Sports luminaries from professional championship teams to lend their expertise to the 2nd Annual MIT Sloan Sports Business Conference

Conference will highlight the increasing role of analytics in sports

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 15, 2008 — As sports leagues and franchises face increasing pressure to drive and sustain profitability, leaders are increasingly turning to techniques from the corporate business world. On February 9, 2008 the 2nd Annual MIT Sloan Sports Business Conference will explore the role of analytics in managing successful professional teams and leagues.

Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, and Jessica Gelman, the Kraft Sports Group and New England Patriots director of New Business Development and Operational Initiatives, are co-chairing the conference. Slated keynote speaker is Wycliffe (Wyc) Grousbeck, managing partner, governor and Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Celtics.

For the first time in a conference setting, key decision makers from all 2007 professional championship teams will come together in “Defending the Title,” a panel that will seek to answer the critical questions of what to do after a team has won a championship. Panelists will include:

  • Bill Polian, president of the Indianapolis Colts;
  • R.C. Buford, general manager of the San Antonio Spurs;
  • Brian Burke, general manager of the Anaheim Ducks; and
  • Jed Hoyer, assistant general manager of the Boston Red Sox.

The session will be moderated by major league baseball journalist and ESPN commentator Peter Gammons.

Another panel, “Improving the Game — the Future of Professional Sports,” will feature Bill James, senior baseball operations advisor for the Boston Red Sox and author of Bill James Baseball Abstracts; John Walsh, senior vice president of ESPN; Rick Carlisle, former Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers coach; and Randy Vataha, managing director of GamePlan, LLC., a leading sports investment bank. The group will discuss tactics and strategies to improve the future of major professional sports.

This year's conference will also explore how to apply analytics to make draft, free agent, and trade decisions in baseball, basketball, and football; sports technology; gaming; broadcasting; and venue management and development.

Industry professionals and MBA students from more than one dozen leading institutions are expected to attend. Josh Miller, MIT Sloan MBA 2009, says, “I've always had a passion for sports. Now, in the Bill James era, it's become a viable career path for analytically-minded professionals.”

The conference will take place on February 9 on the MIT campus in the Ray and Marie Stata Center (Building 32) 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge. Registration starts at 7:45am. The conference will run from 9am to 5:30pm followed by a networking reception.

For more information and to register for the MIT Sloan Sports Business Conference, please visit: http://www.sloansportsconference.com/ or contact Chris Johnson at 617-529-0316.

The Second Annual MIT Sloan Sports Business Conference is sponsored by:

Stratbridge, a supplier of sports industry technology for teams in the NBA and NHL;
The Parthenon Group, a boutique provider of sports industry management consulting;
Mohegan Sun, a leading casino;
and yOOnew, an online marketplace for futures contracts.

About the MIT Sloan Entertainment, Media & Sports Club
The Entertainment, Media & Sports Club was formed in 2001 as a student-run club to fulfill the growing interest at the MBA program in the business of entertainment, media, and sports. The mission of the MIT Sloan Entertainment, Media and Sports Club is to help MIT Sloan students learn about the industries and extend the MIT Sloan brand as a lead business school in the entertainment, media and sports world. The club sponsors speakers, plans conferences, locates job opportunities, provides networking opportunities and career advising, and coordinates trips to top companies in the industry. Please visit http://sloanems.org/ for more information.

For Media Inquiries

Paul Denning
Director of Media Relations
Tel: 617-253-0576
Fax: 617-253-5875
E-mail: denning@mit.edu

Patricia Favreau
Associate Director of Media Relations
Tel: 617-253-3492
Fax: 617-253-5875
E-mail: pfavreau@mit.edu