In 2011, the 5th annual conference reached new heights with over 1,500 attendees and a waitlist of 300. The premier panel, Birth to Stardom: Developing the Modern Athlete in 10,000 Hours?, featured Malcolm Gladwell and Justin Tuck and focused on the age old debate of nature vs. nature with a quantitative twist. Other featured conference speakers included Mark Cuban, Mike Wilbon, Bill Simmons, and Apolo Ohno and ESPN continued as the presenting sponsor.
The conference, again held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, moved to a two-day format and added the Evolution of Sport presentations, First Pitch MBA Sports Business Case Competition, and Trade Show. The research paper track continued to grow in popularity with over 100 submissions. Additionally, the 2011 conference was featured nationally through media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, BusinessWeek, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, and Forbes.