CORAL GABLES, FLA. — Top-level experts from around the sports industry were on hand at the 2nd annual University of Miami Sport Industry Conference on Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24. The event was held at the Watsco Center on the school’s campus.
The two-day conference featured nine different panels with up to five panelists apiece. Each panel touched on a pertinent topic in today’s sports industry. The diverse group of panelists included representatives from South Florida sports teams, schools and businesses, including the Miami Marlins, Miami Heat, Miami FC and Florida Atlantic University. In addition, the conference hosted representatives from other sports entities including the Orlando Magic, ESPN, FOX Sports Media Group, CBS Sports Radio, NFL, MLS and the PGA Tour. The conference also featured former MLB champion Alex Rodriguez and World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman as keynote speakers.
For the second consecutive year, Homestead-Miami Speedway played a prominent role in the conference, as Vice President of Sales & Marketing Shawn McGee and Senior Director of Marketing & Communications Kevin Gregory both served as panelists. McGee was part of “White Space: Finding New Revenue Streams in a Competitive Sponsorship Market,” while Gregory was featured on “Winning Engagement: Campaigns that Drive Community Involvement and Brand Loyalty.”
McGee spoke about the vital role that sponsors have both at the track level and in NASCAR.
“It’s extremely important, not just for the teams, but for the tracks,” said McGee. “It accounts for a large part of our overall revenue. Our opportunities are tied to sales, sponsorships, broadcast and concessions. We put a lot of time in selling sponsorships. It’s the lifeblood of what we do.”
Gregory talked about a myriad of topics, including the importance of maintaining a presence in the community throughout the year.
“We try to initiate programs with many organizations that align with our company beliefs and our core business,” said Gregory. “With one big race event a year, it’s imperative that our participation in the community occurs on a year-round basis.”
The other seven panels highlighted were “Ask the Recruiter,” “Women in Sport,” “Representing the Professional Athlete,” “Home Team Advantage: Top Strategies to Attract Fans Away From the In-Home Experience,” 21st Century Ad: Managing College Sports in a Changing NCAA Landscape,” “Millennial Media: The Next Generation of Sport Viewership” and “The Future of Sport: How Technology Will Change The Game For Athletes.”
About Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway has been open since 1995 following an initiative to spur economic recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The Speedway is a 650-acre facility that features a 1.5-mile oval and 2.21-mile road course. The Speedway hosts on-track events nearly 300 days per year and generates more than $301 million annually for the region. In 2016, NASCAR celebrated its 15-year anniversary (2002-16) of crowning champions in all three of its premier series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend. Champions crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2016 were Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series), Daniel Suarez (NASCAR XFINITY Series) and Johnny Sauter (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series). 2017 Ford Championship Weekend will be held November 17-19.
About Formula & Automobile Racing Association (FARA)
Formula & Automobile Racing Association (FARA) was established in South Florida and is made up of pro-amateur level drivers competing with the most experienced drivers in every class. FARA provides members with the ability to practice their driving skills and hone their race-craft in an economical and safe environment; all under equal technical specifications as members are divided into classes based on driver skill and race vehicles.