MBA Sport Industry Talks

Being an MBA in Sport Management student and alum gives you access to experts in the classroom. Throughout the program, students are immersed in industry talks where professionals share invaluable information, dynamic commentary, and feedback about the Sports industry. Speakers range from Sport-related industries and disciplines. 

Below is a highlight of select speakers from previous semesters who presented to students, and the topics they covered in class.




Roberto Pinto da Silva Jr.

Roberto Pinto da Silva Jr.

Events Management Executive, Conmebol Cope America

  • Provided great insight on all different levels of the sport industry through project management, player contracts, merchandising, and advertising
  • Expressed how every event needs to be sustainable and profitable to be successful
  • Formally the marketing director of one of the fastest-growing soccer clubs in Brazil, Atletico Panana Institute


Benito Dos Santos

Benito Dos Santos

Marketing Consultant, B77 Consulting Corporation

  • Walked through the day-to-day in motorsports operations
  • Presented the importance of collaboration with the motorsports team and the venue
  • Analyzed operations of the Indy Series from different perspectives, including the team, the driver, and the venue


Tiago Pinto

Tiago Pinto

Chief Marketing Officer, Miami Marlins

  • Discussed marketing strategies to drive attendance
  • Analyzed the importance of increasing attendance to produce revenue
  • Provided unique fan experiences that tailored to each audience


Adam Baron

Adam Baron

Executive Director, Delray Beach Open (ATP Tennis Event)

  • Shared the logistics of corporate partnerships
  • Provided the day-to-day duties of a 10-day tournament
  • The business of sport - touched on marketing, event management, and fan engagement


Katherine Milliken

Katherine Milliken, '11 Alum

Vice President, Entertainment and Fan Experience, Miami Dolphins, Miami Open and Formula One Miami Grand Prix

  • Shared path to becoming a top sport business executive
  • Career tips in the sport industry to help propel next steps
  • Provided insight into her specialty in event production and experiential activations


Canaan Campo

Canaan Campo

Director of Business Intelligence, Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Oversees the business analytics department for the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
  • Align analytical findings with business objectives (ticketing, pricing, & revenue strategy)
  • Discussed the future of analytics in the sports industry


Michael Graffin

Michael Graffin

Senior Associate AD for Development, Florida Atlantic University

  • Develop the Foundation for Your Career: Focus On Your Passion
  • Discussion of your dream job
  • Importance of revenue generation in athletics


Lauren Cochran

Lauren Cochran

Chief Marketing Officer, The Florida Panthers

  • Oversees digital marketing and strategy for the Miami HEAT by leading a talented team that turns data into dollars
  • Discussion on the HEAT's digital properties including social media, paid media, email marketing, web, mobile app, e-commerce, and eSports
  • Importance of social media engagement and growth, such as HEAT online retail store and paid media strategies that reap big returns on retail, branded content, and ticket sales


Mary Giardina

Mary Giardina

Senior Associate AD, Administration and Chief of Staff, SWA, Florida Atlantic University

  • Impact of COVID-19 on FAU Athletics’ budget, the coaches, practices and the players
  • NCAA’s hottest topic, NIL (Name, Image, or Likeness) and the rule changes and bylaws  
  • Permissible activities for student athletes with new NIL 


Anthony Hilliard

Anthony Hilliard

Chief Executive Officer, The Sterling Group, Inc. 

  • Stories from over 30 years of experience in the sport industry, as an agent, sports executive and a consultant
  • Globalization of sports, the international sports business, and 2020-2021 milestones 
  • Rapid rise of global professional basketball and the power of sports
  • Experiences as a sports lawyer (representing athletes in leagues in over five continents worldwide)     


Joshua Korlin

Joshua Korlin

Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Florida Panthers

  • Shared career path roles as a member of the LSU Athletic Marketing Department, for women’s basketball, the Houston Astros in Community Affairs, and experiences in Corporate Partnerships with both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins
  • The logistics of corporate partnerships and the day-to-day duties
  • The importance of gaining experience and working in different roles


George Linley

George Linley, '03 Alum

Executive Director, Palm Beach Sports Commission

  • Shared his journey into the sport industry and how his career successes were propelled by the MBA in Sport Management program
  • Explored information about The Palm Beach Sports Commission which is recognized as one of strongest sports commissions in the United States and how he developed recovery stages for sports events and tourism to recover from pandemic impact  
  • Discussed the role of the sports commission in Palm Beach and the revival initiatives of sports from the sport tourism perspective 
  • Spoke about the Palm Beach Sports Commission partnership with FAU MBA Sport and the internship and employment opportunities


Howie Schwab

Howie Schwab

Broadcaster, ESPN and Fox Sports

  • Career path: started in sport media with College and Pro Football News Weekly and  eventually became the editor 
  • Highlights of his career at ESPN for 26 years: started as a researcher and involvement with to eventually his own show on ESPN: Stump the Schwab
  • Experiences such as doing Sports Jeopardy with Dan Patrick and being the College Basketball Guru at FOX, predicting matchups during the College Basketball tournament
  • The changes in sport media from the past to now and employment opportunities in sport media


Eugen Shen

Eugen Shen

Senior Vice President of Football Strategy, Washington Commanders

  • Experiences of working in Finance for 20 years before working in the sport industry
  • His experiences as a consultant with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Ravens, and Miami Dolphins in Football Analytics
  • The goal of analytics teams: providing decision-makers with meaningful data and insights and encouraging organizations to utilize data to augment traditional decision-making
  • The role of analytics in coaching (game management and opponent scouting) versus the role in personnel (drafting, trades, free agency, and player contract structure)  


Jenny Taft

Jenny Taft

Sports Journalist, Fox Sports

  • Experience working as a moderator on Fox Sports Undisputed
  • Her journey through different roles in the sport industry
  • Shared the challenges as a sideline reporter during the pandemic in regards to interviewing college athletes and coaches 
  • Advice and best practices on a career as a sports journalist or broadcaster 


Industry Talks

Anthony Hilliard MBA in Sport Management Industry Talk Thumbnail Cover

Industry Talk 1: Anthony Hilliard, Chief Executive Officer, The Sterling Group, Inc.

On the first episode of MBA in Sport Management: Industry Talks, our very own MBA Sport Director Dr. James Riordan welcomes to the classroom Chief Executive Officer of the The Sterling Group, Inc., Anthony Hilliard.

Find out how Anthony sticks to his integrity and honor to succeed in the Sports business.


Anthony Bonavita MBA in Sport Management Industry Talk Thumbnail Cover

Industry Talk 2: Anthony Bonavita, Executive Vice President, Cavaliers Operation Company

On this episode, listen to Anthony Bonavita's successful journey of how he rose in the Sports industry and how aspiring leaders can apply this knowledge to their own journey.


Eugene Liu Shen MBA in Sport Management Industry Talk Thumbnail Cover

Industry Talk 3: Eugene Liu Shen, Director of Football Personnel Analytics, Miami Dolphins

Want to know how decisions are made using analytics? Listen in to this conversation with Eugene Liu Shen to see the science behind tactics and strategy at the Miami Dolphins. Learn about game management, personnel structure, talent identification, trades recommendation, and contract structures.


Jenny Taft MBA in Sport Management Industry Talk Thumbnail Cover

Industry Talk 4: Jenny Taft, Sports Journalist, Fox Sports

Jenny Taft started as a news desk reporter, evolved to college football correspondent, and then reported the Westminster Dog show, racing, and world cups. Now, she is an American sports television personality, serving as the moderator on Fox Sports 1's Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. Listen to more of her career adventures in the video below.


Jonathan D. Mariner MBA in Sport Management Industry Talk Thumbnail Cover

Industry Talk 5: Jonathan D. Mariner, Consultant, Fox Sports    

Want to gain insight into baseball and other sports business models? Watch Johnathan Mariner's class. Formerly, he served as an Executive of the Miami Marlins and Florida Panthers, was former CFO of Major League Baseball, and is currently a Consultant at Fox Sports.


Katerina Perez MBA in Sport Management Industry Talk Thumbnail Cover

Industry Talk 6: Katerina Perez, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Florida Panthers

Listen in to Katerina Perez's successful journey starting from FAU to where she is now, as VP of Corporate Partnerships for the Florida Panthers. Learn the art behind corporate partnerships, such as the one she leads with Lexus, and the adventures in her career development from the beginning to her current role.


Michael Graffin MBA in Sport Management Industry Talk Thumbnail Cover

Industry Talk 7: Michael Graffin, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Advancement and External Relations, Florida Atlantic University

Curious about how FAU's Athletics team pivoted and adjusted from the COVID-19 pandemic? In this episode, Michael Graffin shares his experience and insights on how his team managed challenges that arose from last year to date. Discover how he overcame learning curves and how he built his career in Sports.

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