Must-Attend #Sportsbiz Events – First Half of 2017

The calendar has flipped, and now is a great time to map out your 2017 schedule. If you’re working in the sports industry, or aspiring to break into the field, these are the key events that you should aim to attend over the first half of the year. 

1st Stop: 6th Annual UTSB Sports Industry Conference

February 10-11, 2017 – Toronto, ON

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The largest student-run sports industry conference in Canada is back and will be bigger than ever. For the first time ever, organizers are adding a second day, giving attendees 2 full days of opportunities to network with fellow delegates and speakers. While the panels and speakers haven’t been announced yet, #SIC2017 will explore how the current stature of sports is being redefined in ways never seen before. Past speakers included Bill Daly, Scott Moore, Dave Hopkinson, Gord Kirke, Paul Beeston, Derek Kent, and Bryan Colangelo.

2nd Stop: MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

March 3-4, 2017 – Boston, MA

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For the second stop, you’ll need to bring your passport. The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston has become the granddaddy of all sports conferences and worth the trip across the border. Entering its 11th year, the conference continues to grow and attract top names from all sports leagues, media, sponsors, and partners. While this year’s conference will go back to its Moneyball roots with a reunion panel comprised of Billy Beane, Bill James, Michael Lewis, and Jackie MacMullan, other panels will cover a wide array of sports business topics such as ownership, sports journalism, sports entrepreneurship, and fan experience. The hockey analytics panel will feature Edmonton Oilers’ analyst Tyler Dellow, Canadian Chris Kelly who currently plays for the Boston Bruins, and University of Calgary graduate, Tim Barnes. There will also be a 1-on-1 with Gary Bettman to discuss the state of the NHL.

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3rd Stop: CSFX17

March 31 – April 2, 2017 – Ottawa, ON

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The end of March brings us to the nation’s capital for the 2017 Canadian Sponsorship Forum. Unlike the last two years where the event coincided with major sports events (FIFA Women’s World Cup and the NBA All-Star Game), this year’s speakers skew more arts and culture as the event is being hosted in conjunction with the JUNO Awards. However, don’t let that keep you away as this event represents the largest gathering of Canada’s top decision-makers, leaders, and execs. Kick off the conference in a jam session with other sports junkies and then spend the next couple of days learning about everything from sponsorship valuation to asset negotiation and objectives to metrics from the best in the business.


We’ll be posting the must-attend #sportsbiz events for the second half of 2017 later in the year (May/June). Send us your events at sportsbusinesscanada@gmail.com

Adam Puddicombe

Adam Puddicombe is a digital marketing professional who, by day, works in the ad agency world, and by night, covers the intersection of Canadian sports, media, and technology. Adam holds a degree in commerce, with a focus in marketing, and previously worked for Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! and the St. John’s Fog Devils of the QMJHL. Follow him on Twitter @adampuddicombe.