ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Michigan Sport Business Conference has announced that the 2017 conference will not have a theme. Each of the first five conferences had a theme that unified panels, speakers and key topics under a summarizing phrase. Curating a conference without a theme will allow the student planning team greater flexibility when choosing speakers, creating panel topics and approaching sponsors. The sixth annual MSBC will be a fresh and expansive version of one of the most successful sport business conferences in the nation.
The conference in its current state would be nowhere without the successes of the MSBC in past years. In order to embark on a new stage for the conference, follow this exploration of past themes, speakers and panels.
First annual conference — 2012
The MSBC’s theme in its founding year was The Changing Faces of Sport. The first annual MSBC provided industry-leading insight with a roster of speakers featuring Stephen M. Ross, Bob Bowman, Larry Jones, Mark Silverman, Mike Tirico and Darren Rovell. The branding of the first conference was reflective of the conference’s affiliation with the University of Michigan.
Second annual conference — 2013
The second annual MSBC was built off the theme, Sport: A Blueprint for Economic and Brand Growth. The conference touted many highly-regarded speakers like John Skipper, Mike Tirico, Dave Brandon, Tom Garfinkel, Tom
Lewand, Len Komoroski and Jason Levien. Panels included “Getting Your First Job in Sports,” “Social Media: Bringing Your Brand to Life” and “Sport for Social Change.”
Third annual conference — 2014
This event marked the third annual MSBC, which was centered around the theme, Gamechangers: Innovating Today. Defining Tomorrow. The conference was headlined by John Collins, Mike Tirico, Jim Delany, Mark Silverman and Jeff Wilpon. An exciting element to the conference included a special presentation featuring executives from Under Armour.
Fourth annual conference — 2015
With the fourth annual MSBC came a brand redesign. The new logo offered a sleeker, modernized look and a clear differentiation between the brand image of the university and the conference. This event brought The Digital Age, and with it, speakers such as Bob Bowman, Jaymee Messler, Mike Tirico and Mark Silverman. Panels and breakout sessions included “The Business Behind Fantasy Sports,” “Marketing to Millennials” and “Virtual Reality: A Disruptive Medium.”
Fifth annual conference — 2016
The fifth annual conference brought The Empowered Consumer into the spotlight. Stephen M. Ross returned to the conference and was accompanied by keynote speakers Don Garber and Dan Gilbert, along with Larry Miller, Arn Tellem, Tom Garfinkel, Nathan Forbes and Estee Portnoy. Panelists addressed “Marketing to Millennials: Rewriting the Playbook” and “From Athlete to Influencer: An Inside Look at the Jordan Brand.” Breakout sessions included “eSports: The New Playing Field,” “Athletes and Activism: Social Responsibility in Sport” and “Filling the Seats: Changing the Fan Experience.”
Sixth annual conference — 2017
The sixth annual MSBC is scheduled to take place on Oct. 6, and will break from its longstanding tradition by not having a theme. This decision was made to allow the student planning team freedom in approaching speakers and arranging panels that will ultimately diversify conference offerings. The MSBC has evolved into a multi-dimensional platform providing intimate conversations between students and industry leaders. Each conference attendee is sure to find a panel catered to their interests. Continuing without a theme will allow the MSBC to move into a new stage of development by offering unprecedented speaker rosters that are guaranteed to provide valuable insights into the business of sports.
Be on the lookout in the near future for information on this year’s speakers, unique networking opportunities and how to purchase conference tickets. Follow the MSBC on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to stay connected.