The MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is and has been a dream destination in the past decade for every American Sports fan, and any person working within the Sports Industry. It’s the actual home of the “Moneyball” revolution that really changed MLB, the NFL and maybe even more so - the NBA. You can’t discuss the NBA these days and mention analytics as an afterthought like some old-school analysts are still doing on occasion (Charles Barkley, anyone?). The game has changed. Teams are playing 4 and even 5 “smalls”, guards and wings - mainly because the numbers suggest they should increase 3-point shooting. There’s a reason it has been dubbed the Super Bowl of Sports Analytics. In fact, the MIT Sloan conference was previously ranked #3 by Fast Company magazine, in its ranking of the world’s most innovative sports companies/events.
So, we at Pico - Get Personal, and myself personally, are more than excited to be attending Boston at the end of the first week of March and present at this year’s conference (on the analytical business side, not the sports). Before looking ahead, some history on MIT Sloan facts worth knowing:
- The conference originally started as a small gathering on the MIT campus in 2006, co-founded by Jessica Gelman, CEO of Kraft Analytics Group and Daryl Morey, General Manager of the Houston Rockets and an MIT alum. In its early years, the conference was more focused on Sports Business than Sports Analytics, but as the industry and business began to shift gears throughout the years, so did the conference.
- Since its inception, almost 15 years ago, Sloan has continued to evolve and adapt with the industry and its new interests. As the analytical world has grown and become involved with our decision making, so has the conference. It has become one of the hottest conference tickets anyone working in the industry was trying to get.
- The conference, which stretches over Friday March 6 - Saturday March 7, is super-busy. For instance, there is a trade show, a hack-a-thon, and what we’re most looking forward to, a Startup Competition, which we will be taking part in under the Fan Experience category. The Startup competition provides an opportunity for us, and others, to showcase innovations in the fields of sport-related technologies, products, and services - in our case, helping teams better interact with their millions of anonymous online fans.
- Lastly, but crucial to acknowledge, is the student-friendliness and aspect of the conference. Students at MIT in the process of receiving their MBA, are responsible for securing sponsorships, panelists and are managing the entire social media and online presence of the conference. While the conference itself is very corporate and serious, there’s an element of academia and student life integrated into the conference which allows the conference to stay close to its roots. As a recent Kellogg Northwestern/WHU EMBA, I'm pro-MBA’s everywhere....
Whether you are attending Sloan this year or following along on Social Media, it’s an event that you don’t want to miss. We will be live tweeting the entire conference so make sure to follow us @PicoGetPersonal and follow along our hashtags: #Pico@Sloan #RunTheNumbersPico. If you’re attending Sloan we would love to meet you! You can schedule a meeting with us here and enter for your chance to win an Amazon gift card at the same time.
Here’s to a great conference!