Did you know that some of the biggest names in sports have met annually since 2007 for an event at the MIT Sloan School of Management that ESPN columnist Bill Simmons once described as “dorkapalooza”? At the student-run Sports Analytics Conference, participants discuss the increasing role of analytics in the sports industry, and students have ample opportunity to network with the elite of the sports world.
The ninth annual conference was held over two days in February 2015 and featured four invited speakers, including the research director of the American Sports Medicine Institute and the editor of WIRED.com. In addition, more than 120 industry experts, leaders, and professionals participated in the event’s almost 30 panel discussions, among them representatives from MSG Sports, the MLB Network, the National Football League (NFL), the United States Soccer Federation, and the Boston Celtics. The panels covered such topics as “Changing on the Fly: The State of Advanced Analytics in the NHL [National Hockey League],” “Beating the Shift: Baseball Analytics in the Age of Big Data,” “Sharing, Liking, Streaming: The Future of Sports and Media,” and “Three at the Back: Accelerating the Pace of Soccer Analytics.” Other conference events included drop-in resume reviews, career conversations, and a cocktail reception.A second-year EMS Club member told mbaMission, “The event is one of the largest student-organized conferences in the country and was named the third most innovative company in all of sports (behind only the NFL and MLB Advanced Media) by Fast Company [magazine].”
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