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SXSW To Expand With Sports Programming, Featuring ESPN's Simmons, Silver

South by Southwest conference (SXSW) organizers yesterday announced that the event "will expand its reach in March to incorporate sports-related programming," according to Matthew Odam of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. SXsports will "feature film screenings and panel discussions that highlight the intersection of creative industries, sports, innovation, pop culture and business." ESPN's Bill Simmons "will appear in conversation" with ESPN's Nate Silver. SXsports runs March 7-9 and is open to all SXSW Interactive and SXSW Film registrants. Mandalay Sports Media Chair and Warriors co-Owner Peter Guber "will serve as the opening speaker of the event, delivering an address titled, 'Hunting for Elephants: Creating Enterprise Value in Sports Media.'" SXsports "will undoubtedly speak to the convergence of technology and how fans track and peripherally participate in their favorite college and professional sports." The sports panel discussions will use the "same PanelPicker function that has been used at previous conferences to allow attendees to weigh in on programming choices." SXSW plans to "announce additional SXsports programming in early November." Meanwhile, SXSW Film is "still accepting sports-related film submissions, and the lineup of films for SXsports will be announced along with the SXSW Film lineup in early February" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 10/2). Asked whether the sports track was expected eventually to match the music, film and interactive programs as a self-standing element of the festival, SXSW Film Media Relations & Programmer Rebecca Feferman said, “We’re taking it one day at a time. We see the potential in the sports area" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/2).
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