The Business of Sports
Panel THREE 1:20 - 2:10 PM
Sports have always united people and provided a unique opportunity for brands to market themselves to and engage with an avid base of consumers. Recently, the business of sports has been a popular topic as the industry undergoes massive change and growth. According to PwC, the sports market in North America was worth over $60 billion in 2014 and it is expected to reach nearly $75 billion by 2019. Sports has become big business and this panel will examine some of the prominent industry trends driving growth. The panel will focus on emerging media, properties, and brands, as we examine content trends, major players, and the developing opportunities in this ever evolving industry.
Partner, Sage Partners
Rich has 40 years of consulting experience working in a variety of industries on matters of corporate, business unit, and functional strategy. He was a Senior Partner in the Strategy and Operations practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP from which he retired in 2009. While there he led the strategy practice and focused primarily in the health care and consumer goods industries. Prior to Deloitte he was a founder of Braxton Associates, a strategy consulting firm that he helped grow from a startup in 1977 to 250 consultants worldwide and which was sold to Deloitte in 1984.
Since he “retired” Rich has remained active in consulting and venture activities at Sage Partners and is a part time faculty member in the MBA program at the Johnson School of Business at Cornell. He has been an HBS career coach for 7 years, working with both MBA students and alumni, as well as in the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program run by HBS. He has been active in the Boston College Men’s Hockey Mentor Program since its inception in 2007.
Rich holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Cornell and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Director, Global partnerships soccer United marketing
Evan Levine is the Director of Global Partnerships for Soccer United Marketing, where he is responsible for developing revenue opportunities for Major League Soccer, the U.S. Soccer Federation and the Mexican National Team.
Levine possesses over 10 years of industry experience, most recently at Roc Nation where he oversaw business development for the full-service agency, inclusive of athletes, artists, songwriters, music publishing, touring, film & television and special events.
While at Roc Nation, Evan brokered strategic partnerships with major brands including 2K Sports, adidas, Alaska Airlines, BBVA, BODYARMOR, HTC, Sprint, Sparkling Ice, Pepsi, PlayStation, Unilever, Wilson and more. He secured the groundbreaking partnership with JP Morgan Chase for the On The Run Tour featuring Beyonce & JAY Z.
Prior to Roc Nation he worked at USA TODAY Sports Media Group and the National Basketball Association. At the NBA he served in various roles for both the Global Merchandising and Marketing Partnership departments. He began his professional career as part of the NBA’s Associate Program.
Evan is a native of New York, NY and currently resides there with his wife Rachel.
Vice President of Digital at NESN
Michael R. Hall is the Vice President of Digital at NESN, the sports television network owned by the parent companies of the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins.
Michael has served as NESN's digital general manager since 2008. He has responsibility for NESN's entire digital product line, including NESN.com, our mobile and tablet apps, our digital video team, our social media platforms, and our digital sales strategy. In addition to his digital leadership, Michael serves as a member of NESN’s executive team.
Under Michael’s leadership, NESN.com’s monthly unique visitor reach has grown to 13.2 million, representing a 5-year compound annual growth rate of 101 percent (source: comScore). Today, NESN.com is the most-visited digital property in regional sports, the most-visited local TV website in the United States, and one of the Top 20 most-visited sports websites in the United States.
Prior to joining NESN, Michael worked at ESPN.com, where he led digital search and content distribution initiatives, and at ABC.com, where he led development of ABC.com's award-winning user engagement platform, including fantasy games, social media, and online video.
Michael is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a degree in computer science.
With a consultative and strategy development background, Brian Millman has the unique blend of agency and property experience; both buying and selling partnerships. Currently, Millman works at Mindshare ESP, the sport and entertainment consultancy of Mindshare, a division of GroupM, the world’s largest media agency. Working across Mindshare’s client base, Millman focuses on Unilever’s strategy, negotiation and activation; leading the relationship with the NCAA, NBA and other media partnerships.
With previous experience domestically and internationally, Millman has worked with all major sports leagues and most teams with partnerships big (naming rights) and small (club deals). Prior to Mindshare ESP, Millman worked at the NBA selling and activating partnerships across the NBA and the NBA Development League and developing zero-cost marketing and sponsorship opportunities.
A recent graduate of Columbia Business School, Millman is the co-founder of Tyler’s Trees, the largest Christmas tree delivery company in New York City and expanding to Charlotte. Millman is from Los Angeles, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan but currently, Millman and his wife call New York City home.
US Marketing Manager at Reebok
Kendel Fiorentino has over eight years of sport business industry experience across agency, media property, and brand positions. She is currently a US Marketing Manager at Reebok, focusing on trade marketing and account activation at key retail partners, Finish Line and Lady Foot Locker.
Prior to joining Reebok, Kendel was an Account Director at GroupM ESP in New York, managing strategy development, partnership management and activation for Fortune 500 companies including Discover Card (NHL/NBC Sports, Orange Bowl/ESPN) and Chevron (Pac-12 Conference). She also played an integral role in the agency’s business development efforts.
Prior to joining GroupM, Kendel served as Manager of Sales Promotions at SportsNet New York (TV home of the Mets, Jets, and the Big East Conference), helping to develop and implement integrated sponsorship and promotional programs across SNY and New York Mets platforms. Additional agency experience also includes nearly three years at a small startup shop.
Kendel graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Sports and Entertainment management. Although a true New Yorker at heart, Kendel currently resides in Boston, MA.