Q&A: Ben Shields on The Sports Strategist
September 29, 2014
Ben Shields is the co-author of the 2014 book The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders for a High-Performance Industry, which delves into how sports franchises can have success off the field regardless of team performance. Shields worked for ESPN as Associate Director of Brand & Fan Strategy from 2008-11 and Director of Social Media from 2011-14. He received a Ph.D. in Media, Technology and Society from Northwestern University and is currently a lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. This is Part I of a two-part interview on the findings of his research. Part II will discuss the impact on people seeking jobs in sports business and will run on Wednesday. (more…)
Welcome to the 2015 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference blog!
September 5, 2014
(image) We are excited to kick off this year’s edition of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference blog, and we promise many new offerings for 2015. Planning for the 9th Annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference began shortly after last year’s very successful event. We have a dedicated team working to make this year’s conference better than ever. Building on some of the themes from past conferences, our panelists and presenters will provide expert insights on topics related to advanced analytics, data visualization, athlete wellness and performance, fan and stadium experiences, and much more. Two new initiatives that we wanted to highlight for 2015: (more…)
2015 Research Paper Call for Abstracts Now Available!
July 21, 2014
Every year, hundreds of researchers and analysts submit new research that advances the field of sports analytics through the SSAC Research Paper Competition. We're proud to issue our Call for Abstracts for the 2015 competition. This year we are introducing a track system to the competition. Researchers will again compete for the opportunity to present their findings at the 2015 conference, with the winner receiving a $20,000 grand prize! More details, including timelines, judging criteria, and submission guidelines can be found at the Call for Abstracts page. Abstracts can be submitted online, and are due by midnight ET on Tuesday, September 30. If you are interested in submitting a paper for the 2015 RP competition, email email@example.com with any questions.
Save the Date for the 2015 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference
June 23, 2014
We are very excited to announce the date and venue for the 2015 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. The 9th annual conference will be held Friday and Saturday, February 27-28, 2015, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Keep watching this space for more updates on the conference over the summer, sign up for our Mailing List and follow us on Twitter or Facebook to get the latest on the conference.
Research Paper Finalists and Saturday Agenda
February 28, 2014
The 2014 Saturday agenda has been updated to reflect the following four Research Papers that will be presenting. For complete details please see our agenda page here:
- 10:20: A Data-driven Method for In-game Decision Making in MLB
- 10:50: What Does it Take to Call a Strike?
- 11:40: The Three Dimensions of Rebounding
- 12:10: POINTWISE: Predicting Points and Valuing Decisions in Real Time
2014 Conference Live Webcast Details
February 26, 2014
We are proud to announce that we will be live broadcasting the 2014 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on YouTube. This year, we will be simultaneously streaming two panel rooms, and continuing to add our other recorded panels in the weeks to follow. Joining our paid YouTube channel will provide access to the live broadcast and advanced access to other video content from the 2014 conference. To register for the 2014 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference LIVE webcast, please click here and you will be directed to our “42Analytics” paid channel ($29.99) on YouTube.
- To subscribe to this channel, click on the green “Start free trial” button and you will be instructed to choose the Annual subscription option
- Click the blue “Continue” button, then “Start now”
- Fill in your payment information and click the blue “Accept and continue” button. Once your order is complete, the channel will be added to your Guide, on the left side of your YouTube page
- Please note: This is a 1-year subscription that will renew in 12-months
Panel Details Now Online!
February 24, 2014
Check out our Panels page to learn more about all of our panels and who is planned to speak on each of them. Keep checking back for more information as we upload information about our Sponsor Presentations as well.
Check back this week for live Webcast details
February 23, 2014
Looking to follow-along from your own home? We'll be live-streaming two of our panel rooms, and will have a link available to register in the next few days.
Full Conference Agenda Released!
February 21, 2014
The full agenda is now available and includes additional information about panels, Research Paper, Evolution of Sport and Competitive Advantage presentations, and other exciting events!
Preliminary Agenda Now Online!
February 16, 2014
Looking to see what we'll be covering at this year's conference? We have posted the preliminary panel schedule here. We're updating it daily, and will soon have all of our talks and speakers in the schedule too.
Welcoming More Exciting Panelists!
January 30, 2014
Casey Wasserman (Chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group) will join us as a speaker at this year's conference along with Kevin Plank (CEO of Under Armour), Michael Rubin (CEO of Kynetic), and Jennifer Storms (Senior Vice President of Global Sports Marketing at PepsiCo). We are adding amazing panelists every day, so make sure you check out our speakers page for the latest announcements!
Interview with Grantland’s Zach Lowe
January 23, 2014
With the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference fast approaching, the student organizing team will be occasionally conducting interviews with featured panelists and moderators. This week we are honored to introduce Zach Lowe, head NBA writer at Grantland, and moderator of this year’s Basketball Analytics panel. Check here to check out the full interview.
Hasselbeck, Pioli and Yu to Join SSAC14!
January 16, 2014
We are pleased to announce three more panelists for the 2014 conference! Matt Hasselbeck is a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Scott Pioli is the former General Manager of the Kansas City Chiefs and Vice President of Player Personnel for the New England Patriots. Gideon Yu is President and Co-Owner of the San Francisco 49ers.
Tickets Officially Sold Out!
January 16, 2014
Tickets are Officially SOLD OUT! Tickets to this year's conference sold out in record time! You may sign up for the wait list and if tickets become available we will notify those individuals on a first-come, first-served basis with clear instructions on how to purchase. Note, the wait list will be divided into a General Admission and Student wait list.
First Pitch Registration is Open!
December 26, 2013
Registration for our annual First Pitch Case Competition is now open. To be eligible to participate, all team members must hold tickets to the 2014 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Please see the First Pitch Overview page here for more details regarding tentative timeline, eligibility requirements, and how to register.
This Year’s Conference Welcomes Kerr, Stevens and Wilbon!
December 19, 2013
We are thrilled to announce Steve Kerr, Brad Stevens and Michael Wilbon as panelists for the 2014 conference! Steve Kerr is the former General Manager of the Phoenix Suns, five-time NBA champion, and current sports analyst for TNT. Brad Stevens is the current Head Coach of the Boston Celtics. Michael Wilbon is the co-host of Pardon the Interruption and an ESPN studio analyst and columnist.
Student Tickets Sold Out!
December 13, 2013
Non-MIT Student Tickets for the 2014 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference have officially sold out. For students still considering attending, the only guaranteed way to secure a ticket is a general admission ticket. There is a waiting list available on our ticketing page here and if tickets open up we will notify people those individuals one-by-one as they clear with instructions on how to purchase. General Admission tickets are going fast as well, so if you've been thinking about attending, please don't wait too long to purchase as we'd love to see you in Boston!
Announcing Ackerman, Gladwell and Van Gundy for the 2014 Conference!
December 6, 2013
We are pleased to welcome Val Ackerman, Malcolm Gladwell and Stan Van Gundy as panelists for the 2014 conference! Val Ackerman is the current Commissioner of the Big East Conference, the founding President of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), and a past President of USA Basketball. Malcolm Gladwell is a New York Times best selling author and recently released his latest book entitled "David and Goliath." Stan Van Gundy is a former head coach of the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic. He currently works for NBC Sports.
Reminder to Buy Tickets Now & Check out our Blog
November 22, 2013
Tickets are Selling Quickly so Buy NOW!Tickets are going fast! With many great speakers confirmed, we will sell out early this year. BUY NOW! Questions about the conference, tickets, or where to stay? Check out our FAQs page and our logistics page on the website.
Remember to Check Out the SSAC Blog!This year's SSAC blog kicks off with an inside scoop on conference planning from student co-leads, Matt Kalmus and Kristen Mackie. Check out the latest blog post!
Welcoming Five Exciting Owners to the 2014 Conference!
November 22, 2013
We are very excited to announce that Jeanie Buss, Drew Carey, Wyc Grousbeck, Jonathan Kraft and Vivek Ranadivé will be participating in the 2014 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference! Jeanie Buss is President of the Los Angeles Lakers, following 14 seasons as Executive Vice President of Business Operations. Drew Carey is an Owner of the Seattle Sounders and an iconic American actor, comedian, and television game-show host. Wyc Grousbeck has been Managing Partner, Governor and CEO of the Boston Celtics since 2002, after leading a local investment group that purchased the team. Jonathan Kraft is President of The Kraft Group, whose holdings include the New England Patriots, New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place. Vivek Ranadivé is the Owner of the Sacramento Kings and an entrepreneur, technology visionary, author, philanthropist and MIT alumnus.
Trade Show & EoS Application Deadlines Approaching; Tickets Going Fast!
November 7, 2013
Trade Show Applications Due Soon!The 2014 SSAC Startup Competition & Trade Show applications are due on November 15th. This is a great opportunity for sports-industry startups to showcase their exciting products or services to potential customers, business partners, and employees. Interested in participating? The application deadline is November 15, so apply now to be part of the Trade Show!
EoS Abstract Deadline is Approaching!Abstracts for the Evolution of Sport (EoS) are due on November 15th. EoS provides a great opportunity to present a message, an idea, or a revolutionary thought that could someday change the face of sport. Interested in participating? The abstract deadline is November 15, so apply now to be part of EoS!
Tickets Are Going Fast So Buy NOW!Tickets for the 2014 Conference are now on sale and are selling out fast! This year's event promises to be great so make sure you don't miss out. BUY NOW! Questions about the conference, tickets, or where to stay? Check out our FAQs page and our logistics page on the website.
Announcing Adam Silver and Phil Jackson for the 2014 Conference!
November 7, 2013
We are thrilled to announce that Adam Silver and Phil Jackson will be taking part in the 2014 conference! Adam Silver is the Deputy Commissioner and COO of the NBA. He will take over as NBA Commissioner on February 1st, 2014. Phil Jackson is the former head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and the winningest head coach in the history of the NBA.
Tickets On Sale Now!
October 21, 2013
Tickets for the 2014 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference are now available. Please visit our registration page here to purchase.
Tickets On Sale This Monday 10/21 at 12:30pm!
October 17, 2013
Tickets for the 2014 Conference will go on sale Monday, October 21st at 12:30pm (ET) and mailing list subscribers will have two hours before tickets are announced to the general public. An email with a link to the tickets will be sent Monday morning. There are a limited number of early-bird tickets so act fast! Questions about the conference, tickets, or where to stay? Check out our FAQs page and our Travel & Logistics page on the website.
Nate Silver is back for the ’14 Conference!
October 17, 2013
We are excited to announce that Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight.com which was recently acquired by ESPN, is back for the 2014 conference! Nate is a leading statistician who provides data-driven coverage of sports, politics, economics, technology and more! We are thrilled to have him back for SSAC14!
Startup Competition & Trade Show Applications are now Open!
October 17, 2013
The 2014 SSAC Startup Competition & Trade Show is an opportunity for sports-industry startups to showcase their exciting products or services to potential customers, business partners, and employees. Interested in participating? The application deadline is November 15, so apply now!
Ticket On Sale Date Announcement and RP Abstract Deadline
October 10, 2013
Tickets On-Sale Week of October 21st!Tickets for the 2014 Conference will go on sale the week of October 21st and mailing list subscribers will be notified before the general public. There are a limited number of early-bird tickets so act fast! Stay tuned for next week's email with more details! Questions about the conference or tickets? Check out our FAQs page.
Research Paper Abstract Deadline is October 15th!Deadline Reminder: If you are interested in participating in the research paper competition, or have already submitted an indication of interest form, please submit a 1-page abstract by October 15th. Guidelines and deadlines for your submission, along with a link can be found here. The 2014 SSAC Research Paper Competition will have the largest prize to date with a grand prize of $20,000.
Call for Research Paper & Evolution of Sport Abstracts!
September 18, 2013
Call for Research Paper Abstracts Due October 15th!The 2014 SSAC Research Paper competition will have the largest prize to date with a grand prize of $20,000. Previous finalists have been featured on Numbers Never Lie and have even caught the attention of the President! If you are interested in participating in the research paper competition, or have already submitted an indication of interest form, please submit a 1-page abstract by October 15th. Guidelines and deadlines for your submission, along with a link can be found here.
Call for Evolution of Sport Abstracts Now Open! (Due November 15th)Presenting at EoS provides an opportunity to present a message, an idea, or a revolutionary thought that could someday change the face of sport and win $7,500! If you, or your company, league, or team is pushing the envelope with new and innovative processes, EoS is a great opportunity to present them. EoS abstracts are due November 15th. A link and details for submission are available here.
Call for Research Papers & Evolution of Sport Submissions!
July 15, 2013
Call for Research Papers!Our annual Research Paper Competition is at the forefront of innovation in sports analytics. Widely considered the preeminent competition for influencing the future of sports, last year's research papers were prominently featured in media outlets such as ESPN the Magazine, TIME Magazine and Numbers Never* Lie. Submit your ideas for the 2014 research paper competition. This year's grand prize is $20,000!
Evolution of Sport Submissions Now Open!Think you have the next revolutionary idea? Submit your Evolution of Sport (EoS) talk proposal about the development and progression of sport across a variety of topics and applications. To enter your EoS idea, click here. This year's grand prize winner will receive $7,500!
2014 Student Leadership Team Announced
July 15, 2013
Congratulations to the 2013 organizers for graduating from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Our 2014 organizing team is excited to make this year's conference better than ever!
2014 Conference February 28 – March 1!
July 8, 2013
Due to events out of our control, the 2014 conference dates have changed and will now be on February 28 - March 1, 2014 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA. Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more details! We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this date change may have caused. Missing #SSAC13? Here were some of the favorite panels from the 2013 conference: Lance, Doping and You; Monday Morning Quarterback; and Predictive Sports Betting. Also check out the Research Paper winner: The Value of Flexibility in Baseball Roster Construction and the EOS winner: The Automated Prospect Model.
Congratulations to the 2013 winners
March 17, 2013
- Alpha Award for Lifetime Achievement – Bill Belichick - Alpha Award for Best Analytics Organizations – San Francisco 49ers - Alpha Award for Best Trade or Free Agent Signing – Los Angeles Clippers trade for Chris Paul - Alpha Award for Best Analytics Innovation/Technology – Sports Reference Web Sites (Baseball Reference, Pro-Football Reference, Basketball Reference) - Alpha Award for Best Research Paper Presented by SAP – The Value of Flexibility in Baseball Roster Construction (Timothy Chan, Douglas Fearing) - Alpha Award for Best EOS Talk Presented by Ticketmaster LiveAnalytics – The Automated Prospect Model (Adam Guttridge) - Trade Show Business Competition – GameChanger - First Pitch Case Competition (MBA) Presented by MLBAM – Tuck School of Business-Dartmouth (Chuck Culp, Dave Sibley, Jon Ryder) - First Pitch Case Competition (Undergrad) Presented by MLBAM – Queen’s University (Sam Petras, Devon MacMurray, Josh Hoffman)
Complete Conference Recap Now Available!
March 4, 2013
Read Zach Slaton's full wrap-up of the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on the blog here!
Day One Recap Now Available!
March 2, 2013
"Five stages. 39 panels. 2700 attendees. 21,600 people hours. All in the pursuit of the next great sports analytics breakthrough, and that is just the first of two days at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference." Read Zach Slaton's full wrap-up of Day 1 at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on the blog here!
Stream Conference Live!
Pre-Register for Conference on Thursday Evening
February 25, 2013
Want to avoid the registration lines on Friday morning? Stop by to check in and pick up your badge on Thursday evening from 8-11pm in the lobby of the Westin (Click here for directions).
Mobile App Available For Conference This Year
February 25, 2013
We are excited to announce the launch of our first Sloan Sports Analytics Conference mobile app! The app will help you plan your conference schedule, browse sessions, learn about speakers, and stay up to date on SSAC news. You can download the app here or search for “MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference” in the app store.
Final Agenda Now Online
February 25, 2013
We are happy to announce that the final conference agenda is now set! Click here to view the amazing lineup of panels and events at this year's conference!
First Pitch Case Competition Finalists Announced!
February 22, 2013
After months of hard work from MBA and Undergraduate teams across the country, the finalists for the 2013 Sloan Sports Analytics First Pitch Competition presented by MLB Advanced Media have been decided! See the full list here.
New Blog Post: Investing in Analytics
February 21, 2013
New blog post added! Click here to check out the excerpt from the Benjamin Alamar's book: Sports Analytics: A Guide for Coaches, Managers, and Other Decision Makers
New Blog Post: Behind the Scenes with ESPN Stats and Info for Super Bowl XLVII
February 14, 2013
New blog post added! Check out the article on ESPN's Super Bowl statistical opearation in full here.
Research Paper finalists and EOS talks have been announced!
February 13, 2013
We are pleased to announce the 8 Research Paper finalists, presented by SAP. These papers were selected out of hundreds of submissions and can be found here. An initial list of this year's Evolution of Sport talks to be featured can be found here.
New Blog Post: Hockey Analytics: Derived Statistics are the Beginning not the End
February 6, 2013
Check out our blog for the latest thinking on Hockey Analytics courtesy of Kevin Mongeon!
Preliminary Agenda Now Online!
More 2013 SSAC Panels Announced!
February 6, 2013
We have some super exciting new topics and panelists to announce. See the latest updates on the panel page here.
Lance Armstrong Panel at SSAC ’13!
January 24, 2013
Henry Abbott (Senior NBA Writer, ESPN) and Daniel Coyle (New York Times Bestselling Author of Lance Armstrong's War and The Secret Race) will discuss Lance Armstrong and the doping culture in sports. To learn more about the panel and the panelists, click here.
Revenge of the Nerds Panel at SSAC ’13!
January 12, 2013
We’re excited to introduce a new “Revenge of the Nerds” panel to the 2013 conference! To learn more about the panel and its panelists, click here.
Career opportunities at the conference
December 19, 2012
Attending this year's conference will provide unique opportunities for networking and placement in the sports industry. Register now and get access to all the Career Opportunities the conference has to offer including, our resume book that goes to employers, our job board that includes postings from top sports organizations, and our private LinkedIn group. The deadline for inclusion in the resume book is 2/3/13, so you must purchase your ticket before then.
December 14, 2012
Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets GM and MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Co-Chair, was featured recently in Sports Illustrated. The article provides great insights into Daryl's role as an NBA executive and the evolution of basketball analytics. Read the full article here
Nate Silver confirmed!
December 6, 2012
We are excited to announce that Nate Silver, founder of the political analysis blog FiveThirtyEight, developer of the PECOTA forecasting system, and author of "The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail but Some Don't" will be appearing at this year's conference. Read more about Nate here.
New Mixed Martial Arts Panel at SSAC ’13!
December 5, 2012
We’re excited to introduce a brand new mixed martial arts panel to the 2013 conference! To learn more about “Breaking Down the Fight: MMA Analytics” and its panelists, click here.
Pardon The Interruption Co-Host Michael Wilbon confirmed!
November 20, 2012
We are excited to announce that Pardon the Interruption Co-Host and ESPN NBA Studio Analyst and Columnist Michael Wilbon will be appearing at this year's conference. Read more about Michael here.
Bloomberg: Wall Streeters’ Minds Wanted to Help Jeremy Lin Win NBA Title
November 9, 2012
The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and its co-chair, Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey were featured in a recent article on Bloomberg. The article describes how the Rockets are combing through hundreds of resumes in their search to fill two basketball analytics roles on their staff. Many of the applicants have experience on Wall Street and are now looking to use their quant skills in the world of professional sports.
"Wall Street folks are great at forecasting, at using objective evidence in decision making,” said Morey. “And they’re often overworked and miserable. The smart ones figure out it might not be worth it.”Furthermore, SSAC is cited as an example of the development of the field of sports analytics in general:
"Analytics are being embraced by a growing audience. Nowhere is that more evident than at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, which debuted in 2007 and is co-chaired by Morey and Jessica Gelman, a Harvard MBA who is vice president of customer marketing and strategy at Kraft Sports Group, which owns the National Football League’s New England Patriots."Read the full article here!
Daryl Morey featured on PTI
November 8, 2012
Sloan Sports Conference Co-Chair and General Manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey was featured on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption. Hear Daryl's take on the Rockets' recent acquisitions of star guards Jeremy Lin and James Harden below!
Registration for the 2013 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference now LIVE!
November 1, 2012
Registration is now open for the 2013 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, to be held March 1-2 in Boston, MA. Please visit our Registration page for more information and to register. We look forward to seeing you in the Spring!
Moneyball author Michael Lewis confirmed!
October 18, 2012
We are excited to announce that New York Times bestselling author, Michael Lewis will be appearing at this year's conference. Read more about Michael here.
In the news: Gelman’s game changing work highlighted by SBJ
October 17, 2012
SSAC Co-Chair Jessica Gelman was featured in SportsBusiness Journal’s Game Changers. Check out the article here.
Join the SSAC Football Pick’ em Challenge
August 19, 2012
Compete against Daryl, Jessica, & the Sloan team in Football Pick ‘em. Highest placing participant receives 50% off 2013 Conference admission. 1) Go to ESPN Pigskin Pick ‘em 2) Join our group: Group: 2013 SSAC Password: ssac2013 3) Register with us.
SSAC 2013 Save the Date
May 2, 2012
We look forward to welcoming you back to Boston March 1-2, 2013 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Registration will open in the fall. Stay tuned and see you there! To experience the 2012 conference or re-visit your favorite panel, check out our videos and pictures.
SSAC named #3 Most Innovative in Sports
March 16, 2012
The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference was ranked #3 by Fast Company Magazine in its 2012 ranking of the world's most innovative sports companies. Fast Company stated the following as its explanation: "For elevating sports analytics. What began as a modest wonkfest six years ago, with just 60 attendees, is now a can’t-miss event for teams, researchers, media, and stats geeks of every stripe. Part academic conference, part high-level networking, part media circus, the event drew more than 2,200 people this year, including execs from 73 teams. The research explored new ways to measure the NBA’s best shooters, the benefit of experience in the playoffs and the slow acceptance of analytics in tennis."
Videos now available
March 13, 2012
We are in the process of uploading videos from the 2012 conference. Visit our "content & videos" page and filter by "2012" to see the videos that are available. The available list includes Baseball Analytics, Basketball Analytics, and Franchises in Transition among others.
Congratulations to the 2012 winners
March 12, 2012
Congratulations to the following winners: - Alpha Award for Lifetime Achievement – Bill James - Alpha Award for Best Analytics Organizations – Tampa Bay Rays - Alpha Award for Best Analytics Decision – Dallas Mavericks (Rick Carlisle's decision to change the starting lineup for games 4,5, and 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals) - Alpha Award for Best Analytics Innovation – Prozone 3 - Alpha Award for Best Research Paper Presented by Ticketmaster -Deconstructing the Rebound with Optical Tracking Data by Rajiv Maheswaran,Yu-Han Chang, Aaron Henehan, Samantha Danesis - Alpha Award for Best EOS Talk - From 5 to 13 - Redefining the positions in basketball by Muthu Alagappan - Trade Show Business Competition - StarStreet - First Pitch Case Competition - University of Chicago Booth School of Business (Josh Yelsey, Moon Javaid, Shreena Amin)
Want to come in 2013? Join our mailing list
March 12, 2012
If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest conference information including videos, blog posts, pictures, and information about 2013 tickets, join our mailing list. Click "join our mailing list" in the upper righthand corner of the website.
In the News
March 11, 2012
Click here for a full list of 2012 press coverage ESPN - Numbers Never Lie Grantland.com - B.S. Report: Eric Mangini, Mark Cuban, Bill James, Jeff Van Gundy, Daryl Morey New York Times - Mapping the N.B.A. Washington Post - Sabermetrics patriarch Bill James, to MIT stats crowd, gives thumbs up to “Moneyball” film ESPN - Fact or fiction: Basketball analytics Boston Globe - Numbers don't lie, teams use advanced analysis Boston Herald - Sports gurus gather in Hub TIME - The Official Blog Post of Beer and Football: Why Sports Sponsorships Work NBA.com - Sloan Conference Tips Off Today San Francisco - Sports names and faces: James, Cashman, Calhoun Forbes - Sports Media Rights Keep Rolling - For Now NESN - MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Kicks Off in Boston With Mark Cuban, Bill Simmons Among This Year's Speakers Basketball Prospectus - Why We Use Stats Sporting News - Building an NBA team at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference NHL.com - Bettman, two GMs join MIT analytics conference
Lataif: If you build it, they will come
March 10, 2012
By Larry Lataif, Student Co-Lead of the Conference In 2007, Daryl Morey, MIT Sloan MBA ’00, and Jessica Gelman of the Kraft Sports Group had a vision to build a forum for innovation in sports. Just five years later, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference developed into that and more. With more than 2,200 participants, the conference grew by 50% from 2011 and featured some of the biggest names in the industry, including Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner, Brian Burke, Toronto Maple Leafs President and GM, Mark Cuban, owner of the world-champion Dallas Mavericks, and Bill James, the founder of the sports analytics movement. It even included Drew Carey, owner of the MLS Seattle Sounders and Price is Right host. (more…)
Goodfellow: A Key to Analytic Advantages
March 1, 2012
By Kevin Goodfellow, Founder of Sports Data Hub Data Management is the fundamental piece of the sports analytics process on which everything else is built. It is the science of acquiring, moving, storing, organising, cleaning, and connecting fragmented data into a form that enables deeper analysis, and due to the evolution of sport analytics over the years it has been increasingly difficult work. Today the top teams are facing three major challenges that strain existing Data Management processes and require more advanced skills: width, depth, and speed. Let me explain… (more…)
Larcada: Using analytics to tell a better story
February 29, 2012
By Albert Larcada, Analytics Specialist, ESPN’s Stats & Information Group I am part of ESPN’s Production Analytics Team. Together with Jeff Bennett, Alok Pattani and Dean Oliver, we help to improve ESPN’s storytelling toolbox by using analytics to dig deeper into important storylines. Our biggest projects to date have undoubtedly been Total QBR and our recently released college basketball ratings, The Basketball Power Index. We spent a good deal of time brainstorming, creating, and eventually explaining these new tools internally and externally. We will continue to do so at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics conference next week, giving talks on both projects. (more…)
Full agenda now online
EOS to showcase game-changing ideas
February 21, 2012
With talks on Mixed Martial Arts analytics, MontaMetrics, the psychology of athletes, and redefining the positions in basketball, this year's Evolution of Sport talks will feature revolutionary ideas. Check out the full list of talks!
Full list of panel topics released
February 21, 2012
All of the conference panels are now available on our Panels page including exciting new additions such as: Building the Modern Athlete: Performance Analytics Fantasy Sports Analytics eSports: The Future of Competition Hockey Analytics Football Analytics The Business of Sports: Winning Off the Field
Research Papers chosen; Vote on ESPN.com
February 21, 2012
We are pleased to announce the 10 Research Paper finalists, presented by Ticketmaster. These papers were selected out of over one hundred submissions and will be presented at the conference. This elite list covers topics including pro and college basketball, hockey, baseball, and sponsorship. The top two papers will be announced at the conference and awarded the $7,500 and $2,500 Grand Prize and Runner-up prize respectively. Vote for your favorite on ESPN.com and the fans' choice will be announced at the conference.
Kern: Communicating advanced statistics
February 20, 2012
By Doug Kern, ESPN Stats and Information Group First, count off 10 seconds to yourself. (We'll wait.) Now, select your favorite analytical stat from any sport. You can call them "next-level," "beyond the box score," "advanced metrics," whatever. But something more in-depth than just yards or home runs. Now, try and explain what that statistic measures, and how it's calculated, in those 10 seconds. Tricky, isn't it? For an added bonus, imagine that the audience you're explaining it to, isn't necessarily well-versed in advanced analytics. They are half a million "average Joe" sports fans who enjoy watching highlights and managing their fantasy teams, but might be easily turned off by a long, drawn-out explanation of some next-level stat. (more…)
Trade Show to feature innovative startups
February 14, 2012
This year's Trade Show will showcase promising startup companies within exciting segments of the sports industry - business models ranging from team and player analytics to fantasy sports to athlete performance and wellness. Come see these companies square off in our first annual Trade Show Business Competition. Visit our Trade Show page to learn more about the Trade Show exhibition and these innovative sports-industry startups.
Harris: Behind the Scenes, ESPN Stats & Info
February 13, 2012
By Courtenay Harris, ESPN Stats and Information Group With 1:44 remaining in the AFC Championship game, Joe Flacco led the Baltimore Ravens offense on the field to deliver what he hoped would be a game-winning drive. While millions of sports fans were glued to their television screens, there were about one hundred members of ESPN’s Sports and Information Group (SIG) paying particular attention to what was coming next. (more…)
5 champions confirmed to speak
February 7, 2012
With the addition of Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, this year's conference will feature key leaders from the current champions for all five major sports. The others include Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks Owner), David Gill (Manchester United F.C. CEO), Steve Tisch (New York Giants Chairman) and Jeff Luhnow (Current Houston Astros GM/Former St. Louis Cardinals VP). See our list of panels and speakers!
Career opportunities at the conference
February 2, 2012
Attending this year's conference will provide unique opportunities for networking and placement in the sports industry. Register now and get access to the resume book that goes to employers, our NEW job board that includes postings from top sports organizations, and our private LinkedIn group. The deadline for inclusion in the resume book is 2/12, so you must purchase your ticket before then.
Phillips: College Athletes’ Fair Market Value
February 1, 2012
Jeff Phillips: 2nd Year MBA Student, MIT Sloan School of Management A version of this story appears in the Nov. 14, 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine. The following post can be found on ESPN.com. What's behind the mad-dash conference realignments? Money, of course: Big-time college sports are valued north of $4 billion per year. It makes you wonder what the athletes who generate all that cash would be worth if they could openly and freely shop their talents. (more…)
Drew Carey to be a panelist!
January 25, 2012
We are delighted to announce that Drew Carey, owner of the Seattle Sounders FC, has joined our impressive lineup of speakers. Register now to hear Drew and the rest of our panelists live.
Twitter Chat trended #2 in U.S. #SSAChat
January 24, 2012
Thank you to all our fantastic panelists for participating in today's Sports Analytics Twitter Chat. #SSAChat reached #2 topic in the U.S. The participants included: Daryl Morey, GM & Managing Director Basketball Operations, Houston Rockets, @dmorey Dean Oliver, Director of Production Analytics, ESPN Stats & Info, @ESPNStatsInfo Jeff Ma, Co-Founder and VP of Research, Citizen Sports, @jeffma Jeff Luhnow, General Manager, Houston Astros, @jluhnow Ric Bucher, Senior Writer, ESPN, @RicBucher Bill Barnwell, Writer, Grantland, @billbarnwell Visit #SSAChat Log to see what these experts had to say!
Soccer Hall of Famer Alexi Lalas confirmed!
January 24, 2012
We’re happy to announce that former US National Soccer Team member and current Lead Soccer Analyst for ESPN and ABC Sports Alexi Lalas has joined our great lineup of speakers. Make sure to register for the conference to hear Alexi and the rest of our panelists live.
Calling all MBAs…Register for First Pitch!
January 19, 2012
We are proud to announce the 2nd Annual First Pitch: MBA Sports Business Case Competition presented by the NFL. It is open to all current, full-time MBA students. Check out the First Pitch page for competition and registration information.
Scheiner: Building a unique stadium
January 18, 2012
Alec Scheiner, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Dallas CowboysEach time I give a first-time visitor a tour of Cowboys Stadium the same thing happens: we arrive at the edge of the stadium’s bowl and my guest’s jaw drops, eyes widen, and he or she simply says “wow….” While I run through what I believe to be the relevant trivia answers (“our video board cost more than Texas Stadium”; “the roof opens in twelve minutes”; “we give 500,000 tours a year”) my guest has stopped listening to me and is completely absorbed by the stadium. (more…)
Morey & Gelman: Introducing our blog
January 16, 2012
Daryl Morey & Jessica Gelman, Conference Co-chairsWe are looking forward to seeing you at the 6th Annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference (SSAC) conference. We expect this one to be fun as we will be celebrating how analytics have changed the games we love. Since the first conference in 2007, we have witnessed an evolution in decision-making based on analytics on the team side, including: Going for it on 4th down, fielding becoming the undervalued asset in baseball, and the rise of corner 3-pointers. In the front office, we have a new frontier of “fanalytics” involving: ticket pricing & sales strategies, how sports media rights are valued, and improving the fan experience at home & in the arena. As the value of analytics grows, so does our conference. We are excited to announce the addition of this blog, which will feature ideas and analyses by leaders in sports analytics. We hope this will highlight sports analytics and business thought leadership year-round. Importantly, some changes (and we hope improvement) to this year's conference are highlighted below:: (more…)
Sports Analytics Twitter Chat
January 16, 2012
Ask the experts! We’ll be hosting a Sports Analytics Twitter Chat (#SSAChat) on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 from 12pm-1pm EST. The participants will include: Daryl Morey, GM & Managing Director Basketball Operations, Houston Rockets, @dmorey Dean Oliver, Director of Production Analytics, ESPN Stats & Info, @ESPNStatsInfo Jeff Ma, Co-Founder and VP of Research, Citizen Sports, @jeffma Jeff Luhnow, General Manager, Houston Astros, @jluhnow Ric Bucher, Senior Writer, ESPN, @RicBucher Bill Barnwell, Writer, Grantland, @billbarnwell Follow @SloanSportsConf on Twitter to join in!
7 more panels added
January 10, 2012
We have added 7 additional panel topics. Check out our panels page to see what they are! The panels page will be frequently updated with additional panel topics and the speakers assigned to those panels, so check back often.
Big news, baseball fans! 5 new speakers…
January 10, 2012
In addition to our current all-star baseball lineup, we've added the following 5 fantastic baseball speakers: Tim Brosnan - Executive Vice President of Business, Major League Baseball Jeff Luhnow - General Manager, Houston Astros Rob Manfred - Executive Vice President of Labor Relations & HR, Major League Baseball George Postolos - President & CEO, Houston Astros John Thorn - Official Baseball Historian, Major League Baseball To see our other premier baseball speakers, visit our speakers page.
Geoff Bodine and Andy Schwalb confirmed!
December 23, 2011
We are proud to announce the additions of Professional Driver Geoff Bodine and NASCAR Vice President, CTO Andy Schwalb to our inaugural motorsports analytics panel. Join us on March 2nd-3rd at the 2012 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
Todd Martin confirmed!
December 20, 2011
We're happy to announce that former #4-ranked tennis player Todd Martin has joined our great lineup of speakers. Make sure to register for the conference to hear Todd and the rest of our panelists live. And keep checking back often, we'll be adding even more great speakers over the next few weeks.
Advance your career in sports…
December 14, 2011
This year's conference will offer one-of-a-kind opportunities for education, networking and placement in the sports industry. Attendees will have a chance to be included in the resume book for potential employers and participate in networking events at the conference. Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to advance your career.
Announcing 2012 topics
December 12, 2011
While we are still finalizing the specific panels, we would like to share with you the general list of topics that will be covered at the conference through our panels, research papers, EOS talks, sponsored talks, and invited speaker presentations. Additionally, below is a sneak preview of a few new panels for this year. Let us know your thoughts on Twitter! Panel sneak preview: The Commish: The Role of the Modern Commissioner in Sports Art & Analytics of Negotiation Fanalytics Sports to be covered: Baseball Basketball Football Hockey Golf Soccer Tennis Motorsports Business areas to be covered: Negotiations Collective Bargaining Agreements Media Rights Revenue Sharing & Team Finances Ticketing Analytics Social Media Sponsorship College Sports Performance and Medicine Gambling
More speakers added
December 4, 2011
We've recently added some great new speakers to our lineup including Kevin Pritchard, Bob Bowman, Brian Lafemina, Joel Linzner, Paraag Marathe, and Marc Stein. Check back regularly - we will add additional speakers as they commit.
Tickets on sale!
November 29, 2011
Registration is open for the 2012 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Last year, tickets sold out quickly. Several ticket categories to this year's conference have already sold out, so act fast by registering here. This year's conference will be TWO FULL DAYS on Friday & Saturday, March 2-3, 2012. For help with travel and lodging, click here.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to be a panelist
November 10, 2011
Continuing to attract the leading pioneers in sports, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is pleased to announce that Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League, will be joining our all-star panelist line-up. Commissioner since 1993, Bettman has led the sport to unprecedented growth, championed such innovative events as the Winter Classic, and cultivated business, digital and broadcast partnerships that have ushered in a new era in the popularity of hockey. Mr. Bettman will discuss a variety of topics, including the future of hockey, the role of the Commissioner in modern-day sport, and how technology is shaping how leagues and teams think about fan engagement, marketing, and game-day experiences. Register today!
Bill James to speak at the conference!
October 26, 2011
We're excited to announce that Bill James, the father of sabermetrics, has joined our already impressive speaker lineup! Join us on March 2nd-3rd at the 2012 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and see Bill James.
Want to present at the conference? Submit an Evolution of Sport idea
October 22, 2011
The 2011 Evolution of Sport talks featured some of the most thought-provoking sports ideas and have received over 35K website views! Submit your idea for a chance to present at the 2012 Conference.
Become a sponsor for the 2012 conference
August 26, 2011
The 2012 conference will provide our sponsors high visibility, including access to potential clients, business partners and employees. We are committed to tailoring the right sponsorship package for your company's needs. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Top 10 most-viewed SSAC videos
August 25, 2011
Check out the most popular conference videos (in descending order): 1. AimPoint Golf - Accelerated Skill Acquisition in Putting - Mark Sweeney 2. Bad Decisions in Sports Skew Macho - Henry Abbott 3. What Geeks Don't Get: The Limits of Moneyball 4. The Importance of Being Open: What Optical Tracking Data Can Say About NBA Field Goal Shooting – Sandy Weil 5. The Foundation of Elite Sports Analytics: Three Secrets You Must Know - Kevin Goodfellow, Sports Data Hub 6. Soccer Analytics 7. Basketball Analytics - 2011 8. Birth to Stardom: Developing the Modern Athlete in 10,000 Hours? 9. Basketball Analytics – 2010 10. Better Off Guessing? Measuring the Quality of Draft Decisions - Peter Tingling Updated as of: 10/2/11
Research deadline: 9/16 @ 5pm
August 24, 2011
Each year, groundbreaking research comes out of the conference, where researchers' premier work is showcased before industry leaders. The conference seeks submissions that report research pertaining to the use of analytics in the sports industry. We are open to contributions ranging from evaluating players and game strategies, to examining the success factors for sports business. For more information, see research paper submission process.
Join the SSAC Football Pick’ em Challenge
August 12, 2011
Compete against Daryl, Jessica, & the Sloan team in Football Pick 'em. Highest placing participant receives 50% off 2012 Conference admission. 1) Go to Yahoo Football Pick 'em 2) Join our group: Group name: SSAC Pick 'em Challenge Group ID: 12947 Password: stats 3) Register with us.
Your big ticket: Share a unique panel topic
July 26, 2011
Have a new idea that will make a great panel topic? We are looking to highlight the latest trends in sports analytics for the 2012 conference. Submit your idea here. If your unique idea is chosen, you'll receive free admission to the 2012 conference.