CHICAGO (November 9, 2023) – Chicago Fire FC today announced that it has hired Joey Colby-Begovich as Vice President, Matchday Operations and Guest Experience. His position with the Fire will officially begin in December 2023 and he will report directly to President of Business Operations Dave Baldwin.
Colby-Begovich, an accomplished veteran of the sports and hospitality industries, will be responsible for leading all matchday operations for the Chicago Fire. In this role, he will be tasked with overseeing match operations for the Club’s home matches at Soldier Field and SeatGeek Stadium, along with leading all elements of the guest experience, including match presentation, in-stadium activations, and merchandise. Colby-Begovich will also be tasked with overseeing third-party events and the Chicago Fire Season Membership experience and will create newly tailored experiences for suite holders and corporate sponsors. Additionally, he will serve as an integral liaison between Fire partners at ASM Global and the Chicago Park District.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Chicago Fire FC ahead of the 2024 season,” said Colby-Begovich. “This is a wonderful opportunity, and I’m looking forward to joining the Fire leadership team as we create a matchday experience that is unparalleled in Major League Soccer and providing an incredible environment for the Club’s dedicated supporters and soccer fans from around the Chicagoland area.”
Colby-Begovich joins the Fire with over two decades of experience across sports, entertainment, and hospitality. Throughout his career, Colby-Begovich has a proven track record of transforming organizations into world-class hospitality leaders by creating and implementing cutting-edge fan experiences, while developing best-in-service customer hospitality teams.
“We’re extremely excited to welcome Joey and his family to the Chicago Fire,” said Baldwin. “Joey is a hardworking, transformative leader who I had the pleasure of working with during my time in Washington, D.C. Along with his high character and infectious personality, Joey will bring inspired and innovative creativity to Fire home matchdays that will allow us to continue to build off the momentum of this season and develop an MLS-best matchday experience for our incredible fans. Joey will also help bring a new lens to our merchandise and local Chicago collaborations and I’m excited to see what he and the team will produce.”
Most recently, Colby-Begovich was the Vice President of Guest Experience with the Washington Commanders of the National Football League, where he served as a member of the executive leadership team, helping to develop a long-term strategic vision for the organization. Colby-Begovich led the redevelopment of the Commanders guest service and entertainment, overseeing everything from music and in-game entertainment to parking and stadium layout, as part of the team’s rebranding efforts.
Prior to his time with the Commanders, Colby-Begovich served as Senior Vice President, Member Experience for Inspirato, a luxury travel and experience subscription brand. During his three years with the company, Colby-Begovich managed five teams, overseeing the design and execution of member experiential group travel, including charter cruises, yachts, land programs, boutique experiences, and sporting events. Before joining Inspirato, Colby-Begovich spent 14 years with Carnival Cruise Lines in positions of increasing responsibility. Beginning as an Entertainment Operations Fleet Supervisor, Colby-Begovich worked his way up to Director, Guest Experience where he was responsible for the overall guest experience and flow, managing activities and events, holiday programs, production shows, live music production, comedy programs, partnership activations, guest flow optimization, in-cabin television content, and overall guest programming.
Colby-Begovich received his Master of Hospitality Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and his Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications from Simpson College.