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49ers Host Second Annual Innovation and Business Strategy Conference

The 2018 Innovation and Business Strategy Conference was an overwhelming success. The attendance at the annual conference hosted by the San Francisco 49ers more than doubled over its first year in 2018. More than 250 sports and business professionals convened at Levi's® Stadium for the two-day conference on May 9-10.

There's no better place to learn about the future of the sports and entertainment industry than in Silicon Valley, the heart of innovation, and attendees came from a wide variety of sports teams, leagues and technology companies located all over the country to do just that.

One of the highlights of the conference was a panel featuring five presidents of Bay Area professional sports teams: Rick Welts of the Golden State Warriors, Larry Baer of the San Francisco Giants, Tom Fox of the San Jose Earthquakes, Jonathan Becher of the San Jose Sharks and the 49ers' own Al Guido.

"I feel inspired by and proud of the progress that we have made in business strategy and analytics in the sports industry," Guido said. "It was great to see such a diverse set of industry experts sharing their amazing work."

The keynote speaker of the event was New York Times bestselling author Ori Brafman, who spoke about his work studying "starfish organizations", agile leadership, and networks of inclusion to optimize an organization's efficiency, sustainability, and resiliency. He emphasized that in an ever-evolving world, key decisions might not be made by those at the top. Head here to learn more about Brafman's research.

The 49ers hosted their annual Innovation and Business Strategy Conference May 9-11 at Levi's® Stadium.

Panel sessions discussed how clubs are leveraging data to improve fan experience and how data visualizations can help maximize stadium operations and efficiency on gameday. A few of the sessions featured:

  • A discussion on corporate partnerships from Intel and Idemia on how they leverage partnerships to expand the reach of their technology products
  • Experts in the eSports space who chatted about the increasing growth and business opportunities in this new uncharted sports league
  • A showcase of how teams use real-time feedback to improve services in-game, featuring 49ers' own VP of Business Strategy & Analytics, Moon Javaid
  • Representatives from tech companies such as Amazon and Netflix who spoke about the data they collect to provide unique user experiences.

The seminars and topics were wide-ranging and well balanced with tactical, inspirational and strategic discussions. The event is the only one of its kind, and the 49ers are eager to take next year's Innovation and Business Strategy Conference to even greater heights.

"We are fortunate because we have strong fan bases and strong connections to our consumers, but we need to continue to innovate and progress to make sure that the sports industry stays a leader in entertainment," said 49ers CEO Jed York. "This conference is a key part of this goal."