In sports, what was once a pool of data is now an ocean growing wider and deeper every day. And for the executives tasked with moving the ball down field, harnessing the power and potential of that ocean is key.
Recognizing an opportunity to further its mission of helping women accelerate their careers, WISE — in partnership with the Wasserman Foundation and the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference (SSAC) — held the first WISE Multiplier Summit on March 3 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. More than 60 women from across the sports industry attended the event, which sought to help senior-level executives gain a better understanding of how to parlay data into value for their companies.
Through a daylong series of lectures, workshops and panel discussions featuring industry leaders and experts, the WISE Multiplier Summit accomplished its goal.
"Data and analytics are such an integral part of our company's ethos, and being a part of the inaugural WISE Multiplier Summit as an official partner was an honor for myself and the FanDuel team," said FanDuel CEO Amy Howe, whose company was the presenting sponsor. "The Summit was educational and impactful, and as we prioritize women in sports both at FanDuel and beyond, we look forward to working with WISE more in the future."
Meeting of the Minds
Attendees were drawn to the Multiplier Summit itself, but the fact that it was held the day before the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference made for an enticing opportunity to spend a few days in Boston learning from some of the brightest minds in sports.
"The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference (SSAC) has long championed education and innovation through data and analytics with founding partners like the Wasserman Foundation," said Kraft Analytics Group CEO Jessica Gelman, who co-founded the SSAC in 2006. "Extending our efforts to accelerate and amplify the impact of women in sports through the creation of the WISE Multiplier Summit with WISE and the Wasserman Foundation has been a passion for all of us. Feedback from attendees, speakers and partners on the Summit's value and impact to them personally was profound. We are inspired by what we have collectively started and believe this is a great launching pad for more to come."
Follow the Leaders
In addition to Howe and Gelman, speakers such as NFL senior advisor Maryann Turcke, LA28 CEO Kathy Carter and Amazon vice president of global sports video Marie Donoghue were among the many seasoned professionals who shared their knowledge and experience with data to help the next wave of women as they enter the C-Suite of sports.
"The Wasserman Foundation is committed to furthering women in sports and is proud to serve as a multiyear supporter of WISE, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference, and now the WISE Multiplier Summit," said Wasserman Foundation executive director Rica Rodman. "This Summit is the perfect mix of empowerment through insightful conversation and education around data and analytics."
Attendees were quick to offer praise for the first WISE Multiplier Summit and the valuable insight it provided.
"This is the conference you want to attend to sharpen and better leverage your analytics skills to help reach your goals," said Kirsten Corio, the United States Tennis Association's managing director for ticketing, hospitality and digital strategy. "This is the sports data analytics, insights and intelligence conference created by women for women in the business. A must-attend!"
Lauren Teague, a partner at Sports PR Summit, likened the Summit to "a firehose of experience, inspiration and community. I have pages upon pages of notes and quotes from the day to put into practice to better my business and career."
Teague and other attendees said they hope to attend future WISE Multiplier Summits, and WISE national board chair and president Kathleen Francis intends to see that wish fulfilled.
"The Summit is another in a series of initiatives that [WISE has] geared toward leadership development, professional development, for women," Francis told Sports Business Journal. "We know when women are excelling, the workplace is better and the results are enhanced, so it's a good thing for everybody."
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