Talk Data to Me

Inside the ESPN Sports Analytics Team

Since coming onto the scene in 2010, ESPN's Sports Analytics Team has generated groundbreaking metrics that helped change the conversation about performance across a number of sports. Jeff Bennett and Allison Loucks share the backstory of the team's origins and how the lessons learned along the way have paid off with analytics now reshaping how many sports stories are told. This shift was most noticeable in college football where the team built a data-driven framework to provide new ways to evaluate teams as the sport switched from the BCS to the playoff committee system.

How Analytics is Changing the Game

Reconciling the power and promise of data is hard. Learn the inside story of how the sports industry has adopted analytics to understand fans, improve business operations and change the game itself. Hear from Jessica Gelman, CEO of KAGR (Kraft Analytics Group) on the journey of impact from gaining organizational buy-in to KAGR's leadership across all major U.S. sports leagues today.

Marathon, Not a Sprint

Start with the Technology Basics

As sports become more data savvy, the need to advocate for, and implement, new technology has become even more important. However, building your technology stack is a marathon, not a sprint. Learn from leaders at different stages of their organization's technology journey to gain insights to bring back to your own. From where to start to investing in new tools, our panelists will share insights into their technology "marathons."
Panelists: Kate Howard, Kristin Bernert, Neda Tabatabaie
Moderator: Dr. Felesia Stukes

The Data Long Game

Future-Proof Your Team and Data Strategy

Much like building a championship team, a successful data strategy and team requires leaders to always be thinking ahead. Hear from industry leaders on the forefront of innovation about all aspects of future-proofing. From skills and resources needed to succeed in the future, to data privacy and sustainable data strategies for long-term success, these experts are playing the long game.
Panelists: Daryl Morey, Kathy Carter, Shelley Pisarra
Moderator: Jessica Gelman

Changing the Game

How Data-Driven Strategy Topples Old-School Thinking

In this one-to-one conversation with Thayer Lavielle, Pam Forbus shares her journey in leveraging data and sharp insights to revamp strategies and businesses during her time at PepsiCo, Walt Disney Studios and now as the CMO of Pernod Ricard. There are no sacred cows here, and nowhere to hide. Interestingly, a simple return to the consumer — the truth and heart of it all — is at the core of each of the shifts, leading to new strategies, unlocking new spends and a fresh look at the full marketing mix across some of the most traditional industries.

Tackling Data and the Boardroom

A Conversation on Data and Decision Making

Maryann Turcke, the former COO of the NFL and industry innovator, has defined her career with a data first approach. A civil engineer by training, she led Canada's largest media company through massive growth by investing where the customer was going and leveraging her innate ability to use data in negotiations. Subsequently, she spearheaded the reorganization of the most powerful sports league in the world, including the adoption of analytics across the NFL.

In this one-on-one conversation with Jessica Gelman, hear the inside story of how Turcke's analytic skills differentiated her and how she rose to prominence in two of the most challenging industries — media and sports.

Data and Innovation Mindset

NFL and LA28 Case Studies

Leveraging data and creating models to positively impact the organization is a hallmark of Allison Katz-Mayfield's career. As the vice president of business strategy and analytics for the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Katz-Mayfield has a wealth of experience to share from her current role, plus from her tenure at the NFL. In this session, she will provide background on her most recent successes at both LA28 and the NFL, and address how leaning into data and having an innovative mindset have helped shape her career path.

Parlay Your Data into Value

A Conversation on Data and Decision Making

Sports betting and sports streaming have changed the game. Our panelists Amy Howe and Marie Donoghue bring their innovation leadership to the stage on how they have captured data and created value. Bringing insights from FanDuel and global sports streaming at Amazon, this powerful duo will share their expertise on how they have used data throughout their careers, the role data has played in making crucial decisions and how they have turned data into meaningful value for their stakeholders.
Moderator: Shelley Pisarra

Putting the Ball in Your Court

Despite the amount of data readily available these days, many business leaders still struggle to effectively leverage analytics to address business challenges and use data-driven decision making. Learn to establish a set of principles for utilizing data in meaningful ways, enabling you to tell a persuasive story to engage stakeholders, generate buy-in and drive initiatives forward.

This session focuses on the art and science of storytelling with data. Together, in a "dojo"-inspired format, we'll share personal experiences and use a live case study to help real protagonists and decision makers think through data-related challenges, determine the critical questions to ask and develop hands-on strategies for data-enriched leadership.
Facilitator: Professor Yael Grushka-Cockayne


Agenda, timing, sessions and speakers are subject to change.