Behind The Scenes

ESPN panelists share insights during Ivy Sports Symposium at Columbia

NEW YORK — On Nov. 16, the 7th Annual Ivy Sports Symposium was held at Columbia University.

The Symposium is committed to the development and promotion of young leaders in the sports industry. The student-run conference, which had more than 600 attendees, brings together professionals and those who want to become their peers.

ESPN had three panelists including NFL business analyst Andrew Brandt, senior researcher Paul Carr and executive vice president, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, David Preschlack.

Brandt, whose panel focused on “Athlete Marketing and Representation,” said the Symposium “is now one of the key events for ESPN to have a role in, which shows the diversity in our business.”

Social media was a key component of Brandt’s panel. He stressed the importance of using social media as a tool to “paint an authentic picture of the athlete’s life.” The panel concluded with a discussion of best practices when managing athletes’ financial portfolios.

Carr spoke during the “Sports Analytics” panel. He explained that ESPN stresses that statistical information should be conveyed in ways that are easy for sports fans to understand. If an ESPN anchor can’t explain a stat or graphic in 15 seconds or less, it will never air on the network.

Carr also spoke about how newer technology and video accessibility led to the emergence of ESPN’s Total QBR stat. In the future, as newer technologies are developed, he sees the potential for improved “heat maps” and strike zones in baseball telecasts. Carr also predicts that in-game biometrics will play a big part in managerial and coaching decisions.

Preschlack spoke during the “Television & Programing” panel. The former ESPN intern spoke to the ways in which ESPN, along with a wide array of Disney and ABC networks and products, provide value to all of the affiliate partners. He also stressed that sports in general and ESPN in particular do not have niche audiences; there is a wide-ranging, passionate fan base for sports on television.

ESPN’s Jason Schifrien contributed to this post.

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