Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sport for Social Change Conference Preview

The Drexel Sport Management Student Union (SMTSU) will hold its second annual Sport for Social Change Conference, beginning on Thursday, Nov. 13 and concluding Friday, Nov. 14.

Thursday's portion of the Sport for Social Change Conference will feature a conversation with Sonny Vaccaro, the legendary sports marketing executive. The conversation will be directed by Tom Farrey, an enterprise reporter for ESPN and director of the Aspen Institute's Sport and Society Program. Vaccaro will speak about his involvement and thoughts about the Ed O'Bannon v. NCAA case.

Vaccaro and Farrey's conversation will take place at 6 p.m. in the Bossone Research Center's Mitchell Auditorium.

Friday's schedule features four presentations on four different topics. All Friday events will be held in the Academic Bistro on the sixth floor of the Paul Peck Problem Solving and Research Center. Registration and a light breakfast will open at 9 a.m. and opening remarks from President Kevin Murrary, Dr. Ellen Staurowsky (Drexel Sport Management Program Director) and Dr. Jon Deutsch (Director of Drexel's Center for Hospitality and Sport Management) will kick off the day at 9:45 a.m.

Tom Farrey, who will moderate Thursday's conversation with Sonny Vaccaro, will speak about his involvement and work with the Aspen Institute's Sport and Society Program at 10 a.m. Farrey is recognized among experts for his leading journalistic work on modern modern youth sports. He wrote the book Game On: The All- American Race to Make Champions of Our Children, which delves deep into the youth sports topic.

Sonny Vaccaro will follow at 11 a.m., speaking about the current crossroads the NCAA faces and where the NCAA is headed following the Ed O'Bannon v. NCAA decision. Vaccaro's career in sports marketing spanned five decades, working with Nike, Adidas and Reebok. He is credited with signing Michael Jordan to the first $1 million-plus endorsement deal and launching the careers of numerous other NBA players. While Vaccaro's work helped grow college athletics into the big business we see today, he has always been a fierce advocate for athlete's rights. His involvement in the O'Bannon case is his latest and perhaps his most important work on that front.

Lunch will be served at noon and will be prepared and served by Drexel culinary arts and hospitality students, bringing together all of the disciplines housed in the new Center for Hospitality and Sport Management.

Suzan Shown Harjo will reconvene the Sport for Social Change Conference at 1 p.m. to speak on the topic of the racial politics, legal challenges and social harms pertaining to the fight to change the Washington NFL team's nickname. It was recently announced that Harjo would be one of 19 to receive the Presidential Medal of Honor this year from President Obama. Harjo has worked for decades with lawmakers to preserve the rights, culture and land of Native Americans. She has written numerous essays and books on the topic.

Christine Fisher and Corey Reid of Sly Fox Beer as well as Dr. Lynn Hoffman will cap the day beginning at 2 p.m. with a panel discussion on the beer industry's involvement and social responsibility in Philadelphia sport and tourism. Sly Fox, which is located just outside of the city limits with locations in Phoenixville and Pottstown, has found creative ways to pair beer and sports with its unique events. The brewery is also known for its innovation, becoming the first brewery in North America to use 360-degree top cans.

Dr. Hoffman, author and "beer evangelist," heads Drexel's Fundamentals of Beer class during this fall term. He wrote the book Short Course in Beer and served as a critic for the Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer. While Sly Fox will speak more to the sport and social responsibility angle, Dr. Hoffman will speak to the progress of Philadelphia to a beer destination for tourism and beer's place in an academic setting.

Upon the Sport for Social Change Conference's conclusion at 3 p.m., attendees and speakers will be welcomed to stay for an hour of networking complete with hors d'oeuvres again prepared and served by Drexel students.

To follow and add to the conversation, use the hashtag #S4SC on Twitter and follow @DrexelSMTSU for updates.

Drexel SMTSU merchandise will be available to help support the Sport for Social Change Conference and other SMTSU initiatives.

If you cannot attend in-person, visit to live-stream the conference on your computer.

For more conference information, visit the "2014 Sport for Social Change" tab at the top of the page or email President Kevin Murray at

No comments:

Post a Comment