Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Future of Sports Journalism?

On Saturday, I will be moderating a panel at this year's MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, founded by Rockets GM Daryl Morey and my HBS classmate (and Patriots executive) Jessica Gelman. I think it has become one of the best sports conferences of the year, and since it was started a couple of years ago, I have wanted to participate in some way.

After bugging both Jess and Daryl, they graciously have allowed me to participate in this year's conference, including a headliner panel ("The Limits of Moneyball: What the Geeks Don't Get") that includes Mark Cuban, Bill Simmons and Bill Polian, moderated by Michael Lewis.

Although I have a massive appreciation and enthusiasm for analytics in sports, I am by no means an expert; however, I was thrilled that they wanted to expand the agenda to include a panel about sports media, a topic that I care about -- although it is questionable whether I am expert anywhere but my own mind.

Still: There we are -- "Future of Sports Journalism" -- capping (rather than, say, "ending") the day's program. It is going head-to-head with "Coaching Analytics" (featuring Nate Silver!) and "Buzzworthy Events." I hope that we can draw a crowd and that the panel holds up to its potential.

It is a great group: Rob King, Editor-in-Chief of ESPN.com; Henry Abbott, founder of TrueHoop on ESPN.com; Howard Beck, national NBA reporter for the New York Times; and Jason Fry, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and now one of the most influential thinkers on the state and fate of news media, sports and otherwise. I get to lead them in the discussion.

I have a couple of ideas about things I want to talk about, but I would really love to get your input on big issues -- particularly related to the perspective of how consumers are... well, consuming. It's my thesis -- and others' too -- that in all the navel-gazing about the news industry, there hasn't been nearly enough focus on the customer. I hope to dig into that.

But I would love to hear the issues related to sports journalism -- the "future" of sports journalism -- that you think are particularly relevant or interesting, particularly as they can be informed by the group that will be talking on the panel.

Sincere thanks for your input.

-- D.S.

(Don't think there's a Webcam on the event, but I presume there will be a Twitter hashtag you can follow. I'll pass that along as soon as I find out. UPDATE: #sloansportsconf)

1 comment:

MizzouHoops said...

Dan - You may have seen this, but it fits into what you are talking about: http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2010/02/22/daily25.html

- Evan