Marketing panelists at Sports Business Summit

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Sports Business Summit and Speaker Series

For one day in early autumn, leading sports industry professionals, students, faculty, and local business leaders gather on Olin’s campus for what is now an annual tradition: The Olin Sports Business Summit.

Designed to expose students and business leaders to the real-world application of business principles in sports, the summit is the kickoff event for the yearlong Lacob Family Business of Sports Speakers Series, which has drawn many top sports leaders to campus since the program’s launch in 2014.

Summit attendance is a requirement for students minoring in the Business of Sports. The summit, which draws 150 attendees annually, has attracted speakers from organizations such as the National Basketball Association, Octagon Sports Marketing, IMG Tennis (the agency representing top athletes such as Maria Sharapova), the Sacramento Kings, the NCAA, the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, the Milwaukee Brewers, Division 1 collegiate sports conferences, and many more.

These industry leaders have shared insights on topics such as:

  • The legality of fantasy sports leagues
  • Branding issues in collegiate sports
  • The process of building a championship team
  • The use of technology (such as virtual reality) in NFL football
  • Building a professional sports league
  • Business issues behind opening new sports facilities
  • The economics of hosting the Olympic Games
  • The evolving business model for collegiate sports

The summit is marketed each year to business professionals, not fans, through the work of student groups who promote it on campus and throughout the community. WashU students gain value from the summit through real-world insights as well as the great networking opportunities—which, in some cases, have led to internships and engagements in experiential learning projects.

Sports Analytics Guest Speakers

During the Spring 2017 semester, the Sports Analytics class welcomed esteemed guest speakers such as Jay Riola (Orlando Magic, Director of Business Strategy - far left), Russ Scibetti (KORE, President of Planning and Insights - 3rd from left), and Brett Broich (Carolina Hurricanes, Business Analytics Director).

Lacob Family Business of Sports Speakers Series

Student exposure to top sports business professionals continues throughout the year. Typically, the Lacob Sports Speaker Series features four campus guests annually. These speaker engagements are meant to further solidify students’ grasp of the role business principles play off the field and outside the court in the world of sports.

They also provide networking opportunities for participants in the program and foster WashU alumni engagement in the future of the program and in students’ professional development. Throughout the program’s history, speakers have included:

  • Star athletes such as NHL Hall-of-Famer Chris Pronger
  • Team executives, including Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt Jr., and Anthony Perez, the Orlando Magic’s Executive Vice President of Strategy
  • Corporate sponsor representatives such as former Anheuser-Busch President Dave Peacock
  • Broadcasting executives such as former Fox Sports Vice President Ed Goren
  • Sports business executives, including John Shreve, Senior Principal and Urban Designer at Populous; Russell Scibetti, Vice President at KORE Software, which markets sports management technology; and John Paul, founder and CEO of VenueNext, which markets venue management technology