Articles

Slate of Speakers for the USF Sport & Entertainment Analytics Conference Set

By Keith Morelli

Sport & Entertainment Analytics Conference

TAMPA (January 9, 2019) -- For the fifth consecutive year, the USF Sport & Entertainment Analytics Conference Powered by Ticketmaster will present cutting-edge trends to its audience of marketers, business data analysts and sport/business students and this year’s conference is expected to continue to break new ground and raise the standard for excellence in academic conferences.

The aim of the two-day event is to provide executives in the sport and entertainment industries with the latest developments in marketing and information analytics to keep those leaders on the crest of evolving technology. It also is a chance for graduate students in the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program, which boasts a near 100 percent rate of job placement among its graduates each year, to meet and network with potential future employers.

The conference is set for March 26-27 in the USF Gibbons Alumni Center. Speakers will talk about various topics ranging from metrics and analytics to innovative ways of getting fans interested in their products and keeping them interested.

“We are extremely excited to be hosting our fifth annual SEAC,” said Mike Mondello, associate program director and Muma College of Business professor. “The theme of the conference is “Storytelling with Data.”

“We have several speakers representing organizations that have never been to our conference before, so we are interested to learn more about what innovative strategies they are doing,” he said. “They come from such organizations as the PGA Tour, Minor League Baseball, the International Speedway Corporation, Turner Sports and the Miami Dolphins.

“As always, we welcome these organizations to our campus, where they have a chance to meet our tremendous students, who will hopefully be the future talent in their industry.”

The conference is one of two signature events sponsored by the Vinik Sport & Entertainment Management Program each year, the other being its annual lecture series during the fall semester.

The analytics conference is gaining prestige in the emerging world of analytics and creativity within the sport and entertainment field and hosts guest speakers from around the nation discussing innovative ways to improve customer/client/fan experiences.

The event is scheduled for 1-6 p.m. on March 26 and from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. the following day.

Among the speakers scheduled to attend:

Mike James

Mike James, associate vice president of strategy and analytics at Team Marketing & Business Operations, an in-house consulting group within the NBA league office, manages a nine-person group focused on providing the NBA with strategic solutions across all areas of the business, leveraging data-driven decision making. He has given presentations on marketing, analytics and season-ticket member retention to the leadership of all 30 teams at various NBA workshops. 

Michael Vitti

Michael Vitti, vice president of data analytics with the PGA Tour since 2017, was hired to establish the PGA Tour Analytics Center of Excellence to lead the data technology efforts. With more than 20 years of experience turning data into information that drives strategies for various organizations including sports marketing, fan engagement, brand marketing and digital and social media, Vitti has built and led data and tech practices for start-ups and large media organizations alike.

Cory Bernstine

Cory Bernstine, senior manager of marketing strategy and research with Minor League Baseball, is the main point of contact on data-driven initiatives that support the development of league-wide marketing, fan development platforms and partnership sales of MiLB. He also maintains and enhances the relationships with the league’s research partners and manages the day-to-day operations of its national television programming.

Brian Berger

Brian Berger, manager of business insights at Turner Sports, performs strategic research to better understand the consumer and predict how people will digest content in the future. As a side job, he teaches a sport data analytics course to graduate students at Georgia State University. As a sports research analyst at Turner Sports, Berger led a project which analyzed the current state of the NBA in terms of consumption of live games.

Kari Gritton

Kari Gritton, managing director of consumer marketing for International Speedway Corporation, has 20 years of motorsports experience, including positions at Michigan International Speedway and Rockingham Speedway. She was the recipient of the 2016 Volusia and Flagler County Influential Women in Business honor and was named by the International Speedway Corporation as the company’s Top Employee Focused Manager of 2009.

Tiffany Kelly

Tiffany Kelly, a sports entrepreneur, advisor and analytics professional, is the co-founder and chief algorithms officer of a sports tech startup currently in stealth mode. Before that, she was with ESPN Stats & Information Group as a Sports Analytics Associate, where she created ESPN's College Football Fan Happiness Index. She became an advocate for harmonizing creativity, human traits and data science.

Allie MacLeod

Allie MacLeod, marketing intelligence manager with the Tampa Bay Lightning, is in her third year with the NHL team leading the organization’s customer research efforts, analyzing data to determine market and business insights and consulting with departments across the business to enhance the experience and provide support in the creation of strategies. She came to the Lightning from Nashville, where she worked for Comcast Spotlight.

Ben Roller

Ben Roller, vice president of marketing analytics with the Miami Dolphins, oversees sales and marketing analytics, ticket operations and customer relationship management. He previously served as the Dolphins’ senior director of sales and marketing research and analytics. Before moving to South Florida in 2014, Roller spent 12 years with the San Diego Padres as director of customer relations and ticket analytics and ticket operations manager.


Other sport and entertainment data experts taking to the podium include:

  • Mallom Liggon, director of strategy and insights at Turner Sports;
  • Matt Cenedella, chief operating officer and chief financial officer with the Women’s Tennis Association; 

To register for the event, click here.