Gene Hallman named as 2022 Distinguished American Sportsman by Alabama Sports Hall of Fame

Gene Hallman
Gene Hallman in 2018. Photo via Bham Now

On Friday, December 10th, the Board of Directors of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame announced that Gene Hallman will be the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished American Sportsman Award. Hallman, who serves as President and CEO of Bruno Event Team and the Executive Director of the Alabama Sports Foundation, will officially receive the award during the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony on May 7, 2022. 

Keep reading for more details.

What is The Distinguished American Sportsman Award?

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

According to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, the Distinguished American Sports award is, “an honor given to an individual (in- or out-of-state) who has made lifetime contributions to humanity and sports.” The special award was created (along with the Distinguished Alabama Sportsman award) by the Board of Directors of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1986.

Previous recipients of the Distinguished American Sportsman award include:

  • Bob Hope, Entertainer (1988)
  • President George H.W. Bush (1992)
  • Roy Kramer, SEC Commissioner (2003)
  • Mike Slive, SEC Commissioner (2015)
  • Ron Froehlich, Honorary Life Chairman of The World Games (2015)

Meet Gene Hallman, 2022 Distinguished American Sportsman

Gene Hallman
Graphic via Bruno Event Team

The recipient of the 2022 Distinguished American Sportsman is none other than Gene Hallman, the CEO, President and Co-Founder of Bruno Event Team. Founded by Gene Hallman and Ronnie Bruno in 1995, Bruno Event Team has grown into one of the largest sports event management companies in the country with 80+ employees in nine office throughout the United States—and Bermuda! Bruno Event Team manages many notable sporting events, including:

  • Magic City Classic
  • Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
  • US Women’s Open, US Senior Open and other golf tournaments on the PGA Tour
  • SEC Baseball Tournament
  • WBC Heavyweight Championship Title Fights
  • SEC Gymnastics Championship
  • SEC Women’s Golf Championship
  • SWAC Football Championship
  • Davis Cup
  • Fed Cup
  • The 1996 Olympic Soccer Tournament
  • And more!

In addition, Bruno Event Team is assisting with the management of The World Games, which will be held in Birmingham during the summer of 2022.

“I am incredibly humbled and appreciative of this award; it is easily the most significant recognition I’ve received in my business career. I consider the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame to be one of the finest hall of fames in the country. It is a true ‘who’s who’ of American sports, and to be associated with that is an incredible honor.

When I came to town 30 years ago, I didn’t know a single person. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any success without the help of all the thousands of volunteers, sponsors, officials, employees, interns and other people I have worked with over those years. I am extremely appreciative of everyone that helped me feel at home in Birmingham.”

Gene Hallman, CEO, President and Co-Founder, Bruno Event Team
regions tradition
The first sporting event managed by Gene Hallman, the Regions Tradition, has raised more than $20M for Alabama charities as it approaches its 30th anniversary in 2022. Pictured here is Nick Saban at the 2021 Regions Tradition. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

In addition to his recognition by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Gene Hallman has received a number of professional awards throughout his career, including:

  • 2020 – Top 40 Under 40 All-Stars: The Ultimate Top 40 Class by the Birmingham Business Journal
  • 2016 – 205 Influential Executives by the Metro Birmingham Business
  • 2016 – Recognized as one of Birmingham’s Most Influential Leaders by the Birmingham Business Journal
  • 2015 – Client Spotlight by the Birmingham Business Journal
  • 2014 – Recognized as one of Birmingham’s Most Influential Leaders by the Birmingham Business Journal
  • 2013 – Recognized as one of Birmingham’s Most Influential Leaders by the Birmingham Business Journal 
  • 2011 – Inducted into Birmingham Golf Association Hall of Fame
  • 2010 – Top 40 Under 40 Alumni Hall of Fame; Birmingham Business Journal
  • 2005 – Community Leadership Award; City of Leeds
  • 2004 – Men of Substance and Style; Birmingham Magazine
  • 2003 – Alabama Man of the Year; March of Dimes
  • 1999 – Top Ten Up and Coming Leaders for Birmingham Region; Birmingham News
  • 1994-1999 – Top Twelve Most Influential Sports Leaders in Alabama; Birmingham Post-Herald
  • 1999 – Vestavia Hills Rotary Club Celebrity Roast Honoree
  • 1998 – Outstanding Community Sales & Marketing Award; Birmingham Sales and Marketing Execs
  • 1997 – Best in Business Rising Star Award; Birmingham Business Journal
  • 1996 – Alabama Marketer of the Year; America Marketing Association
  • 1996 – Birmingham Man of the Year; Birmingham Business Journal
  • 1995-1996 – Birmingham’s Top 10 Most Influential People; Birmingham Business Journal
  • 1995 – Birmingham Person of the Year; Birmingham Magazine
  • 1995 – Communicator of the Year; International Association of Business Communicators
  • 1995 – Top 40 Under 40; Birmingham Business Journal

Gene Hallman will be formally recognized as the 2022 Distinguished American Sportsman along with the Class of 2022 inductees at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony on May 7, 2022. Click here to learn more about the other inductees.

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Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer with Bham Now | Originally from Tennessee, Nathan moved to The Magic City after graduating from Birmingham-Southern College. Nathan is passionate about recognizing Birmingham's history and is thrilled to learn more about the big things planned for The Magic City's future.

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