Variety’s Sports and Entertainment Summit explores opportunities surrounding the intersecting worlds of sports and multi-platform media. While athletes are extending their individual brands across film/TV/digital, the larger media industry is looking to advance its sports coverage and programming to best engage with massive fan bases. Also critical, the marketing and advertising community are eyeing ways to partner with the sports community to enhance their relationships with consumers. Variety’s Summit will explore strategies and trends in these intersecting worlds of sports and entertainment.
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Ticket includes access to full day summit, networking lunch and cocktail reception.
Ticket quantities are limited at each price level and are subject to change. Tickets are non-refundable but will be transferable upon request.
WhenJuly 138:00 am - 6:00 pm
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9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. The Future of Sports Media Industry
As audiences splinter across media options, the sports broadcast industry is racing to evolve for this digital age. Fans now enjoy overwhelming choice to catch games – new TV services, digital apps, growing multiplatform live streaming options as more. How is the sports programming industry upping its game with viewers, while at the same time creating the right business models for their latest innovations? How are the leagues influencing how their channel partners cover their teams and athletes across platforms? Top sports network chiefs, league executives and their partners talk about how they are growing their business.
Alan Gold, Partner and Head of Sports Media, CAA’s Evolution Media Group
9:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Keynote Conversation with Michael Strahan, Co-Host, Good Morning America and Erin Andrews, Analyst, Fox Sports and Constance Schwartz–Morini, Founder SMAC Entertainment
10:15 to 11:00 a.m. Ultimate Teammates: Brands and Sports
How are brands evolving their integration strategies with sports, as networks offer new multiplatform marketing opportunities across flagship TV channels, tied-in online sites, social media, mobile and more. As stadiums and arenas innovate to attract fans, how can venue sponsors get a piece of the action? What is the best marketing storytelling strategies to break through to sports fans in particular? Brands, network and venue marketing partners will converge to talk about the future of sports marketing.
Justin Toman, Senior Director, Sports Marketing, PepsiCo
11:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Networking Break
11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. LA Sports Town – Ready, Set, GO
In just about no time at all, Los Angeles has emerged as the hottest sports town going. Come this fall, both the Chargers and the Rams will be playing here – marking a huge change from the city’s years-long pro-football drought. LA appears close to securing the Olympics in 2024 – delivering an onslaught of opportunity for entertainment properties and consumer brands. The Clippers, Lakers, Kings and Galaxy also have strong fan bases. How are various stakes holders – teams, the media community, sports marketers – making the most out of this extreme sports activity? What are strategies in engaging LA sports fans – what is key in making sure there is excitement for all? LA sports, media and marketing chiefs will talk about keeping the city on a sports and entertainment roll.
Kevin Demoff, EVP Football Operations & Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles Rams
Stan Kasten, CEO, Los Angeles Dodgers
Marla Messing, VP Marketing and Executive Director, Sport Relations, LA2024
12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. It’s Not Just About Winning – Athletes Engaging Fans Beyond the Game
Successful athletes have a broad range of interests – spanning community service, entertainment projects, fashion lines and other entrepreneurial activities. They realize the benefits in interacting with their fan base outside of the limited time they are playing on the field or court. What is the most strategic way for athletes to authentically extend their brands to other areas of interest? Athletes, brands and their partners will explain how they are approaching 360-degree fan engagement.
Amy Trask, CBS Analyst and Former CEO, Oakland Raiders
Shawn Green, MLB All-Star (Dodgers, Mets) and CEO, Greenfly
Shawne Merriman, Three-Time Pro-Bowl Linebacker (San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills) and Founder, Lights Out
12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Lunch
1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Keynote Conversation
2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mic Drop: What’s Next in Sports Talk?
Sure, there’s a game to watch – but sports doesn’t truly come alive for fans until they hear their favorite commentators and media personalities weighing in on all of the action. What are the latest strategies to communicate to fans across networks, sites, podcasts and more? What are trends across different leagues and their goals in reaching various audience demographics? Top sports media analysts will talk about how they are connecting with today’s fans.
3:00 p.m. to 3:15 Networking Break
3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Nike and Sports Storytelling
A behind the scenes look at Nike’s documentary, Breaking2, about the record-breaking quest to run a marathon in under 2 hours.
Tad Greenough, Senior Global Director, Brand Communication, Nike
Jason Puris, Executive Producer, Dirty Robber
3:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hot Button Action – Exploding World of E-Sports
The act of watching video games, aka e-sports, has emerged as a hot spectator sport, now filling stadiums worldwide. What are brand marketing opportunities around e-sports, especially as it attracts elusive generation Z and millennial audiences? How are e-sports leagues evolving to best capitalize on growing popularity worldwide? What content distributors are best engaging audiences with e-sports programming? Top e-sports leagues, distributors, brand marketers and their partners will share how they are taking this growing business to new heights.
Rodger Saffold, Los Angeles Rams Offensive Lineman and Founder, Rise Nation
4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Creating Immersive Fan Experiences
New technologies seem tailor made for the sports fan. Advancing live streaming platform are enabling fandom in more places than ever before. The growing 360-degree video, virtual reality and augmented reality categories are also the quintessential marriage of sports and entertainment – as audiences encounter a mix of mind-blowing interactivity, action and narrative experiences. What new technologies are poised to truly innovate the live fan experience? Sports leaders chat about the future of revolutionizing the fan experience.
Laura Froelich, Head of Sports Partnerships, Twitter
Ryan Montoya, Chief Technology Officer, Sacramento Kings
Devin Poolman, SVP Digital Product Development, FoxSports
5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. Trailblazers of Sports in Film and TV
Sports is known for attracting large audiences – but not all fans of one sport will necessarily like another. How is the entertainment community creating film and TV that will resonate broadly with audiences? What documentaries, scripted series, feature films and more are most compelling? Top TV and film writers, producers, directors and other creative talent converge to talk about translating sports for the screen.
6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cocktail Reception
Who Is Speaking?
- Michael StrahanGood Morning America
- Erin AndrewsFox Sports
- Constance Schwartz-MoriniSMAC Entertainment
- Shawne MerrimanLights OutCommanding and fearless NFL powerhouse Shawne Merriman never met a quarterback he couldn’t sack. Largely regarded as one of the greatest defensive players in the league’s history, this former first-round draft pick and three-time pro-Bowl and All-Pro linebacker is known as “Lights Out” to the world, a nickname originating from his unmatched power on the field and ability to ignite his teammates while intimidating the opposition. Merriman’s excellence and drive for success did not subside when he exited the stadium. His undeniable tenacity and dedication has led to international success in both business and entertainment.
Expanding his brand off the field with his innovative and thriving “Lights Out” (LightsOutbrand.com) athletic apparel collection, Merriman designed the line for both men and women, “Lights Out” is intended and designed to motivate the consumer toward maximum performance. While providing the best in athletic wear to inspire the warrior in everyone, Merriman is showing the world once again that he means business with the cutting-edge apparel collection.
Merriman was born and raised in Maryland. His football career began when he was young, and his exceptional talent was apparent immediately to his family, friends and coaches from a very early age. He grew up in a rough part of town, surrounded by dangerous circumstances. However, where others may have fallen victim to the negative influences of a tough neighborhood, Merriman’s strength and intuition allowed him to divert the negativity and channel his energy into a positive outlet; football. During his career at Frederick Douglass High School, Merriman earned the nickname “Lights Out” for his ability to strike his opponents with tremendous force. The alias stuck with him through a career as a top 15 draft pick out of the University of Maryland and then as a nationally recognized top tier defensive player in the NFL and an integral asset to the teams he played for during his eight seasons in the NFL.
A true entrepreneur with natural charisma, charm and drive, Merriman is expanding his footprint in various athletic arenas. He was named a celebrity ambassador for Bellator MMA and was made a prominent fixture in their hugely popular SPIKE TV programming. Merriman is also now tackling NASCAR as the new car owner for driver Jesse Iwuji. As a longtime NASCAR fan and with Iwuji sitting in the driver's seat, Shawn Merriman and his "Light's Out" car made their debut at the K&N Pro Series East opener at New Smyrna Speedway.
Merriman has made headlines throughout his storied career, and featured in publications including Maxim, Playboy, GQ, ESPN the Magazine, VIBE Magazine, and many more. Additionally, Merriman is well known on the small screen including on MTV, VH1, E!, FOX, The Biggest Loser, Cartoon Network, Funny or Die and more. Whether it’s on the red carpet, in front of a camera or on the radio, Merriman has that “it” factor. That is what attracts mainstream viewers, readers and listeners alike, and truly sets him apart from the pack.
It is not only Merriman’s strength and performance on the field that makes him so magnetic. His fervent desire to give back to his community and inherent entrepreneurial spirit are what make him a truly remarkable man. As a child, Merriman was the victim of two house fires, and he was left homeless as a result of these incidents. Now a father himself, he has worked tirelessly in an effort to give back to his community and assist homeless children and families in need. He has taken a special interest in contributing to the Salvation Army, Standing Up For Kids and Feeding America. Additionally, Merriman founded the “Lights On Foundation” in an effort to help children and families in need, and he hosts the annual “Lights On” Bowling event to raise money for the cause.
- Stan KastenLos Angeles DodgersStan Kasten became president and CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 30, 2012. Under Kasten, the Dodgers have won three consecutive NL West titles for the first time in franchise history, led the Major Leagues in attendance each of those years, and revitalized their minor league system into what Baseball America declared No. 1 in baseball.
For more than three decades, Kasten has been a highly respected sports figure and has developed a reputation for creating winning sports franchises.
He was president of the Washington Nationals from 2006-10, where he worked to re-energize a dormant baseball fan base and simultaneously established a crown jewel franchise in Washington, D.C.
In 1999, Kasten became the first sports figure to hold the title of president of three different teams in three different major sports simultaneously. He accomplished this unique feat with Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves, the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks and the National Hockey League’s Atlanta Thrashers.
Highlighting Kasten’s professional career was the Braves’ 1995 World Championship. During his tenure, the Braves and Hawks made a combined 30 post-season appearances and claimed 15 division titles, including 12 in a row in the Braves’ unprecedented run from 1991-2003.
Kasten has been a member of numerous MLB, NBA and NHL ownership committees during his professional career, including NBA committees on marketing, player pensions and expansion and the NBA Board of Governors, MLB’s owners negotiating committee and chairman of the Player Personal Development Committee, and the NHL’s Board of Governors and its executive committee. He is also a former trustee of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Throughout his impressive sports career, Kasten has relied on three pillars – scouting and player development, enhancing the fan experience and community outreach – to establish franchises built for long-term success on and off the field.
In 1979, at age 27, Kasten became the youngest general manager in NBA history with the Hawks. He held the position until 1990. Kasten became the Hawks’ president in 1986. During his lengthy tenure in the Hawks’ front office, Kasten became the first -- and only – NBA executive to win back-to-back Executive of the Year awards in 1986-87. With the help of future NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, Kasten was able to build Atlanta into a perennial playoff contender, posting four consecutive 50-win seasons from 1986-89, and set franchise attendance records. In the 1990s, Kasten guided Atlanta to a stretch of seven consecutive playoff appearances, including three 50-win seasons.
Kasten also became president of the Braves in 1986. From 1987-2003, the Braves won more games than any other team in MLB. As president of the Braves, Kasten helped assemble talented teams that consistently competed for a world championship. Led by manager Bobby Cox, the Braves teams of that era were built around a deep pitching staff that featured Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Steve Avery and John Smoltz. The cornerstone of the Braves’ lineup was All-Star third baseman Chipper Jones. From 1991-2005, the Braves won 14 consecutive division titles, five National League pennants and the 1995 World Series.
In 1999, when the NHL awarded Atlanta an expansion team, Kasten added the title of president of the Thrashers, as well as chairman of the newly constructed Philips Arena. He was also involved in the design and construction of Turner Field. Kasten held all three positions until 2003, when he stepped down.
Kasten was named to the board of directors of LA24 in 2015 to support the city’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic games. This came on the heels of Kasten being elected in 2014 to the LA84 Foundation’s board of directors. LA84 is the legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and primary funder of youth athletics in Southern California.
The Los Angeles Sports Council named Kasten 2013 Sports Executive of the Year.
A native of Lakewood, N.J., Kasten is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University Law School. Kasten and his wife, Helen, have four children: Alana, Corey, Sherry and Jay.
- Rodger SaffoldLos Angeles Rams & Rise NationFather, husband and an offensive guard drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, Rodger Saffold is the owner of a competitive eSports team “Rise Nation” and is one of the first professional athletes to own an eGaming team. In 2014 Rodger decided to start “Rise Nation” with his long time friend Kahreem Horsley, and from there they have worked together to create what has become a very successful organization to date.
Passionate about diversifying the eSports culture, Rodger recently partnered with the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) to provide scholarships for minorities and women. In addition, Rodger enjoys sharing his eSports experiences as he recently shared his thoughts and unique perspective at SXSW on a panel discussing “The Future of Inclusivity in Modern Gaming”. Rodger hopes to his platform as an eGaming owner to educate and create opportunities for minorities.
- Amy TraskOakland RaidersAmy Trask has had many titles during her career: chief executive, analyst, and author. The former CEO of the Oakland Raiders, and current football analyst for CBS Sports Network, recently joined Ice Cube, Jeff Kwatinetz and Roger Mason Jr. as CEO of BIG3 to further solidify her role as a leading executive in the sports industry.
During her time with the Raiders, Trask was the highest-ranking female executive in the NFL. She spent almost 30 years with the Raiders organization, where she became the NFL's first female front-office executive and was one of the highest-ranking women in American professional sports. As CEO of the Raiders (1997-2013), Trask was involved in all non-football operations for the team and represented the organization at league meetings. Under her watch, the Raiders won four Division Championships (1990, 2000, 2001 and 2002) and one AFC Championship (2002).
Since 2013, Trask’s role with football extended to television as a studio analyst for CBS Sports Network on THAT OTHER PREGAME SHOW. She also serves as a panelist on WE NEED TO TALK, the first-ever nationally televised all-female sports show and contributes to THE NFL TODAY on CBS.
In her book, You Negotiate Like a Girl: Reflections on a Career in the National Football League (Triumph Books, 2016), Trask shared her experience as the highest-ranking female executive in the league and working in the front office. With the help of sportswriter Mike Freeman, Trask delved into her past and discussed how she achieved success.
Trask serves on the board of directors for Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and the advisory board of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission.
She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkley and the USC Gould School of Law. She resides in Los Angeles, California with her husband.
- Justin TomanPepsiCoJustin oversees all of Pepsi’s sports partnerships including all league, team, sports media and athlete assets. He is responsible for delivering PepsiCo’s long term sports investment strategy as well as break through sports marketing programs and platforms across all beverage brands.
Justin joined PepsiCo in 2007 and held several brand roles including Mountain Dew, Propel and Pepsi. He has been on the Sports Marketing team since 2013; first overseeing baseball, soccer and hockey, then transitioning to lead Pepsi’s NFL partnerships and currently oversees all sports. Justin has led Pepsi’s successful Super Bowl activations since 2014 and was recently named one of Sports Business Journal’s ‘Forty Under 40’, a group recognized as the best young talent in sports business.
Prior to PepsiCo, Justin worked at the University of Michigan Athletic Department. He holds three degrees from Michigan (M.B.A., Masters of Sports Management and B.S.) and won three NCAA Gymnastics Championships. He was named the 1999 University of Michigan Male Athlete of the Year (over Tom Brady).
- Laura FroelichTwitterLaura leads Sports Partnerships at Twitter, bringing exceptional content from leagues, teams, broadcasters and athletes to fans in real time, while driving reach and revenue for these strategic partners and Twitter. Prior to joining Twitter in February 2014, she spent five years at CBS Interactive devising product marketing and monetization strategies for premium sports content including NCAA March Madness, NFL and college football, The Masters, PGA Tour golf, as well as the suite of fantasy games from CBSSports.com. Her efforts led to multiple years of record-setting revenues for the properties. Prior to CBS, Laura focused her career in sales and marketing at such notable publishers as CNET, Ziff-Davis, and Condé Nast. Laura is a graduate of Brown University where she received a BA in International Relations. Follow her on Twitter at @laurafrofro.