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Tuesday, March 03, 2009
MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference This Saturday

I'm honored to be speaking at this year's MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, which will be held this Saturday (March 7th) in Cambridge, Mass.

It should be an amazing event, with some of the biggest names in sports, including Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Rockets GM Daryl Morey, and ESPN columnist Bill Simmons, as speakers.

Here is the agenda:

Careers in Sports
This panel explores the various roles that individuals with business and analytical backgrounds can fulfill within team, league, and related sports organizations. In addition, the panel will discuss various paths individuals took to identify and obtain these positions.

Chris Wallace -- General Manager, Memphis Grizzlies
Dan Zimmer -- Vice President of Business Operations, Boston Bruins
Buffy Gordon Filippell -- President, TeamWork Consulting
Bill Allard -- CEO, Athlete's Performance

Kristin Lane -- Partner, Forty Forty

Evolution of the Fan Experience
Evolution of the Fan Experience will look at how new technology, stadium design, game innovations, and customer initiatives are taking the fan experience to the next level.

Brian Burke -- President and General Manager, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jeff Van Gundy -- ESPN Analyst and Former NBA Coach
Mark Donovan -- Senior Vice President of Business Operations, Philadelphia Eagles

Bill Simmons -- ESPN Columnist

Globalization of Sports
Two years ago, the NFL played its first regular season game in London. In September, the NBA announced a joint venture to build and run sports arenas in China. Leagues and teams are taking different approaches to reach the global market. League and team partners are closely monitoring and defining success. This panel will look at the business opportunities that international markets offer to the sports industry. Top industry executives will share their insights on what is currently being done to grow business, specifically in areas such as merchandising, media, and partnership/sponsorship.

Tim Romani -- President & CEO, ICON Venue Group, LLC
David Baxter -- President, Adidas Sports Licensed Division
Steve Pagliuca -- Managing Partner, Boston Celtics

Mike Gorman -- Play-by-Play Announcer, Boston Celtics

Talent Identification
Long before there are professional or collegiate performances to analyze, scouting professionals scour the globe to find the next Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning. Developing the talent pipeline is a critical function for any sports team. This panel will discuss some of the existing, as well as new innovations in discovering the new talents of tomorrow.


Michael Forde -- Performance Director, Chelsea Football Club
Kris Homsi -- Science Director, SPARQ
Phil de Picciotto -- President of Athletes & Personalities, Octagon
Aaron Schatz -- Founder, Football Outsiders
Jack Mula -- General Counsel, ScoutAdvisor

Kate Fagan -- Reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Sports in a Recession
With the current economic downturn, leagues, teams and sponsors are facing a new set of challenges. This panel will discuss the effects teams and sponsors are seeing across ticketing, player salaries and advertising. In addition, the executives will discuss what steps and strategies they are undertaking to adjust to the current situation and what changes they are making to prepare for the future.

Jonathan Kraft -- President and COO, The Kraft Group
Rich Gotham -- President, Boston Celtics
Tim McDermott -- SVP and CMO, Washington Capitals
Lou DePaoli -- EVP and CMO, Pittsburgh Pirates
Kathy Goodman -- Co-Owner, Los Angeles Sparks

Dr. Roger Brinner -- Partner and Chief Economist, The Parthenon Group

Business of College Sports - Implications for Student Athletes
This panel looks at the business of college sports with a special emphasis on the rights of student-athletes. In particular we hope to explore such issues as pay-for-play, and new revenue sources.

Sonny Vaccaro -- Director, Vaccaro Sports Partnerships and Founding Chairman, The Roundball Classic and ABCD Camp
Michael McCann -- Associate Professor of Law, Vermont Law School and Legal Analyst, Sports Illustrated
Chris Wallace -- General Manager, Memphis Grizzlies
Bob Scalise -- Director of Athletics, Harvard University

Bob Ryan -- Sports Columnist, The Boston Globe

Baseball Analytics
The idea of using advanced analytics to measure athletes’ performance and value originated in baseball and has probably had more impact on the sport than on any other. This panel, returning now for its third year, will explore how the use of analytics in baseball has evolved, looking at how teams measure their own players and evaluate potential draft, trade and free agent acquisitions. The panelists are all industry thought leaders in the use of analytics for personnel management and they bring perspectives ranging from external consultants and authors to internal baseball operations personnel.

Shiraz Rehman -- Director of Baseball Operations, Arizona Diamondbacks
Tim Purpura -- Executive Vice President and COO, Minor League Baseball
Christina Kahrl -- Co-Founder & Managing Editor, Baseball Prospectus
David Pinto -- Owner and Author, Baseball Musings

John Dewan -- Owner, Baseball Info Solutions

Basketball Analytics
This panel examines the importance of analytical methods in basketball. With APBRmetrics gaining acceptance and respect around the NBA, teams are increasingly using statistical analysis to gain a competitive edge over their opponents. Panelists from ESPN and NBA teams will weigh in on topics revolving around player and team evaluative techniques, including the evolution of analytics in player evaluation and other research related to the development of optimal team performance.

Mark Cuban -- Owner, Dallas Mavericks and Co-Founder & Chairman, HDNet
Michael Zarren -- Asst. Exec. Director of Basketball Operations & Associate Counsel, Boston Celtics
John Hollinger -- Columnist, ESPN
Dean Oliver -- Director of Quantitative Analysis, Denver Nuggets

Marc Stein -- Columnist, ESPN

Sport 2.0 - The Evolution of Technology and Sports
Over the past two decades technology has completely reshaped the sports industry. Equipment companies are spending millions of dollars to improve athletic performance and safety while leagues try to maintain an even playing field. In addition, the fan experience has been transformed through huge leaps in media. This panel will be an open discussion on these topics and more with industry leaders in equipment design, media technology, and performance oversight.

Dick Rugge -- Senior Technical Director, US Golf Association
Steve Solomon -- President & COO, Accrue Sports and Entertainment Ventures
Dr. Mike Caine -- Director, Loughborough University Sports Technology Institute
Paul Litchfield -- VP of Advanced Concepts, Reebok
Mike Leigh -- Leader of Projects and Technical Development, US Olympic Committee

Dr. Kim Blair -- Founder & President, Sports Innovation Group LLC and Founder, MIT Sports Innovation

The Media and the Fanatic: the evolving value of new media and sports
There is growing concern that newspapers and other traditional media are becoming irrelevant as an avenue for keeping up-to-date on sports. However, new media (e.g. Blogs, Social Media, Social Networking sites) are challenging the established revenue channels provided by traditional media and impacting how fans follow their favorite teams. What does the future hold for media outlets and sports organizations? In this panel, we will explore recent avenues of growth (e.g. NBA-TNT partnership), local sports networks and other media growth on the horizon.

Adam Silver -- Deputy Commissioner and COO, NBA
John Walsh -- EVP and Executive Editor, ESPN
David Levy -- President, Turner Broadcasting Sales, Inc. & President, Turner Sports
John Collins -- COO, NHL

Shira Springer -- Sports Reporter, The Boston Globe

Team Chemistry: Real Value or Urban Legend?
Boston has emerged as a championship town with the “team-first” Patriots, a Celtics team with three hall of fame hopefuls, and a Red Sox team whose biggest bat overstayed his welcome. It begs the question, how much is team chemistry worth and can it be taught or even measured? This panel will offer perspectives from professionals who deal with these issues every day.

Andre Tippett -- Hall of Fame Linebacker and Executive Director of Community Affairs, New England Patriots
David Griffin -- Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations, Phoenix Suns
Dr. Steve Julius -- Team Psychologist, Chicago Bulls and Founder, Human Resource Consulting Group
Armond Hill -- Assistant Coach, Boston Celtics

Henry Abbott -- Founder, TrueHoop and Senior Writer, ESPN

Value of Icon Players
Description From the Babe to Michael Jordan to Montana and Gretzky, icon players don't just leave a mark on their team: they leave their mark on the sport and on the history of an era. Can you quantify the value they bring to a team or a city? Our panelists will discuss their experiences with icon players, starting with Casey Wasserman, CEO of the Wasserman Group, one of the world's leading global sports agencies, and Carla Christofferson, co-owner of the WNBA's LA Sparks.

Ray Allen -- All Star Guard, Boston Celtics
Carla Christofferson -- Co-Owner, Los Angeles Sparks
Greg Via -- Global Director of Sports Marketing, The Gillette Company
Brian Jennings -- EVP of Marketing, NHL

Ric Bucher -- NBA Reporter, ESPN and Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine


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Blogger Astros -- 3/05/2009 1:24 AM  

Fascinating conference and once again completely sold out. Is there going to be any type of recording of these panels that can be purchased?

Blogger Ed Q. -- 3/05/2009 10:44 AM  

Looks like a great conference. I would love to hear more about the careers in sports section for business and analytic types. Is there a book or website that this first hand information can be found?

Anonymous Anonymous -- 3/09/2009 8:14 PM  

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