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Volume 26 No. 63
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SBJ All-Access: Brands, Properties Talk Shop At SMS

Day 1 of the 2019 Octagon Sports Marketing Symposium on Tuesday saw discussion across a wide range of trending topics, including Gen Z content consumption, global sneaker deals, opportunities with cannabis and sports betting and diversity and inclusion. Attendees heard from brands like Bank of America, Luna Bar, Cisco, cbdMD, DraftKings, UPS and Allegiant Airlines and properties like the UFC, MLB, MSG, USGA, NBA, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment and MiLB. Day 1 of the symposium at the Crowne Plaza Times Square wrapped up yesterday with future Basketball Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett dishing on his plans to revive the Hoop It Up 3-on-3 basketball event -- and giving attendees a peak at the trailer for his new movie with Adam Sandler. Check out SBJ Daily for more details on panel discussions and Q&As.

On tap for Day 2 today are discussions around the health and wellness category, new models for sports marketing and real-time fan engagement. There also will be execs from JBL and Mastercard discussing their brands.

 

Kevin Garnett spoke to conference attendees about his plans for the Hoop It Up event

 

TAILGATE EXPERIENCE 

  • The American Cornhole League put on an exhibit area outside the conference ballroom, where four pros came in to show off and toss with attendees. Ryan Smith (Virginia), Frank Modlin (North Carolina), Samantha Finley (Orlando) and John Kitchin (New Jersey) took on all comers and showed the high level of skill needed to toss bags with the pros. 

  • Lunch for conference attendees was a tailgate theme, featuring crunchy broccoli and cabbage salad with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, carrots and poppy seed vinaigrette (crumbled blue cheese on the side). Main course options included cheeseburger sliders, BBQ glazed spicy chicken wings with Alabama white BBQ sauce, smoked pork ribs and veggie burger sliders. There also was potato salad, vegetarian pasta salad with cucumber, red onion, heirloom cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, red wine vinaigrette. Dessert includes mini brownies, mini apple pie empanadas with caramel and fresh fruit salad.

  • Heading into a session with the PGA of America and UPS, attendees were provided with golf-themed snacks, including freshly baked scones served with house jams and whipped cream, fresh macaroons, strawberries, blueberries, mini cucumber sandwiches and mini smoked salmon sandwiches. 
American Cornhole League execs tossed bags with conference attendees this year

 

PRICELESS DINNER 

  • Octagon held a private dinner for select guests last night at MasterCard's "Priceless" pop-up restaurant space in Manhattan, which looks to recreate menus from famous restaurants from around the world. Guests started with a cocktail hour at Lyaness, where creator Ryan Chetiyawardana recreated a renowned mixed drink bar located in London. From there, dinner was held at another Priceless venue, The Rock, which has been recreated featuring cuisine from Zanzibar, Tanzania. Guests dined on passed appetizers and a four-course tasting menu.

  • Guests included SBJ's Abe Madkour, HBSE's Adam Davis, Allegiant's Scott DeAngelo, Mastercard's Michael Goldstein, MGM's Lance Evans, the NBA's Matt Wolf, former NBAer Kevin Garnett, UPS' Jennifer Oliveras, Cisco's Brian Eaton and DraftKings' Adam Barrick. Among the Octagon execs in attendance were Alyssa Romano, Alex Rozis, Dan Cohen, Eliza Morris, John Shea, Lisa Murray, Lou Kovacs, Meredith Kinsman and Scott Seymour.
(l-r) Octagon's John Shea, MiLB's David Wright and Octagon's Daniel Cohen

 

PLAYOFF PAYOFF

  • Nearby in the Bronx, the Yankees hosted the Astros in Game 3 of the ALCS with a 4:00pm ET first pitch. A few execs were in the hotel restaurant early to catch postseason baseball -- and take some meetings -- including Octagon agent Alex Saratsis and cbdMD's Caryn Dunayer. Following the last panel, guests were treated to a happy hour and a TV was rolled out to watch the game. Among those gathering to watch the early innings were Intersport's Mike Kline, the Chiefs' Anthony Cangelosi, Blue Jackets' Cameron Schlovin and NDC's Ian Fardy.

  • Who was spotted on the TV sitting front row at Yankee Stadium? Noted Bronx Bombers fan and ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro, who was joined by ESPN exec Burke Magnus.

 

PREVIEW SESSION 

  • To jumpstart the symposium, SBJ’s Abe Madkour and Terry Lefton interviewed Mastercard’s Michael Robichaud and Octagon’s John Shea in the exhibit area. In addition to previewing the topics on tap for Day 1, they talked about the hot issues in sports marketing and the challenges of reaching today’s audiences.
(l-r) Abe Madkour, Michael Robichaud, John Shea and Terry Lefton previewed the conference yesterday

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

  • Among the notable tweets from Day 1:

    • Daktronics' Justin Ochsner: "Great discussion about connected events - technology and sports events and venues."

    • PR consultant Joe Favorito: "One of best activations at a conference goes to...@iplaycornhole; bringing bags and boards to the streets of NY."

    • The NFLPA's Stanley Wakefield: "As a former Hoop It Up participant, my favorite story of the day is @KevinGarnett5KG ’s plan for restarting the tour. His vision for retooling the 3 on 3 tournament tour is next level."

    • Octagon's Jennifer Keene: "Hot topic at #sbjsms: China. It has come up on almost every panel."

    • rEvolution's Dave Mullins: "Awesome session featuring @KyleTurley at @sbjsbd Sports Marketing Symposium on the future of Cbd and sports, people starting to wake up to this category/product and its power to help athletes and the public at-large."

 

Former NFLer Kyle Turley (r) was on a panel discussing the emergence of CBD as a sponsorship category

  

WHAT'S NEXT?

  • Missed your chance to attend the Sports Marketing Symposium? Want to attend our next conference? For more information on our upcoming lineup, please email Lorianne Lamonica.