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Lecture Series Looks at Dollars & Cents of Sports & Entertainment

istockphoto.com / NPR

The dollars and cents of the sport and entertainment industries will be the topic of discussion during a series of free lectures taking place at the University of South Florida this week.

The second annual USF Sport and Entertainment Lecture Series, presented by Fox Sports Florida and the Tampa Bay Lightning, features an all-star lineup of speakers:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 13, 4 p.m. - Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, which owns and operates productions like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Monster Jam, Disney Live, and Disney on Ice.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m. - Sheila Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, vice chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and president and managing partner of the Washington Mystics WNBA team. Johnson, the first African-American female billionaire, is also the first woman to be an owner or partner in three professional sports teams.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 13, 4 p.m. - Don Marinelli, co-founder of the Entertainment Technology Center, known worldwide as the "Dream Fulfillment Factory." Marinelli, who retired from Carnegie Mellon University in 2012 after 31 years, worked closely with "The Last Lecture" creator Randy Pausch.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m. - David Falk, sports agent, author, philanthropist and entrepreneur. Falk is credited with creating the "Air Jordan" nickname while negotiating Michael Jordan's hugely successful endorsement deal with Nike.

Bill Sutton, founding director of USF’s Graduate Program in Sport and Entertainment Management, said the series is ideal for students, as well as anyone interested in sports, entertainment or business.

"It gives people a chance to test their perspective - somebody might come out here and decide they want a career change," Sutton said. "We've got people here that have challenged existing barriers and existing ways of doing business and came about with new ways and new ideas, and that's what we're all about. We're excited about the series."

The lectures take place in the USF Marshall Center Oval Theater. Tickets are available at http://bit.ly/TampaSportsBiz15.

USF Sport & Entertainment Management Program Director Bill Sutton talks about the program, the jobs its first class of graduates are landing, and the "analytics of sports" that they're studying.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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