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Sports industry leaders, students to convene at annual sports symposium

Friday, Dec. 4, 2009, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friend Center

Sports business professionals, marketing executives, college athletic leaders and students will come together for the 2009 Princeton Sports Symposium from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in the Friend Center.

The event is open to the public, though advance registration is required. To register and to view the agenda, visit the symposium website. The event is free for current college students and $50 for nonstudents and sports industry professionals.

Now in its fourth year, the Princeton Sports Symposium will bring together more than 60 executives in the sports and entertainment industry to discuss such topics as social media and technology, public relations, television and programming, international sports, and athlete marketing and representation.

The annual symposium, which was founded in 2006 by then-Princeton senior Chris Chaney, is intended to help students and sports professionals learn more about the sports industry, while providing a forum for industry executives to attract potential future leaders. The event is organized by a committee of Princeton students with support from an advisory committee of sports business executives and Princeton alumni.

"Not only will the event shed light on the University's efforts to discover and transmit unique career paths to students, but the symposium also will help develop students' and sports professionals' understanding of the diverse opportunities and latest trends in an exciting industry," said Princeton Sports Symposium Planning Committee student co-chair Richard Zhang, a senior. Zhang organized this year's event with committee co-chair Miheer Mhatre, a junior.

The event will begin with a roundtable discussion featuring former Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox general manager Roland Hemond and Sports Illustrated senior writer Tom Verducci. The conversation will be followed by a keynote address by Tony Ponturo, president of Ponturo Management and chairman of the Leverage Agency sports marketing firm. Afterward, there will be 11 panel discussions that address topics such as building a brand with social media, the Olympic Games and international sports, digital media and technology, and athlete marketing and representation.

Several other sports industry leaders are scheduled to participate in the symposium, including: Greg Avioli, Breeders' Cup president and chief executive officer; Randy Bernard, Professional Bull Riders chief executive officer; Barry Frank, the IMG agency's executive vice president of sports programming; Lindsay Kagawa, director of women's sports for Wasserman Media Group; Greg Shaheen, NCAA senior vice president of basketball and business strategies; Mark Wilf, owner and president of the Minnesota Vikings and a 1984 Princeton graduate; and Michelle Wilson, World Wrestling Entertainment executive vice president of marketing.

University sponsors of the event are the Office of Career Services, the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life, the Undergraduate Student Government Projects Board and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.

Outside sponsors of the event are the Leverage Agency, Chaney Sports Group, Partnership Activation and the Princeton Varsity Club.

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