This past weekend, twelve D18 students had the opportunity to attend two premier conferences in the sports business world: The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and the NFL Combine Football Career Conference. These events have been established for over a decade and offer high quality insights to the world of sports business. The twelve students who attended one of the conferences showed great initiative to improve their knowledge and broaden their networks.
The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was founded in 2006 by industry leaders Daryl Morey and Jessica Gelman and has been held in Boston, Massachusetts every year since. It remains one of the largest student run conferences in the world and has gained a reputation for being insightful and innovative. Adding ESPN as a presenting sponsor in 2010 strengthened its great reputation even further.
The 2017 conference was a jam packed two-day event on March 3-4 that featured countless speakers, panels, and discussions. The speakers included high profile figures such as past athletes, sports business executives from every league, and great analytical minds from top companies. Val Ackerman, Shane Battier, Sue Bird, Adam Silver, Nate Silver, David Griffin and Mark Cuban are just a few of the influential sports minds that attended the conference. The speaker panels focused on many topics such as fan engagement, the future of analytics in sport, sports business, etc. The weekend offered the amazing opportunity to explore the freezing but beautiful city of Boston. Between the constant flow of engaging activities, insight from the industry’s brightest, and enjoying free time in the city, the Sloan Conference upheld its reputation as one of the best.
Seven DeVos students in total attended the 2017 conference and were able to gain a deeper understanding on a subject they are passionate about.
“The Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was a great experience. The Sloan Conference is really the pinnacle of analytics and I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn from some of the brightest minds in the industry.”
“Attending the conference exposed us to the current and future trends of the industry; moreover, it gave us the opportunity to learn the skillsets that employers are looking for and how we can use these tools to impact sports both on and off the field.”
“Traveling and attending conferences is a highlight of the DeVos program. It gives us a unique chance to experience sports business firsthand while bonding with your fellow cohort members.”
Five other DeVos students attended the NFL Combine Football Career Conference, which is held in conjunction with the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. The conference has been in place since 2002 and gives attendees the unique experience of learning about the NFL in the perfect environment. The conference includes networking opportunities with similarly ambitious students and NFL executives. The event, which was spread across three days, offered great tips and learning experiences while also offering access to watch the NFL combine. Speakers at the event included Adam Schefter, John Wooten, Mark Dominik, and Mike Tannebaum.
The DeVos students who attended were grateful to receive insight and enjoyed their time watching the combine and exploring Indianapolis.
“Attending the SMWW NFL career conference allowed me to network with like-minded professionals and gave me an opportunity to explore potential career paths.”
“Overall I enjoyed my time in Indy exploring the city, listening to the speakers and getting to watch the combine. The two biggest highlights for me were getting to listen to and then talk with former GM Mark Dominik. Really impressive person. The combine was also an incredibly unique opportunity to watch the next possible wave of NFL stars. Getting to see DeShaun Watson and Mitch Trubisky throw and see them standout compared to the other QB’s was really cool.”
“The SMWW Conference offered a great line of speakers who provided valuable insight into the business side of the NFL. A very unique and enlightening learning opportunity, especially for individuals on the precipice of a sports business career.”
Students at the DeVos Program have the ability to gain access to many conferences and receive advice for when they attend. There are many conferences throughout the year that D18 will continue to show up for!