Distinguished Alumni Awards
Tony Mobley International Distinguished Alumni Award
János Váczi - 2009
János Váczi serves as a mayoral chief of staff in one of Budapest, Hungary’s largest municipal districts. His responsibilities are varied, but they include serving as a consultant and advisor to the president of the Tourism and Sports Committee of the Hungarian Parliament. Since 2006, Váczi has supervised a diversity of people associated with sports in Hungary according to the formal national sports strategy of the Fidesz political party. He continues to have regular media appearances and is involved in publications as a sports economist. He was a founding member of the National Sports Society.
Váczi attended the Hungarian University of Physical Education, where he graduated with a BsC in 1992. In 1993, he traveled to the United States and attended Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, and earned a master’s degree in Sports Administration. Following a short stay in Hungary, he returned to the United States and to Indiana University where he served as a Research Associate in the summer of 1996. In 1996, he formally entered the graduate program in Kinesiology and completed a second master’s degree in Sports Management and Marketing. Upon his return to Hungary, he was hired by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and worked as chief of staff and later as director of communications. In 2001, he became the general manager of the Hungarian Sports Marketing Ltd. which was a government owned company to improve and manage the funding of sports federations and competitive sports in Hungary. The company established the Team Hungary project with selected Olympic federations and sponsors which, during his tenure with the company, became the single biggest fundraiser project in Hungarian competitive sports. During this time, Váczi continued to maintain his status as senior advisor to the Minister of Youth and Sports. After the change of government in 2003, Váczi joined the Central European Group of Pepsi Americas where he worked as a regional marketing manager responsible for four countries. His job included reintroducing Gatorade sports drink to these four markets and to develop a football marketing platform for the Hungarian market. Following the elections in 2006, he formally became mayoral chief of staff, the position he still holds. Since that year, Váczi has been enrolled in the sport management doctoral program of Semmelweis University of Budapest. He has completed his credit requirements and is currently working on his last mandatory international publication and the dissertation, which deals with the involvement of lottery funds in government sports financing.