Dustin Cairo on the MSBC’s 5th Conference


The 5th annual conference is rapidly approaching, and the MSBC team is filled with excitement as we put together our final preparations leading up to the event. Dustin Cairo, one of the MSBC Co-Founders, took the time to answer some questions about the MSBC and how we have grown as an organization. Take a look!

In what way do you think the Michigan Sport Business Conference has changed the most since the inaugural conference five years ago?

When Brandon and I started the MSBC, our original vision was to create a conference that benefited students who were passionate about pursing a career in sport. We did not anticipate how much the conference would also benefit industry professionals in their careers. I have heard countless stories of young and senior professionals who have made a connection at the MSBC that has assisted them in growing their business or moving to a new opportunity. It has been very exciting to watch the student planning team continue to deliver a platform that benefits all of the MSBC’s attendees.

How do you think the MSBC best captures relevant and important topics in the industry of sport business?

I believe the MSBC is unique in that our theme changes every year, allowing the conference to remain relevant to the hot topics in the sport industry. The student team does an excellent job each year conducting research and gaining a pulse of the critical themes in our industry that will shape where it is 5-10 years from now. Once the theme is solidified, the next step is recruiting leading speakers, the executives who will decide what our industry looks like in 5-10 years. Again, the students always hit it out of the ballpark as they work with our incredible Board of Advisors and Steering Committee to secure leading executives to travel to Ann Arbor.

What stands out to you as the most beneficial part of the MSBC for those in attendance?

Networking and interacting with those attending the conference. There are not many opportunities to be in such an intimate space with some of the most influential executives in the sport industry. 

How would you recommend a student looking to pursue a career in sport business prepare for the MSBC as an attendee?

  1. Research who is attending the MSBC. Know their background and what they are currently working on. You can learn a lot from Google and LinkedIn! Prepare questions that you would like to ask them about their work and experience in a one on one conversation.
  2. Prepare an elevator pitch. Always be prepared for someone to ask who you are, what your experience is, and what your interests in the sport industry are.
  3. Be aggressive and talk to as many people as possible! Industry professionals are on campus to speak with you. Take advantage of this opportunity and don’t be shy, and follow up with them after the MSBC!
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