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Volume 21 No. 39
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Big names, big events filling a busy calendar

We hope to see you at the Sports Business Awards and Leaders Week next week in New York City. On Wednesday, May 23, we will host our 11th annual Sports Business Awards gala at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in what is one of the biggest nights of the year in sports business. It promises to be a room full of big names, and includes the presentation of our Lifetime Achievement Award to former Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner, who will be introduced by current Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. In addition, our Celebration of Service award will be given to PeacePlayers International, which has focused on conflict resolution through basketball in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. This comes as we will present awards in 17 closely contested categories, including difficult decisions in Team of the Year, League of the Year and Best in Sports Media, among many others. Tables and single seats are still available, and we know you’ll enjoy the show.

But there are a few other events to put on your calendar as we look out for the next few months. First, we’ve been working with our partners at Intersport on the Brand Engagement & Content Summit that will be held at the hip Hotel Nikko in San Francisco on June 5-6. The event’s agenda balances sponsorship activation with customer engagement and content creation, and will be headlined by veteran marketer and Intel CMO Steve Fund, who has helped drive the company’s big investments in sports, and will lead the strategy for its global sponsorship with the International Olympic Committee.

Two weeks later, we’ll be in Detroit with our title sponsor AXS for our Sports Facilities & Franchises and Ticketing Symposium, where we will hit on the latest trends and strategies in ticketing, team and facility operations while touring Little Caesars Arena, nominated for Sports Facility of the Year and fueling a downtown renewal in Detroit, as well as touring its neighbor, Ford Field.

In July, we are hosting an expanded and enhanced Thought Leaders retreat, which is our exclusive invitation-only, two-day event that will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch at Beaver Creek, Colo. We look outside of the traditional sports business in building out our program and will explore topics such as leadership, innovation, creativity, life balance, and diversity and inclusion.

In September, we will roll out our 6th annual Game Changers class, highlighting exemplary women in sports business, and hold our annual conference on Wednesday, Sept. 12 in New York City. If you’re interested in nominating a deserving candidate to be considered for Game Changers this year, you can do so online starting May 21.

Finally, if you have ideas for potential speakers for any of these programs or additional questions, thoughts or comments, please let us know. We certainly hope to see you at one of our events down the road.

Abraham D. Madkour can be reached at