia and Europe. At Pebble, Mr. Wille also initiated long term sponsor relationships with VISA, COKE, National Car Rental, Rolex, Cadillac, Callaway Golf and others.
Mr. Wille’s sports focus continued when he became Vice President of Marketing and Brand Development for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Duties included marketing arena events, the WNBA Sacramento Monarchs, a professional indoor soccer team and an annual Champions PGA Tour professional golf tournament.
The skiing industry became part of Mr. Wille’s focus when he led marketing for a joint project between Aspen Skiing Company and Intrawest, reinventing Snowmass, Aspen’s largest ski mountain and its associated tourism and hospitality assets.
Mr. Wille’s background also includes serving as CEO for one of California’s larger destination marketing organizations, the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, charged with growing that destination’s $3 billion tourism industry.
At the University of Texas, Mr Wille’s focus is to bridge the gap between academic exploration and real time professional sports communications practices. He earned both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Journalism and Advertising here at UT.