Speakers

Morning Keynote

  • Don Garber was named Commissioner of Major League Soccer, the premier professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, in 1999. During his tenure, MLS has expanded from 10 to 23 teams, added 20 new owners and secured long-term broadcast agreements with ESPN, FOX and Univision and major broadcasters in Europe, Asia and South America. Garber has also led efforts to develop more than 15 soccer-specific stadiums in the United States and Canada.

    Early in his tenure, he created MLS WORKS, a League-wide community outreach initiative dedicated to addressing important philanthropic and social issues.

    In 2002, Garber created Soccer United Marketing (SUM), an affiliate of MLS and one of the world’s leading commercial and media soccer companies. SUM represents a wide variety of soccer properties, including the United States Soccer Federation, the Mexican Soccer Federation and the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

    Prior to joining MLS, Garber spent 16 years in a variety of sales, marketing, programming and event management positions at the National Football League. In 1996, he launched NFL International, a division he managed that was responsible for all aspects of the NFL’s business outside the United States.

    Commissioner Garber serves on a variety of professional and philanthropic boards, including the executive committee of the United States Soccer Federation, the Committee for Club Football at Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and Vice President of Hope and Heroes, an organization raising funds and creating programs for pediatric cancer patients at the New York Presbyterian Hospital.

    Garber received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the State University of New York and was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at his alma mater, SUNY Oneonta.

     

  • Abraham Madkour is Executive Editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Daily Global.

    Mr. Madkour is responsible for determining the editorial content and shaping the editorial direction of the leading publications on the business of sports, while managing the entire editorial staff.  In addition, he oversees all the editorial content for the various conferences produced by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Group, including the prestigious World Congress of Sports and Forty Under 40 awards dinner.  Mr. Madkour serves as the lead moderator and editorial spokesman for all of the company’s events.

    Mr. Madkour joined SportsBusiness Daily as a Senior Staff Writer when the publication launched in August 1994.  He was named Editor-in-Chief in September 1996 and became  Executive Editor of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily in 2003.

    Prior to joining SportsBusiness Daily, Mr. Madkour was a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. In addition to working with Senator Leahy, Mr. Madkour had stints working for the Washington Bullets and the Baltimore Orioles in 1993 and 1994.

    He lives in Charlotte, N.C., and is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

Afternoon Keynote

  • Dan Gilbert is Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s second largest mortgage lender. He is also Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity for his portfolio of business and real estate investments, and majority owner of the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Rock Ventures and its more than 100 affiliated companies across the country employ more than 25,000 team members.

    Since 2013, Detroit-based Quicken Loans closed $220 billion in home loan volume across all 50 states, and in 2015, for the sixth consecutive year, earned J.D. Power’s highest rating for client satisfaction among all U.S. mortgage lenders. Quicken Loans is No. 1 on Computerworld magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work in IT” and has been named one of FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 13 consecutive years.

    Dan is also a shareholder in several sports-related consumer and technology businesses, including a leading wall graphics company (Fathead), electronic ticketing company (Flash Seats) and innovative sports equipment helmet maker (Xenith).

    Dan began moving his Family of Companies to Detroit’s central business district in 2010 in an effort to help lead the transformation of a great American city. In January 2010, Dan co-founded Bedrock Detroit, a full-service real estate firm specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing commercial space based in downtown Detroit. Since then, he has invested more than $2.2 billion to purchase and renovate more than 95 commercial properties accounting for more than 15 million square feet in the city’s urban core. Thousands of jobs have been created, and today more than 15,000 Rock Ventures team members work in downtown Detroit.

    Dan also founded JACK Entertainment, a developer and owner of unique urban casinos in downtown Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore. In 2013, the company also acquired Detroit’s Greektown Casino-Hotel, which will be renamed as JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel Greektown later this year.

    In March 2013, Rock Ventures, in collaboration with the Downtown Detroit Partnership and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, unveiled and implemented a visionary placemaking and retail plan centered on creating activity and vibrant, distinct destinations to draw people to the region using a multifaceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces.

    Dan is a Founder and Principal of Detroit Venture Partners (DVP), a venture capital firm that funds startup and early-stage technology companies in Detroit. He is also a Founding Partner of Detroit-based private equity group Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC, which invests in growing businesses in the financial services, Internet technology, consumer-direct marketing and the sports and entertainment industries across the United States.

    In September 2013, Dan was named co-chair of the Blight Removal Task Force. The group, appointed by the Obama Administration, published a detailed plan in May 2014 to remove all blighted structures and lots in the city of Detroit. He also serves as Vice Chairman of the M-1 RAIL initiative, which began construction in July 2014. The 6.6-mile modern streetcar system, known as QLINE, is designed to spur economic development and improve downtown and midtown Detroit’s transportation infrastructure.

    Dan serves on the boards of the Cleveland Clinic, the Washington D.C.-based Children’s National Medical Center and the Children’s Tumor Foundation, which is focused on finding a cure for the genetic disorder neurofibromatosis.

    He earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from Wayne State University.

  • Abraham Madkour is Executive Editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Daily Global.

    Mr. Madkour is responsible for determining the editorial content and shaping the editorial direction of the leading publications on the business of sports, while managing the entire editorial staff.  In addition, he oversees all the editorial content for the various conferences produced by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Group, including the prestigious World Congress of Sports and Forty Under 40 awards dinner.  Mr. Madkour serves as the lead moderator and editorial spokesman for all of the company’s events.

    Mr. Madkour joined SportsBusiness Daily as a Senior Staff Writer when the publication launched in August 1994.  He was named Editor-in-Chief in September 1996 and became  Executive Editor of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily in 2003.

    Prior to joining SportsBusiness Daily, Mr. Madkour was a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. In addition to working with Senator Leahy, Mr. Madkour had stints working for the Washington Bullets and the Baltimore Orioles in 1993 and 1994.

    He lives in Charlotte, N.C., and is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

  • Stephen M. Ross is the Chairman and Founder of Related Companies. Mr. Ross formed Related in 1972 and today the company includes over 2,500 professionals. Related is one of the largest owners of affordable housing, has developed over $22 billion in real estate, and owns real estate assets valued at over $20 billion made up of best-in-class mixed-use, residential, retail and office properties in premier high-barrier-to-entry markets. Mr. Ross is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins.

    Mr. Ross is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Equinox Holdings, Inc., serves on the Executive Committee and is a trustee of Lincoln Center, and is a trustee of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is a director on the board of the Culture Shed and the Jackie Robinson Foundation and is chairperson emeritus of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the city’s leading real estate trade association. Mr. Ross is also a director on the board of the World Resources Institute (WRI) and recently established the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, an innovative new initiative to integrate urban planning, sustainable transport, energy and climate change, water resources, and governance.

    Over the years, Mr. Ross has received numerous honors for his business, civic, and philanthropic activities. Most recently, he was a New York Power Player by the New York Times, the Most Powerful Person in New York Real Estate by the New York Observer, Multi-Family Property Executive of the Year by Commercial Property News, and Housing Person of the Year by the National Housing Conference. He also received The National Building Museum Honor Award, REBNY’s Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award and the Jack D. Weiler Award from UJA. Crain’s New York named Mr. Ross one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Business and he was recognized by NYC & Company with their Leadership in Tourism Award. In 2013, Mr. Ross pledged to give more than half of his estate to philanthropic causes and charitable organizations through the Giving Pledge, a long-term global initiative created by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates that aims to inspire deeper engagement in philanthropy and increase charitable giving globally.

    Mr. Ross graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, from Wayne State University Law School with a Juris Doctor degree and from New York University School of Law with a Master of Laws in Taxation. In 2004, the University of Michigan renamed its business school the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and in 2011 the University of Michigan awarded Mr. Ross an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.

Marketing to Millennials: Rewriting the Playbook

  • About Marcus Collins

    SVP of Social Engagement, Doner

    Marcus Collins is a culturally curious thinker with an academic insight into the cognitive drivers that impact consumer behavior. He serves as the SVP of Social Engagement at Doner, a full-serve advertising agency, and is a recipient of Advertising Age’s 2016 40 Under 40. Previously, he led the Social Engagement practice across the New York advertising agency, Translation, leveraging the psychological motivators that drive what we do, say, and share in an effort to create contagious marketing programs that extend across both the online and offline world of “social.” His strategies and creative contributions have led to the success of Budweiser’s “Made In America” music festival, the launch of Bud Light Platinum, the launch of the Brooklyn Nets (Hello Brooklyn!), and State Farm’s “Cliff Paul” campaign – to name a few.

    Prior to joining Translation, Marcus ran the Microsoft, GORE-TEX®, and Colgate Palmolive accounts for Big Fuel Communications – a pure play social media agency. Marcus has always found himself at the convergence of media and culture, and this is where he is most comfortable. From his time spent at Apple (iTunes Partner Marketing), leading iTunes + Nike sport music initiatives and college marketing efforts, to running digital strategy for Beyoncé (Music World Entertainment) and co-founding Muse Recordings, he combines consumer behavior with people-driven experiences that put the consumer front and center.

    Beyond his professional endeavors, Marcus is an extremely passionate educator and an AACSB certified clinical instructor. He has taught Innovations in Marketing and Social Engagement as an adjunct professor at New York University’s department of Media, Culture, and Communications in the Steinhardt School. Most recently, Marcus joined the faculty at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, as a lecturer of marketing – leading classrooms for MBA’s and executive education. He is also among the roster of instructors at Hyper Island, leading social engagement sessions for executive leaders and digital practitioners, and frequently teaches at General Assembly (NYC) and Miami Ad School (Brooklyn, NY).
    Marcus holds an MBA with an emphasis on Strategic Brand Marketing from the University of Michigan, where he also earned his undergraduate degree in Material Science Engineering. He is a proud Detroit native, a devoted husband, and loving father.

  • About Howard Handler

    Chief Marketing Officer, MLS

    A recognized brand builder and transformational leader for more than 30 years, Howard Handler was named CMO of Major League Soccer in January 2012. Handler is responsible for growing the fan base and leading the brand, digital, social, content, fan data and events for the league.

    Handler has built and burnished the brands and businesses of some of the most noted companies in the world including Virgin Mobile, The National Football League, MTV,
    Saturday Night Live, Madison Square Garden and Quaker Oats.

    Prior to joining MLS, Handler served as EVP marketing and sales at Madison Square Garden.

    Handler was the CMO for Virgin Mobile USA where he led marketing, product, sales,
    business development and media relations. Handler played a central role in creating
    5M subscribers, $1.2B revenues, and achieving an IPO in October 2007.

    Handler was also President and CEO for Burly Bear Network, a start-up cable network and youth marketing company sold to National Lampoon.

    Handler was SVP marketing and fan development for the NFL where he created the league’s first brand campaign, architected and scaled a cross-network promotional media asset, and grew the retail business through the development of NFL Shop.

    Earlier, Handler served as SVP marketing for MTV, launching Beavis & Butthead, The Real World, MTV Asia and the Peabody Award-winning Choose or Lose voter awareness campaign.

    Prior to MTV, Handler was VP marketing and merchandising for Broadway Video, producers of Saturday Night Live and Wayne’s World — The Movie.

    Handler launched his career in brand management at The Quaker Oats Company in Chicago.

    Originally from Detroit, Handler holds a bachelor’s degree and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.

     

  • About Brian Jennings

    Chief Branding Officer, NHL

    As Executive Vice President / CMO, Brian is responsible for the League’s global marketing strategies, including the consumer products licensing and design business that continues to generate more than one billion dollars annually. Jennings also leads the Integrated Marketing team that is responsible for ensuring the consistent and strategic delivery of marketing messages and further extending the reach and promotion of the NHL brand across all departments, channels and business partners. Brian’s strong leadership and commitment to the NHL brand has created solid League-wide relationships that provide deeper integration of the brand and product lines among all of the NHL’s business partners including TV rightsholders, licensees and sponsors, as well as the Clubs.

    In addition, Brian oversees the day-to-day efforts of Partnership Marketing and Club Marketing/Services, traditional Marketing Services, brand/promotional responsibilities for the NHL Network, NHL.com and NHL digital products, Cause and Grassroots Marketing, Entertainment Marketing and the operational aspects of our digital NHL Shop and NHL Store retail outlets. He is committed to giving fans a voice and getting to know the fans better than ever through the various platforms and relationships that his team manages. As of September 2013, Brian will also oversee the brand/promotional responsibilities for the NHL Network, NHL.com and NHL digital products.

    Jennings’ efforts in the marketing industry have not gone unnoticed. He has been awards multiple Sport Emmy® Awards for producing some of the most-celebrated marketing campaigns in sports, including the critically acclaimed “No Words” Stanley Cup Playoffs TV spot. Most notably, Jennings was behind the award-winning History Will Be Made and Because It’s the Cup campaigns, both of which have gone viral, inspiring thousands of fan-created version and earning millions in incremental media value.

    Brian was first recognized for his contribution to the NHL in 1999 when Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal named him one of the “Top 40 sports executives under the age of 40,” and most recently when the 2013 Cynopsis Sports Media Awards named Because It’s the Cup the Best Sports Marketing Campaign of the year.

    In October 2007, Brian lead the creation of the NHL Powered by Reebok flagship 6,700-square-foot retail store in New York City, which has consistently broken sales records year-after-year and hosts high-profile NHL events and appearances year-round. In that same year, Jennings’ collaboration with Reebok continued with the launch of the NHL’s technologically-advanced uniform system, which has built to meet the demands of todays’ NHL players, called the Rbk EDGE Uniform System™.

    Since joining the NHL in 1990, Brian has been an active volunteer for the Special Olympics and Ice Hockey in Harlem. He has also been a member of the Executive-in-Residence Program of the University of New Haven since 1998, and was honored with the University’s Outstanding Community Service Award in 2001. Brian sits on the Sports Media Marketing Summit Advisory Council and on the advisory board for St. Joseph’s University.

    Brian Jennings is a dynamic and creative professional with the ability to leverage both strategic and operational resources to market products, initiate relationships, enhance business practices, and fuel revenues. He was educated at Siena College, and attended Executive training programs at New York University and Columbia University.

    He currently resides in Riverside, Conn. with his wife and two children.

From Athlete to Influencer: Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand

  • About Larry Miller

    President, Jordan Brand

    Larry Miller is the President of The Jordan Brand, a division of Nike Inc. This is Miller’s second tour with the Brand as he continues to establish his strong connections within the community having previously held executive positions with some of Oregon’s most recognized brands. He has garnered international respect for his reputation of being an inspirational leader who understands how to build premium businesses in the world of sport.

    Miller was named President of the Jordan brand on July 9, 2012. As President of The Jordan Brand, Miller is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a billion dollar sports performance and lifestyle brand. Miller works directly with the Nike Inc. global leadership and Michael Jordan to drive the brands business objectives globally. Under his leadership (1999 – 2006 and 2012 – present) the Jordan Brand has enjoyed tremendous growth in all aspects of its business. Miller has led the Brand’s transition from a predominantly basketball focused brand to a widely respected global performance and lifestyle leader.

    Prior to joining the Jordan Brand, Miller served as President and Alternate Governor of the Portland Trail Blazers NBA franchise. As President of the Trail Blazers, he was responsible for all aspects of the organization’s business portfolio, including all team business and basketball activities, and the Rose Quarter. Miller joined the team in June 2007 and under his guidance saw the Trail Blazers make three consecutive trips to the postseason while selling out 159 straight games. During the 2010-11 season, the franchise celebrated an 86% season ticket retention rate, and more than 11,000 full season tickets, placing the organization fifth in the NBA. Under Miller’s leadership, the Trail Blazers have become the first American sports franchise to achieve Gold LEED status for an existing arena, earned the 2009 PRISM award and consistently ranks in the top 20 for Portland Business Journal’s Most Philanthropic Companies.

    Prior to joining the Trail Blazers, Miller served as Vice President and General Manager of Nike Basketball, where he was in charge of building strategies and executing plans that centered on The Jordan Brand, Nike Basketball and Converse. He was responsible for managing day-to-day operations of the Jordan Brand, where he earned an exceptional track record for growing the brand and setting the standard for athletic luxury footwear. His experience provided strong leadership for Nike’s global category growth in basketball.

    Before joining Nike, Miller served as President, Executive Vice President and Controller for Jantzen, Inc. He has also served as a Manager for Kraft General Foods, Assistant Controller at Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc., and held various positions with Campbell Soup.

    Miller makes Portland his home, and currently serves on the board of directors for Self Enhancement Inc. (“SEI”), the Oregon Business Council, Oregon Sports Authority, and is a member of the Portland Mayor’s Economic Development Cabinet. He is a passionate advocate for education and mentorship and was previously involved with the Urban League and Junior Achievement.

    Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Temple University in 1982, and a master’s degree in business from LaSalle University in 1985. He graduated from the Urban League Leadership Institute in 1987.

  • Abraham Madkour is Executive Editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Daily Global.

    Mr. Madkour is responsible for determining the editorial content and shaping the editorial direction of the leading publications on the business of sports, while managing the entire editorial staff.  In addition, he oversees all the editorial content for the various conferences produced by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Group, including the prestigious World Congress of Sports and Forty Under 40 awards dinner.  Mr. Madkour serves as the lead moderator and editorial spokesman for all of the company’s events.

    Mr. Madkour joined SportsBusiness Daily as a Senior Staff Writer when the publication launched in August 1994.  He was named Editor-in-Chief in September 1996 and became  Executive Editor of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily in 2003.

    Prior to joining SportsBusiness Daily, Mr. Madkour was a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. In addition to working with Senator Leahy, Mr. Madkour had stints working for the Washington Bullets and the Baltimore Orioles in 1993 and 1994.

    He lives in Charlotte, N.C., and is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

  • About Estee Portnoy

    Senior Vice President, JUMP.DC

    Estee Portnoy oversees the day-to-day business & marketing activities for NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. In this capacity, she has worked extensively with Jordan and his advisors for over 19 years to manage and grow Jordan’s brand. She has overseen Jordan’s business endeavors with companies such as Nike, Gatorade, Upper Deck, Oakley, Warner Brothers, Sara Lee, Bijan, and others to manage strategy, promotions, licensing, media, and advertising campaigns. In addition, she serves on the Executive Committee of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, of which Jordan is a majority owner.

    During her tenure with Michael Jordan, she has handled his public relations, liaised with the NBA, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, and coordinated Jordan’s involvement with charitable organizations and his other business endeavors. Portnoy has managed the licensing for Jordan’s feature film debut Space Jam, and overseen the successful launch of the JORDAN Brand, a division of Nike. She has also served as a Production Executive for the IMAX movie Michael Jordan To The Max, opened several Jordan restaurants, and numerous other Jordan-related projects. Portnoy also oversaw the Michael Jordan Celebrity Golf Invitational, a charity golf event, which raised over $7m for charities.

    An honors graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.A. degree in Marketing, Portnoy also received an M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Maryland. She launched her career in sports marketing while at the University of Michigan in the Athletic Public Relations office and as a member of the Board in Control of Inter-Collegiate Athletics. Prior to joining FAME/SFX Sports, Portnoy worked in marketing in both the computer software and financial services industries for Manugistics, Inc. and Chase Manhattan Bank.

    Portnoy, a native of New Castle, Pennsylvania, is the immediate past Chair of the International Board of Directors for BBYO and serves on the Executive Committee of Hillel International’s Board of Directors. She is the co-founder of KEEN USA, a sports program for children with disabilities. She has also served on the National Advisory Council for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and is a Wexner Heritage Fellow. Her community service efforts have earned Portnoy multiple awards, including Jewish Women International’s “Woman To Watch” (2009), S. Robert Cohen Award from the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes (2006), the Outstanding Service to Youth Award from the Montgomery County Commission on Children & Youth (1999), and BBYO’s Kol Echad Award (2014).   Portnoy resides in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband, Elliott, and their three children, Joshua (18) and Noah (15) and Daniela (12).

Investment in Sport: A Featured Conversation on the Future of the Sport Landscape

  • Since 1996 Len Perna has been the Founder, President & CEO of Turnkey Sports & Entertainment.  Turnkey owns and operates the industry’s leading consumer insights and analytics company (Turnkey Intelligence) as well as the industry’s top executive recruiting firm (Turnkey Search).   Turnkey works with more than 200 clients in pro sports, college sports, sports media, entertainment and experiential marketing, including agencies, brands and properties.  Turnkey assists clients like the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, Indy Car, ESPN, NBC Sports, IMG, UPS, AT&T, Hyundai, ExxonMobil, Liberty Mutual and other global leaders.

    Len Perna has 30+ years’ experience in the sports & entertainment industry, with senior level management experience in sales, event marketing & management, corporate sponsorships, facility operations, television & radio, licensing and legal affairs.

    Prior to forming Turnkey, Mr. Perna served on the Executive Committee of the NHL Dallas Stars, as Vice President Business Operations and General Counsel of the club.   Mr. Perna oversaw all aspects of the team’s business operations including broadcasting, licensing, corporate marketing and sales, legal affairs, player contracts and NHL league matters.  Mr. Perna served as the team’s point person in the development of the American Airlines Center.

    Previously, Perna served as the Executive Director, General Sales Manager for the Ilitch-Owned sports & entertainment companies including the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Fox Theater, MeadowBrook Theater and Olympia Entertainment.   There, Mr. Perna was in charge of all corporate sponsorship marketing and sales, all broadcast, publishing and promotional licensing for all owned and operated properties.

    Mr. Perna received a Masters degree in Sports Management from Ohio University, the #1 sports administration program in the U.S.   In addition to his M.S.A., Mr. Perna has a B.A. from the University of Michigan, graduating with the Angell Scholar Award.   Mr. Perna also earned a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, graduating magna cum laude.   Mr. Perna also holds a certification in sports management from the executive training program at New York University, graduating with highest honors.

  • Arn Tellem is Vice Chairman of Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E), which includes the Detroit Pistons basketball franchise. He joined PS&E in August 2015 following a distinguished career as one of the top player agents in sports.

    As a representative of ownership, Mr. Tellem has broad responsibility for business strategy, planning and development, and strengthening the connection between PS&E and the community. With respect to the Detroit Pistons, Mr. Tellem is responsible for league-related initiatives as one of the team’s Alternate Governors on the NBA Board of Governors.

    Mr. Tellem has represented more than 500 professional athletes in his career. He joined PS&E following nine years at Wasserman Media Group, where he served as Vice Chairman and oversaw the Team Sports Division. In 1989, he founded Los Angeles-based Tellem & Associates, which was acquired in 1999 by SFX Entertainment, the world’s largest producer and marketer of live entertainment. Mr. Tellem served as Chief Executive Officer of SFX Sports until he joined Wasserman.

    Mr. Tellem began representing professional baseball and basketball players in the early 1980’s. Before that, he was a partner at the law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips and also served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers between 1982 and 1988.

    A member of the American Bar Association and the State Bar of California, Mr. Tellem received his bachelor’s degree from Haverford College in 1976 and his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1979.

  • Nathan Forbes is the managing partner of The Forbes Company, a nationally recognized developer, owner and manager of luxury shopping destinations throughout Michigan and Florida. These landmark retail properties include the highly acclaimed Somerset Collection in Troy, Michigan, The Mall at Millenia in Orlando, The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, and Waterside Shops in Naples.

    In June 2002, Forbes was part of a small group of investors that purchased Quicken Loans from Intuit Inc.

    In 2005, Forbes was part of an investor group that acquired the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball club of the National Basketball Association. Forbes is the Vice-Chairman of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In June 2016 the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship, coming back from a 3-1 deficit for the first time in NBA finals history and ending a 52 year championship drought for the City of Cleveland.

    In November 2009, Forbes was part of a group that successfully backed a state constitutional amendment bringing casino gaming to Ohio.

    Currently JACK Entertainment LLC portfolio of gaming and entertainment offerings includes JACK Cleveland Casino, The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland, JACK Cincinnati Casino, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore and Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit.

    Forbes earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, and serves as its Chair on the Greater Detroit Campaign Leadership Council for the Victors for Michigan Campaign. Forbes and the company’s respective properties are actively involved in numerous charitable endeavors and organizations. Forbes is honored to serve on the College for Creative Studies Board of Trustees. Forbes also serves on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Institute of Arts and is a member of their Executive Committee.

     

eSports: The New Playing Field

  • About Mark J. Burns

    Senior Writer, SportTechie

    As the Senior Writer at SportTechie, Mark lives at the intersection of sports and technology. On a daily basis he covers everything from eSports and virtual reality to digital media, mobile, tech innovation and entrepreneurship. Prior to SportTechie, Mark worked in talent marketing at CSE Talent, an Atlanta-based sports and entertainment marketing agency. He was recently named a Forbes ’30 Under 30′ for its Sports category in 2016. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Belmont University College of Law, he currently lives in Shelby Township, Michigan.

  • About Happy Walters

    CEO, Catalyst Sports & Media

    Happy Walters, a Michigan graduate, is the CEO of Catalyst Sports & Media, which he founded in 2015 as a sports representation and e-sports development company. Prior to that, he served as the founder, President and CEO of Relativity Sports, which he grew, through acquisitions and aggressive recruiting, into the second largest sports agency in the world (Forbes).  While at Relativity Sports, Walters, a certified NBA and NFL player agent, represented an extensive roster of professional basketball and football athletes, both in contract negotiations, and marketing deals.  He negotiated contracts for Dwight Howard ($118M), Amar’e Stoudemire’s ($107M) contract with the New York Knicks and Jimmy Butler’s ($102M) contract with the Chicago Bulls.

    Happy also served as Relativity Media’s Co-President, overseeing certain areas of the company’s day-to-day operations in such diverse business segments as Music, Fashion and Digital Technology.  Mr. Walters began his twenty year career in the entertainment and media business by launching a music management and record label in the mid 1990’s.  He represented recording artists such as Cypress Hill, House of Pain, Wu Tang Clan, Rage Against the Machine, and Velvet Revolver.  His record-label, Immortal Records, launched and developed the careers of such seminal artists as Korn, Incubus, and Thirty Seconds to Mars.   He has Produced more than 20 films and television productions, most recently the hit film, “We’re the Millers”. He has supervised and created soundtracks for more than 80 films, including Immortals, The Fighter, Bridesmaids, Limitless, Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Dear John, Spawn, There’s Something About Mary, Scream, American Pie, The Nutty Professor, The Big Lebowski and Blade II.

     

  • This is the story of Imari. His business philosophy is that it’s important to help brands create things of real value that are not only aligned with culture, but begins to shape culture.

    Imari has an intellectually curious inner 8-year-old living inside of him that has a lot of energy.  Exploring the intersections of technology, ideas, people and culture are his favorite activities. This exploration has led him to conversations with fascinating people and amazing experiences that have influenced and shaped the sum of his expertise.

    Currently leading Sales and Global Partnerships for eSports at WME | IMG, Imari combines his eSports leadership with more than 15 + years of experience in strategy, planning, and media to design uniquely distinct brand opportunities around eSports. Ultimately, he helps brands arrive to a purposeful and new understanding of their customers and business environments to inform eSports strategies and activations.

    Prior to WME | IMG, Imari was VP of Cultural Strategy at sparks & honey.  While there, he produced the first eSports Industry Brand Summit Event, attracting dozens of individual brands, agencies, investors and eSports operators. He led the production of an industry standard eSports 101 playbook and the subsequent eSports Brand User Manual.  Further, he focused on uncovering consumer insights and market place dynamics that highlight the value of culture as a strategic business imperative.

  • As head of sports and entertainment partnerships, Matthew Kauffman brings over 20 years of sports and entertainment marketing strategy, business development, marketing communications, measurement, and property management experience to Intel. He has driven the transformation of the sports and entertainment experience through the use of cutting edge Intel technology with the NBA, Super Bowl, MLB, ESPN X Games, Red Bull Media House, Intel Extreme Masters eSports and the Grammy Awards. Prior to Intel, Kauffman was responsible for Visa’s global brand sponsorship portfolio. Visa’s innovative sponsorship marketing is renowned for building the Visa brand, and its partnerships include the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, NFL, NFL teams, MLB teams, NBA teams, NASCAR, Pixar, Walt Disney Studios, Marvel Entertainment and others. Kauffman also worked for 10 years at General Motors EventWorks, where he served as Vice President of Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Kauffman has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Michigan and was recognized as one of the “Forty Under 40” most influential sports executives by SportsBusiness Journal.

  • Seth Ladetsky has spent the better part of two decades helping to drive revenue for Turner’s growing investments in sports programming. He currently oversees national advertising sales and strategy for Turner Sports’ portfolio of digital brands, including ELEAGUE, NBA Digital, NCAA Digital, March Madness Live and PGA Digital. In addition, he leads a team representing all of Turner Sports’ assets, including the aforementioned leagues, Bleacher Report, and televised sports on TNT and TBS. Based in New York, he reports to Jon Diament, executive vice president of Turner Sports Ad Sales.

    Ladetsky began his career within CNN’s ad sales division. In 2001, he transferred to the digital side of the business as an account executive, and was later promoted to sales manager within Turner Sports Digital. Ladetsky has overseen digital ad sales spanning the entire portfolio of brands across sports, news and entertainment, including CNN.com, TBS.com, adultswim.com and others. In 2011, Ladetsky was promoted to his current title as senior vice president.

    Ladetsky currently serves on the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s board of directors and is a charter board member of the eSports Ad Bureau, which was formed in 2016 to create standards and best practices that advance marketing and revenue opportunities for the fast-growing eSports industry. He also is a board member for JASA, an organization that helps older New Yorkers remain in their own homes and communities with dignity, independence, and joy.

    Ladetsky earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he pursued a double major in International Relations and Communications.  A native of Valley Stream, New York, he now calls Short Hills, New Jersey home with his wife and three children.

    Turner Sports, a division of Turner, is an industry leader in the delivery of premium sports content across all multimedia screens. Turner Sports’ television coverage includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, ELEAGUE and professional golf. The company also manages some of the most popular sports destinations across broadband and mobile platforms including Bleacher Report and its top-rated Team Stream app, NCAA.com and the critically-acclaimed NCAA March Madness Live suite of products, PGA.com and the Sports Emmy Award-winning PGA Championship LIVE, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile sites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, a robust collection of offerings including NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, the NBA App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.

    Turner Ad Sales monetizes the company’s portfolio of leading entertainment, kids, news and sports properties through award-winning advanced advertising capabilities that power return-on-investment for brands. Attracting a wide-scale audience of diverse fans, the collection includes leading media brands Adult Swim, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, Great Big Story, HLN, TBS, TNT, truTV, Bleacher Report and Turner Sports’ high-profile coverage of the MLB, NBA NCAA, PGA and the newly-formed professional eSports league ELEAGUE. In addition, the company has digital sales partnerships with the NBA, NCAA and PGA.

    Turner, a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

Athletes and Activism: Social Responsibility in Sport

Business by the Numbers: A Strategic Approach

  • Stephen Master is a Senior Vice President at the Nielsen Company and heads its Sports Practice. Nielsen is the world’s leading provider of marketing information, audience measurement and business media products and services. The Nielsen Sports Practice works closely with every major sports property including the USOC, NASCAR, NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB, as well as leading companies/brands that invest in sports sponsorships and media such as Anheuser Busch, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Unilever. Master has developed the “FANALYTICS” platform which provides brands and properties with a deeper understanding of how fans consume sports content, as well as measuring the impact of sports sponsorship investments. He also created the Nielsen N-Score which is the leading measurement tool for evaluating the brand effect of professional athletes and sports personalities, enabling advertisers to make smart marketing decisions on commercial endorsements. Prior to joining Nielsen, Master was the Vice President of Business Development of Corporate Sponsorships at the NFL, Vice President of Marketing Solutions for Octagon and Director of Business Development in the International Group for the NBA.

  • Rebekah Stevens is a Director of Consulting at Nielsen Sports (formerly Repucom). Nielsen Sports provides measurement tools, fan research and strategic counsel to stakeholders throughout the sports and entertainment industry globally. In her current role, Stevens is responsible for leading engagements with numerous brands, sports and entertainment rights holders, and media partners to help build their respective sponsorship marketing businesses.

    Prior to joining Nielsen Sports, Stevens worked for KKR Capstone and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), working across a wide range of industries such as retail, consumer, industrial goods, and technology. She has long been involved with the sports industry, including working on the Chicago 2016 and San Francisco 2024 Olympic bids. Stevens holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and BA from University of Pennsylvania.

  • Colin Burch is the Sr. Director, Marketing & Broadcasting for the Boston Red Sox. Since beginning his career with the Red Sox as an intern during the 2003 season, Burch has worked for the club in a variety of marketing and broadcasting capacities. In his current role, Burch is responsible for guiding the club’s marketing efforts with a focus on the organization’s digital and social media strategies with MLB Advanced Media, promotional activities and a host of initiatives designed to bring children and families closer to the game. Burch manages the relationships with the club’s local rights holders, Entercom Boston (WEEI), NESN and Spanish Radio Productions as well MLB’s national rights holders (ESPN, FOX, TBS and MLB Network). In addition, Burch oversees the licensing of the club’s intellectual properties, principally in the film, television and commercial industries. A native of Ruxton, MD, Burch graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2004. He and his wife, Kathleen, reside in Wellesley, MA with their two daughters, Belle and Lily.

  • Mike is a 13-year veteran of Google and has held multiple leadership roles on the revenue generating side of the business.

    He’s currently heading up Google’s Ticketing & Live Events Group where he oversees Sales and Account Services Team responsible for fostering strategic relationships with key partners in Sports, Family Entertainment, Music and Ticketing Industries; and works closely with key stakeholders across Google’s Family of Brands to develop new ad formats and products for the Live Events category.

    Before this role, Mike opened Google’s Operations in his native Poland; helped build out Google offices in Ann Arbor, MI; and ran Mid-Market Sales team for Google Canada.

    His ties with Sports Marketing include working for Flint Generals (Minor League Hockey Team) and  interning at Chicago Fire during team’s 1st season at the MLS,  and he recently became a Co-Owner of AFC Ann Arbor – Minor League Soccer Team in Ann Arbor, MI

    Mike also He also teaches Video and Digital Marketing courses at Michigan State University and acts as Executive In Residence at Eastern Michigan University’s Center for Digital Engagement.

    Marketing & International Business graduate of Loyola University of Chicago, Mike currently resides in Ann Arbor, MI and considers himself extremely lucky to work in the cross-section of Sports/Entertainment and Online Marketing worlds.

     

  • About Chad Millman

    VP, Editorial Director, ESPN

    Chad Millman is the VP, Editorial Director for ESPN Domestic Digital Content. Prior to that he served as editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine, during which time the magazine was honored with numerous awards for storytelling, design and photography. He was previously senior deputy editor and held a number of editing positions at The Magazine after arriving as an associate editor prior in April 1998. He started his career as a reporter for Sports Illustrated and correspondent at CNNSI.

    Millman has also written or co-authored seven books. His most recent works include the 2010 national best-sellers The Ones Who Hit the Hardest, about the blood feud between the 1970s Steelers and Cowboys, written with Shawn Coyne, and the New York Times best-seller They Call Me Baba Booey, with Gary Dell’Abate. In 2008, he penned with Chuck Liddell Iceman: My Fighting Life,which was also a Times best-seller. Prior to that he wrote The Detonators: The Secret Plot to Destroy America and an Epic Hunt for Justice, the true story of a 1916 terrorist attack on New York Harbor. In 2001, his bestselling book The Odds, about a trio of Vegas bookmakers and wiseguys, and to search for lucrative opportunities during the height of the Internet boom, was published.

Filling the Seats: Changing the Fan Experience

  • Abraham Madkour is Executive Editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Daily Global.

    Mr. Madkour is responsible for determining the editorial content and shaping the editorial direction of the leading publications on the business of sports, while managing the entire editorial staff.  In addition, he oversees all the editorial content for the various conferences produced by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Group, including the prestigious World Congress of Sports and Forty Under 40 awards dinner.  Mr. Madkour serves as the lead moderator and editorial spokesman for all of the company’s events.

    Mr. Madkour joined SportsBusiness Daily as a Senior Staff Writer when the publication launched in August 1994.  He was named Editor-in-Chief in September 1996 and became  Executive Editor of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily in 2003.

    Prior to joining SportsBusiness Daily, Mr. Madkour was a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. In addition to working with Senator Leahy, Mr. Madkour had stints working for the Washington Bullets and the Baltimore Orioles in 1993 and 1994.

    He lives in Charlotte, N.C., and is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

  • Steve Ehrlich currently leads the IBM Watson Cognitive Solutions in Sports & Entertainment. These efforts focus on supporting the most visible global brands across broadcast, cable, entertainment and major sports to provide growth in emerging businesses as well as utilizing new technology.

    Prior to his current role at IBM, Mr. Ehrlich lead strategy & sales for a newly created division at Verizon, Verizon Digital Media Services, with a particular focus in media and entertainment businesses. He supported the creation of new business models with cross platform delivery leveraging the Verizon global network for addressable advertising technologies.

    Early in his career Steve Ehrlich has spent over 20 years where he was leading the sales organization in the Global Media and Entertainment practice. In that position his responsibilities included global oversight of all media-related consulting projects including due diligence efforts for mergers and acquisitions, development of business strategies for new technology ventures such as video on demand and broadband with the creation of comprehensive anti-piracy strategies for motion picture studios and trade associations. He also developed business plans for companies to offer on demand electronic sell-through for movies, cable television networks, television programming and music. Ehrlich held leading positions at interactive and Internet businesses within IBM where he managed all aspects of new media business, including content, sales, business and technology development, and distribution.

    While at IBM, Ehrlich successfully launched major digital businesses which included PGA, PGA Tour, and NHL. He created Digital Media on Demand which included Sesame Street and the Museum of Broadcasting.

    Ehrlich has worked in both strategic planning and was responsible for the operations, business plans, creative direction and distribution of IBM Sports Division including NBA, USTA and NFL. Ehrlich received his Masters in Business and Engineering from U.C.L.A. and holds a BS from University of Miami, Florida.

  • Jason Langwell has spent his career building sponsorship, experiential and content marketing programs for some of the biggest brands in the world throughout the sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing industries. Over the years, Jason has advised clients such as General Motors, Verizon, Heineken, Dos Equis and Quicken Loans to create memorable and measurable experiences that connect these brands with fans. He spent the first 15 years of his career building and managing marketing services agencies and business units throughout the Interpublic Group agency network. A two-time Collegiate All-American golfer, Jason’s IPG career started in the golf business, where he led the world’s largest amateur golf tournament. He was then recruited to head the world’s largest single client sponsorship and experiential agency, R*Works, purpose-built to service the $200MM annual sponsorship spend of General Motors. His career at publicly-held agencies concluded at Hill Holliday Networks, where he led Verizon’s sports marketing business, with a focus on the brand’s groundbreaking NFL sponsorship. Today, Jason works at Intersport, a Chicago-based marketing and media agency, where he runs the Sponsorship Consulting, Experiential and B2B Hospitality practices.

  • Andy Lansing is President and Chief Executive Officer of Levy Restaurants, an innovative and award-winning company specializing in restaurants and premium sports and entertainment dining. Andy has been at the forefront of the Company’s explosive and strategic growth. Under his leadership, Levy has topped 190+ locations in North America and around the world, with more than 30,000 team members delivering Levy’s signature hospitality to guests.

    The Company has been recognized as one of the 10 most innovative companies in sports by Fast Company magazine. Levy, the only foodservice company on the list, shared this honor with industry greats like Nike, ESPN and the Boston Red Sox.

    Andy began his career with Levy Restaurants in 1988 as Vice President and General Counsel, overseeing and directing legal affairs for the Company. He was promoted to Executive Vice President for Levy Restaurants in 1991, and President and Chief Operating Officer in 1995. In his tenure, Andy has directed, managed and actively recruited the industry’s top specialists to become part of Levy’s team and foster the Company’s strategic growth. In 2004, Andy was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer.

    Andy also spearheaded the formation of Levy Cares, the charitable arm of the Company. Under his direction, Levy Cares has become a national charitable presence, supporting local children’s causes and providing food and shelter to the homeless and hungry in each of its markets. Since its inception, the program has expanded to encompass Levy’s care for the environment, community, and the health and wellness of guests, maximizing the positive impact on the world we share.

    In 2014, Andy initiated the launch of E15, an advanced analytics and emerging technology subsidiary of Levy Restaurants that supports a wide portfolio of clients in multiple industries. E15 brings together professionals from the fields of economics, mathematics, statistics, accounting and finance, psychology and behavioral science and computer science who have experience working with some of the strongest brands and many of the largest companies in the world.

    Andy is an active contributor to Chicago’s business and charitable communities. He is a member of the Chicago chapter of the World Presidents’ Organization. He was recognized as one of the city’s top 40 business leaders under 40 by Crain’s Chicago Business and as one of Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s Rising Stars in recognition of his contributions to the industry.

    A committed leader at the University of Michigan, his alma mater, Andy serves on the College of Literature, Science and Arts School’s Dean’s Advisory Council and the Organizational Studies Leadership Committee.

    Andy’s personal passion for magic has been incorporated into the entrepreneurial culture of Levy Restaurants to inspire the creativity in team members to wonder and develop new ideas. His unique style of motivation and leadership has been featured on NBC television, in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the New York Times.

Career in Sports

  • Adam Holzer is an accomplished U.S.-based television and sponsorship sales executive, bringing over two decades of experience to his current position as Senior Vice President of Media – Americas for Lagardère Sports.  Prior to joining Lagardere, Mr. Holzer held multiple senior management positions with FOX Cable Networks, including Senior Vice President of Integrated and Emerging Media and Senior Vice President of Ad Sales. Mr. Holzer was associated with FOX over 14 years in two separate stints, the first from August 1998 to January 2010, then again April 2012 to February 2015. His professional achievements and innovative stature were recognized in 2007 when he received the Sports Business Journal’s prestigious 40 Under 40 Award. During his FOX career, Mr. Holzer oversaw product integration and new media sales for FX, National Geographic Channel, Fox Reality Channel, Speed Channel, Fuel TV, Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports Net. He was also a part of the team that launched Hulu, the groundbreaking online video service. Mr. Holzer worked closely with programming, marketing, media/public relations, legal, affiliate sales and finance on all issues as they pertained to ad sales, product integration and new media. Under his leadership, product integration/ branded entertainment was brought to a new level, working with high-profile advertisers including Verizon, Best Buy, Dodge, The Home Depot and Microsoft, expanded their advertising commitments by incorporating product immersion/ branded entertainment into a wide variety of programs.

    Earlier in his career, Mr. Holzer was Account Executive at Turner Sports from March 1994 to July 1998, and also worked at other world-class sports organizations including the NBA, New York Yankees and Madison Square Garden.

    He received a BS in Marketing in 1990 from the University of Maryland.

  • Tyler is an experienced business development executive across agency, property and media platforms. He has a proven record of closing major sponsorship deals and quarterbacking full consumer, B2B and small business partnerships. He’s currently the National Director of Sports Marketing at USA TODAY Sports Media Group where he’s responsible for driving $12MM in property/partnership revenue working with blue chip brands such as AT&T/DirectTV, Gatorade, Under Armour, Goodyear, Unilever and Amway.

    Before that, he led the sales efforts for the United StatesTennis Association (USTA) selling Moet & Chandon, Smucker’s and Adecco into multi-million dollar US Open Tennis Championship sponsorships. Tyler started his sports marketing career with Five Star Sports, consulting with MasterCard on their sports and entertainment sponsorship portfolio.

    Nine years ago, Tyler started what is now New York City’s largest on-demand Christmas Tree Delivery service, “Tyler’s Trees” with annual revenue in the mid- six figures. They have been featured on Fox News “Fox & Friends”, CNBC, Today.com and the New York Post employing over 30 people and bringing holiday joy to 1000’s of New Yorkers during the holiday season!

    Tyler is a former nationally ranked golfer, 3-time Club Champion at Scarsdale Golf Club and has completed nine marathons. He currently serves as President of the Junior Leadership Committee of Puppies Behind Bars and is the founder of the Pigskin Pass, an annual 58-mile football relay supporting Special Olympics Delaware, which has raised $200,000 in 8 years.

    Tyler majored in business administration at the University of Delaware, where he was awarded the late Dr. Myles Brand Leadership Award while President of the Student Athlete Advisory Council and serving on the NCAA Division I Student Council. He graduated from Columbia University in December 2015 with an Executive Masters in Strategic and Business Communications .

  • With a consultative background, Brian Millman has the unique blend of agency and property experience; both buying and selling partnerships. Currently, Millman works at Mindshare Spotlight, the sport and entertainment consultancy of Mindshare, a division of GroupM, the world’s largest media agency. In his time under the GroupM umbrella, Millman has worked across Unilever, BBVA, Rolex, and Citi to develop strategies, negotiate close to $100 million in partnerships and activate existing partnerships.

    With previous experience domestically and internationally, Millman has worked with all major sports leagues and most teams. Prior to Mindshare Spotlight, Millman worked at the NBA selling and activating partnerships across the NBA and the NBA Development League and developing zero-expense marketing and sponsorship opportunities for the League. Preceding the NBA, he supported MasterCard and MasterCard Canada’s sponsorship portfolio including the negotiation of the naming rights to the Toronto Maple Leafs Practice Facility.

    Millman is the co-founder of Tyler’s Trees, the largest Christmas tree delivery company in New York City. Millman is from Los Angeles, with an undergraduate Sport Management degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Columbia. After ten years in New York City, Millman and his wife recently relocated to Los Angeles.

  • Shari Acho is in her 16th year with the University of Michigan as the Director of Michigan’s-Professional Athletic Career Transition Program (M-PACT): Michigan Athletics Career Center. From 2000 to 2010 Ms. Acho was the Director of the Athletic Success Program for all Michigan student-athletes, and also worked specifically with the football team as their Academic Counselor. In 2010 Ms. Acho created M-PACT – a forward thinking program to help student-athletes transition to careers after their sport. She plays a major role in career transitioning for a significant number of student athletes from all of Michigan’s 31 sports.

    Now in its sixth year, M-PACT is gaining recognition throughout the Big Ten and at other universities as a much needed program to help student athletes be successful after they finish their collegiate sport. She continually adds new programs and services to M-PACT’s offerings as she meets with current and former athletes and better understands emerging student athlete needs. The most recent program Ms. Acho created is “The Doctor is In” using the volunteer services of three former Michigan alumni and successful, recently retired doctors to meet with pre-med student athletes to discuss Medical School and how to navigate applications and preparedness. Her passion and vision keep Michigan in front of all other schools with this unique groundbreaking program.

    Acho came to Michigan after serving six years at Michigan State University (1994-2000) as the assistant director of Student Athlete Support Services and Football Academic Counselor. Prior to working at Michigan State, Acho was a Learning Disabilities teacher and Athletic Director at Deerfield Beach High School (1990-1994) in South Florida. Ms. Acho is in her second year as a Member of the NFL Summit (2012, 2013); and a NCAA Leadership Facilitator (2012). In recognition of her exemplary contributions to the University of Michigan’s Academic Success Program she became an Honorary Letterwinner in 2012.

    Acho earned her bachelor’s degree in Exceptional student education at Florida Atlantic University (1990) and added her master’s degree in Athletic Administration in 1995.

    Shari and her husband, Jim Acho, reside in Farmington Hills, with their daughter Meghan.

Conference Emcee

  • Entrepreneur, NFL linebacker, TV host, author, venture capitalist, and adventurer summarize the varied and successful career of Dhani Jones.

    Dhani Jones began his career as an NFL linebacker.  Drafted in the sixth round out of University of Michigan, Dhani played 11 seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Cincinnati Bengals. He was elected and served as co-captain of the Bengals during his final four years in the league.

    Upon retiring from the NFL, Dhani began pursuing his creative and business passions.   Dhani is a founding partner of VMG Creative (based in NYC) and Proclamation (based in Cincinnati), which are brand management marketing firms.  He also is founding partner in QEY Capital, a private equity firm focused on venture investments and growth capital for mid-sized companies.

    Dhani is currently the investing host of Adventure Capitalists on CNBC; the host of Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge on NBC; the host of Playbook360 on Spike TV; and a commentator for Notre Dame Football on NBC.

    Dhani launched BowTie Cause which has evolved from a philanthropic initiative to a clothing and apparel designer, producer, and distributor.

    Dhani received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan. Dhani (“thinking man” in Hindi language) was born in 1978 and resides in Cincinnati.

Afternoon Keynote

  • About Jaymee Messler

    President, The Players' Tribune

    Jaymee Messler serves as President of The Players’ Tribune, a first-of-its-kind digital media company, founded by Derek Jeter, dedicated to empowering athletes with the tools they need to tell their stories. In addition to first-person essays, the platform features an array of video content, podcasts, and original photography.In her role, Messler oversees the strategy and long-term vision of the business, industry relations, sales and marketing, and athlete relations. In under a year, the company has grown in every way possible since it launched. The platform has published more than 600 pieces of original content from more than 300 athlete contributors.

    Messler joined The Players’ Tribune from Excel Sports Management where she was one of the first hires when the agency was established in 2002. From 2002-2014, she worked her way up to one of the most powerful sports marketing executives in the business. As the agency’s CMO, she developed an industry-leading benchmark formula for player marketing that included client services, public relations, cause-related programs and community outreach, social media and digital programming, branded content and corporate partnerships.

    At Excel, she engineered partnerships and oversaw marketing for high-profile NBA and MLB clients including Paul Pierce, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler, Deron Williams, Jason Kidd, and Kemba Walker. In 2011, when leading MLB agent Casey Close joined Excel, she added Jeter and Clayton Kershaw to her marketing responsibilities. Messler also branched out into golf, working with veteran golf agent Mark Steinberg when he joined the firm in 2011, on representing Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, Cheyenne Woods, Patrick Cantlay, and Justin Rose.

    She took the helm of all branding, corporate communications, and corporate relationships on behalf of the agency. She had the foresight about the emergence of digital into the marketing spend mix, and created Excel’s corporate digital strategy, website and social media presence, as well as oversaw the digital and social media strategies for the agency’s individual clients. This foresight has been the cornerstone for many initiatives that has brought millions to the athletes and great success to brand partners.

    Messler holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and resides in New York City.

  • Abraham Madkour is Executive Editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Daily Global. Mr. Madkour is responsible for determining the editorial content and shaping the editorial direction of the leading publications on the business of sports, while managing the entire editorial staff. In addition, he oversees all the editorial content for the various conferences produced by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Group, including the prestigious World Congress of Sports and Forty Under 40 awards dinner. Mr. Madkour serves as the lead moderator and editorial spokesman for all of the company’s events. Mr. Madkour joined SportsBusiness Daily as a Senior Staff Writer when the publication launched in August 1994. He was named Editor-in-Chief in September 1996 and became Executive Editor of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily in 2003.Prior to joining SportsBusiness Daily, Mr. Madkour was a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. In addition to working with Senator Leahy, Mr. Madkour had stints working for the Washington Bullets and the Baltimore Orioles in 1993 and 1994. He lives in Charlotte, N.C., and is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

Athletes and Consumers: How Wearable Technology Impacts Our Every Move

  • Abraham Madkour is Executive Editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Daily Global. Mr. Madkour is responsible for determining the editorial content and shaping the editorial direction of the leading publications on the business of sports, while managing the entire editorial staff. In addition, he oversees all the editorial content for the various conferences produced by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Group, including the prestigious World Congress of Sports and Forty Under 40 awards dinner. Mr. Madkour serves as the lead moderator and editorial spokesman for all of the company’s events. Mr. Madkour joined SportsBusiness Daily as a Senior Staff Writer when the publication launched in August 1994. He was named Editor-in-Chief in September 1996 and became Executive Editor of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily in 2003.Prior to joining SportsBusiness Daily, Mr. Madkour was a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. In addition to working with Senator Leahy, Mr. Madkour had stints working for the Washington Bullets and the Baltimore Orioles in 1993 and 1994. He lives in Charlotte, N.C., and is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

  • Isaiah’s extraordinary, diverse background includes earning two degrees from Harvard, playing in the National Football League for 8 years in the time between, being an experienced entrepreneur and investor, and serving on the Board of Directors of the not-for-profit, Sports Legacy Institute.

    After graduating from Harvard Business School in 2011, Isaiah joined MC10, a cutting-edge conformal electronics company based in Cambridge, MA, and has remained there as the Global Head of Business Development, Consumer Segment as well as Chairman of the MC10 Sports Advisory Board. He has been key at leading the development of several different technologies at MC10, including the multiple award-winning CHECKLIGHT–a sports impact indicator–as well as the first-of-its-kind hydration monitor, and the revolutionary, physiological data gathering, BioStamp. Isaiah is also an investor in, and advisor to, several companies in technology, sports, biotech, media and sports medicine.

    He was also the VP of Investor Relations for Sail Capital Partners—which he still serves as a Special Advisor–before leaving for Harvard Business School. Isaiah also spent time with the Goldman Sachs Investment Management Division during his time at Harvard Business School in 2010.

    After being named the Harvard University Male Athlete of the Year and becoming the highest draft pick in Harvard history, Isaiah played in the NFL for eight years, was elected Special Team Captain three years in a row and served in this role during Super Bowl XL. He is also a founding investor in the Massachusetts restaurant chain, b.good, which specializes in great tasting, healthy food, made fast. Prior to playing on the NFL and while at Harvard, he worked for the United States Department of Agriculture doing testing for the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. While in their Lipid Metabolism Laboratory, he isolated and tested DNA for various genetic mutations involving heart disease risk in 2500 men while working under Senior Scientist and Director Dr. Ernst Schaefer.

    Isaiah is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Sports and Fitness Industry Leaders Scholar, PETA Compassionate Action Award, 1st Team AP All-American, Nils V. “Swede” Nelson Award given to “best, most academically talented” football player in New England. He was also the subject of an NFL Films profile about his rise from poverty to the NFL that received an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Long Feature. He was also featured on an Oprah Winfrey show titled “Why They Beat the Odds” and founded the Maggie Memorial Golf Tournament in honor of his late Mother, with all proceeds going to the orphanage she grew up in, the Children’s Home of Wyoming Conference. Isaiah has pulled from his experiences to become an experienced motivational speaker that various swaths of society can relate to.

    He holds a Cum Laude Bachelor degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy–while also fulfilling medical school requirements–from Harvard University and graduated from Harvard Business School’s MBA program as well. Isaiah also serves on the Elected Board of the Friends of Harvard Football as well as the National Advisory Board for the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA). Isaiah currently serves on the elite Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) Health and Fitness Technology Board. Isaiah also serves as a Studio Analyst for NFL games on New England Sports Network. Isaiah was also chosen as one of USA Football’s 100 former players to represent the Heads Up football campaign throughout the nation. Isaiah was also recently named one of only eight members of the Law and Ethics Advisory Panel for the $100 Million Football Players Health Study at Harvard University. Isaiah is also a member of the NFLPA Health and Safety Committee.

    Isaiah has two beautiful children, Isaiah Jr. and Lilliana, who he coaches year-round through different sports.

  • As Chief Digital Officer of Under Armour Robin is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the Under Armour Connected Fitness business unit while continually working to firmly position the company at the vanguard of leading health and fitness technology platforms. Robin is the Co Founder of MapMyFitness, a wholly owned subsidiary of Under Armour, Inc., which was acquired in November 2013 for $150M.

    Born and raised in Colorado, Robin received his introduction to bicycle racing when he competed as a junior in the Red Zinger Mini Classic at the age of eight. Robin soon launched himself into competitive bicycle racing, competing extensively on the U.S. national junior circuit in the 1980’s. Ten years later he became a professional cyclist, moved to Switzerland and joined the Swiss Helvetica-Lugano team. He spent four years racing in Europe and competed in more than 80 races per year.

    After returning from a European cycling vacation in 2006, Robin recognized that there was a definite need for a resource that could provide cyclists everywhere with the means to map and locate training routes and connect with other cyclists worldwide. Back in the U.S, he soon partnered with developers Jeff Kalikstein and Kevin Callahan, and MapMyFitness was born. The company’s concept of using an online map to record activity into a training log was the first of its kind, and essentially gave birth to the fitness technology movement. MapMyFitness was the first ever health and fitness app built for the Android OS and subsequently, the iPhone, and the innovative pairing of simple mapping with training data launched (and now fuels) the marketplace today through the company’s flagship brands – MapMyRun, MapMyRide, and MapMy Walk.

    Prior to co-founding MapMyFitness, Robin worked in the investment management industry. He spent more than 14 years as a senior manager at a number of industry leaders firms including Lipper, American Century Investments, and most recently, Wellington Management. He attained a B.S. in finance from the Metropolitan State College of Denver and a M.S. in Finance from the University of Colorado Denver.

    Robin continues to participate in endurance sports and still competes in USCF sanctioned masters bicycle races.

  • About Eric Petrosinelli

    GM, Zebra Technologies

    Eric Petrosinelli is a General Manager, Sports for Zebra Technologies, a global leader in products and services that provide real-time visibility into organizations’ assets, people and transactions. He is responsible for building Zebra’s new sports vertical business which will deliver Next Generation Statistics (NGS) across domestic and international professional, collegiate and amateur properties. Zebra recently partnered with the NFL to enhance all aspects of the game, most notably the fan experience, but also things like coaching, scouting, training, and officiating. The Zebra sports solution enables the NFL to gain real-time insight into the action happening on the field of play, providing precise location and motion performance data, allowing for new, innovative ways to analyze data and understand the game. Mr. Petrosinelli joined Zebra Technologies after serving as Executive Vice President at GroupM ESP, the agency acting as the Entertainment & Sports marketing consultancy within GroupM, the world’s largest media agency network. He oversaw client sponsorship strategy and activation efforts for key clients such as Accenture, Chevron, Citi, IKEA, Marriott, Scotts and Xerox. Before joining GroupM ESP, he founded Five Star Sports, and consulted with various Fortune 500 companies to optimize their sponsorship investments with MLB, NFL, NHL and their Member Clubs. Some of the clients Five Star Sports worked with included Alex and Ani, Bank of America, Continental Airlines, Dunkin Donuts, Expedia, MasterCard, McDonald’s, NIKE, Subway and Under Armour.

    Prior to founding Five Star Sports, Mr. Petrosinelli worked at National Football League Properties, where he managed the NFL on-field and sidelines business with partners such as Adidas, Champion, Nike, Puma, Reebok, Russell Athletic and Wilson Sporting Goods. Additionally, Mr. Petrosinelli was appointed as NFL Properties liaison with League Office for NFL 75th Anniversary program, and lead the development NFL “Throwbacks” uniforms, the first league-wide use of retrospective uniforms in sports. Mr. Petrosinelli is a military Veteran, having served in the US Air Force for five years and achieved the rank of Captain. During his Air Force career, Mr. Petrosinelli was awarded with the National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon.

    As a graduate of the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where he earned his Masters Degree in Business Administration, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He currently resides in Westport, CT, with his wife and three children.

Conference Emcee

  • Dana Jacobson is an award winning TV sports anchor/reporter and as of January 2013 became a national sports radio host as well. As part of the national weekday CBS Sports Radio morning show, “Tiki Brandon and Dana,” she is one of the few female voices in sports radio. Her current TV work with CBS Sports Network has ranged from filling in as the host of “Rome,” to feature reporting at the Super Bowl and collegiate football. Prior to joining the CBS Sports family, Jacobson was best known for her versatile roles over the past decade at ESPN. She started her ESPN career as an anchor on the Emmy Award winning SportsCenter, later filling the same role on ESPN’s First Take, Outside the Lines, and College Football Live. Away from the studio, Jacobson worked as both a sideline reporter and longtime host of the X Games nightly wrap up show, XCenter. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Jacobson began her career as an assignment desk editor at the CBS affiliate in Detroit. She is a passionate sports fan who is never afraid to go toe-to-toe with the guys and takes great pride in having the best shoes while doing so.

From Mailroom To Boardroom: Managing Your Career

  • Len Perna has enjoyed an amazing 30-year career in sports, starting the day he left Ann Arbor in 1985.In 1996 Len founded Turnkey Sports & Entertainment, and for the past 20 years has been running 2 tandem companies: Turnkey Intelligence, a leader in sport research & analytics; and Turnkey Search, the #1 executive search for in sports. Len remains the President & CEO of Turnkey, a firm that now has more than 200 sports & entertainment client including 90% of all North American teams and leagues.

    Before founding Turnkey, Len served as SVP, Business Operations & General Counsel of the Dallas Stars and led the deal for the financing & development of the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
    Before that Len was right here in Michigan, running all business operations for the the Ilitch-owned properties, including Detroit’s Fox Theater, Joe Louis Arena, the MLB Detroit Tigers and NHL Detroit Red Wings.

    Len began his career as an attorney for Cap Cities/ABC/ESPN.

    Len is a passionate, proud and very vocal graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., B.A.) with highest honors. In 1980, 1981 & 1982 Len was honored here on campus as an “Angell Scholar.” The man bleeds Maize & Blue!!!

    Len also has a Master’s Degree in sports management from Ohio University, the top-ranked and very first sports business program in the United States.

  • Jim McCloud is the Group Director & Vice President of Sponsorship Sales & Client Services at Major League Baseball. In this role, McCloud leads corporate sponsorship sales for MLB that focus on league partnerships across all MLB platforms including Jewel Events like the All-Star Game and Postseason, MLB.com, MLB Network and all 30 Clubs.

    Before his current position, McCloud was the Vice President of Sponsorship Sales for MLB Advanced Media, the league’s digital arm, where he managed a team with oversight of advertising, sponsorship sales and strategy for the Midwest region of MLB.com. This included managing relationships with front office executives at various clubs.

    McCloud began his MLB career in 2008 when he first joined MLBAM as an Account Executive in the sponsorship division. Prior to baseball, he worked on the sales staff of CBS Sports Network, handling revenue generation on both their cable and digital platforms. McCloud started his post-academic career as an intern with Athletes First, a full-service agency for professional athletes, and worked on a variety of contract negotiations and signings.

    McCloud has an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan ‘15, a Masters in Sports Management from Columbia University ‘09, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross ’06.

  • About Michael Melnitzky

    Vice President, Allen & Company

    Michael Melnitzky is a Vice President at Allen & Company, where he is in his 7th year at the firm. He has worked on a variety of investment banking assignments with an extensive focus in sports franchise sales and sports media rights advisory. His most recent transactions include the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks, the acquisition of the Buffalo Bills and the St. Louis Cardinals’ recent TV rights deal with Fox Sports. Prior to working at Allen & Company, Mr. Melnitzky worked for Credit Suisse in its Investment Banking division, focusing on Media & Telecommunications. Mr. Melnitzky graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

  • Chrissi Rawak is the Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director, Chief External Relations and Design Officer at the University of Michigan Athletic Department. She leads a team of 70 professionals responsible for communicating with and engaging the athletic department’s diverse audiences, including fans, donors, alumni, the media and the vast University community. She oversees the department’s creative services, communications, data management, events, fundraising, strategic engagement, strategic partnerships, ticket sales strategy and trademark licensing. Rawak joined the Athletic Department in 2011 to lead the development team, and has seen her management portfolio grow. Previous to Athletics, Rawak spent seven years in the Office of University Development at Michigan, where she was responsible for facilitating the overall strategy of talent, financial and IT resources and programs in support of the fundraising goals at U-M. Over the past 15 years, Rawak built the Talent Management Programs at Northwestern University and the University of Michigan. Prior to coming to the Office of University Development in 2004, she was Director of Personnel and Business Resources in the Office of Alumni Relations and Development at Northwestern University. She received her B.A. in Sports Management and Communications from The University of Michigan in 1992 and a M.S. in Communications from Northwestern University in 2003. Rawak was a member of 10 Big Ten Championship teams as a four-year letterwinner with the Michigan women’s swimming and diving team, and also spent 6 years as an assistant coach under Jim Richardson (1992-1998). She lives in Dexter with her three children and husband Glenn Hill, a fellow U-M alum and former men’s gymnast at Michigan.

  • About Alex Saratsis

    NBA Agent, Octagon

    With over 12 years of experience in the industry, Alex Saratsis’ professional expertise includes managing Octagon’s international presence, recruiting clients in the United States and abroad, and negotiating marketing and employment contracts for athletes. Saratsis began his career as a player representative at Edge Sports International and then went on to CSMG , where he ran their international operations. Since joining Octagon in 2009, Saratsis has been the driving force behind Octagon Basketball’s strategic partnerships across Europe and beyond in addition to building their domestic presence in the NBA. Fluent in Spanish, Italian, and Greek, Saratsis was born in Athens, Greece, and grew up in Mexico City and Tokyo before moving to the United States to attend Northwestern University, where he graduated in 2002. Saratsis is based in Chicago, Illinois.

  • Dan Steir was named Senior Vice President, Production & Senior Coordinating Producer, NBC Sports Group in August 2012. Steir joined NBCUniversal after serving as a Senior Coordinating Producer at ESPN where he was in charge of all production for ESPNU. As a Coordinating Producer, Steir focused on ESPN’s college basketball coverage from 2002-2010. Prior to that, Steir produced a multitude of events including college football, college basketball, NHL, NFL Draft and ESPY-related shows from 1994-2002. In 1992, Steir was a Coordinating Producer of “SportsCenter” and the company’s Final Four coverage.

    From 1990 thru 1992 Dan produced a myriad of shows ranging from “SportsCenter”, “Outside The Lines”, “NFL Countdown” and the NFL primetime coverage. He began his career with production in Detroit and New York at local affiliates as a Sports Associate and Researcher.

    Steir graduated from the University of Michigan and currently resides in Farmington, Conn., with his wife, Heidi, and their four daughters, Ailie, Ava, Clea and Mya.

Morning Keynote

  • Bob Bowman joined Major League Baseball Advanced Media LP (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, as its first President and Chief Executive Officer in 2000. MLBAM operates the official League site, www.MLB. com, as well as each of the 30 individual team sites. Prior to joining MLBAM, Mr. Bowman was President and Chief Operating Officer of ITT Corporation, one of the world’s largest and pre-eminent conglomerates. Mr. Bowman successfully oversaw the growth and operations of the $8 billion conglomerate until its merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 1998. During his tenure, Mr. Bowman and the senior management team at ITT created more than $25 billion of value for the company’s shareholders. Mr. Bowman graduated from Harvard College in 1977, and received his M.B.A. from The Wharton School in 1979.

  • About Mike Tirico

    Sportscaster, NBC

    Tirico has handled a variety of assignments for ESPN, ESPN Radio and ABC Sports since 1991, establishing himself as one of the most recognizable faces and steady voices across ESPN’s multimedia platforms and in the industry at large.

    In 2006, he assumed one of the top positions in sports television as ESPN’s Monday Night Football play-by-play commentator. Tirico’s other major roles include NBA, college basketball and golf play-by-play/host and studio host for major events. Tirico works alongside analyst Jon Gruden on MNF, the most-viewed series in cable television history. He is just the fourth person – joining broadcasting legends Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford and Al Michaels – to occupy the play-by-play post in the more than 40-year history of sports television’s signature series. Tirico handles play-by-play for NBA games paired with analyst Hubie Brown on ESPN and ABC, as well as the NBA Finals on ESPN Radio. In 2012, he returned to ESPN’s college basketball coverage as the play-by-play voice for weekly Super Tuesday Big Ten games alongside analyst Dan Dakich. A regular host and contributor to ESPN Radio, Tirico is part of the weekly Countdown to Kickoff and hosts the “Open Mike” podcast.

Special Presentation

  • Quinn is currently the Senior Brand Director for Heineken in the US where he gets to blend his two passions together, brand building and a great pint of brew. He joined Heineken USA in 2013 as the Brand Director on Newcastle Brown Ale where he was named an Adweek Brand Genius and one of Ad Age’s Creativity 50 for his role on the “No Bollocks” campaign. Prior to Heineken, Quinn worked at PepsiCo and General Mills in Brand Management and Shopper Marketing leadership functions. Quinn spent several years in the advertising industry prior to making the move to the client side. Quinn received his BA from Gettysburg College in Political Science and Spanish and his MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business in Marketing and Strategy. When not selling or drinking beer, Quinn can be found teaching his two daughters to yell “Go Blue” during Michigan athletic events, and occasionally running a marathon for no apparent reason.

Streaming Sports: A Modern Viewing Experience

  • About Erik Sorenson

    CEO, Sucherman Group

    Sucherman Group helps media and digital companies with their strategies on issues ranging from content creation to audience development; from monetization to live streaming. Erik Sorenson has been guiding Sucherman Group through an ever-changing media and entertainment landscape with his astute understanding of media strategy, business trends, best practices and most importantly, future developments. Erik started out in radio, but soon moved to TV, becoming station manager at KCBS, before climbing the CBS ladder to become Executive Producer of “CBS This Morning,” and then Executive Producer at “CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.” He went on to create and produce “Day & Date” for Group W insyndication. He also served as EVP, Programming for Court TV. Erik was President and GM of MSNBC and was also a board member for msnbc.com. After leaving NBC, he formed Triple Threat Television, producing programs for ESPN, TLC, MTV and CNBC. In October 2007, he was named CEO of Vault.com growing the website and on-line business into a cross-platform leader. He is currently on the Board of Advisors for Global Creative Holdings, a consolidator of festivals and conferences in the B2B and B2C space; M{2e}, the media economics and entrepreneurship program at USC; and Carpe Society, a social media start up based in Venice Beach, California. Erik has received more than 20 Emmys, as well as a Peabody award.

  • Danny oversees sports partnerships for Twitter in North America. Prior to his current role, he was Director of Media Partnerships in Australia overseeing the TV, music, sports, government and journalism verticals. He also served as head of Twitter’s global TV team, where he coordinated company strategy with international production houses and broadcasters.
    Danny joined Twitter as a seasoned a TV producer with a passion for telling stories. For 15 years he managed countless projects from innovative initial concept through the development process and into final production. As a producer for ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” he worked with the world’s leading broadcasters. More recently, he was a producer for the internationally renowned “60 Minutes”. Danny earned a B.A. degree in Television Production from Charles Sturt University. He is @DannyKeens on Twitter.

  • About Perkins Miller

    Chief Digital Officer, NFL Media

    Perkins Miller is the Chief Digital Officer for the National Football League. In this role, Perkins oversees all digital media activities for the NFL’s media operations, including NFL.com, NFL Mobile, NFL Now, and NFL Fantasy as well as League-wide club digital platforms. Additionally, Perkins oversees the NFL’s extensive social media operations and award-winning digital production teams.
    Prior to joining the NFL, Perkins was Executive Vice President for Global Digital Media for WWE, the world’s largest independent sports entertainment company. Perkins was responsible for launching the first-ever “over-the-top” network (“WWE Network”) in February 2014, as well as creating the first-ever global pay-per-view of the last Rolling Stones Concert of 2013. Perkins oversaw the WWE global digital P&L and overall digital operations, including mobile, web, gaming, production, business development as well as content distribution and WWE’s broad social footprint– more than 350 million followers. Prior to joining WWE, Perkins was Chief Operating Officer and founding member of Vocativ, a new media start up, which launched in 2012. This company, which is based in New York, will applies smart technology to verify information and sources around the world in real-time, leveraging crowd-source and social-source news like never before.

    Prior to helping found this company, Miller was the Chief Operating Officer for Universal Sports Network, overseeing all operational aspects of the business, including sales, marketing, business development, production, and digital media. Universal Sports is a partnership between NBC Sports and InterMedia Partners, LP, and is the premier multi-platform media destination for Olympic related sports programming in the United States. Miller helped the service grow from only 1.5 million households to being available to more than 60 million in 52 markets nationwide, including all of the nation’s top 10 media markets and 20 of the top 25.

    Miller has also overseen many of NBC’s largest digital events, including the 2010 and 2008 Olympic Games, which spanned online, mobile, iTV, VOD, EST, and gaming. The combined events drew more than 100 million unique visitors, more than 2 billion pageviews, and more than 115 million videos streamed. Miller establish first-ever partnerships with Twitter and Facebook, creating the first large-scale sports-oriented social events.

    Miller also led the successful, first-ever network Internet stream of an NFL football game, dubbed Sunday Night Football Extra, as well as NBC’s online digital event around the 2009 Super Bowl, which featured a partnership with Hulu.com. Miller has received several Emmy Awards, including an Emmy Award for NBCOlympics.com coverage of the 2008 Games, and in 2008, Miller was named #3 among Sports Business Journal’s Top 20 “Most Influential In Digital Sports.”

    Miller also led NBC’s investment in Universal Sports. Miller’s business background is complemented by his work as Senior Vice President, Business Group, for Intrawest Colorado. He oversaw business operations for two world-class mountain resorts (Winter Park and Copper Mountain, with more than 2.5 million visitors a year), a retail operation called Intrawest Retail Group (40+ stores in five states), and several Starbucks stores.

    Miller also ran several businesses for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, including Internet Operations, publications, video production, translation services, and archives. He created the first-ever strategic media partnership between NBC and an Olympic Organizing Committee, bringing together Olympics.com and NBCOlympics.com. Miller was also Vice President and Managing Director, for Time Warner’s Mountain Sports Media, where he oversaw the Warren Miller Entertainment feature-film and TV production group. In addition, Miller’s turnaround of Skiing Magazine earned it its first-ever National Magazine Award nomination for General Excellence.

    Miller lives with his family in Venice, California. Miller is a certified pet therapy handler, and serves as an independent director for Acquisio. He graduated with honors from Middlebury College.

  • About Mark Silverman

    President, Big Ten Network

    Mark Silverman, the network’s first and only president, sets the strategic direction and manages all aspects of BTN, a joint venture between FOX Sports and the Big Ten Conference. BTN is the first successful collegiate television network to be partially owned by a conference. Silverman guided the network to profitability within two years of launch, established and grew the BTN brand and led the network to achieve its distribution goals. Today BTN has 60 million subscribers throughout the United States and Canada and has extended its portfolio beyond the traditional linear network with extensive new digital media offerings. Under Silverman’s leadership, BTN’s ratings and advertising revenue have significantly improved annually, with record-setting ratings for football, basketball, studio shows and original programming.

    The network also has added top national advertisers, including Allstate, BMW, Buffalo Wild Wings, Mitsubishi, and State Farm and attracted top national talent, such as Gus Johnson, Matt Millen, Jim Jackson and lead studio host Dave Revsine. Sports fans throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean can also access BTN through BTN2Go, the network’s digital extension. BTN2Go delivers live games and on-demand programming to BTN customers via the web, smartphones and tablets. Through BTN Plus, the network currently streams more than 600 events of HD quality, of which many also air on delay on the linear network as part of the Student U initiative. Using state of-the-art technology in portable production kits called “fly-packs,” the students produce and announce the events, allowing them to gain real-world television experience. More than 500 students across all Big Ten campuses participate in Student U each year and are groomed to become broadcast professionals.

    BTN’s cornerstone, live events, has grown under Silverman’s leadership over the past eight years, from 413 events in 2007-08 to the more than 1,000 events across 27 sports on all platforms by 2014-15. In addition to live events, BTN offers a full complement of original programming, including its signature series, The Journey. Other original programming includes Big Ten Elite, Big Ten Treasure Hunter, A Taste of Coaching, and the network’s feature-length documentaries, Scarlet and Gray Days: Inside Ohio State Training Camp, Unbeaten: The Life of Brook Berringer and Tiebreaker, featuring the 1973 Ohio State-Michigan game and its controversial aftermath that ultimately changed the Big Ten’s bowl structure. BTN is also home to several studio shows, including BTN Pregame with Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith on college football Saturdays, BTN Live every weeknight, Big Ten Football and Beyond, BTN Basketball and Beyond and B1G Diamond Report.

    Under Silverman’s leadership, BTN has received numerous marketing and programming awards. The Journey: Big Ten Basketball was nominated twice for a National Emmy, and BTN also earned an Edward R. Murrow Award in the category of video sports reporting. Silverman began his media career in the entertainment industry at The Walt Disney Company, where he held a number of executive positions during his 13-year tenure, principally in the television and movie studio divisions. Prior to joining BTN, Silverman served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the ABC Cable Networks Group. Silverman also previously served as Senior Vice President and General Manager, ABC Family Channel, where he was responsible for channel operations and the development of its business strategy, with emphasis on ad sales, business affairs, business development and finance.

    Silverman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan.

The Business Behind Fantasy Sports

  • Sam Walker is the global sports editor for the Wall Street Journal. He oversees the paper’s sports and sports business coverage across all of its international print editions and digital platforms. Walker joined the Journal as a sports reporter and became a columnist in 2002. In 2009, he was tapped to launch the Journal’s first-ever daily sports pages. Under his direction, @WSJsports has produced a series of global scoops and won more than two dozen journalism prizes. Walker is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Fantasyland,” an account of his attempt to win Tout Wars, the nation’s toughest fantasy baseball expert competition. He is a two-time Tout Wars champion. His next book, to be published in 2017, is about the secrets of great teams. Walker is an Ann Arbor native and a 1992 graduate of the University of Michigan. During his time at Michigan he won two Hopwood Awards, both for essay writing. He lives in New York City with his wife, Christy Fletcher, and their two children.

  • About Nik Bonaddido

    Founder & CEO, numberFire/FanDuel

    Nik Bonaddio was raised in Pittsburgh in the heart of Steelers country, where the photo ever taken of him is of him wrapped in a Terrible Towel. Like everyone in Pittsburgh, he was soon a lifelong sports fan – a passion that drove him to do everything from win a state championship in tennis to become an All-American in track and field in college.

    After winning $100,000 on TV’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”, he turned his passion for sports into a flourishing business, numberFire. Since being founded in 2009, numberFire has grown to 11 employees, over $1M in yearly revenue, and is featured daily on ESPN’s flagship show, “SportsCenter”.

    Nik has extensive experience in the startup industry, serving as the Creative Director for several funded and profitable companies, including Spongecell (Halo/IPG) and WorkMarket (USV/Spark Capital). Prior to the startup world, he was at Yahoo, where he was the lead designer for the OpenID/oAuth implementations, as well as the lead designer for all payment and checkout screens.

    In August 2015, Nik sold numberFire to FanDuel LLC, the leader in daily fantasy sports. numberFire will continue to operate as a independent subsidiary, but Nik will also take on the role of VP of Tools and Data Services.

    Nik is a honors graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, with a Bachelors Degree in Information Systems/Communication Design in 2004, and a Masters Degree in Information Systems Management in 2005. During his time at Carnegie Mellon, Nik was awarded several AIGA Student honors, and was a two-time All-American and fourteen-time All-Conference athlete.

Virtual Reality: A Disruptive Medium

  • Abraham Madkour is Executive Editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Daily Global. Mr. Madkour is responsible for determining the editorial content and shaping the editorial direction of the leading publications on the business of sports, while managing the entire editorial staff. In addition, he oversees all the editorial content for the various conferences produced by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Group, including the prestigious World Congress of Sports and Forty Under 40 awards dinner. Mr. Madkour serves as the lead moderator and editorial spokesman for all of the company’s events. Mr. Madkour joined SportsBusiness Daily as a Senior Staff Writer when the publication launched in August 1994. He was named Editor-in-Chief in September 1996 and became Executive Editor of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily in 2003.Prior to joining SportsBusiness Daily, Mr. Madkour was a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. In addition to working with Senator Leahy, Mr. Madkour had stints working for the Washington Bullets and the Baltimore Orioles in 1993 and 1994. He lives in Charlotte, N.C., and is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

  • As Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, David is responsible for NextVR’s business operations and strategy. David has over 17 years of experience in leadership roles in technology companies. Most recently, David was general counsel for Dell Software, following Dell’s acquisition of Quest Software, where David served in an executive leadership role as general counsel and secretary. David previously served on the board of directors of the Business Software Alliance, the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace, and Smarsh, a leading provider of archiving and compliance solutions in regulated industries. David graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1999 and earned a bachelor’s degree in business (finance) from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1995.

  • In his current role, Emmy Award winner Mike Davies is in charge of all remote operations for Fox Sports and Fox Sports 1. His team works to manage all aspects of production planning for Fox Sports’ national broadcast and cable productions including NFL, Baseball, College Football, Motor Sports, Soccer and Golf, among others. As a part of the Fox Lab, Davies also works on some technological innovations, which are now ubiquitous through the Fox Sports landscape, notably the Fox Sports Gopher and Dirt Cams, Fox Virtual Graphics, Phantom Cameras, and the first use of 4k Zoom/Crop as a produc- tion tool, and many more. After conducting tests with NASCAR, Davies worked on the first live virtual reality shoot with the US Open in Chambers Bay, combining a multi camera exhibition of the tournament, shown both on site and streamed remotely. Davies graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Broadcast Production Management.

  • Alex Krawitz Senior Vice President, Content Development Alex Krawitz leads original content development and strategy for the Firstborn Studio, a cross-discipline department of creatives, motion designers, 3D graphic artists, video editors and creative producers.

    Alex joined Firstborn in 2011, after a seven year post as Founder and Executive Producer of Bigstar, a bi-coastal motion graphic design and production studio. While at Bigstar, Alex was able to grow the studio from humble beginnings (one machine in a tiny apartment) into an award-winning studio specializing in commercial work, network rebrands and feature film title sequences that include commercial spots for Lexus and AT&T, broadcast work and rebrands for BIO, HBO, & ESPN, and film title sequences for the Academy Award winning film Inside Job.

    Alex is a native of Buffalo, NY and has lived in NYC for the past eleven years. In his spare time he loves to travel with his wife and has been all over the US, Central America, Europe and Southeast Asia. His own firstborn, Vera, is a year old.

  • About Taylor Kavanaugh

    Founder, Headcase VR

    Taylor Kavanaugh is a rising innovator and original content producer in sports media. With partners such as Nike, Michigan, Pac-12 Networks & a host of other clients, Taylor has produced and directed over 150 shoots with talent such as Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan & many others. As a tech & media entrepreneur, Taylor has co-founded two multi-million dollar media companies and demonstrated an ability to identify and execute forward thinking and disruptive ideas. Taylor’s work with HeadcaseVR was recently covered in Sports Illustrated and highlighted Michigan’s innovative usage of Virtual Reality as a game changing recruiting tool. Taylor graduated in engineering as a football student-athlete from Oregon State University in 2009.

  • Christine Ngo leads digital marketing and emerging media for Mountain Dew. In addition to expanding Dew’s social engagement and digital innovation efforts, she has championed Dew’s thought leadership in virtual reality. In 2015, she was named by Forbes as a ’30 Under 30’ honoree for marketing & a dvertising. Under Christine’s leadership, Mtn Dew won a Clio, 4A and Shorty Award for various future forward digital campaigns, was featured on FWW as the “Site of the Day” for the new, mobile-first MountainDew.com (a first-of-its-kind site for a CSD) and was featured in AdWeek, FastCompany, AdAge for first-to-market activations on Meerkat, Twitter and more.

Conference Emcee

  • About Chantel Jennings

    Writer, ESPN.com

    Chantel Jennings is a writer for ESPN.com. She covered Michigan football and the Big Ten from 2011 to 2013 and currently lives in Portland, Oregon, covering Pac-12 football. She also hosts ESPN.com’s college football and basketball Spreecasts, Kickoff Show and Tip-Off Show. Chantel graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2011 and was a sports editor at the Michigan Daily, where she helped produce and edit Michigan Football: A History of the Nation’s Winningest Program.

Generating Revenue In Today's Sport Business World

  • Richard Haddad oversees legal, business and government affairs for Palace Sports & Entertainment, the Detroit Pistons, and related properties and com- panies, including the Palace of Auburn Hills, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival. Before joining PS&E in 2012, Richard practiced law at Proskauer Rose LLP in New York, where he represented sports organiza- tions, financial institutions, law firms, companies and individuals in connection with complex civil and criminal matters and disputes. He also clerked for Judge Barbara S. Jones of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Richard grew up in southeastern Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan (AB) and Columbia Law School (JD).

  • Dan Singer is a senior partner with McKinsey & Company’s New York office in the Media and Entertainment Practice. He has led McKinsey’s Sports and Gaming practice since 2002. Dan has served clients across the media industry in cable networks, cable opera- tors, B2B information services, film studios, digital media and digital marketing. He is a strategic advisor to four of the six largest sports leagues in the world as well as numerous sports teams, conferences, and governing bodies. His sports expertise spans fan engagement, media, sponsorship marketing, digital, licensing, E-commerce, gam- ing, and international expansion. Dan is a frequent speaker at sports business forums such as MIT and Stanford and hosts the McKinsey Sports Sponsorship Round Table. As co-founder of McKinsey’s joint venture with Nielsen, Dan also serves leading marketers on social media strategy. In addition to his role at McKinsey, Dan serves on the Media Advisory Board for the NYC Investment Fund. Dan is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Business School.

  • Ahmad Nassar serves as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of NFL Players Incorporated, the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the NFL Players Association. In that role, Nassar man- ages various legal and business initiatives, including negotiating with the NFL and licensees such as Electronic Arts, Nike, Panini, Topps, and others. Nassar works with the players associations from the MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS on legal issues of mutual importance, such as right of publicity legislation and cases nationwide. Nas- sar currently teaches Sports Law at Georgetown University, and has spoken on issues related to sports business and law at conferences and conventions across the United States. He was recently named one of Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40”, awarded to sports executives shaping the future of the industry. Prior to joining the NFLPA, Nassar worked at Patton Boggs and Latham & Watkins, where he counseled clients in white-collar criminal defense, intel- lectual property issues, internal corporate investigations, antitrust issues, and a wide range of other matters affecting labor unions. Nassar received his JD from the University of Chicago School of Law, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan. He was a winner of the Thomas R. Mulroy Prize, the Angell Scholar Award and was the Ruth Wyatt Rosen- son Scholar at the University of Chicago. Immediately following his graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honor- able Denise Page Hood, United States District Judge in the Eastern District of Michigan.

  • George Veras is the President and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises and President and Executive Producer of Veras Communications Inc. Prior to joining the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Veras was Vice President of Production and Broadcasting for the Cleveland Browns. He founded Veras Communications, Inc. in 1994 after 19 years at ABC Sports and CBS Sports, as a television producer and marketing leader.

How the Brand Impacts the Bottom Line

  • John Shea is the Head of Global Markets for Gatorade. In this role, he over- sees the brands global business efforts including strategic vision, brand management, consumer engagement and sports partnerships. He is re- sponsible for all aspects of growing the Gatorade outside of the US. John has worked at PepsiCo since 2003, holding progressive brand management and sports marketing positions during that time. Most notably, prior to his current role, John lead Gatorade’s sports marketing department for nearly four years, managing the brand’s global sports marketing portfolio, includ- ing all league, team and athlete partnerships and negotiations. John has also previously managed Gatorade’s new product innovation including the development and successful launch of the G Series and the brand’s evolu- tion from Sports Drink to Sports Performance Nutrition. John holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Boston College. He was a recipient of the SportsBusiness Journal Forty Under 40 Award in the Class of 2014. John and his wife, Nora, reside in Winnetka, IL with their four children, Julia, Will, Chloe and Ryan.

  • As the NBA Partnership Director for Adidas Basketball Sports Marketing, David manages all elements of adidas’ 11-year global partnership with the NBA. He also manages the key team partnerships that Adidas has with a number of individual NBA teams. In his five years at adidas, David has effectively implemented a number of new product and business strategies which have significantly grown the NBA business each year, including the league’s Christ- mas Day event jerseys and the short-sleeve jerseys worn by over half of the teams in the league last season, as well a number of other market-specific strategies. A four-year starter and captain of Harvard University’s varsity volleyball team, David’s true passion has always been basketball. Nowadays, he prefers volunteering as a performance training coach with local schools and youth teams. Prior to adidas, David held global brand and regional strategy posi- tions at Nike, Inc. David holds a BA in Biochemistry from Harvard University, a JD/MBA from the University of Michigan, and is a member of the State Bar of California.

  • Rohan Oza’s parents are both of Indian descent but he was born and raised in Zambia, Africa. He was educated in the United Kingdom at the Harrow School and Nottingham University and came to the United States to receive his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. Mr. Oza began his career as a manufacturing manager at Mars M&M where he was recruited at the age of 20 as the youngest manager to run Snickers, the second largest product line in Europe.

    From Mars M&M, Mr. Oza moved onto The Coca-Cola Company where he was pivotal in leading Sprite to be- come the number one brand for youth and African- American consumers. Mr. Oza then went on to manage the then declining POWERADE brand to three straight years of brand growth with the creation of breakthrough designs, partnerships and advertising campaigns.

    Mr. Oza left The Coca-Cola Company to become a partner in the fledgling beverage company Glacéau, where he built the power house brands Vitaminwater and Smartwater through innovative marketing programs and creative partnerships with celebrities like 50 Cent, Jennifer Aniston, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, Venus Williams and Alicia Keys. Mr. Oza’s career came full circle when The Coca-Cola Company purchased Glacéau for $4.1 billion and Mr. Oza was appointed as the Chief Marketing Officer across all of Coke still brands.

    Mr. Oza subsequently went on to form Idea Merchants Capital, his platform for investing and building iconic brands. His latest ventures include Popchips, the fastest growing snack in the country, and Vita Coco, one of the most popular coconut water drinks and exciting brand in beverages today. Following the model that he pioneered with 50 Cent and Vitaminwater, Mr. Oza has been instrumental in several celebrity investment deals for both Popchips (Ashton Kutcher, Kim Kardashian and Heidi Klum) and Vita Coco (Madonna and Rhianna).

    In 2002, Mr. Oza was featured on the cover of Brandweek as one of their “top ten marketers” in the country and was featured on CNN as one of Coke’s fastest rising stars. Mr. Oza has also been featured on the cover of Beverage Industry, in Crain’s New York Business “40 under 40” list, and appeared in SportsBusiness Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, Mr. Oza was presented with the Ad Age “Marketing 50” award. Mr. Oza has also been quoted extensively in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today for his expertise in marketing and building iconic brands.

  • Seth Ader was named Senior Director, Sports Marketing in January 2005, and is responsible for a wide array of ESPN’s marketing efforts. These include ESPN’s NFL programming — Monday Night Football, Sunday NFL Countdown, The NFL Draft, ESPN’s fantasy football, ESPN’s soccer properties, including the FIFA World Cup, European Championship, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, MLS and USA Soccer and ESPN’s MLB programming and the Little League World Series.

    Mr. Ader joined ESPN in 2001 as a marketing manager handling the marketing efforts of original entertainment programming, ESPN The Magazine and the launch of ESPN Deportes and ESPNHD networks. In January 2003, Mr. Ader served as Director of Marketing, focusing on the NBA and NFL on ESPN before taking on his current role. Previous experience includes Vice President of Marketing of Book4Golf. com (October 1999-January 2001), Director of Marketing and public relations for Tear Drop/Tommy Armour Golf Co. (March 1997-September 1999), sales manager for Conde Nast Publications (June 1996-February 1997) and corporate marketing manager for the New Jersey Nets (June 1994-June 1996).

    Mr. Ader’s campaigns have won numerous awards including multiple a 2010 Sports Emmy, numerous Tellys, an Effie, a Mark and a NY Festivals award. He was graduat- ed from The University of Michigan in 1994 with a B.A. in Sport Management and Communications.

Keynote Conversation

  • About Mike Tirico

    Sportscaster, NBC

    Tirico has handled a variety of assignments for ESPN, ESPN Radio and ABC Sports since 1991, establishing himself as one of the most recognizable faces and steady voices across ESPN’s multimedia platforms and in the industry at large.

    In 2006, he assumed one of the top positions in sports television as ESPN’s Monday Night Football play-by-play commentator. Tirico’s other major roles include NBA, college basketball and golf play-by-play/host and studio host for major events. Tirico works alongside analyst Jon Gruden on MNF, the most-viewed series in cable television history. He is just the fourth person – joining broadcasting legends Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford and Al Michaels – to occupy the play-by-play post in the more than 40-year history of sports television’s signature series. Tirico handles play-by-play for NBA games paired with analyst Hubie Brown on ESPN and ABC, as well as the NBA Finals on ESPN Radio. In 2012, he returned to ESPN’s college basketball coverage as the play-by-play voice for weekly Super Tuesday Big Ten games alongside analyst Dan Dakich. A regular host and contributor to ESPN Radio, Tirico is part of the weekly Countdown to Kickoff and hosts the “Open Mike” podcast.

  • About John Collins

    COO, NHL

    As the NHL’s chief operating officer, John Collins leads the strategy and execution for the League’s global business, sales, licensing and media functions – areas that have delivered record-breaking results over the past seven years while working closely with the 30 Clubs to support their media and business operations.

    Since Collins joined the League, total revenues have grown from $2.1 billion to $4 billion with national revenues growing 500% over that period. The League’s business success played a significant role in the NHL being named SportsBusiness Journal’s Sports League of the Year in 2010 and again in 2014.

    Widely credited during his 15 years as a top NFL executive with creating the most talked-about events on the NFL calendar, such as the inaugural NFL Kick-Off in Times Square and the transformational post-9/11 Super Bowl XXXVI Halftime Show featuring U2 (which earned Collins a place on Ad Age’s prestigious “Top 50” marketer list), Collins’ strategy at the NHL is to use big events, branded digital content on multiple platforms and alliances with powerful media partners and iconic brands to extend the League’s reach and attract new fans. In the process a new pathway has been created for sponsors to connect with the highly desirable NHL fan demographic, which is more engaged than ever.

    Collins served as lead strategist in a pair of landmark NHL television and media rights deals. In April 2011, he spearheaded a 10-year, $2 billion U.S. media rights pact with the NBC Sports Group (representing more than a 250% increase). In November 2013, Collins helped orchestrate a package granting Rogers Communications exclusive rights to all national NHL telecasts in Canada. The 12-year, $5.2 billion agreement is the largest media rights deal in NHL history and the largest-ever sports media deal in Canada.

    Collins played a key role in the creation of the NHL Winter Classic, an outdoor game played on New Year’s Day designed to be a celebration of hockey’s heritage. The Winter Classic was named “Sports Event of the Year” in 2008 and 2014 by the SportsBusiness Journal. The 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic also made history when a world-record hockey crowd of 105,491 packed the University of Michigan’s “Big House” and an NHL regular-season record 8.2 million television viewers watched the sixth Winter Classic across North America. Collins also was named “Marketer of the Year” by Advertising Age after the inaugural Winter Classic in 2008.

    Collins and the League expanded on the success of the Winter Classic and fulfilled demand from fans and sponsors for the popular outdoor games by creating the four-game Coors Light NHL Stadium Series in 2014. Sold-out games in iconic stadiums – Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Soldier Field – were wrapped around the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. The Stadium Series experience was memorable and transformational with more than 375,000 fans attending these games and record television ratings.

    Collins borrowed a page from his days at NFL Films to bring the NHL together with HBO Sports and its “24/7” reality franchise to develop the Emmy Award-winning “Road to the NHL Winter Classic,” an all-access documentary series that has helped win new fans for the NHL. Collins has also led the launch of the NHL Network in the U.S. and the development and launch of the popular NHL GameCenter Live product for live streaming of out-of-market games.

    As Senior Vice President of Marketing, Programming and Sales for the NFL, Collins modernized and implemented a new business model that positioned the NFL as a premium “entertainment brand” and developed and negotiated billions of dollars of media, marketing, and advertising deals. Prior to joining the NHL, Collins was President and CEO of the Cleveland Browns from 2004 – 2006.

Pursuing Your First Job in Sports

  • Erin Prober is extremely proud to work on some of the most prominent naming rights and sponsorships at Premier, including the Dolby Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre, Rose Garden, and Globe Life Park. Prober specializes in formulating sales strategies, uncovering new rights and benefits, customizing proposals to effectively meet sponsors’ needs and business objectives and negotiating business and marketing deal points. In her prior roles with the Detroit Pistons/Palace Sports & Entertainment and IMG College/Michigan Sports Marketing, Prober was responsible for the activation of sponsorship accounts, providing superior service, ensuring sponsors’ contractual obligations were fulfilled, and assisting with the development of new partnerships. As an IMG Sales and Marketing Coordinator for University of Michigan Athletics, her role was to support account executives to acquire, service, and renew partners, as well as work with the University to create new sellable inventory. Prober was also instrumental in coordinating all sponsorship assets for Michigan’s Big Chill at The Big House. The Big Chill provided the first opportunity for U-M’s corporate partners to access sponsorship rights within the stadium, including: branded signage, promotions and verbal recognition. Prober is a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she earned a B.A. in Sport Management.

  • About Ira Stahlberger

    Senior VP, Talent Marketing IMG

    Ira Stahlberger is Senior Vice President of Talent Representation at IMG Worldwide. He began working at IMG Worldwide in 2009 and acts as a marketing manager for top athletes, helping them build their brand. After school, Stahlberger was a Senior Account Executive with Leo Burnett and Senior Marketing Manager with Coca-Cola before becoming Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Intersport Television. With IMG, Stahlberger has worked with a plethora of clients including Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Erin Andrews.

  • About Rob Melnyk

    General Manager, IMG College

    Ron started with IMG as the GM on the Michigan property in June of 2012, and with more than 18 years of experience in the sports in- dustry, Melnyk directs a range of strategic initiatives to successfully leverage Michigan Athletics assets to maximize IMG’s investment and EBITDA impact. Prior to working with IMG, Melnyk spent 12 seasons with Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E). PS&E owned the Detroit Pistons (NBA), Detroit Shock (WNBA), DTE Energy Music Theatre, Palace of Auburn Hills and Meadowbrook Music Festival. When Melnyk left PS&E in 2012 he was the Vice President of Cor- porate Sponsorships leading the sponsorship sales efforts for all of PS&E properties. Ron is a Michigan grad and former student athlete on the swim team He is married to wife Julie and has two kids, a son Alex and a daughter Adeline.

  • About Daniel Schachne

    Business Development, NBA

    Daniel Schachne is originally from New York and graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009 with a B.A. in Sport Management. Over the course of his college career, Daniel held internships with notable sports and entertainment companies, including Octagon, the Detroit Pis- tons, Madison Square Garden and the Michigan Athletic Department. He was also President of the University of Michigan Sport Business Association and a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Upon graduating, Daniel took a full-time job with the National Basketball A sociation. In his four plus years at the NBA, Daniel has held a variety of roles focused on domestic and international business development for the NBA and its family of brands, including the WNBA, NBA D-League and USA Basketball. Currently, he is focused on generating revenue for the league via new marketing partnerships. Daniel remains involved with the University as a member of the School of Kinesiology Alumni Board and University of Michigan Sport Business Conference Advisory Council.

  • About Seth Jacobs

    Corporate Consultant, CAA

    Seth Jacobs is a Sports Consulting Agent at CAA Sports, a division of leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA). CAA Sports represents more than 1,000 of the world’s best athletes in all kinds of sports as well as on-air broadcasters, coaches, and other pre-eminent personalities. An integral part of CAA Sports Consulting’s senior leadership team, Jacobs is actively involved in every part of the business. He oversees one of the largest global ac- counts, JPMorgan Chase, and its Marquee partnership with Madison Square Garden including the NY Knicks, NY Rangers, NY Liberty, and the Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, and many other organizations. Prior to joining CAA Sports, Jacobs was an Executive Vice President at GroupM Entertainment and Sports Part- nerships (ESP). In this role, he was the Head of the Sports division. He led the agency’s largest account, Citi, including the activations around the Rose Bowl, Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, the Chicago Cubs and the Citi Open. Jacobs began his career at Momentum, an IPG company, where he served as an account leader for American Express across a large portion of its sports portfolio. Jacobs graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English.

Special Presentation - Under Armour: We’re Just Getting Started

  • Jason LaRose joined UA in 2013 as SVP Global eCommerce. He joined from the apparel retailer, Express, where he also led the eCommerce business. Prior to Express, Jason held multiple strategy, eCommerce and omni-channel roles at Sears Holdings. He has also held a number of positions at McKinsey & Company and GMAC Financial Services. Jason earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Michigan as well as an MBA from Duke University.

  • Henry Stafford has been President of Under Armour North America since October 2013. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President of Product and Retail from June 2010 to September 2013. Prior to joining Under Armour, Henry worked with American Eagle Outfitters as the Chief Merchandising Officer of The AE Brand from April 2007 to May 2010, General Merchandise Manager and Senior Vice President of Men’s and AE Canadian Division from April 2005 to March 2007 and General Merchandise Manager and Vice President of Men’s from September 2003 to March 2005. Early in his career, he served in a variety of capacities with Old Navy and Abercrombie and Fitch. Henry grew up in Mt. Lebanon and later received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. He spends his free time as an outdoor enthusiast and attends his children’s many sports and various activities. Henry resides with his family in the Shady Side area of Pittsburgh.

Special Representation: Athletes, On-air Talent, and More

  • Sandy Montag is Senior Corporate Vice President of IMG Sports and Entertainment responsible for the operations of the Clients group.  This unit includes Broadcasting, Speakers, Literary, Coaching, and Talent Marketing.  IMG represents some of the most popular athletes, broadcasters, coaches, speakers and personalities including John Madden, Bob Costas, James Brown, Jim Nantz, Peyton Manning, Pat Conroy,  Ming Tsai, Eli Manning, Bob Knight, Tom Coughlin, Ari Fleischer, and Justin Timberlake.

    Mr. Montag has spent his entire professional career at IMG, joining the company in 1985.   He started as an assistant to John Madden, traveling the country with Mr. Madden by train and on the first “Madden Cruiser.”  Mr. Montag became a Vice President in 1991 and a Senior Vice President responsible for the day-to day operations of the Broadcasting Division in 1995.  He was promoted to his current position in 2005.

    He is active in several charities, serving as President of the Irwin and Judith Montag Memorial Fund which raises money for research on Amyloidosis and Heart Disease. In addition, he serves on the advisory boards for Madden Charities, Tom Coughlin’s “Jay Fund Foundation” and the Alan T. Brown Foundation.

    Mr. Montag resides in Westchester, NY with his wife and two children.

  • Hayes Grooms IV is a former athlete, sports enthusiast, and pio- neering professional—all in one. He is Vice President of Sports and Entertainment at French West Vaughan in which he helms marketing, public relations, endorsements, brand management and services to professional athletes. Prior to his acquisition with FWV, he founded G.A.M.E., Grooms Athletic Management and Entertainment in 2010 after extensive years in the industry. With a drive to execute winning combinations for every client, he has fostered relationships with diverse media outlets like Time Warner, New York Times, Bleacher Report, HBO, ESPN, USA To- day, GQ, and more. He has created partnerships with numerous companies such as Nike, Coke, Visa, Gatorade, 5 Hour Energy, GMC, Fat Head, and Glaceau to name a few. Additionally, he de- votes tremendous efforts toward philanthropic endeavors both personally and professionally. He played a vital role in develop- ing Braylon Edwards’ Advance 100 program and he continues to mentor through Elevate, a NYC based educational, nonprofit dedicated on building long-term, life-changing relationships for urban youth. He also played point guard at Michigan—and bleeds Maize and Blue.

  • About Maury Gostfrand

    Owner, Vision Sports Group

    Maury is the President and Founder of Vision Sports Group, a New York-based sports management and marketing agency representing primarily sports broadcasters at the regional and national sports television networks. He negotiates broadcasting agreements and secures marketing opportunities for his clients, including Cris Carter and John Kruk at ESPN, Kenny Smith at TNT, Jay Glazer at Fox Sports, and Hall of Fame baseball manager, Joe Torre. Maury graduated from the University of Michigan in 1991 and began his career with the New York-based firm, Athletes and Artists, serving as the Director of Marketing. While at A & A, Maury was responsible for securing marketing opportuni- ties for the clients, which included broadcasters, professional athletes, and Olympic athletes. Maury then attended University of Miami School of Law, and while in law school, Maury worked for Impact Sports in Boca Raton, Florida, representing professional athletes, including NFL and NBA players. In 1996, he joined New York-based RLR Associates, an agency, which represents sports broadcasters, where he worked for nine years. Maury dedicates a lot of time to charitable causes including The Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation, where he has served as a board member since it was launched in 2002.

  • Evan Levine is the Vice President of Business Development & Partnership Marketing for Roc Nation, where he is responsible for developing revenue opportunities for the full-service company inclusive of athletes, artists, songwriters, music publishing, touring, film & television and special events. Evan has the spent the last year and a half brokering strategic partnerships with major brands including 2K Sports, adidas, Alaska Airlines, BBVA, BODYARMOR, HTC, Sprint, Sparkling Ice, Pepsi, Wilson and more. He secured the groundbreaking partnership with JP Morgan Chase for the On The Run Tour featuring Beyonce & JAY Z. Levine possesses over 10 years of industry experience, most recently at USA TODAY Sports Media Group where he oversaw the development of marketing programs across the multiplatform assets of the publishing company. Prior to USA TODAY Sports Media Group he spent five years with the National Basketball Association in various roles for both the Global Merchandising and Marketing Partnership departments. He began his professional ca- reer as part of the NBA’s Associate Program. Evan is a native of New York, NY and currently resides there with his wife Rachel. 
  • David Oxfeld is the Vice President of Client Sales and Business Development at Excel Sports Management, a full-service sports management and marketing agency representing some of the biggest names in professional sports including Derek Jeter, Tiger Woods, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Clayton Kershaw, Peyton Manning, Danica Patrick, Taylor Swift and more. Since Oxfeld joined Excel two years ago, he has secured significant deals for clients with leading consumer brands, including Kevin Love with Starter and Body Armor, Matt Kuchar with Skechers, Blake Griffin with VIZIO and Derek Jeter with Luvo, to name a few. Oxfeld played an integral role in pioneering Jeter Publishing, the first ever athlete co-venture publishing imprint, in partnership with Simon & Schus- ter. Also, Oxfeld engineered Samsung’s partnership with the Play- ers Tribune, a first-of-its-kind media property owned by athletes directly, launched by Derek Jeter in early October. Prior to join- ing Excel, Oxfeld spent seven seasons with SportsNet New York (SNY), the television home of the New York Mets. From 2007 to 2012, he served as both Director of Integrated Sales at SNY and an Account Executive at SNY in Sponsorship Sales. From 2006 to 2007, he was the Manager of Promotions at SNY and before that was the Manager of Marketing Partnerships at Madison Square Garden. Oxfeld is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Sports Management.

Technology in Sports: Engaging the 21st Century Fan

  • About Eric Petrosinelli

    GM, Zebra Technologies

    Eric Petrosinelli is a General Manager, Sports for Zebra Technologies, a global leader in products and services that provide real-time visibility into organizations’ assets, people and transactions. He is responsible for building Zebra’s new sports vertical business which will deliver Next Generation Statistics (NGS) across domestic and international professional, collegiate and amateur properties. Zebra recently partnered with the NFL to enhance all aspects of the game, most notably the fan experience, but also things like coaching, scouting, training, and officiating. The Zebra sports solution enables the NFL to gain real-time insight into the action happening on the field of play, providing precise location and motion performance data, allowing for new, innovative ways to analyze data and understand the game. Mr. Petrosinelli joined Zebra Technologies after serving as Executive Vice President at GroupM ESP, the agency acting as the Entertainment & Sports marketing consultancy within GroupM, the world’s largest media agency network. He oversaw client sponsorship strategy and activation efforts for key clients such as Accenture, Chevron, Citi, IKEA, Marriott, Scotts and Xerox. Before joining GroupM ESP, he founded Five Star Sports, and consulted with various Fortune 500 companies to optimize their sponsorship investments with MLB, NFL, NHL and their Member Clubs. Some of the clients Five Star Sports worked with included Alex and Ani, Bank of America, Continental Airlines, Dunkin Donuts, Expedia, MasterCard, McDonald’s, NIKE, Subway and Under Armour.

    Prior to founding Five Star Sports, Mr. Petrosinelli worked at National Football League Properties, where he managed the NFL on-field and sidelines business with partners such as Adidas, Champion, Nike, Puma, Reebok, Russell Athletic and Wilson Sporting Goods. Additionally, Mr. Petrosinelli was appointed as NFL Properties liaison with League Office for NFL 75th Anniversary program, and lead the development NFL “Throwbacks” uniforms, the first league-wide use of retrospective uniforms in sports. Mr. Petrosinelli is a military Veteran, having served in the US Air Force for five years and achieved the rank of Captain. During his Air Force career, Mr. Petrosinelli was awarded with the National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon.

    As a graduate of the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where he earned his Masters Degree in Business Administration, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He currently resides in Westport, CT, with his wife and three children.

  • About Jason Coyle

    President, 120 Sports

    Jason serves as President of 120 Sports, a first-of-its-kind network partnership involving multiple leagues and media properties creat- ed exclusively for digital audiences, platforms, and devices. In 120 Sports, all sports fans have access to unauthenticated, first-class video programming produced to push beyond the boundaries of tele- vision, weaving world-class technology into television-quality video productions. Content partners include 120 Sports equity investor Time, Inc. (owner of Sports Illustrated) as well as the NHL, NBA, MLB.com, NASCAR, and leading collegiate conferences via Campus Insiders (a joint venture between IMG and Silver Chalice). Jason also serves as Vice Chairman of Silver Chalice, a company he co-founded in 2008, with a singular mandate: create the preeminent sports media company for the digital generation. Led by Chairman, Jerry Reinsdorf and his co- owners of the Chicago White Sox, Silver Chalice combines unique C- level relationships across the highest levels of sports with a first class operational team carefully recruited from leadership positions across the sports media and technology industries. Jason is a 1996 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1993 summa cum laude gradu- ate of the University of Notre Dame.

  • About Howard Handler

    CMO, MLS

    Howard Handler currently serves as the CMO of Major League Soccer. Prior to joining MLS, Handler served Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales at The Madison Square Garden Company and Executive Vice President for North America for EMI Music. Handler was also CMO for Virgin Mobile USA, CEO for Burly Bear Network, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Fan Development for the NFL Senior Vice President of Marketing for MTV and Vice President of Marketing for Broadway Video Entertainment, producers of “Saturday Night Live.”

    What he said about MSBC:

    “I got a lot of value from attending the MSBC. Gathering with senior sports execs to talk through the issues of the day, engaging with brilliant students and taking in the legendary Michigan warmth and charm together made it a breakthrough experience. Go Blue!”

  • Stephen Master is a Senior Vice President at the Nielsen Company and heads its Sports Practice. Nielsen is the world’s leading provider of marketing information, audience measurement and business media products and services. The Nielsen Sports Practice works closely with every major sports property including the USOC, NASCAR, NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB, as well as leading companies/brands that invest in sports sponsorships and media such as Anheuser Busch, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Unilever. Master has developed the “FANALYTICS” platform which provides brands and properties with a deeper understanding of how fans consume sports content, as well as measuring the impact of sports sponsorship investments. He also created the Nielsen N-Score which is the leading measurement tool for evaluating the brand effect of professional athletes and sports personalities, enabling advertisers to make smart marketing decisions on commercial endorsements. Prior to joining Nielsen, Master was the Vice President of Business Development of Corporate Sponsorships at the NFL, Vice President of Marketing Solutions for Octagon and Director of Business Development in the International Group for the NBA.

The Economic Reforming of Collegiate Athletics

  • Abraham Madkour is Executive Editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Daily Global. Mr. Madkour is responsible for determining the editorial content and shaping the editorial direction of the leading publications on the business of sports, while managing the entire editorial staff. In addition, he oversees all the editorial content for the various conferences produced by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Group, including the prestigious World Congress of Sports and Forty Under 40 awards dinner. Mr. Madkour serves as the lead moderator and editorial spokesman for all of the company’s events. Mr. Madkour joined SportsBusiness Daily as a Senior Staff Writer when the publication launched in August 1994. He was named Editor-in-Chief in September 1996 and became Executive Editor of SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily in 2003.Prior to joining SportsBusiness Daily, Mr. Madkour was a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. In addition to working with Senator Leahy, Mr. Madkour had stints working for the Washington Bullets and the Baltimore Orioles in 1993 and 1994. He lives in Charlotte, N.C., and is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

  • Ben C. Sutton Jr. is the chairman and President of IMG College and is a graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law (Juris Doctor, 1983) and Wake Forest University (1980, BA). As President of IMG College, Sutton oversees the largest college sports sponsorship and media company in America. IMG was recently named as the top college or professional sports property sales organization in the country by industry trade, Sports Business Journal. IMG College manages multi-media rights for nearly 100 colleges and collegiate athletic conferences, including corporate sponsorships, experiential opportunities, intellectual property usage, radio and television program- ming, publishing, official athletic websites, stadia and arena video and signage sales, and numerous lifestyle and event marketing platforms. The company also manages the largest radio network in the country. Prior to his current role, Sutton spent 18 years as Chairman and CEO for ISP Sports. He founded the company in 1992 and grew the business from its first partner in Wake Forest to over 60 NCAA colleges and con- ferences. He has been named one of the top or most powerful college sports execu- tives in America by numerous publications, including the Sports Business Journal. The Sutton family recently made the second-largest alumni gift in the history of Wake Forest University to develop the new Sutton Health & Wellness Center on the univer- sity campus, where they have also endowed a permanent scholarship.

  • Burke Magnus was named Senior Vice President, programming acquisitions, in January 2014, having previously served as Senior Vice President, college sports programming. In his new role, Magnus is responsible for all of the company’s program ac- quisitions and rights holder relations while still setting the strategic direction of the company’s college sports content which includes acquiring, scheduling and program- ming college football, college basketball and NCAA Championship across the ESPN Networks. Prior to his current job, Magnus had served as Vice President and General Manager of ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network. Prior to joining ESPN, Mag- nus was an administrative assistant for Soros Fund Management from 1994 to 1995. SI.com named Magnus the fifth “Most Powerful Person in College Sports”, just sev- eral months after being granted the National Football Foundation’s prestigious Legacy Award for his support and leadership in promoting college football. Magnus gradu- ated from Holy Cross in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in history and then received his master’s degree in sport management from the University of Massachusetts in 1994.

  • Only the Big Ten’s fifth commissioner since its founding in 1896, James E. Delany enters his 26th year with the conference. He has led the Big Ten through significant periods of growth that have helped the conference maintain its preeminent position as one of the nation’s leaders in providing quality academic and athletic experiences for young men and women. Under Delany’s guidance, the Big Ten has been a national leader in broad-based programming, student-athlete welfare, gender equity and innovation. Under Delany, the Big Ten has been a champion for Title IX. The conference was the first to voluntarily adopt participation goals for female student-athletes as the Big Ten initiated the Gender Equity Action Plan in 1992. The conference has applied numerous initiatives under Delany’s leadership, including Sportsmanship Awards be- ginning in 2003 and Postgraduate Scholarships starting with the 2012-13 academic year. Delany and the Big Ten have been active in the community, creating the school outreach program SCORE (Success Comes Out of Reading Everyday). For the last 25 years, the conference has partnered with Chicago elementary schools to improve reading performance. Delany is a native of South Orange, N.J. He received his under- graduate degree in political science from the University of North Carolina in 1970 and juris doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1973. At UNC, Delany was a three-year member of the varsity basketball team, serving as tri-captain in 1970.

  • Julie Kimmons was named the Director of Broadcast Services at the NCAA in June 2013 and oversees the broadcasting rights management for NCAA Championships and Alliances. She leads a team that supports a wide variety of initiatives from the national office, including production of internal videos, production of officiating videos, syndication and production of televised events not activated through the CBS/Turner, ESPN and Golf Channel con- tracts and the distribution of NCAA’s international television rights.
  • About Mark Silverman

    President, Big Ten Network

    Mark Silverman, the network’s first and only president, sets the strategic direction and manages all aspects of BTN, a joint venture between FOX Sports and the Big Ten Conference. BTN is the first successful collegiate television network to be partially owned by a conference. Silverman guided the network to profitability within two years of launch, established and grew the BTN brand and led the network to achieve its distribution goals. Today BTN has 60 million subscribers throughout the United States and Canada and has extended its portfolio beyond the traditional linear network with extensive new digital media offerings. Under Silverman’s leadership, BTN’s ratings and advertising revenue have significantly improved annually, with record-setting ratings for football, basketball, studio shows and original programming.

    The network also has added top national advertisers, including Allstate, BMW, Buffalo Wild Wings, Mitsubishi, and State Farm and attracted top national talent, such as Gus Johnson, Matt Millen, Jim Jackson and lead studio host Dave Revsine. Sports fans throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean can also access BTN through BTN2Go, the network’s digital extension. BTN2Go delivers live games and on-demand programming to BTN customers via the web, smartphones and tablets. Through BTN Plus, the network currently streams more than 600 events of HD quality, of which many also air on delay on the linear network as part of the Student U initiative. Using state of-the-art technology in portable production kits called “fly-packs,” the students produce and announce the events, allowing them to gain real-world television experience. More than 500 students across all Big Ten campuses participate in Student U each year and are groomed to become broadcast professionals.

    BTN’s cornerstone, live events, has grown under Silverman’s leadership over the past eight years, from 413 events in 2007-08 to the more than 1,000 events across 27 sports on all platforms by 2014-15. In addition to live events, BTN offers a full complement of original programming, including its signature series, The Journey. Other original programming includes Big Ten Elite, Big Ten Treasure Hunter, A Taste of Coaching, and the network’s feature-length documentaries, Scarlet and Gray Days: Inside Ohio State Training Camp, Unbeaten: The Life of Brook Berringer and Tiebreaker, featuring the 1973 Ohio State-Michigan game and its controversial aftermath that ultimately changed the Big Ten’s bowl structure. BTN is also home to several studio shows, including BTN Pregame with Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith on college football Saturdays, BTN Live every weeknight, Big Ten Football and Beyond, BTN Basketball and Beyond and B1G Diamond Report.

    Under Silverman’s leadership, BTN has received numerous marketing and programming awards. The Journey: Big Ten Basketball was nominated twice for a National Emmy, and BTN also earned an Edward R. Murrow Award in the category of video sports reporting. Silverman began his media career in the entertainment industry at The Walt Disney Company, where he held a number of executive positions during his 13-year tenure, principally in the television and movie studio divisions. Prior to joining BTN, Silverman served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the ABC Cable Networks Group. Silverman also previously served as Senior Vice President and General Manager, ABC Family Channel, where he was responsible for channel operations and the development of its business strategy, with emphasis on ad sales, business affairs, business development and finance.

    Silverman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan.

The Intersection of Sport and Urban Development

  • Rosentraub has been studying and writing about the economics and real estate of sports teams, events, and facilities and the linkage between sports, cultural centers, and urban revitalization and economic development for more than 30 years. Rosentraub has also helped numerous cities across North America frame redevelopment strategies involving sports and culture. He worked with the San Diego Padres in designing the Ballpark District that resulted in more than $2 billion of new real estate development. He also worked on the building of Staples Center and LA LIVE. He has or is working with the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, Green Bay Packers, the Indianapolis Colts, the New York Mets, the San Francisco Giants, and the city of Edmonton. Rosentraub worked with Mr. Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Management Company on plans for the redevelopment of downtown Detroit and Cleveland surrounding Quicken Loans Arena. In 2009 Rosentraub became the University of Michigan’s first holder of the Bruce and Joan Bickner Endowed Chair in the School of Kinesiology.

  • About Matt Rossetti

    President, Rossetti Architecture

    As President of ROSSETTI architecture, Matt leads the firm’s framework for innovative thinking and has been consistently responsible for design that creates value for clients: aesthetically, functionally and, most importantly, by achieving their business goals. His pursuit of innovative design also has married the firm’s sports design expertise with the principles of urban devel- opment. The firm uses the catalysing effect of sports facilities to create inte- grated sports anchored developments. Among ROSSETTI’s groundbreaking sports projects are the USTA National Tennis Center, home of the U.S. Open, Incheon Football Stadium in Incheon, Korea; Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey; Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions and the Palace of Auburn Hills, home of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons. Twenty years later, the Palace is still cited as the arena that transformed the business of stadium design. With head- quarters in Detroit, Rossetti is a leader in the conversation and collaboration to elevate design in the city’s urban core. He is on the Executive Committee of AIA Detroit, on the Executive Committee of ULI Michigan and on the Board of Cranbrook Academy of Art. He received both his Bachelor of Science and Masters of Architecture degrees from the University of Michigan.

  • Renowned architect and urban planner Janet Marie Smith was named the Dodgers’ Senior Vice president of Planning and Development in August 2012. Smith is overseeing upgrades to Dodger Stadium. Smith is probably best known in the baseball world for her work on the influential Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Smith worked for the Orioles from 1989-94 as Vice President of Planning and Development during the design and construction of the park. Prior to join- ing the Dodgers, Smith had a second tour with the Orioles as Vice President of Planning and Development from September 2009-August 2012. Smith directed renovations and expansion of the Orioles’ new spring training facility in Sara- sota, Florida. From 2002-2009, Smith served as Senior Vice President of Plan- ning and Development for the Boston Red Sox, overseeing the preservation of historic Fenway Park. Smith also held the position of President of Turner Sports and Entertainment Development and was the Vice President of Planning and Development for the Atlanta Braves. She was named in the Inaugural Class of the Sports Business Journal “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.” Furthermore, Smith holds a Masters degree in Urban Planning from City Col- lege of New York and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Mississippi State University. She also serves on the advisory board for the University of Michigan Sports Management Program.

  • Tom Wilson joined Olympia Entertainment, Detroit’s premier marketer of sports and entertainment events, on February 23, 2010. Olympia Entertainment handles business operations for the Detroit Red Wings, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League, and collaborates with the Detroit Tigers baseball franchise and other Ilitch companies. During his tenure, Wilson has identified opportunities for innovative ways to package and promote the substantial assets of the organization through multi-venue offerings and creative promotions. Olympia owns and operates Detroit’s Fox Theatre, the intimate City Theatre, and also books and operates Joe Louis Arena and Comerica Park. Wilson had an illustrious 32-year career with the Detroit Pistons, including the last 22 years as president and CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment, Inc. Wilson oversaw the Detroit Pistons and the organization’s three venues: The Palace, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival. The organization won nine World Championships, among their various teams during Wilson’s tenure as CEO. Wilson, a graduate of Cass Technical High School and Wayne State University, began his career working for the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings and The Forum.

  • About Jeff Wilpon

    COO, New York Mets

    Jeff Wilpon was elected Chief Operating Officer of the New York Mets in August, 2002 and oversees the day-to-day Baseball and Business Operations of the club and the Mets Foundation. He is also COO of the Mets Development Company and Queens Ballpark, a wholly owned subsidiary of the New York Mets. Wilpon was responsible for the planning, design, development and construction of Citi Field. As a principal at Sterling Project Develop- ment, L.L.C. Wilpon specializes in both new construction and the renovation of existing residential and commercial properties. Furthermore, he serves as Executive Vice President at Sterling Equities, where he is responsible for de- velopment and major building construction. Wilpon serves on the boards of the MLB Network, MLB Enterprises, MLB Advanced Media and the RSDC, as well as many non-profit organizations. Wilpon additionally received a Presi- dential Appointment in 2007 from President George W. Bush to the Board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, on which he still serves. A former catcher, he was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1983.

Architects of a Major League Franchise

  • About Tom Garfinkel

    CEO, Miami Dolphins

    Tom Garfinkel was recently named President and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium. Garfinkel joins the Dolphins after working with the San Diego Padres. He was named to the post of President and COO in April 2009 and was promoted to CEO. Prior to joining the Padres, Garfinkel was Executive Vice President and COO of the Arizona Diamondbacks and spent five years with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams as Executive Vice President, overseeing all business operations of the 400-employee company. Garfinkel’s background also includes time at Texaco, Inc., where he managed sponsorship and corporate branding, and at Miller Brewing Company in strategic marketing and sales. Garfinkel earned a BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

  • Dennis Mannion recently completed his second season in Detroit after be- ing named President and CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons. Mannion holds the rare distinc- tion of having experience in all four Major League sports where he has led operations during 14 postseason runs and been part of two World Series, an MLB All-Star Game, an NHL Conference Championship, a Super Bowl and two National League Championship Series. Mannion was most recently a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers front office, where he served as President and COO. Prior to joining the Dodgers, Mannion spent eight seasons with the Balti- more Ravens, where he served as the club’s Senior Vice President of Business Ventures.

    What he thought of MSBC:

    “I have had the opportunity to speak at many sports and entertainment conferences. I found MSBC to be among the most organized and professional conferences as both a participant and as a spectator. They did not miss a beat from agenda to networking. The experience was first class and extremely beneficial as a spectator and thoughtful, progressive and passionate from a speakers standpoint. In short, a winning experience all the way around.”

  • About Len Komoroski

    CEO, Cleveland Cavaliers

    Len Komoroski is CEO of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization. The organization includes the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL), Cleveland Gladiators (AFL), and Canton Charge (NBADL). In addition, he oversees all business operations and business-related endeavors for Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert’s family of sports and entertainment interests in Ohio. He is also a principal in Rock Gaming, which operates Horseshoe Casino Cleveland. Prior to joining the Cavaliers organization, Komoroski was the Senior Vice President and Chief of Business Operations with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, Senior Vice President and COO of the International Hockey League’s (IHL) Cleveland Lumberjacks and Vice President of Sales for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    What he said about MSBC:

    “The MSBC exceeded my expectations. The incredible campus setting, tremendous facilities as well as the diverse and impressive mix of speakers along with an engaged and informed group of students created a truly dynamic experience. Any aspiring sports industry professional would be wise to make the MSBC a priority on their list. With the professional management of this conference, who knows what next year will offer!”

  • About Tom Lewand

    President, Detroit Lions

    Tom Lewand, who was named President of the Detroit Lions in 2008, over-sees the team’s operations, leading all business, organizational, and NFL matters. He has held a myriad of positions within the front office during his 19-year tenure with the Lions, most recently as Executive VP and COO. On a league-wide level, Lewand is involved in several core business and labor issues, serving on the Management Council’s Club Executives Committee and the Super Bowl Advisory Committee. Lewand is active in the community, serving on the Boards of Directors of the Detroit Zoological Society, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the Parade Company. He also is on the Corporate Advisory Board for the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Lewand was named as one of Crain’s Detroit Business “40 Under 40” in 1998. Lewand received a BA degree from the University of Michigan in 1991, and completed both his JD at the University of Michigan Law School and his MBA from the University of Michigan Business School in 1996. He volunteered for the Michigan football program in various capaci- ties while attending school. He also worked for the Lions on a part-time basis while completing work on his graduate degrees. He and his wife, Suzanne, have four daughters: Cayleigh, Paige, Shannon and Erin.

    What he thought about MSBC:

    “The Michigan Sport Business Conference was a productive and rewarding experience. I gained insight from my fellow panelists and appreciated the opportunity to interact with other presenters, members of the Ross faculty, and the students. The conference planning team was well organized and professional. It was clear that the Ross students have cultivated an impressive asset for themselves, the university and the industry.”

  • As Chief Executive Officer, Jason Levien has leadership responsibility over Memphis Basketball, LLC, which operates the Memphis Grizzlies and FedExForum. In this role, Levien leads the entire organization and serves as an Alternate NBA Governor. In less than one full season since his appoint- ment to the position, Levien has been the driving force behind many of the changes that have shaped the Grizzlies into a world-class organization both on and off the court. Levien has been instrumental in improving the overall fan experience at FedExForum. Levien is the founder of a firm specializing in investments in sports and media properties and is General Partner of the Major League Soccer (MLS) team, DC United, where he serves on the Board of Governors. Levien is a former co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers. Previ- ously, Levien ran a sports agency where he represented athletes, coaches, teams, and leagues. His tenure representing NBA players spanned more than a decade. An attorney, Levien worked at law firms Williams & Connolly and Greenberg Traurig LP. Levien served as an editor of the Michigan Law Review while earning his law degree and Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. He later was awarded a fellowship at Harvard Law School. Levien is a graduate of Pomona College, where he was a member of the basketball team.

  • About Terry Lefton

    Editor, Sports Business Daily

    Terry Lefton, a pioneer of sports business reporting, has been the Edi- tor at Large at Sports Business Daily and Sports Business Journal since 2001. Owner of an expansive Rolodex and the confidante of hundreds of well-placed industry sources, Lefton is well-known for breaking news stories across the sports marketing landscape. He built a reputation as the leading reporter in sports marketing while at Brandweek from 1990 through 2000, when he left the weekly marketing magazine to write about marketing and sports business for The Industry Standard. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Communications in 1979. Lefton worked as a writer for The Sports Network, Gannett Newspapers, Electronic News and the New York Daily News before launching Brandweek in 1990 as one its founding editors. Lefton is a founding board member of the National Sports Marketing Network.

Brand Expansion Through Sport

  • As head of sports and entertainment partnerships, Matthew Kauffman brings over 20 years of sports and entertainment marketing strategy, business development, and property management experience to Visa. Kauffman is responsible for the sponsorship strategy, marketing inte- gration and measurement of Visa’s sponsorship portfolio. Visa’s innova- tive sponsorship marketing is renowned for differentiating and building the Visa brand and providing value to clients and cardholders. Visa was recognized by Sports Business Journal as the 2010 “Sports Sponsor of the Year.” Visa’s sponsorship portfolio includes the Olympic Games, USOC, FIFA World Cup, NFL, NFL teams, MLB teams, NBA teams, NASCAR, Fandango, Walt Disney Studios, Marvel Entertainment and others. He joined Visa in 2004 after ten years at General Motors EventWorks, serving as Vice President of Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Kauffman was responsible for developing strategic part- nerships in the sports and entertainment arenas. Prior to GM Event- Works, he worked at Carlson Marketing Group, where he led stra- tegic development of event marketing programs for GM. Mr. Kauffman was recognized in 2007 as one of the “Forty Under 40” most influential sports executives under the age of 40 by the Sports Business Journal. Kauffman has a BA in Communications from the University of Michigan. He resides in Danville, California with his wife, Christy, and their three children, Kellen, Ella and Zarin.

    What he thought about MSBC:

    “The Michigan Sport Business Conference brings together top sports executives in a forum that provides compelling dialog with students who are eager to learn and engage across the industry – it’s a refreshing approach to the traditional sports conference.”

     

  • As Director of Strategic Partnerships, Lifestyle Marketing and Events at Target, Dan Griffis is responsible for all of the company’s sports, entertainment and fashion experiential marketing efforts. This includes Target’s NASCAR and IndyCar teams, Target Field and Target Center, the management of their Action Sports and their eight athletes (e.g. Shaun White, Kolohe Andino Paul Rodriguez…etc), new music and movie launches, charitable giving and fashion designer partnerships. Before Target, Griffis spent 9 years running all sales and marketing for Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) across their NASCAR, IndyCar and Sports Cars teams. During that time, Griffis was able to raise over $500 million in sponsorships and CGR won ten championships, three Indianapolis 500’s and the Daytona 500. Before graduating from Michigan’s MBA program in 2001, Griffis worked at KPMG consulting for their strategy DIR. OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS, group. In addition to earning his MBA from the University of Michi- LIFESTYLE MARKETING & EVENTS gan, Griffis graduated Cum Laude from the College of Wooster with a TARGET degree in History and Economics. Griffis lives in Minneapolis, Minne- sota with his wife Janna and his three kids (Riley, Holden and Eliza).

    What he said about MSBC:

    “The University of Michigan is recognized as being a leader in so many areas of education, it is no surprise that they should take and have taken a leadership position here as well. The MSBC does a great job in lining up a good list of folks who really contribute to the sports marketing industry and given what a small world the sports industry is, it is an good opportunity to connect with old colleagues and friends and an opportunity to make a few new friends as well.”

  • Mike Farah is the President of Production for Funny or Die, overseeing the creative day-to-day operations for the premiere comedy site, along with Funny or Die’s television and feature projects. In his five years with Funny or Die, Farah has produced the award-winning videos Prop 8: The Musical and Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, among many others. Under Farah’s leadership, Funny or Die’s creative team produces over 20 original videos a month. He is also one of the executive producers of Funny Or Die’s Billy on the Street, airing on Fuse. Farah, 34, also produced the feature film “Answer This!”, written and directed by his brother, Chris Farah. Answer This! was acquired by Wrekin Hill Entertainment in 2011. Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a graduate of Indiana University, Farah began his career at United Talent Agency. In November 2010, The Hollywood Report- er named Farah one of the top 35 Hollywood executives under 35.

    What he thought of MSBC:

    “I had a great time speaking at MSBC and thought it was very well run and brought together an amazing collection of people.”

  • About Matthew Scarlata

    Consumer Insights Manager, Unilever

    Matt Scarlata graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 with a degree in Communications and an emphasis in Marketing. He has worked for Unilever in consumer insights since then. Scarlata conducted con- sumer research on the Axe Hair marketing mix to help the brand launch in North America in 2009 and Western Europe in 2012. He currently leads Unilever’s cross-brand sports sponsorship evaluations, most promi- nently the NCAA Tournament. Unilever’s brand campaigns include Dove Men+Care Journeys to Comfort featuring Shaquille O’Neal, Magic John- son and Dwayne Wade, Degree Men, Do: More with Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant and Axe Apollo. Originally from Chicago, Scarlata now lives in New York City, New York. He chose Michigan as his favorite school when he was 9 and never batted an eye!

  • Fredda Hurwitz started her professional career in France with the International Herald Tribune and Associated Press. She shifted gears and joined Disney Consumer Products, EMEA where she was Communications Manager. A long foray into sports marketing and sponsorship followed, starting with NHL International, the World League of American Football and finally API Consulting before it became Octagon. Hurwitz would move on to a stint in advertising as Group Account Director, EMEA at OgilvyOne, followed by a quick retreat back to her sponsorship roots as Associate Director, with the sponsorship consultancy, Redmandarin. Following this, Hurwitz joined Butlins as the Director of Brand Experience. But, agency life harkened again and this time she joined Momentum as Vice President International, before changing careers to become Managing Director of Cunning, an independent brand experience agency, and most recently as Global Vice President, Strategic Planning, Marketing & Communications, for Havas Sports & Entertainment. She has worked on a diverse group of brands throughout her career including American Express, Atos, Bacardi, Carlsberg, Coke, Eurostar, Gillette, HSBC Premier, ITV, Kingfisher, Lloyds Banking Group, MINI, Nestle, Orange, Powerade, VISA, and Yahoo! amongst others. Fredda Hurwitz graduated from University of California.

    What she thought about MSBC:

    “Although I graduated from Cal Berkeley and was probably one of about six non alumni (!), I’ve got to put school pride aside and give props to the University of Michigan students. Great organization, good content, solid speakers, curious and insightful participants, plus the evening activities were a hoot and totally brought me back to my university days! On a personal note I’m fairly convinced that I had the best panel of the day: all UofM grads (or having hailed from Michigan), with fun, open minded personalities, I strongly recommend attending the Michigan Sports Business Conference – this group of outgoing and smart young people will be (in fact already are) a huge credit to the sports business industry. Long may the conference continue to grow and take on even more challenging topics in this ever changing world.”

Conference Emcee

  • Dana Jacobson is an award winning TV sports anchor/reporter and as of January 2013 became a national sports radio host as well. As part of the national weekday CBS Sports Radio morning show, “Tiki Brandon and Dana,” she is one of the few female voices in sports radio. Her current TV work with CBS Sports Network has ranged from filling in as the host of “Rome,” to feature reporting at the Super Bowl and collegiate football. Prior to joining the CBS Sports family, Jacobson was best known for her versatile roles over the past decade at ESPN. She started her ESPN career as an anchor on the Emmy Award winning SportsCenter, later filling the same role on ESPN’s First Take, Outside the Lines, and College Football Live. Away from the studio, Jacobson worked as both a sideline reporter and longtime host of the X Games nightly wrap up show, XCenter. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Jacobson began her career as an assignment desk editor at the CBS affiliate in Detroit. She is a passionate sports fan who is never afraid to go toe-to-toe with the guys and takes great pride in having the best shoes while doing so.

Development of Michigan’s South Campus – UM Athlete Dept

  • Chrissi Rawak is the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development at the University of Michigan. She is responsible for overseeing all fundraising efforts related to Michigan Athletics and manages a team of 30 development professionals within the department. Rawak came to Michigan Athletics after seven years in the Office of University Development at Michigan, where she was responsible for facilitating the overall strategy of talent, financial and IT resources and programs in support of the fundraising goals at the University. Rawak has built two major university’s Talent Management Programs over the past 20 years at Northwestern University and the University of Michigan.

  • Rob Rademacher, first came to Michigan in 1994 as an intern with the Department of Recreational Sports. In 2000, Rademacher was named Director of Facilities for U-M Athletics, where his responsibilities included overseeing all athletic facilities as well as game operations for football, men’s basketball and ice hockey. In 2010, he was promoted to his current position of Associate Athletic Director-Facilities & Operations, where he oversees the day-to-day operations of the Athletic Facility Campus. Rademacher holds aBA in physical education from SUNY-Cortland and a Master’s in Recreation Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He and his wife, Debbie, have two children — Luke (8) and Jake (3).

  • David A. Brandon began his tenure as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Michigan in March 2010. A University of Michigan alumnus, Mr. Brandon, 60, played football under Bo Schembechler and was a member of three Big Ten Championship teams. He received a B.A. degree in Communications from University of Michigan in 1974.

    In 1998, Mr. Brandon was elected to the University of Michigan’s Board of Regents and served one eight-year term. He has honorary doctorate degrees from Walsh College, Schoolcraft College, Lawrence Technological University, Cleary College, Albion College, Davenport University and Central Michigan University, where he served as a trustee from 1994-98.

    Brandon serves numerous not-for-profit organizations in a variety of capacities, in- cluding the Purple Rose Theatre Company, the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and the David A. Brandon Foundation.

    Prior to joining the athletic department, Mr. Brandon served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ann Arbor-based Domino’s Pizza, Inc. for 11 years, leading the company to the largest IPO of a restaurant company in history. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Herman Miller, DTE Energy and Kaydon Corpo- ration. Prior to his role with Domino’s, Mr. Brandon served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Valassis Communications, Inc.

    What he thought about MSBC:

    “The 2013 Michigan Sport Business Conference was a terrific opportunity to interact with students, connect with some industry friends who traveled to Ann Arbor to participate in the conference, and to make some new industry friends. The students did a wonderful job of planning and coordinating a highly organized, professional conference that was well-attended and highly informative. A large auditorium filled with students, sports industry professionals, and other stakeholders who are passionate about the business of sports is an opportunity I hope we can look forward to every year.”

Getting your First Job in Sports

  • About Ira Stahlberger

    Senior VP, Talent Marketing IMG

    Ira Stahlberger is Senior Vice President of Talent Representation at IMG Worldwide. He began working at IMG Worldwide in 2009 and acts as a marketing manager for top athletes, helping them build their brand. After school, Stahlberger was a Senior Account Executive with Leo Burnett and Senior Marketing Manager with Coca-Cola before becoming Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Intersport Television. With IMG, Stahlberger has worked with a plethora of clients including Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Erin Andrews.

  • Julie Kimmons was named the Director of Broadcast Services at the NCAA in June 2013 and oversees the broadcasting rights management for NCAA Championships and Alliances. She leads a team that supports a wide variety of initiatives from the national office, including production of internal videos, production of officiating videos, syndication and production of televised events not activated through the CBS/Turner, ESPN and Golf Channel con- tracts and the distribution of NCAA’s international television rights.
  • Amanda Schutte currently works for Michigan IMG College Sports Marketing as a Partner Services Coordinator working with all of the corporate partners of Michigan Athletics. Over the course of her college career at Michigan, Amanda held internships with Madison Square Garden, Sports Illustrated, the Michigan Athletic Department, Active Marketing and Zoot Sports. Upon graduating, she moved to Chicago to work for a marketing agency called Take2Media and then took a full time role for the Chicago Cubs doing brand activation.

    What she said about MSBC:

    “The MSBC is a truly exceptional conference. The fact that it is put on by undergraduate students is a testament to the caliber of students that come out of U of M. Despite only being 2 years old, the MSBC executed a flawless run of show, impressive list of speakers and subsequently, has gained recognition throughout the industry. The MSBC gives a broad perspective of sport industry and its emerging trends and thus has more appeal than the very focused conferences we typically see. Everyone I interacted with on the MSBC was professional, mature and respectful. As a speaker, I enjoyed not only connecting with the students in attendance, but with old peers and industry professionals as well. This conference has a broad appeal given it includes topics and speakers from various facets across the sport industry.”

  • About Buffy G. Filippell

    President, Teamwork Online

    Buffy G. Filippell is President of TeamWork Consulting and Founder of TeamWork Online. In the last 25 years, Filippell has helped recruit over 50,000 people into jobs with sports and live event employers either through her executive search practice or her online network. Her clients have included the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, as well as teams in all major leagues as well as many minor leagues.

  • Robbie Tran is a business development and marketing professional with extensive financial services expertise in leveraging partnerships, branding, sponsorships and sales. She is the current Brand Manager of Sports Marketing and Partnerships for PepsiCo.

    Ms. Tran leads marketing strategy, negotiations, activation and oversight of a multi-million dollar sports marketing budget. She has managed overall MLB sponsorship strategy, including strategic partnerships with MLB Properties, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Players Association, 16 MLB teams and over 30 current and former major league athletes. Ms. Tran increased awareness of Pepsi as official sponsor by 14%+, the largest 1-year increase of any brand and reached highest ever Pepsi score.

    Before working with PepsiCo., Ms. Tran was the Manager for Sports Marketing and Partnerships for American Express, where she managed strategic partnerships with senior leadership at over 125 top brands including Nike, Callaway, Adidas, Titleist, USGA and Steiner Sports and built comprehensive and unique marketing programs which generated $20M+ in annual sales.

    Ms. Tran graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.B.A. in 2003 and Brooklyn Law School in 2009.

Keynote Conversation

  • About John Skipper

    President, ESPN

    In his 14 years with the company prior to becoming ESPN President and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks on January 1, 2012, John Skipper was a key architect of ESPN’s explosive growth. He played leadership roles overseeing the company’s television, digital, print and advertising sales initiatives, as well as ESPN’s focus on brand extensions, bringing the company’s “best available screen” philosophy to life across more platforms and with more wide-ranging major rights agreements than at any time since ESPN’s launch in 1979. This strategy, along with an emphasis on live sports, has strengthened ESPN’s unparalleled relationship with fans while meeting the growing business needs of ESPN’s distributors and advertisers.

    Under his leadership, ESPN has consistently set records for television ratings and digital consumption, and negotiated several wide-ranging, major rights agreements with the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, the BCS, FIFA, the Masters Tournament, the British Open, the USTA, Wimbledon and several college conferences. Each of those agreements was marked by a significant change that took hold under Skipper — a wide swath of multimedia rights that went well beyond just television to include all forms of media, and terms that extended for a much longer period of time, sometimes a decade or more. This change of approach envisioned an evolving media world driven by the marriage of technology with content, and established stability for ESPN and all of its business partners for years to come.

  • About Mike Tirico

    Sportscaster, NBC

    Tirico has handled a variety of assignments for ESPN, ESPN Radio and ABC Sports since 1991, establishing himself as one of the most recognizable faces and steady voices across ESPN’s multimedia platforms and in the industry at large.

    In 2006, he assumed one of the top positions in sports television as ESPN’s Monday Night Football play-by-play commentator. Tirico’s other major roles include NBA, college basketball and golf play-by-play/host and studio host for major events. Tirico works alongside analyst Jon Gruden on MNF, the most-viewed series in cable television history. He is just the fourth person – joining broadcasting legends Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford and Al Michaels – to occupy the play-by-play post in the more than 40-year history of sports television’s signature series. Tirico handles play-by-play for NBA games paired with analyst Hubie Brown on ESPN and ABC, as well as the NBA Finals on ESPN Radio. In 2012, he returned to ESPN’s college basketball coverage as the play-by-play voice for weekly Super Tuesday Big Ten games alongside analyst Dan Dakich. A regular host and contributor to ESPN Radio, Tirico is part of the weekly Countdown to Kickoff and hosts the “Open Mike” podcast.

Social Media: Bringing Your Brand to Life

  • As the founder of Fieldhouse Media, Kevin De- Shazo has worked with more than 50 athletic departments and conferences, helping to educate over 30,000 student-athletes, coaches and staff on social media use. He is the author of iAthlete: Impacting Student-Athletes of a Digital Generation, and has been quoted in a variety of publications, including Forbes, USA Today, The New York Times and ESPN.com. For FieldTrack, his firm’s social media monitoring service, he was honored as a 2013 Journal Record Innovator of the Year. A graduate of Oklahoma State University with an MBA from Oklahoma Baptist University, Mr. DeShazo lives in Oklahoma City with his wife Megan, and their two boys Gabe and Noah.
  • Jordan Maleh is responsible for the management and execution of Michigan Athletics email, mobile, digital advertising and social media communications and initiatives across the University’s 31 intercollegiate sports. He has been a part of the University of Michigan Athletic Department since 2011. Prior to Michi- gan, Maleh served as the marketing manager for the New York Knicks, where he was responsible for managing and overseeing Knicks digital brand assets. Maleh earned his Bachelor of Science in Education and Sport Management in 2006, and his Master of Arts in Sport Management and Sociology in 2008, from the University of Connecticut.

  • About Jeff Weiner

    President, ESBL Social Media

    Jeff Weiner is 30 years old, from New York. He attended Michigan State University as a freshman, but transferred after only one-semester and graduated in 2005 from the University of Maryland with a BS in Kinesiology. Weiner credits his good friend from college, San Francisco 49ers Vernon Davis, with idea to get into the sports business after growing up watching Monday Night Football with his mother. Weiner worked in the NFL agent business for over four years after college, before becoming CEO of ESBL Social Media. Some of Weiner’s clients include Michigan alumni Adam Schefter and LaMarr Woodley, in addition to many other NFL players. His clients have over 7.4 million followers on the various social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

    What he said about MSBC:

    “I was honored when I was invited to speak the the 2013 MSBC, but I really had no idea what to expect. I knew going in that this whole event was unprecedented, in that no other students in the country have ever put together a sports business conference, so I wasn’t surprised by the outstanding communication the MSBC Planning Team showed leading up to the event. Their attention to detail was that of seasoned professionals, making it all the more impressive that these were students doing this all on their own. Upon my arrival, I was immediately blown away by the conference’s speaker list, organization, attendance, and overall atmosphere. I have been to several other conferences, all of which are organized and put on by adults with decades of experience in the industry, and none of those compared to the MSBC in regard to the aforementioned. One of the many parts of the MSBC that I enjoyed was the networking opportunities that I experienced, as executives from powerful brands like Visa, 5-hour Energy, and many more were there. Not only were they there, but they were accessible, and very engaging when approached during breaks. Another great thing about the MSBC was, of course, speaking to the students during my session. While the students seemed very interested during the session, it was particularly rewarding to have many of them come up to me after the session, asking questions and soaking up my answers like sponges. That really showed me that the trip was more than worthwhile for me, knowing that I offered some information that people would be able to use to help them as they look to make their own marks in the sports industry. Thank you to everyone who was part of making the MSBC possible, and I hope to see you all again at the 2014 MSBC!”

  • Sammie Lukaskiewicz is the Senior Director of Communications for Michigan International Speedway. She oversees the track’s public relations, media relations, marketing, promotions, branding, adver- tising and credentials. She’s been with the track since 2006. Lukaskiewicz gradu- ated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1993 with a BA in Journalism. She also earned her Master’s in Management and Leadership from Webster University in St. Louis.

Sport for Social Change

  • About Patrick McInnis

    CEO, Fathead

    Patrick McInnis was named CEO of Fathead, LLC. in February 2009. McInnis previously served as President and COO of Quicken Loans, Inc., where he drove sales and revenue, and leadership training and development. He is widely known throughout South- east Michigan for his contributions to area youth and athletic organizations, including his involvement in leadership development workshops for high schools students in Detroit and Flint, serving on the non-profit board of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint. McInnis is Involved with Project 26 USA, an initiative started to reduce America’s high school dropout rate in inner city schools and is a founding member of the Eastern Michigan University Gridiron Club.

  • Jordan Field entered his 12th season with the Tigers, having joined the club in September 2002. He directs all activities of the Detroit Tigers Foundation, the club’s official charity and an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, which has donated over $8 million in grants, Tigers game tickets and scholarships since its establishment in 2005. Field directs the club’s Player Relations activities, work- ing closely with Tigers players and their representatives on community and corporate appearances, charitable giving and special events. Field directs the club’s signature youth sports program, Play Baseball Detroit, which annually serves over 10,000 children in the greater Detroit region. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Communications in 1999, where he was a staff sports writer for The Michigan Daily.

  • Warrior and bowtie expert, linebacker, poet, jock and tree-hugger: Dhani Jones understands the extremes of life. A former NFL player with the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals, he works with Al Gore’s climate change initiative and started his own philanthropic endeavor, BowTie Cause. Recapping his rise to NFL fame, as well as his time as host of the Travel Channel’s original series, Dhani Tackles the Globe, The Sportsman allows Dhani to discover that sports have the universal ability to open a window into a culture, define a destination and unlock a common passion in people that is as different as it is familiar.

  • George Veras is the President and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises and President and Executive Producer of Veras Communications Inc. Prior to joining the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Veras was Vice President of Production and Broadcasting for the Cleveland Browns. He founded Veras Communications, Inc. in 1994 after 19 years at ABC Sports and CBS Sports, as a television producer and marketing leader.

The Global Reach of Sport

  • About Gary Zenkel

    President, NBC Olympics

    Gary Zenkel was named President of NBC Olympics and President of Operations & Strategy for NBC Sports Group in May 2012. He was promoted to this role after serving as President of NBC Olympics since November 2005. Zenkel oversees all aspects of NBC Olympics, including new media initiatives, marketing and promotions, business alliances, and operations. He played a vital role in NBCUniversal’s successful bid for exclusive U.S. media rights to both the 2010-2012 Olympic Games and the 2014-2020 Olympic Games. He also led NBCUniversal’s interests in acquiring a significant interest in Universal Sports. Zenkel has managed the Olympics division since the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Under his leadership, NBCUniversal successfully pioneered and presented a number of historic firsts, including: live streaming all athletic competition (London 2012); the first 3D telecast (London 2012); and the first extensive live streaming of content (Beijing 2008). Zenkel’s previous work experience includes VP of NBC Olympics (2001-2005); Senior VP of Business Development and Marketing, NBC Olympics (1997-2001); and VP of NBC Sports and Executive Assistant to Dick Ebersol(1994-1997). Prior to joining NBC Sports, he was a Corporate Associate with Cahill, Gordon and Reindel, a New York City-based law firm. Zenkel graduated from the University of Michigan in 1983 and from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1987. He was a two-year letterman on the Wolverines golf team.

    What he said about MSBC:

    “The Michigan Sport Business Conference was a fantastic opportunity for me to return to my alma mater and share some of my experience with an eager group of future sports media leaders”

  • Marc Reeves joined the NFL in 2010 as the league’s first ever International Commercial Director. In this role, Reeves oversees marketing, fan development, sponsorship and commercial efforts for the league outside of the U.S. He is also responsible for developing and executing the league’s strategy in each of these functional areas, which are managed by offices in five key territories. Under his leadership, the league has significantly increased its international sponsorship revenue base, and he has launched numerous fan engagement initiatives including global Super Bowl viewing events, NFL Experience on Tour and a social media “Fanbassador” program. Reeves graduated from Kalamazoo College with a BA in Economics and Political Science and graduated from Tulane University with a JD-MBA, with specializations in Sports Law, Marketing and Management. Prior to joining the NFL, Reeves was a Vice President of IMG’s Consulting Division responsible for client management and west coast business development. In that role, he was responsible for oversight and management of numerous corporate client accounts, including VISA, Electronic Arts, Kia Motors, 2K Sports, 24 Hour Fitness, Crowne Plaza Hotels and Safeco Insurance.
  • Seth Ader was named Senior Director, Sports Marketing in January 2005, and is responsible for a wide array of ESPN’s marketing efforts. These include ESPN’s NFL programming — Monday Night Football, Sunday NFL Countdown, The NFL Draft, ESPN’s fantasy football, ESPN’s soccer properties, including the FIFA World Cup, European Championship, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, MLS and USA Soccer and ESPN’s MLB programming and the Little League World Series.

    Mr. Ader joined ESPN in 2001 as a marketing manager handling the marketing efforts of original entertainment programming, ESPN The Magazine and the launch of ESPN Deportes and ESPNHD networks. In January 2003, Mr. Ader served as Director of Marketing, focusing on the NBA and NFL on ESPN before taking on his current role. Previous experience includes Vice President of Marketing of Book4Golf. com (October 1999-January 2001), Director of Marketing and public relations for Tear Drop/Tommy Armour Golf Co. (March 1997-September 1999), sales manager for Conde Nast Publications (June 1996-February 1997) and corporate marketing manager for the New Jersey Nets (June 1994-June 1996).

    Mr. Ader’s campaigns have won numerous awards including multiple a 2010 Sports Emmy, numerous Tellys, an Effie, a Mark and a NY Festivals award. He was graduat- ed from The University of Michigan in 1994 with a B.A. in Sport Management and Communications.

  • Stephen Master is a Senior Vice President at the Nielsen Company and heads its Sports Practice. Nielsen is the world’s leading provider of marketing information, audience measurement and business media products and services. The Nielsen Sports Practice works closely with every major sports property including the USOC, NASCAR, NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB, as well as leading companies/brands that invest in sports sponsorships and media such as Anheuser Busch, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Unilever. Master has developed the “FANALYTICS” platform which provides brands and properties with a deeper understanding of how fans consume sports content, as well as measuring the impact of sports sponsorship investments. He also created the Nielsen N-Score which is the leading measurement tool for evaluating the brand effect of professional athletes and sports personalities, enabling advertisers to make smart marketing decisions on commercial endorsements. Prior to joining Nielsen, Master was the Vice President of Business Development of Corporate Sponsorships at the NFL, Vice President of Marketing Solutions for Octagon and Director of Business Development in the International Group for the NBA.

The State of Global and US Soccer

  • About Hank Steinbrecher

    President, Touchline Consultants

    National Soccer Hall of Famer, Hank Steinbrecher directed the Football venue for the Los Angles Olympic Games before accepting the post of Secretary General of the United States Soccer Federation. He is now President of Touchline Consultants Inc., Steinbrecher has received the three most prestigious awards in American soccer as a Lifetime Member of the United States Soccer Federation, being induct- ed into the National Soccer Hall of Fame and receiving the National Soccer Coach- es of America’s highest award, “The Honor Award,” for his service to the game.

  • About Alan Rothenberg

    Chairman, 1st Century Bank

    Alan Rothenberg is the founder and Chairman of 1st Century Bank, N.A. and founder of Major CHAIRMAN, League Soccer. He is also Chairman of Premier PREMIER PARTNERSHIPS Partnerships, a sales, marketing and consulting firm specializing in sports, entertainment and major facilities. In the past, he has acted as Soccer Commissioner for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Commit- tee, partner at the law firm of Latham & Watkins, LLP, Chairman and CEO of the 1994 World Cup Organizing Committee and President of the United States Soccer Federation.

    What he thought about MSBC:

    “The students were all very interesting and interested, well informed and with diverse backgrounds and interests so the interaction with and among them was robust and invigorating. The roster of speakers was first rate so interacting with them was worth being present by itself. In addition to interacting with the other speakers, the networking opportunity with industry professionals was outstanding. The MSBC Planning Team was exceptionally competent and responsive making the experience for a speaker smooth and comfortable. Aside from the opportunity to revisit Ann Arbor (including the Big House), my home for 7 years and the best college town in America, participating in a conference of the caliber of MSBC was an overall fabulous experience.”

  • About Dave Greeley

    Precourt Sports Ventures

    As a senior entertainment and sports executive, Dave Greeley has gained extensive experience across a variety of businesses. He began with the hockey division of Compuware Corporation and then with the Palace Sports & Entertainment. Greeley later took a lead role with the Portland Trailblazers and The Rose Garden, joined the Chicago Bears as CMO and became the third President in Chicago Fire (MLS) history. Formerly, Managing Director, Practice Leader at Frank N. Magid Associates, Greely is now advising Precourt Sports Ventures.

  • About Howard Handler

    CMO, MLS

    Howard Handler currently serves as the CMO of Major League Soccer. Prior to joining MLS, Handler served Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales at The Madison Square Garden Company and Executive Vice President for North America for EMI Music. Handler was also CMO for Virgin Mobile USA, CEO for Burly Bear Network, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Fan Development for the NFL Senior Vice President of Marketing for MTV and Vice President of Marketing for Broadway Video Entertainment, producers of “Saturday Night Live.”

    What he said about MSBC:

    “I got a lot of value from attending the MSBC. Gathering with senior sports execs to talk through the issues of the day, engaging with brilliant students and taking in the legendary Michigan warmth and charm together made it a breakthrough experience. Go Blue!”

  • About Stefan Szymanski

    Professor of Sport Management, UM

    Stefan Szymanski is Stephen J. Galetti, Professor of Sport Management and has been at the University of Michigan for two years. Prior to that, he lived in Lon- don and evolved into an economist working mainly on sports, soccer in particular. In addition to his academic research, he co-authored the bestseller Soccernomics and has advised governing bodies (FIFA and UEFA) and governments (UK, France, Norway and European Commission) on issues relating to sports economics and policy.

Branding Personalities in the Digital Age

  • About Ira Stahlberger

    Senior VP, Talent Marketing IMG

    Ira Stahlberger is Senior Vice President of Talent Representation at IMG Worldwide. He began working at IMG Worldwide in 2009 and acts as a marketing manager for top athletes, helping them build their brand. After school, Stahlberger was a Senior Account Executive with Leo Burnett and Senior Marketing Manager with Coca-Cola before becoming Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Intersport Television. With IMG, Stahlberger has worked with a plethora of clients including Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Erin Andrews.

  • Michael Melfi is an intellectual property and sports and entertainment lawyer specializing in cyber law and social media. Mr. Melfi has a dynamic background that allows him to provide insightful legal services, while creating business development strategies. Over the last decade, Mr. Melfi founded and led a national multimedia company. This provided the opportunity for Mr. Melfi to provide brand positioning and image consulting to professionals and celebrities. As Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, Mr. Melfi pioneered various experiential and digital marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 clients. As a thought leader and innovator, Mr. Melfi began utilizing the internet and various social media platforms to develop an online presence for his company in the top 1% of all websites globally. Mr. Melfi returned to private practice and established Melfi & Associates, P.C., a firm focused on providing results oriented and financially responsible legal services for forward thinking clients who operate in a Web 2.0 world and recently published a book, The Simple Secrets of Social Media.

  • About Steve Dubin

    Principal, Yee & Dubin Sports

    After working for various marketing agencies, David Schwab was hired in 1999 by Octagon. Even at that time, he understood the power of marketing, selling and publicizing celebrities. It was that idea that led him to create a new division in the company, First Call, the Agency’s Celebrity Acquisition and Engagement Division that specializes in celebrities in marketing. Octagon First Call helps brands, their agencies and nonprofit associations use celebrities effectively in marketing initiatives. Since its creation in 2005, the Octagon First Call has grown to develop more than 250 brand/celebrity partnerships annually and has signed some of the best known names in the industry. Mr. Schwab is currently the managing director of First Call and a Vice President of Octagon and regularly called upon as a marketing expert by the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and many other news organizations. In 2012, he was recognized for his business excellence as a SportsBusiness Journal “Forty Under 40” Award Winner. Mr. Schwab is currently married to his wife Erika, who he met at the Miami University in Ohio and together they have three fantastic children.

  • About David Schwab

    Founder, Octagon First Call

    After working for various marketing agencies, David Schwab was hired in 1999 by Octagon. Even at that time, he understood the power of marketing, selling and publicizing celebrities. It was that idea that led him to create a new division in the company, First Call, the Agency’s Celebrity Acquisition and Engagement Division that specializes in celebrities in marketing. Octagon First Call helps brands, their agencies and nonprofit associations use celebrities effectively in marketing initiatives. Since its creation in 2005, the Octagon First Call has grown to develop more than 250 brand/celebrity partnerships annually and has signed some of the best known names in the industry. Mr. Schwab is currently the managing director of First Call and a Vice President of Octagon and regularly called upon as a marketing expert by the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Forbes and many other news organizations. In 2012, he was recognized for his business excellence as a SportsBusiness Journal “Forty Under 40” Award Winner. Mr. Schwab is currently married to his wife Erika, who he met at the Miami University in Ohio and together they have three fantastic children.

  • Katie Bores plays a leadership role in advancing Blue Cross’ industry-leading brand image through the creation and fielding of brand and segment-specific promotional campaigns to promote the company’s product and service portfolio to customers and sales channel partners across Michigan.

    As Blue Cross responds to the Affordable Care Act and evolves its business ap- proach toward a B-to-C model to better meet the needs of health insurance consumers, Ms. Bores is called upon regularly to contribute to strategic initiatives, including the development of the company’s first direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns and direct response advertising. Ms. Bores advanced into this role in 2011, after serving in three different management capacities within Blue Cross’ Corporate Communications department.

  • Warrior and bowtie expert, linebacker, poet, jock and tree-hugger: Dhani Jones understands the extremes of life. A former NFL player with the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals, he works with Al Gore’s climate change initiative and started his own philanthropic endeavor, BowTie Cause. Recapping his rise to NFL fame, as well as his time as host of the Travel Channel’s original series, Dhani Tackles the Globe, The Sportsman allows Dhani to discover that sports have the universal ability to open a window into a culture, define a destination and unlock a common passion in people that is as different as it is familiar.

Changing the Revenue Model of College Sport

  • In 2011, Welch Suggs joined the University of Georgia Grady College Journalism and Mass Communication after careers as a journalist, policy advocate and university administrator. In 2009, he received his Ph. D in Higher Education Policy from the University of Georgia.

    After internships at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and the Memphis Business Journal, Mr. Suggs began his journalism career at The Kansas City Star, covering the headquarters of the NCAA. He covered sports for the Dallas Business Journal and was part of the original reporting staff at the launch of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal. The Chronicle of Higher Education hired him to be their lead reporter on college sports in 1998, and in 2002 he was promoted to Senior Editor. He left in 2005 to return to his home state of Georgia and published his first book, A Place on the Team: The Triumph and Tragedy of Title IX in 2005.

    From 2005-07, Mr. Suggs served as Associate Director for the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. He dealt directly with leaders in higher education to tackle the future of college athletics. In 2007, University of Georgia’s president hired Mr. Suggs to liaise with the UGA Athletic Association, NCAA and Office of University Architects.

  • About Mark Silverman

    President, Big Ten Network

    Mark Silverman, the network’s first and only president, sets the strategic direction and manages all aspects of BTN, a joint venture between FOX Sports and the Big Ten Conference. BTN is the first successful collegiate television network to be partially owned by a conference. Silverman guided the network to profitability within two years of launch, established and grew the BTN brand and led the network to achieve its distribution goals. Today BTN has 60 million subscribers throughout the United States and Canada and has extended its portfolio beyond the traditional linear network with extensive new digital media offerings. Under Silverman’s leadership, BTN’s ratings and advertising revenue have significantly improved annually, with record-setting ratings for football, basketball, studio shows and original programming.

    The network also has added top national advertisers, including Allstate, BMW, Buffalo Wild Wings, Mitsubishi, and State Farm and attracted top national talent, such as Gus Johnson, Matt Millen, Jim Jackson and lead studio host Dave Revsine. Sports fans throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean can also access BTN through BTN2Go, the network’s digital extension. BTN2Go delivers live games and on-demand programming to BTN customers via the web, smartphones and tablets. Through BTN Plus, the network currently streams more than 600 events of HD quality, of which many also air on delay on the linear network as part of the Student U initiative. Using state of-the-art technology in portable production kits called “fly-packs,” the students produce and announce the events, allowing them to gain real-world television experience. More than 500 students across all Big Ten campuses participate in Student U each year and are groomed to become broadcast professionals.

    BTN’s cornerstone, live events, has grown under Silverman’s leadership over the past eight years, from 413 events in 2007-08 to the more than 1,000 events across 27 sports on all platforms by 2014-15. In addition to live events, BTN offers a full complement of original programming, including its signature series, The Journey. Other original programming includes Big Ten Elite, Big Ten Treasure Hunter, A Taste of Coaching, and the network’s feature-length documentaries, Scarlet and Gray Days: Inside Ohio State Training Camp, Unbeaten: The Life of Brook Berringer and Tiebreaker, featuring the 1973 Ohio State-Michigan game and its controversial aftermath that ultimately changed the Big Ten’s bowl structure. BTN is also home to several studio shows, including BTN Pregame with Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith on college football Saturdays, BTN Live every weeknight, Big Ten Football and Beyond, BTN Basketball and Beyond and B1G Diamond Report.

    Under Silverman’s leadership, BTN has received numerous marketing and programming awards. The Journey: Big Ten Basketball was nominated twice for a National Emmy, and BTN also earned an Edward R. Murrow Award in the category of video sports reporting. Silverman began his media career in the entertainment industry at The Walt Disney Company, where he held a number of executive positions during his 13-year tenure, principally in the television and movie studio divisions. Prior to joining BTN, Silverman served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the ABC Cable Networks Group. Silverman also previously served as Senior Vice President and General Manager, ABC Family Channel, where he was responsible for channel operations and the development of its business strategy, with emphasis on ad sales, business affairs, business development and finance.

    Silverman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan.

  • About Larry Jones

    COO, Fox Sports

    Lawrence (Larry) A. Jones, Executive Vice President Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer of FOX Sports Media Group, is responsible for overseeing the day- to-day operation of FOX Sports Media Group. Jones oversees production budgets, business and legal affairs, talent and rights negotiations, administration and facility and operations management. He played an integral role in FOX’s acquisition of the exclusive network broadcast rights to the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, UFC, the Big Ten Foot- ball Championship Games, the Pac-12 Football Championship Game and its regular season package and the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.

    Mr. Jones joined FOX Sports in 1994 as Executive Vice President of Business Oper- ations after serving as Senior Vice President, FOX Inc., responsible for developing new business opportunities for the company. He was President and Chief Oper- ating Officer of FX, FOX’s cable television venture, from March 1992 to November 1993 and was in charge of the launch and operational development of FOX Inc.’s then-new 24-hour cable service.

    Jones earned his B.A. from Syracuse University and graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law.

  • David A. Brandon began his tenure as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Michigan in March 2010. A University of Michigan alumnus, Mr. Brandon, 60, played football under Bo Schembechler and was a member of three Big Ten Championship teams. He received a B.A. degree in Communications from University of Michigan in 1974.

    In 1998, Mr. Brandon was elected to the University of Michigan’s Board of Regents and served one eight-year term. He has honorary doctorate degrees from Walsh College, Schoolcraft College, Lawrence Technological University, Cleary College, Albion College, Davenport University and Central Michigan University, where he served as a trustee from 1994-98.

    Brandon serves numerous not-for-profit organizations in a variety of capacities, in- cluding the Purple Rose Theatre Company, the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and the David A. Brandon Foundation.

    Prior to joining the athletic department, Mr. Brandon served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ann Arbor-based Domino’s Pizza, Inc. for 11 years, leading the company to the largest IPO of a restaurant company in history. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Herman Miller, DTE Energy and Kaydon Corpo- ration. Prior to his role with Domino’s, Mr. Brandon served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Valassis Communications, Inc.

    What he thought about MSBC:

    “The 2013 Michigan Sport Business Conference was a terrific opportunity to interact with students, connect with some industry friends who traveled to Ann Arbor to participate in the conference, and to make some new industry friends. The students did a wonderful job of planning and coordinating a highly organized, professional conference that was well-attended and highly informative. A large auditorium filled with students, sports industry professionals, and other stakeholders who are passionate about the business of sports is an opportunity I hope we can look forward to every year.”

  • William A. Sutton is a distinguished academician and a proven sports marketing practitioner. Mr. Sutton’s body of work includes notable academic appointments and extensive industry experience. An expert who educates and engages, Mr. Sutton possess a distinct combination of professional experiences that blend his savvy business acumen with his significant university credentials. His academic and industry career experiences are diverse and form a unique prism to observe the sports marketing and sports business landscape. Mr. Sutton’s consultation work has spanned the industry, working with professional leagues, teams, organizations, brands, universities, agencies, and facilities. Mr. Sutton currently holds an appoint- ment as Founding Director and Professor at the Sport and Entertainment Business Management Graduate Program in the Management Department at the University of South Florida and is the founder and principal of Bill Sutton & Associates, a con- sulting firm specializing in strategic marketing and revenue enhancement.

    He is the co-creator and architect of the innovative and groundbreaking Sports Sales Combine. CNBC.com hailed the Sports Sales Combine, a careers concept inspired by the NFL Draft Combine, as potentially “the next great idea in sports mar- keting”. Mr. Sutton also has an extensive track record of placing students in careers in the sports industry.

    His consulting clients include the NBA, WNBA, NHL, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, MSG Sports, and the New York Mets.

Developing Meaningful Advertising and Sponsorships for Sport Brands

  • Background:In his current role, Shea oversees a staff of fifteen and is responsible for managing the brand’s global sports marketing portfolio, including all league, team and athlete partnerships and negotiations. Shea has worked at PepsiCo since 2003, holding progressive brand management and sports marketing positions during that time. Most notably, prior to his current role, Shea led Gatorade’s new product innovation including the development and successful launch of the G Series and the brand’s evolution from Sports Drink to Sports Performance Nutrition. Earlier in his career, Shea worked as a marketing consultant at EMI Strategic Marketing, managing marketing strategy consulting projects for Consumer Products, Healthcare and Financial Services clients. He also worked at Liberty Mutual in Mergers & Acquisitions, building a $2 billion insurance business through multiple acquisitions as a charter member of a five-person acquisition and business development team.

    College: Boston College, B.S. in Marketing and University of Michigan, M.B.A.

  • In February 2011, Dave Dixon joined Warrior Sports as its Chief Marketing Officer. His career started as a professional indoor lacrosse player in the late 80’s. During this time he was also a marketing representative with IBM. In 1992, Mr. Dixon joined Stroh’s Brewery as a Marketing Executive and Director of Market Research & Marketing Operations. He later served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the breweries Russian division. In 2000, Mr. Dixon had a short stint with Deloitte Consulting before returning to the beer industry in 2002 to work for Miller Brewing Company as a Marketing Executive. During his time with Miller, Mr. Dixon signed a title sponsorship with World Series of Poker for Milwaukee’s Best brand and worked with MMA for the Mickey’s Malt Liquor Business. As the head of Hispanic Market- ing with Miller Brewing Company, Mr. Dixon worked on Miller Lite’s sponsorship

    of Gold Cup soccer. In 2008, Mr. Dixon left Miller to become the President of sport nutrition company, IDS Sports.

    Warrior was known as a Lacrosse company, but Mr. Dixon has recently launched the company into the global soccer business by signing the largest deal in English Premier league history with Liverpool Football Club. The marketing launch of the Liverpool jersey broke all sales records in the history of the club.

    Mr. Dixon holds a B.A. in Economics in 1987 and an M.B.A. in 1992 from the University of Michigan.

  • About Dave Greeley

    Precourt Sports Ventures

    As a senior entertainment and sports executive, Dave Greeley has gained extensive experience across a variety of businesses. He began with the hockey division of Compuware Corporation and then with the Palace Sports & Entertainment. Greeley later took a lead role with the Portland Trailblazers and The Rose Garden, joined the Chicago Bears as CMO and became the third President in Chicago Fire (MLS) history. Formerly, Managing Director, Practice Leader at Frank N. Magid Associates, Greely is now advising Precourt Sports Ventures.

  • Seth Ader was named Senior Director, Sports Marketing in January 2005, and is responsible for a wide array of ESPN’s marketing efforts. These include ESPN’s NFL programming — Monday Night Football, Sunday NFL Countdown, The NFL Draft, ESPN’s fantasy football, ESPN’s soccer properties, including the FIFA World Cup, European Championship, English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, MLS and USA Soccer and ESPN’s MLB programming and the Little League World Series.

    Mr. Ader joined ESPN in 2001 as a marketing manager handling the marketing efforts of original entertainment programming, ESPN The Magazine and the launch of ESPN Deportes and ESPNHD networks. In January 2003, Mr. Ader served as Director of Marketing, focusing on the NBA and NFL on ESPN before taking on his current role. Previous experience includes Vice President of Marketing of Book4Golf. com (October 1999-January 2001), Director of Marketing and public relations for Tear Drop/Tommy Armour Golf Co. (March 1997-September 1999), sales manager for Conde Nast Publications (June 1996-February 1997) and corporate marketing manager for the New Jersey Nets (June 1994-June 1996).

    Mr. Ader’s campaigns have won numerous awards including multiple a 2010 Sports Emmy, numerous Tellys, an Effie, a Mark and a NY Festivals award. He was graduat- ed from The University of Michigan in 1994 with a B.A. in Sport Management and Communications.

  • About Chris McGuire

    Dir. of Sports Marketing, Adidas

    Out of college in 1995, Chris McGuire started his career with IMG Academy, as the Director of Soccer Sports Marketing and Sales, where Adidas was a financial backer. In 1999, he became a member of the Adidas team as a field representative, and was later promoted to oversee marketing for the Adidas Soccer Group based in Port- land, Oregon.

    In that role, Mr. McGuire facilitated a league sponsorship deal with MLS and expanded the brand’s reach in youth sports around the country. Mr. McGuire was also one of the behind-the-scenes figures who helped coordinate David Beckham’s move to the United States, including an early introduction that set the table to later join the Los Angeles Galaxy. Mr. McGuire has led Adidas’ soccer division to record highs in footwear and apparel sales as well as team jersey sales. He has since been named Director of Sports Marketing for Adidas America, where he signed Adidas’ best NBA rookie class, led by Derrick Rose. The NBA is Adidas’ biggest platform in the United States, and Mr. McGuire plans to expand the brand’s share in football and the college ranks as well.

    Mr. McGuire graduated with a B.A. from Indiana University in 1995 and played varsity soccer while he attended Indiana. He is married with a son and a daughter.

Keynote Conversation

  • Stephen M. Ross is the Chairman and Founder of Related Companies. Mr. Ross formed Related in 1972 and today the company includes over 2,000 professionals. Related has developed over $22 billion in real estate and owns real estate assets valued at over $15 billion made up of best-in-class mixed-use, residential, retail, office, trade show and affordable properties in premier high-barrier-to-entry markets. Mr. Ross is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium. Mr. Ross is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Equinox Holdings, Inc., serves on the Executive Committee and is a trustee of Lincoln Center and is a trustee of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Urban Land Institute and the New York Chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. He is also a director of the World Resources Institute and the Jackie Robinson Foundation and chairperson emeritus of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the city’s leading real estate trade association.

  • Bob Bowman joined Major League Baseball Advanced Media LP (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, as its first President and Chief Executive Officer in 2000. MLBAM operates the official League site, www.MLB. com, as well as each of the 30 individual team sites. Prior to joining MLBAM, Mr. Bowman was President and Chief Operating Officer of ITT Corporation, one of the world’s largest and pre-eminent conglomerates. Mr. Bowman successfully oversaw the growth and operations of the $8 billion conglomerate until its merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts in 1998. During his tenure, Mr. Bowman and the senior management team at ITT created more than $25 billion of value for the company’s shareholders. Mr. Bowman graduated from Harvard College in 1977, and received his M.B.A. from The Wharton School in 1979.

  • About Mike Tirico

    Sportscaster, NBC

    Tirico has handled a variety of assignments for ESPN, ESPN Radio and ABC Sports since 1991, establishing himself as one of the most recognizable faces and steady voices across ESPN’s multimedia platforms and in the industry at large.

    In 2006, he assumed one of the top positions in sports television as ESPN’s Monday Night Football play-by-play commentator. Tirico’s other major roles include NBA, college basketball and golf play-by-play/host and studio host for major events. Tirico works alongside analyst Jon Gruden on MNF, the most-viewed series in cable television history. He is just the fourth person – joining broadcasting legends Keith Jackson, Frank Gifford and Al Michaels – to occupy the play-by-play post in the more than 40-year history of sports television’s signature series. Tirico handles play-by-play for NBA games paired with analyst Hubie Brown on ESPN and ABC, as well as the NBA Finals on ESPN Radio. In 2012, he returned to ESPN’s college basketball coverage as the play-by-play voice for weekly Super Tuesday Big Ten games alongside analyst Dan Dakich. A regular host and contributor to ESPN Radio, Tirico is part of the weekly Countdown to Kickoff and hosts the “Open Mike” podcast.

Keynote Presentation

  • Rohan Oza’s parents are both of Indian descent but he was born and raised in Zambia, Africa. He was educated in the United Kingdom at the Harrow School and Nottingham University and came to the United States to receive his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. Mr. Oza began his career as a manufacturing manager at Mars M&M where he was recruited at the age of 20 as the youngest manager to run Snickers, the second largest product line in Europe.

    From Mars M&M, Mr. Oza moved onto The Coca-Cola Company where he was pivotal in leading Sprite to be- come the number one brand for youth and African- American consumers. Mr. Oza then went on to manage the then declining POWERADE brand to three straight years of brand growth with the creation of breakthrough designs, partnerships and advertising campaigns.

    Mr. Oza left The Coca-Cola Company to become a partner in the fledgling beverage company Glacéau, where he built the power house brands Vitaminwater and Smartwater through innovative marketing programs and creative partnerships with celebrities like 50 Cent, Jennifer Aniston, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, Venus Williams and Alicia Keys. Mr. Oza’s career came full circle when The Coca-Cola Company purchased Glacéau for $4.1 billion and Mr. Oza was appointed as the Chief Marketing Officer across all of Coke still brands.

    Mr. Oza subsequently went on to form Idea Merchants Capital, his platform for investing and building iconic brands. His latest ventures include Popchips, the fastest growing snack in the country, and Vita Coco, one of the most popular coconut water drinks and exciting brand in beverages today. Following the model that he pioneered with 50 Cent and Vitaminwater, Mr. Oza has been instrumental in several celebrity investment deals for both Popchips (Ashton Kutcher, Kim Kardashian and Heidi Klum) and Vita Coco (Madonna and Rhianna).

    In 2002, Mr. Oza was featured on the cover of Brandweek as one of their “top ten marketers” in the country and was featured on CNN as one of Coke’s fastest rising stars. Mr. Oza has also been featured on the cover of Beverage Industry, in Crain’s New York Business “40 under 40” list, and appeared in SportsBusiness Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, Mr. Oza was presented with the Ad Age “Marketing 50” award. Mr. Oza has also been quoted extensively in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today for his expertise in marketing and building iconic brands.

Media and Reshaping the World of Sports

  • About Scott Burton

    Exec Editor, ESPN The Magazine

    Scott Burton is the Executive Editor of ESPN The Magazine, a position he assumed in June 2011. His responsibilities are wide-ranging, from directing writers and editors to creating issue story lineups to recruiting writing talent. Said the magazine’s Editor in Chief, Chad Millman: “Scott is the kind of talent that make magazines thrive. He has a deft touch with words and a keen sense of how conversations fans are having can be turned into stories and packages that truly resonate with readers.” Before being promoted from Senior Editor, Mr. Burton directed coverage of pro football and fantasy sports. He also conceived and launched two departments: “And Another Thing” and “Next Level.” Mr. Burton was the editor of the best-selling ESPN Fantasy Football preview magazine (2006-11) and co-editor of the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia in 2009. Prior to joining ESPN in the fall of 2000, Mr. Burton was an editor at SPORT magazine (1997-2000), Richard Petty’s Stock Car Racing Magazine (1996-97) and College Sports Magazine (1996). Burton was born in Chicago and grew up in Ithaca, New York. He graduated in 1996 from the University of Michigan. He lives in Farmington, Conn., with wife Nicole, a freelance journalist, and his young son.

  • With ESPN, Mr. Berson co-ran the programming department and was responsible for programming strategy, scheduling, development and driving audience con- sumption for all of ESPN’s domestic networks and digital media platforms. He was central in working with key sports figures to identify the content to be produced and distributed by ESPN. Mr. Berson had ultimate responsibility for determining the level of ESPN’s commitment to a specific sport or programming concept, with the goal of best serving fans while driving ESPN’s business. He also had responsibility for developing, launching and managing new businesses, including ESPNU and ESPN’s high school sports business. During the time he was responsible for program scheduling and strategy, ESPN networks set record audience levels and,

    in an era of rapid media industry change and proliferation, ESPN ratings grew 34 percent.

    In January 2006, The Sporting News listed Mr. Berson, then 33, on its annual list of “Young & Powerful.” In 2007-09, he was selected as a SportsBusiness Journal “Forty Under 40” recipient and named as a “Forty Under 40 Hall of Famer.” In 2007 and 2008, he was listed on BusinessWeek’s “The Power 100” ranking of the 100 most powerful people in sports. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Communications and Business.

    What he thought about MSBC:

    “I was thrilled to be invited and to be part of the inaugural Michigan Sports Business Conference. The student leaders put together a smart and innovative agenda, touching various facets of the sports business industry, and featuring many executives and well regarded speakers. I thoroughly enjoyed my time on a panel, listening to other sessions, and casually speaking with students during my time on campus. I look forward to future conferences, and seeing how the students continue to build on the conference’s great success. And of course I welcome any an all opportunities to be back in Ann Arbor… Go Blue!”