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Executive Transactions  Sports Business Journal

Sports Business Journal

Wed, Aug 17, 2022 09:16 AM PT

MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference (SSAC) is an annual event that provides a forum for industry professionals (executives and leading researchers) and students to discuss the increasing role of analytics in the sports industry. The conference is held in the Boston area and while its location has moved from the MIT campus to higher capacity convention centers, it has always occurred during February or March. Founded in 2006, the conference is co-chaired by Daryl Morey, President of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, and Jessica Gelman, CEO of KAGR (Kraft Analytics Group), who oversee MIT Sloan students (from the EMS Club) in the planning and operating of the yearly conference. It is the largest student-run conference in the world, attracting students from over 170 different schools and representatives from over 80 professional sports teams in the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and Premier League. The conference has been sold out every year and has become the premier venue for sports analytics discussion. ESPN has been the presenting sponsor since 2010 and the conference has garnered national attention through media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Time, BusinessWeek, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, and Forbes. ESPN columnist Bill Simmons has nicknamed the conference Dorkapalooza.The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was ranked #3 by Fast Company magazine in its 2012 ranking of the world's most innovative sports companies behind only the NFL and MLB Advanced Media.


Michael G. Rubin

Michael G. Rubin (born July 21, 1972) is an American businessman and philanthropist. He is the CEO of Fanatics, the world's leading provider of licensed sports merchandise; and executive chairman Rue Gilt Groupe, the premier off-price e-commerce portfolio company, which includes,, and He previously founded GSI Commerce in 1998, selling it to eBay in 2011 for $2.4 billion.Rubin started the viral “All In Challenge”, where celebrities, influencers and brands donated valuable possessions or once-in-a lifetime experiences to raise $60 million to fight food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.Rubin was a partner of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team from 2011 and the New Jersey Devils hockey team from 2013 before selling his ownership stakes in both franchises in June 2022. In an interview with Fox Sports, Rubin attributed the sale to his focus on the expansion of his Fanatics business.He is also the co-chair of the REFORM Alliance, a criminal justice reform organization that he launched in January 2019, together with Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Robert Kraft, Robert F. Smith, Clara Wu Tsai, Daniel S. Loeb, Michael Novogratz and Laura Arnold.Rubin has been included in the Forbes 400: The Richest People in America, the Forbes: The World's Billionaires list, and the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His personal wealth, as of September 2021, was valued at $8 billion.


Sports analytics

Sports analytics are a collection of relevant, historical, statistics that can provide a competitive advantage to a team or individual. Through the collection and analyzation of these data, sports analytics inform players, coaches and other staff in order to facilitate decision making both during and prior to sporting events. The term "sports analytics" was popularized in mainstream sports culture following the release of the 2011 film, Moneyball, in which Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) relies heavily on the use of analytics to build a competitive team on a minimal budget. There are two key aspects of sports analytics — on-field and off-field analytics. On-field analytics deals with improving the on-field performance of teams and players, including questions such as "which player on the Red Sox contributed most to the team's offense?" or "who is the best wing player in the NBA?", etc. Off-field analytics deals with the business side of sports. Off-field analytics focuses on helping a sport organization or body surface patterns and insights through data that would help increase ticket and merchandise sales, improve fan engagement, etc. Off-field analytics essentially uses data to help rightsholders take decisions that would lead to higher growth and increased profitability.As technology has advanced over the last number of years data collection has become more in-depth and can be conducted with relative ease. Advancements in data collection have allowed for sports analytics to grow as well, leading to the development of advanced statistics and machine learning, as well as sport specific technologies that allow for things like game simulations to be conducted by teams prior to play, improve fan acquisition and marketing strategies, and even understand the impact of sponsorship on each team as well as its fans.Another significant impact sports analytics have had on professional sports is in relation to sport gambling. In depth sports analytics have taken sports gambling to new levels, whether it be fantasy sports leagues or nightly wagers, bettors now have more information at their disposal to help aid decision making.


Tony Khan

Antony Rafiq Khan (born October 10, 1982) is an American businessman, promoter, and sports executive known for his involvement in American football, professional wrestling and soccer. He is best known as the founder and co-owner of All Elite Wrestling (AEW), where he also holds the positions of president, chief executive, general manager and executive producer of the promotion.He is the son of businessman Shahid Khan, who is the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL) and Premier League club Fulham. He holds executive roles at both organizations: with the Jaguars, he is chief football strategy officer and with Fulham, he is the vice-chairman and director of football operations. Other business ventures that Khan is involved in include TruMedia Networks, Activist Artists Management and Ring of Honor (ROH).



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