SBJ/March 17-23, 2014/Events and Attractions

Forty Under 40: Looking Ahead

As SportsBusiness Journal honors its 2014 class of Forty Under 40 this week at a ceremony in California, we asked them the following question:

What is the biggest challenge facing the sports industry in 2014?


RENIE ANDERSON

Continuing to aggregate large audiences in a fractionalized, VOD world.


NATE APPLEMAN
The definition of amateurism.

BESS BARNES

With the increasing number of platforms and sources of entertainment, the competition for fans’ attention has never been greater. The sports industry will continue to be challenged to draw audiences in.


JESSICA BERMAN
Performance-enhancing substances.

AMY BROOKS

Harnessing technology in the right ways to enhance the fan experience.



JEREMY CAREY
Leagues, teams, properties, content-distribution partners, agencies, investors and clients all have to be careful about the management of and cost of content.

ETHAN CASSON

Utilizing mobile technology to enhance and individualize the game-day experience for fans. Additionally, looking for more efficient ways to capture customer data and apply it to our business strategies and services.


KELLY CHEESEMAN
Figuring out the secondary market of ticketing.

JUSTIN CONNOLLY

Developing an accepted common currency for measuring sports viewing across all screens.



ERIC CONRAD
Getting people to authenticate TV Everywhere. There’s no unity around that.

RICK CORDELLA

TVE and the digital rights struggle between leagues, broadcasters, MVPDs and local affiliates. The linear TV strategy can’t be shoehorned into a digital strategy; it needs to be approached differently.

JIM DELORENZO

The shift to programmatic media buys. I’m also interested to see if fans start to cut the cord and embrace over-the-top digital video services.

DAVE FINOCCHIO

Starting to better understand and embrace how younger audiences are consuming content. The world is changing very quickly.


JESSICA GELMAN

Improving the fan experience and enhancing customer engagement. We want to identify every person attending an event in our building and create more meaningful relationships with them throughout the year.

JONATHAN GIBSON

Ensuring relevancy with youth and the multicultural consumer.


ALISON GIORDANO
Competition with other consumer entertainment options.

DAVID GREENSPAN

Lots of transformative change is in the air (e.g., status of amateurism in college sports, continually evolving public views on sexuality and the legalization of marijuana, and the previously unfathomable but now common household debate about whether kids should be allowed to play football). It will be fascinating to see how sports and the sports leagues change with the times.

KIRSTEN HUNT
Emerging markets hosting large-scale sporting events.

TUCKER KAIN

Fan engagement. With so many other options out there, keeping people engaged and interested will determine how sports teams and leagues will do moving forward.

JOE KARLGAARD
Fan attendance at live events.

ED KIERNAN

Connecting with new generations and making them fervent sports fans like previous generations. The entire sports fandom experience has changed from the way it’s introduced and cultivated in children and ultimately nurtured through adulthood. Maintaining and growing that avidity is crucial to the future of every facet of this business.

CHRIS KLEIN
Adapting to the ever-changing media landscape.

JOSH KROENKE

Figuring out the best ways to monetize the changing technology and new ways to interact with fans.

DAMANI LEECH
Getting butts in seats.

ANDREW LUSTGARTEN

Growing relevance and fan engagement in an ever-changing digital world.

ROD MOSKOWITZ
Selling tickets to live events.

AHMAD NASSAR

Keeping pace with new forms of technology/entertainment and making sure kids are both actively and passively consuming sports.

WILL PLEASANTS
Figuring how to keep fans engaged and valued.

BRIAN SCHULZ

Being very open and accepting to the lifestyles of the athletes that grace our back pages.

DONTE SCOTT
The fear and controversy surrounding the concussion issue.

EMMANUEL SEUGE

Determining the role sponsors play in broadcasting content.

JOHN SHEA

PEDs. As a parent, if you can’t feel good about transferring your passion for a sport from your generation to the next, that’s a bigger issue than anything else facing the industry.

JARED SMITH

The same that faced it for the last couple of years: the secondary market. Getting our arms around the secondary market in a way that’s healthy and accretive and controllable for fans still is the No. 1 challenge; no question in my mind.

HENRY STAFFORD

Commoditization and a lack of innovation.

JOSH SWARTZ

Fragmentation of viewership across platforms. It also happens to be the industry’s biggest opportunity.

LOWELL TAUB

How social media is going to change how sports endorsement deals are constructed and valued.

IGOR ULIS

The ability for sports and sports media businesses to create great experiences for fans in-stadium and on all viewing platforms amidst a complex technology and rights landscape.

ARACELI VILLEGAS
Embracing diversity in race, gender and sexual orientation.

PETE VLASTELICA

Being invented in a coffee shop somewhere as we speak.


CHRIS WUJCIK
Social media.

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