Get ready for Hashtag Sports 2018 — the three-day experience set to change the way you do business across the New Sports Economy.
A little less than 365 days ago our small team with a big vision took the sports and media world by surprise at Hashtag Sports in June of 2017.
Later this month, we’re going to do it again, but this time with an entire industry watching (and waiting) to see what’s revealed when a dynamic set of thought leaders including athletes, influencers, and startup founders take the stage.
While the Hashtag Sports mission hasn’t changed, the event is ever-evolving based on our community’s feedback and the rapid innovation in media and content shaped by the convergence of sports, entertainment, technology, and culture.
Feedback from Last Year
Buzz. Energy. Fresh faces.
The above words and phrases are a handful of the words you most commonly used to describe Hashtag Sports 2017, and they’re also the words we used to build upon for 2018.
Feedback from speakers and attendees alike last year was overwhelmingly positive. We united a group of established stakeholders (who pioneered a $100 billion industry) with a rapidly growing community of emerging participants now reaping the benefits of a digitally—transformed sports economy.
Twitter pals met for the first time IRL. Major announcements were made (we’re looking at you, Microsoft). Athletes were inspired to become entrepreneurs and educators (shoutout Marques Colston). Hashtag Sports and our partners were invited to ring the NASDAQ closing bell (that was fun).
But we only scratched the surface.
Taking Hashtag Sports 2018 to New Heights
A few changes, improvements, and advancements this year include:
- Doubling the number of official event partners from 20+ to 50+ partners
- The addition of a third full-day of programming at the TimesCenter, increasing our Main Stage inventory for more inspirational thought leadership
- Improving our educational opportunities through a series of intimate and insightful workshops tailored to the following audiences: Teams/Leagues/Properties, Brands/Agencies, Startup Founders, and Athletes
- Enhanced Startup Experience, including expanded offices hours and mentorship
- Live athlete podcasts presented by NASCAR and UNINTERRUPTED, open to the public
- The introduction of the inaugural Hashtag Sports Comedy Hour, which will be hosted at Bleacher Report HQ in Times Square featuring an all-star lineup of established comics, emerging stars and special guests
- And much to our team’s excitement, the expansion of SportsFronts to a full day of presentations and fireside chats.
SportsFronts: Only at Hashtag Sports
You’re probably familiar with traditional TV’s Upfronts and digital media’s NewFronts; enter SportsFronts.
Back by popular demand from our inaugural event in 2015, SportsFronts is an exclusive one-day, Main Stage showcase on Wednesday during HS18 which will feature interviews, panels, and presentations from the leading publishers and platforms serving today’s connected fan.
Hosted by ESPN’s LZ Granderson, it’s a one-of-a-kind event featuring a huge original announcement to kick things off in the morning, ending with a live podcast from Uninterrupted’s The Victor Cruz Show, and packed with presentations from Bleacher Report, Barstool Sports, Hulu, YouTube, and more in between.
More than ever this year, we challenged ourselves to put diversity on full display and landed a magnificent melting pot of the disparate minds architecting a better future for the industry. Just a few of our speakers include:
- Angela Courtin, Global Head of YouTube TV and Originals Marketing
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, NFL Wide Receiver & Social Media Maven
- Hope Solo, Olympic Gold Medalist & World Cup Champion
- Victor Cruz, Former NFL player & Podcast Co-Host
- Ryan Blaney, Team Penske Driver & Podcast Co-Host
- Steve Stoute, Agency Founder, Author, and Former Music Exec
- Michelle Wilson, Co-President at WWE
- Melissa Proctor, CMO at Atlanta Hawks
- Alicia Tillman, CMO at SAP
- Katie Nolan, Host, SportsCenter for Snapchat
- Heidi Browning, CMO at NHL
- Jennifer Storms, CMO at NBC Sports
- Bonin Bough, Producer & Host of Cleveland Hustles
- Morgan Sword, SVP League Economics at MLB
- Erika Nardini, CEO at Barstool Sports
- Sara Slane, SVP of Public Affairs at American Gaming Association
- Omar Raja, Founder of House of Highlights
- Mark Shuken, President, Pac-12 Network
- Sarah Personette, COO of Refinery29
- Ryan Howard, Pro Athlete & Partner at SeventySix Capital
- Sandra Lopez, GM & VP, Intel
and many more …
Tracking the Latest Trends
In the constantly changing worlds of sports and media, it’s vital to keep up with the latest trends and topics fueling the industry.
Our comprehensive track format allows for deep dives on a multitude of compelling topics of which other events are only able to scratch the surface. This year, most of your favorite tracks are back as well as a few timely themes:
- Content & Distribution, presented by Verizon Digital Media Services
- Athletes & Creators, presented by opendorse
- Fan Experience, presented by OMNIGON
- Sports Betting, presented by Genius Sports
- Sponsorship & Advertising, presented by GumGum
- Next-Gen Partnerships
While thought leadership and elite programming is the foundation for Hashtag Sports, we understand networking and business development opportunities are where the magic happens.
In addition to networking between day sessions, each evening will feature networking opportunities by night to connect with fellow attendees in a more casual atmosphere.
The schedule is as follows:
- Monday (June 25th), Carragher’s — A hallmark soccer (dare I say football) pub with a brand new rooftop and classic New York City vibe
- Tuesday (June 26th), Various Locations — Pick your poison amongst the following, meet a friend for dinner, or rest up for our big day of SportsFronts the following morning
- Wednesday (June 27th), WeWork Times Square — A night of networking and deal flow on a rooftop terrace at one of the city’s hottest co-working spaces
For more on our mission and Hashtag Sports 2018, please visit our website at https://hashtagsports.com.