Tracking Trends in Sports Business

Sessions will explore how new technologies are shifting the way fans experience sports.

This is the first time NAB Show will have a dedicated one-day conference track of general sessions focusing on the topic of sports called The Business of Sports Entertainment. Today’s conference is sponsored by Samsung.

“This track will surely be popular with NAB Show attendees,” said Joe Schramm, programmer for the event and president of Schramm Marketing Group. “It’s about sports and business, which offers us an entertaining way to talk about driving revenues.”

Schramm said that each session will focus on one of four key areas for the sports entertainment business — live content, new technology, sponsorships and the fan experience. “These are the pillars for success in today’s environment whether it’s radio, TV or digital video,” said Schramm.

Who should attend? Schramm said executives in the business of sports content, event or venue management, sports radio and television, traditional and digital media, sponsorship sales, promotions and marketing would all find something of interest.

“That includes executives from video and audio technology, broadcasters, advertisers/ brands, media buying agencies, pay-TV programming networks, OTT and pay-TV providers,” said Schramm.

The four sessions will offer perspectives on building the business of live sports, sponsorships, technology and the fan experience. Top sports executives from leagues, venues, networks, local stations, sponsors, OTT providers and ground-breakers in sports technologies headline each of these discussions and share how they are building new sources of fans and revenues.

“We’ll explore the business side of how live sports action continues to drive ratings and revenues; how new technologies are shifting the way a fan experiences sports entertainment; how sponsors are readjusting the way they measure the ROI of their sports investments; and finally what we can expect next for enhancing the fan experience, on site, online and on the screen.

“Our speakers and panelists are the superstars of business in sports entertainment,” said Schramm. “[They] will bring their ‘A’ game to their sessions and attendees will walk away with a fresh set of perspectives on the future trends for driving their own bottom line.”

“Keeping It Real: Delivering Live Programming to Today’s Sports Fans” starts the day. Here, leading sports executives from leagues, local stations, venues and networks discuss how the demands from today’s fans are changing the game for “live sports.” Participants include Lisa Borders, WNBA; Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Networks; Raul Gutierrez, T-Mobile Arena; Sheila Oliver, KMSP-WFTC; and Marshall Zelaznik, Glory Sports International.

The session “New Technologies in Sports: Fad or Fan Favorites?” will look at OTT video, 3D graphics, in-venue apps, e-sports, online gaming, fantasy sports and new transactional mobile sites. Participants include Eric Black, NBC Sports Digital & Playmaker Media; Ashok Balakrishnan, Sportradar; C.J. Bottitta, coordinating producer & executive director; David Gandler, fuboTV; and Sohrob Farudi, Fan Controlled Football League.

This afternoon, in the session “What’s Next for Sports Television: Content, Distribution, Sponsors and Viewers,” business leaders in sports production, promotion and television discuss innovation in enhancing the fan experience. Participants include Bob Becker, VWSE Productions; Will Funk, Turner Sports; Nicole Pike, Nielsen Esports; Bill Wanger, Fox Sports; and Marc Watson, ELEVEN SPORTS.

Today concludes with “The Art of Sports Sponsorship: How to Win Friendly Sponsors and Influence Fans.” This will provide an insider’s perspective of the complex and changing business of sponsorship, from sales to management and athlete spokespeople.

Participants are Rick Arpin, MGM Resorts International; Steve Mandala, Univision Communications Inc.; Abner Mares, Mares Enterprises; Grant Jones, Above Average, The Kicker; and Stuart Lipson, Esports Ad Bureau.