2021 SYMPOSIUM RECAP
The inaugural #PlayLong conference was hosted virtually on April 12, 13 & 15. Students were connected worldwide as sports industry leaders discussed current trends and the future of sports, including the immediate and long-term impact of COVID-19, innovation, and the long-term future of the industry, diversity, and culture, and ethics in the workplace. The conference featured a keynote event and four panelists with representatives from the NFL, MLS, MLB, Amazon Web Services, Jordan Brand, University of Texas Athletics, and University of Texas faculty.
PANEL 1: LESSONS FROM COVID-19
March 2020 marked a paradigm shift for sports in America and beyond. Professional and collegiate organizations instituted various COVID policies to get teams back on the field as quickly as possible while keeping athletes and spectators safe from the coronavirus. This panel will discuss the lessons learned from these early experiments, expectations of when the industry might return to “normal,” and the broader implications of the pandemic experience.
Featuring: Judy Battista, Matt Bowers, Allen Hardin, Leah Triola, Laura Warren
PANEL 2: INNOVATION AND THE FUTURE OF THE SPORTS INDUSTRY
This panel will look towards the future and the vast growth potential and opportunities on the horizon for the industry. Panelists will discuss opportunities on the horizon for the industry. Panelists will discuss emerging trends and provide a vision for how various innovations, technologies, and socioeconomic forces will shape the sports world in the decades to come.
Featuring: Raquel Garcia, Jeff Miller, Larry Miller, Dan Slater, Jim Rooney
PANEL 3: DIVERSITY IN THE SPORTS INDUSTRY
PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE UT AUSTIN DIVISION OF DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Studies show that having diverse hires in leadership positions leads to better organizational outcomes. However, like most industries, minority hires are still lagging in decision-making roles throughout sports. This panel will discuss the benefits of diversity, how different organizations address this disparity, and the role diversity will play in the future of sports.
Featuring: Swin Cash-Canal, N. Jeremi Duru, Darren D. Kelly, Sam Rapoport, LaToya Smith
PANEL 4: CULTURE AND ETHICS IN THE WORKPLACE
While all organizations endeavor to operate ethically and cultivate strong organizational cultures, many struggle to articulate and implement their vision in these domains. Panelists will discuss these abstract challenges and provide practical solutions for cultivating ethics and fostering culture as strengths within organizations.
Featuring: Paxton K. Baker, Ethan Burris, Kristin Neff, Tolga Ozyurtcu, Jim Rooney