Mark Neville grew up in Ventura, California, and moved to San Diego to attend UC San Diego. After graduating in 1991, he began an internship with the Holiday Bowl and has committed his entire career to the nonprofit organization, now serving as its CEO.  Mark’s love for sports has been the driving force behind his dedication to evolving the local nonprofit into Sports San Diego. Under Mark’s leadership, Sports San Diego has expanded its reach by creating new sports tourism opportunities, enriching the organization’s mission to generate tourism, visibility, and economic impact for the San Diego region. At the same time, he has taken steps to ensure the Holiday Bowl continues to benefit the San Diego community for years to come.

Upon assuming the role of Executive Director of the Holiday Bowl in 2015, Mark wasted no time in securing the future of the college football post-season matchup. He worked alongside civic partners to establish Petco Park as the new home of the SDCCU Holiday Bowl, negotiated the association’s largest media rights contract to date, and solidified conference contracts with the Pac-12 and ACC extending through the 2025 college football season. He also currently serves on the executive committee of Bowl Season – the collective coalition of 44 bowl games that promotes the great traditions of college football’s postseason. 

In addition to his successes with the bowl game, Mark led the effort to secure the sold-out Navy v. Notre Dame football game at SDCCU Stadium in 2018, yielding $26.5 million in regional economic benefit. This inspired Mark into a years-long endeavor to establish the Holiday Bowl organization as the sports commission for the San Diego region to recruit, support and host tourism-driving sports events. With the support of a tremendous community-first team, Sports San Diego was launched in February 2022. Today, Sports San Diego serves as the region’s sports commission and produces three major sports events. In the summer of 2023, Sports San Diego assumed management of the California State Games, followed by the launch of the Rady Children’s Invitational, a two-day men’s basketball tournament, in November 2023.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to get to work with Mark Neville.” Said Jackie Reed, 2024 Sports San Diego President. “Not only is he an extremely dedicated and capable CEO, but he is also a magnificent person. He has that special combination of business savvy and emotional intelligence that is often a mark of the most successful leaders. Mark truly leans into being a servant leader and cares deeply for his community and the whole Sports San Diego family.” 

As in his career, Mark prioritizes relationships, service, and sports in his personal life. He served as the public address voice of the University of San Diego men’s basketball for 30 years and has announced hundreds of other events through the years, including three NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments and the spectacular Michigan State vs. North Carolina basketball game that was held aboard USS Carl Vinson in 2011.  

He is a proud bone marrow (2006) and kidney donor (2019). Since 1998, he’s shared his life with his wife Gayle and together they’ve raised two daughters, Sadie (23 yrs.) and Stella (20 yrs.), and a son, Milo (18 yrs.); they live in La Mesa. A quintessential San Diegan, Mark enjoys to surf, hike, and play golf.  Above all else, he treasures his family and close friends.