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My Agenda for Day 1 of Sloan

March 1, 2012

Sloan Sports Conference logoThe 6th annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference begins tomorrow at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. This is my first year attending and I can’t wait. The conference’s two days are packed with talks on all manner of sports analytics, ranging from business and corporate strategy, to coaching and in-game strategy, to player evaluation, to improving player performance, to assessing injury risk, to fantasy sports and sports betting. The full agenda is available here, and I wish I could clone myself and attend every session.

With the exception of the opening full panel discussion, each time slot offers a choice of at least four options, usually including two or three panel discussions, a research presentation, an evolution of sports talk, and sometimes a live taping of a program such as The B.S. Report, or Numbers Never* Lie. My game plan for Friday is to attend the following:

8:30-10:00 am: In the Best Interests of the Game: The Evolution of Sports Leagues. Full panel discussion featuring Gary Bettman (National Hockey League), Scott Boras (Boras Corporation), Rob Manfred (Major League Baseball), Adam Silver (National Basketball Association), Steve Tisch (New York Giants), and Michael Wilbon (ESPN, Pardon the Interruption).

10:20-11:20 am: Business of Sports: Winning Off the Field. Panel discussion featuring Jeannie Buss (Los Angeles Lakers), Jessica Gellman (New England Patriots/Kraft Sports Group), David Gill (Manchester United F.C.), Neil Glat (National Football League), Scott O’Neil (Madison Square Garden Sports), and Steve Pagliuca (Boston Celtics/Bain Capital).

11:40 am – 12:10 pm: Trade Show Business Competition featuring these companies.

12:10-12:40 pm: ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index (BPI). Evolution of Sport talk on the new college basketball ranking metric developed by ESPN’s Stats and Information Group. Presented by Dean Oliver and Alok Pattani of ESPN’s Production Analytics team.

1:00-2:00 pm: Baseball Analytics presented by Sportvision. Panel discussion featuring Rocco Baldelli (Tampa Bay Rays), Scott Boras (Boras Corporation), Bill James (Boston Red Sox), Jeff Luhnow (Houston Astros), Rob Neyer (SB Nation), and Mark Shapiro (Cleveland Indians).

2:20-3:20 pm: Basketball Analytics. Panel discussion featuring Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks/HDNet), John Hollinger (ESPN), Jackie MacMullan (ESPN), Jeff Van Gundy (ESPN/ABC, former NBA Head Coach), and Mike Zarren (Boston Celtics).

3:40-4:40 pm: Coaching Analytics. Panel discussion featuring Lawrence Jackson (Detroit Lions), Eric Mangini (ESPN, former NFL Head Coach), Donny Marshall (Comcast SportsNet Boston), Daryl Morey (Houston Rockets), Bill Simmons (ESPN/Grantland), and Jeff Van Gundy (ESPN/ABC, former NBA Head Coach).

5:00-5:30 pm: CourtVision: New Visual and Spatial Analytics for the NBA. 2012 Research Finalist. Presented by Kirk Goldsberry (Michigan State University).

5:30-6:00 pm: Deconstructing the Rebound with Optical Tracking Data. 2012 Research Finalist. Presented by Yu-Han Chang, Samantha Denesis, Aaron Henehan, and Rajiv Maheswaran (all of University of Southern California).

I think this will be a nice mix of large panel discussions and smaller research and evolution of sport presentations. I also aimed for a balance between the big names from sports business and media (Simmons, Cuban, Boras, etc.) and the less well known, but no doubt equally fascinating, academics and researchers.

I look forward to blogging some of the highlights from the conference starting on Sunday. And I will try to find time to upload my Day 2 agenda tomorrow night.

For a full listing of the offerings at this year’s Sloan conference, follow the links below:


Research Papers

Evolution of Sport

Trade Show

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