The Worth Sports Summit and Worth’s February/March issue on the business of sports will be followed by ongoing sports coverage on both worth.com and through the company’s syndication partners. Prior to the Summit, members of Worth’s sports advisory committee, speakers and sponsors gathered for an intimate dinner at the Baccarat Hotel New York on Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday morning, March 23, at the Lotte New York Palace, Worth guest editor and super agent David Falk—best known as Michael Jordan’s agent and for his profound influence on the sports industry—kicked off the day by discussing some of the themes of Worth’s sports issue: the global expansion of sports, the impact of technology on the sports experience and opportunities for investing in the sports world. Other industry leaders—Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, and NBA deputy commissioner and COO Mark Tatum—bookended the day and elaborated on those trending sports themes. Speakers on the ownership panel included Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry; Boston Celtics managing partner Stephen Pagliuca; commercial commissioner of the 35th America’s Cup and long time sports business leader Harvey W. Schiller and vice chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Raul Fernandez. A showcase of technology and innovation included executive chairman of NextVR Brad Allen; CEO of Omegawave Gerard Bruen; founder and chairman of Mobile FutureWorks Thomas Zilliacus; president of Radian Labs Scott Weller and CEO of ElMindA Ronen Gadot with NFL Hall of Famer Curtis Martin. Rick Dudley and Simon Wardle of Octagon Worldwide shared market research on the passion that fans display and Will Funk, SVP of Turner Sports, talked about Turner’s investments in up-and-coming “millennial sports” such as e-gaming.
A panel on the future of women’s sports elicited spirited commentary from Monumental Sports & Entertainment vice chairman Sheila Johnson; Big East Conference commissioner Val Ackerman; soccer legend Briana Scurry and National Women’s Hockey League founder Dani Rylan. Jeremy Kroll, CEO, president and cofounder of K2 Intelligence, addressed the security risks involved in hosting and attending sports events and the general safety issues the sports business faces today. The most moving talk of the day came from Daniel Riley, a U.S. Marine who lost his legs after stepping on a mine while serving in Afghanistan and, with the help of the Challenged Athletes Foundation, returned to health by learning to ski and surf.
Following the program, Worth Group and event sponsors hosted a cocktail reception in the Gold Room and courtyard where a Porsche 911 was on display. Hugo Boss provided cigars, NextVR demonstrated its latest virtual reality technology and Sea Island—the premier luxury golf resort in Georgia—awarded a trip to one lucky guest. All told, more than 100 guests—leading wealth advisors, general managers and team owners, private investors—attended.
Partners for the event included AIG Private Client Group, SunTrust, Wheels Up, Porsche and Hugo Boss.