Casey Sparks
Vice President, OVG Austin | Assistant General Manager, Moody Center

Casey Sparks puts her enthusiasm — for her job, her colleagues, her family and her company — front and center.

“Oak View Group’s overall blockbuster success is largely credited to our fearless and innovative leaders at the top,” said Sparks, vice president of OVG Austin and assistant general manager of Moody Center, the 15,000-seat arena that opened in April of 2022 on the University of Texas campus in Austin. “Francesca (Bodie) and Tim (Leiweke) set the tone for the entire organization. They create a culture of creativity, adaptability and forward-thinking, all while prioritizing the value of their employees.”

Sparks has thrived in that environment as a leader at Moody Center alongside general manager Jeff Nickler, where success has followed the hard work of getting the facility up and running on schedule. Moody Center has landed virtually every major tour passing through Texas.

“Since opening less than two years ago, we hosted over 250 events and have been recognized for over 40 national, regional and local awards and nominations, most recently winning Arena of Year at Pollstar and the boss man, Jeff Nickler, taking home Executive of the Year,” Sparks said.

She acknowledges that some of the venue’s success has to do with post-COVID demand, the overall growth of Austin as a music hub and having a world-class arena to replace the now-demolished Frank Erwin Center, but adds that another factor has brought on the strong showing.

“Our kick-ass staff is the backbone of Moody Center and their contributions are and continue to be a game-changer,” Sparks said. “They are not only experts in their roles, but they also genuinely like each other and take care of one another. It’s this culture of camaraderie and cohesion that sets our venue apart and is a point of pride for me.”

Women make up 46% of the full-time workforce at Moody Center and that ratio extends to the facility’s leadership roles.

“We are very proud of that,” Sparks said. “There are studies after studies with very clear conclusions: when women are at the table, they outperform other less diverse organizations financially and in many other ways. Women should have a voice and be represented in decisions. We also need to continue pushing for pay transparency in our companies.”

Sparks’ ultimate hope is for “a world where equality and inclusion are so deeply ingrained in society that special designations or awards based on minority classes are no longer necessary.”

“Until then, women, let’s continue to support one another,” she said. Sparks credits friends and family members, and no small amount of help from above for guiding her in her life and career.

Her professional mentors include Dr. Laura Sawyer Truell, arena manager veteran John Bolton and Jerry Goldman, who “all took a chance on me in the early years and have been my biggest cheerleaders and advocates ever since.”

She held special praise for Nickler, who like Bolton was her colleague at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“He has been by my side through some very high highs and low lows, both professionally and personally, and through that he taught me that you can be a boss, a friend and family to someone, all at the same time.”


Back To The 2024 Women Of Live