Sensei Nick Theodorou – Owner & Founder, Theodorou Academy


Deepak Malhotra – Professor, Harvard Business School


When it comes to excellence and superior performance in the martial arts, sports, business or any other endeavor, how does one exceed the limits of science and truly become an “artist”? Are experts simply outstanding practitioners of their sport, or do they go beyond “practice” and develop their own philosophies? What are the limits of exceptional technique, and how do you go farther by mastering underlying principles? In a dynamic and wide-ranging conversation on the essence of mastery, Sensei Nick Theodorou (a 35-year practitioner of the martial arts and 6th degree black belt in Jiu Jitsu) and Professor Deepak Malhotra (a Negotiations Professor of 17 years at Harvard Business School and an advisor on deals and conflicts around the world) will discuss what accounts for greatness in the martial arts, in the worlds of negotiation and diplomacy, and in everything from sports to the performing arts to leadership. Come learn as well as participate in a conversation that will enhance your own game, whatever skill or domain you are trying to master.

Mike Leach – Head Football Coach, Washington State University

Michael Lewis – Author & Journalist


Coach; Author; Innovator; Eccentric; Brilliant; Unconventional. All these and more have been used to describe Mike Leach, who will sit down with bestselling author Michael Lewis for a one-on-one conversation on being arguably the most innovative coach in football history and how he has changed the way the game is played. Coming off an 11-2 season at the helm of the Washington State Cougars football program, Leach will take a moment to reflect on where he’s been, where he’s going, and why he might be the most misunderstood man in college football.

Tom Garfinkel – President & CEO, Miami Dolphins

Amy Latimer – President, TD Garden

Brian Mirakian – Senior Principal & Populous Activate Director, Populous

Pete Giorgio – Leader, US Sports Consulting, Deloitte

Angela Ruggiero (Moderator) – CEO & Co-Founder, Sports Innovation Lab


With increasing options for when, where, and how fans are able to watch their favorite teams play, legacy venues are trying to accommodate newer technologies and comforts to encourage fans to come to live games and engage with their team. Creating a new venue experience offers organizations the opportunity to incorporate state-of-the-art technology, local and gourmet food and beverage options, and more ways for fans to interact with each other and the game itself. But, it is also a long and expensive process. On this panel, executives will discuss how they are redefining the “street to seat” experience to fill their seats and create an unparalleled experience for longtime and new fans alike.

August 6, 2019

Sports Mythbusting

Darcy Norman – Performance Coach, US Men’s National Soccer Team

Sue Bird – Point Guard, Seattle Storm

Jason Robins – Founder & CEO, DraftKings

Pablo Torre – Host, ESPN

Mike Zarren – Assistant GM & Team Counsel – Boston Celtics

Mike Maughan – Head of Global Insights, Qualtrics

Stephen J. Dubner (Moderator) – Author & Journalist

Jason Concepcion (Moderator) – Senior Creative, The Ringer


In the age of camera phones and social media, athletes and league officials can hardly do anything without it being captured and reported on. But what about the stories that have been passed along from generation to generation or unnamed source to blogger about people doing seemingly impossible or improbable things? Our panelists will run the numbers to prove or disprove the possibility of a number of famous sports myths and legends that have stuck around despite lack of evidence or unwillingness of participants to discuss. The veracity of those same myths though? That part is up to you. In this panel, Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics and Jason Concepcion from The Ringer will co-host, posing questions that help us separate fact from fiction.

Sue Bird – Point Guard, Seattle Storm

Steve Magness – Performance Coach/Author, University of Houston

George Karl – Former NBA Head Coach

Matt Mayberry – Chief Operating Officer, Boundless Mind

Tom Haberstroh (Moderator) – NBA Insider, NBC Sports


Every league has, at least to some degree, embraced social media outlets like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook as critical channels to connect fans more closely to the sports they watch. Players view these communities as opportunities to engage with fans, build their personal brands, and control their stories. However, these benefits to the teams and players come with costs. While phones have become inescapable to many of us, this growing obsession could be particularly detrimental in the context of a professional sports team. This panel will discuss the impact social media and phone dependence may have on team performance, ways ill effects can be mitigated, and whether these networks ultimately bring more harm than good.

Adam Grow – COO, KORE Software

Scott Tilton – Co-Founder & CEO, Hookit

Joe Ruggiero – VP, Strategy & Business Development

Rahul Kadavakolu – Executive Director of Global Branding & Marketing, Rakuten

Ian Fitzpatrick – Head of Global Content & Digital Marketing

Warren Zola (Moderator) – Executive Director, Boston College Chief Executives Club


With most aspects of our daily lives featuring advertising or sponsorships of some kind, it is increasingly difficult for brands to quantify and attribute the value that they get out of specific sponsorships. Traditional metrics like sales and clicks have become complicated by both improved technology and bad actors, and the time it takes to see meaningful results can vary widely. With more organizations focusing on data to drive strategic decisions, sports organizations seeking partners need to provide more than simply anecdotal evidence of what brands can stand to gain. This panel will feature discussion of what outcomes matter most to brands, how sports organizations value partnerships, and how more robust data can help inform decisions on both sides of the table regarding who they choose to partner with and in what way.

Zach Lowe – Senior Writer & NBA Columnist, ESPN

Mike Zarren – Assistant General Manager & Team Counsel, Boston Celtics

Paul Pierce – NBA Analyst, ESPN

Bob Myers – GM & President of Basketball Operations, Golden State Warriors

Howard Beck (Moderator) – Senior Writer, Bleacher Report


The game of basketball changes quickly – so in an era of three-point shooting, floor spacing, and versatility, it’s natural to wonder what the next iteration of the game will look like. Forecasting the relative value of future player types will be of the utmost significance for any franchise looking for that one special player to take the next step in their evolution. This panel will examine the ways in which teams are leveraging analytics to answer these questions and address other top-of-mind issues such as lineup optimization, “position-less basketball”, as well as finding and exploiting inefficiencies in an increasingly intelligent NBA.

Brian Bilello – President, New England Revolution

Kristine Lilly – Former United States Women’s National Soccer Team Member

Ben Mackriell – Head of OptaPro

Isaac Guerrero – Technical Director, FC Barcelona Football School

Grant Wahl (Moderator) – Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated


As the beautiful game continues to adapt to the rise of analytics, player positions are evolving in accordance with these changes. With the rise of data collection at the back of this impending revolution, new methods of evaluating player value, contracts, and incentives are coming to the forefront. While the game moves away from formal positional roles, teams uncover what skillsets were previously under- or overvalued. As the sport sits at the precipice of thrilling analytical revolution, every element of the sport from training to game strategy stands to change. This panel brings together perspectives from across the sport to discuss the state of the game today and where soccer goes from here.

Maryann Turcke – COO, NFL

Amy Howe – President of Ticketmaster, North America

Jessica Gelman – CEO, Kraft Analytics Group

Mike Zarren – Assistant GM & Team Counsel, Boston Celtics

Michele Steele (Moderator) – Studio Anchor & Reporter, ESPN


Traditional management principles need to be revised—data is shaping the way in which best-in-class organizations build teams, drive strategy, maximize revenue, and create culture. What are the challenges in acquiring and analyzing data in sports? How can organizations be best structured to ensure consistency of data across the organization and the ability sift through endless quantities of information to define impactful insights about their businesses? This panel brings together industry leaders who have led, are leading, and are at the forefront of redefining how data can be the heart of decision-making and innovation.

David Epstein – Science Writer & Investigative Reporter

Malcolm Gladwell - Author


Authors Malcolm Gladwell and David Epstein meet again, five years since their initial 10,000 Hours vs. The Sports Gene talk, to resurface the important and long-standing question of whether nature or nurture determines one’s athletic success. In this one-on-one discussion, Gladwell and Epstein sit down to evaluate what has changed, including Epstein’s latest argument that contrary to popular belief, generalists are the ones who actually succeed in a specialized world.

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