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Sep 21 / Dave Nemetz

The Sports 2.0 Conference Comes to SF Today (so follow #sports20 to keep up)

Pat Coyle’s latest edition of the Sports Marketing 2.0 Conference hits San Francisco today, and this has got to be the best version of the conference yet. Bleacher Report is involved in a big way, and other companies in the mix include the likes of ESPN, Facebook, Yahoo Sports, the NBA, NHL, and a host of other team organizations, startups, and media brands.

The Sports 2.0 Conferences that Bleacher Report has been a part of (today’s will be our fourth) have always done a great job of bridging the gap between the traditional sports world and the digital sports space. Digital, which once seemed like it was far down the priority chain for many mainstream sports orgs, now is getting an elevated level of priority as team and league organizations look to engage and connect with their fans in new ways.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to the most at the conference:

  • The Facebook Panel: Justin Osofsky of Facebook will be leading a panel on social integration into online sports experiences. Here at B/R we’ve made heavy use of Facebook Connect and the Open Graph API to make the site experience more social, and are continually looking to push the envelope on the social front. I’m looking forward to a lively discussion between Justin and his panelists (John Kosner of ESPN, Jeff Price from The Sporting News, Melissa Brenner from the NBA, and Perry Cooper from the NHL) about how sports on the web can become more social, and what Facebook is doing to enable that.
  •  Ignite Presentations: This format, which involves a presenter going through a twenty slide presentation with a strict 15-seconds per slide time limit, was adopted from the O’Reilly Media conferences and should make things interesting as the pace picks up once the panels are done. There’s nothing worse than a conference that drags on with endless panels and talks, so the Ignite presentations will be a welcome change of format, especially with interesting speakers like Ty Ahmad-Taylor from sports aggregator FanFeedr, Scott Philp from browser-based sports game developer QuickHit, and Bleacher Report’s VP Content Dave Finocchio, giving a talk on how we’ve innovated our newsletter product to serve local fans.
  • The Post-Summit VIP Reception presented by Bleacher Report: With all due respect to the panelists and speakers, the best parts of any conference are the conversations it sparks. Whether you’re catching up with long-time contacts or networking with new acquaintances, there’s a lot to gain from seeing people face to face in a stimulating environment. New partnerships can be formed, war stories can be exchanged, and a few adult beverages can be consumed. Good times…

If you work in sports and have never been to one of these events, I highly encourage you to check one out next time they come to your town. The next one up is Sports Marketing 2.0 South in Atlanta on October 21st.

For those of you who are interested in following updates from today’s event in SF, check out the #sports20sf hashtag on Twitter.