By Emilie Plesset, Daily Staff Reporter
Published April 7, 2014
The Michigan Sport Business Conference unveiled the theme for their third annual event as “Game Changers: Innovating Today. Defining Tomorrow.” The conference will be Oct. 24, though a venue has yet to be finalized.
Founded in 2011 by University alumni Brandon Rhodes and Dustin Cairo, MSBC aspires to inspire future sports business professionals and provide students access to industry leaders on campus.
Kinesiology junior David Herman, MSBC co-president, said MSBC is the only student-run undergraduate conference. While other professional business events may be expensive to attend, MSBC aims to provide students with networking opportunities at a lower cost.
“Our model is to bring that same caliber of eager quality and networking opportunity into a student university environment for a very affordable cost to our students,” Herman said.
Herman said that while the themes of previous conferences have focused on how the sports industry has changed in the past, this year the conference will focus on how the industry will innovate and progress in the future.
“There are a lot of cool things going on in the background of sports that a lot of people don’t know about,” said Kinesiology junior Josh Kadden, MSBC brand and website director. “We want to focus this year on what the next 10 years are going to be in sports and how the game changer are changing tomorrow.”
The conference will host about 500 people, including 30 to 40 speakers, sponsors, alumni, industry professionals and almost 400 students from the University and other schools throughout the country.
“We want to spread the great work we’re doing and give students who are interested in the industry opportunity,” Herman said.
MSBC will announce its speakers for the upcoming conference in the fall. Past speakers have included ESPN President John Skipper, Monday Night Football announcer Mike Tirico and real estate mogul Stephen M. Ross, a frequent donor to the University and owner of the Miami Dolphins, among others.
Herman said that this year’s speakers will reflect the conference’s theme of innovation and leadership.
“This year we really want to try and find those people, those companies, individuals, teams who are looking for what the next decade will bring in sports business,” Herman said. “We are really looking for people who are creating new things today and are trying to change things up or do something new.”
The MSBC planning team is looking into different ways of speaker presentation to further engage students and increase networking opportunities. In the past the conference was set up in a panel format, but this year there may be more of a debate format.