The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) announced the 2014 SFIA Industry Leaders Summit will be held at the historic Drake Hotel in Chicago, IL on Sept. 16-17, 2014. This builds on the success of the sold out, inaugural SFIA Industry Leaders Summit held in Baltimore this past September.
“SFIA is committed to delivering another executive level networking and learning experience for decision-makers representing a diverse range of industry segments sports and fitness product brands, retailers, professional leagues and allied associations/governing bodies,” said Bob Puccini, SFIA Chairman of the Board (President; Mizuno USA). “Based on the overwhelming response to our Sold Out inaugural event in Baltimore last September, we know industry leaders find this relevant and valuable. I am confident that the SFIA Industry Leaders Summit is fast becoming the flagship event for executives in our industry.”
With a focus on preparing attendees and their businesses for the future, the SFIA Industry Leaders Summit appeals to sports and fitness industry executives who are looking for a compact, dynamic learning and networking event that won’t take them away from their operations for an extended period of time. This 36-hour event is designed to provide a unique opportunity for some of the industry’s most highly regarded executives to find solutions to their most pressing issues and concerns while also networking with customers, partners and peers.
“We’re excited to be taking the 2014 SFIA Industry Leaders Summit to Chicago,” said SFIA President and CEO Tom Cove. “Chicago is one of our nation’s great business communities, a city rich in tradition and culture. The central location of the city allows attendees from both the east and west coasts to attend without significant travel constraints. Hosting this Summit in a city like Chicago is an ideal location for our audience.”
As with Baltimore, SFIA is pleased to showcase a city so heavily populated by sports and fitness brands, many of which are represented in the SFIA membership. Life Fitness, Sears, Riddell, Wilson Sporting Goods, McDavid, SPRI, Maurice Sporting Goods, Rico Industries, Body-Solid, Digital Li-Ning, Litania Sports Group, Killerspin, Champro Sports, and Automated Design call Chicago and its surrounding area home. Brands with a major retail presence with close proximity to the Drake Hotel and the Magnificent Mile include Nike, adidas, New Balance, Sears, The Sports Authority, Dicks, North Face, Columbia, Garmin, Lululemon, Oakley, Patagonia, Puma, Champs Sports, Finish Line, Billabong and Burton, to name a few.
“For more than a century, the Sears brand has been synonymous with the great Chicagoland area,” said Hugo Malan, president, fitness, sporting goods and toys at Sears Holdings, and, SFIA Board of Directors. “With so many outstanding brands either headquartered or prominently positioned in and around Chicago, this is an ideal city for an event of this magnitude. We look forward to showing leaders of the sports and fitness industry all that Chicago has to offer.”
Highlights from the 2013 Industry Leaders Summit
Keynote speakers included Kevin Plank, (Founder and Chairman and CEO, Under Armour), Ted Leonsis (Founder, Chairman and CEO, Monumental Sports & Entertainment), Jeffrey Rosensweig (Director of Global Perspectives, Emory University), Dan O’Connor (President & CEO, RetailNet Group), Joe Pellegrini (Co-Head Consumer & Retailer Group, Robert W. Baird & Co.), Hugh Hewitt (National Radio Talk Show Host) and Robert Reiss (Author, The Transformative CEO and Columnist, Forbes).
The panel sessions included The Relationship between Professional Sports and the Sports & Fitness Product Industry featuring Lisa Baird (CMO, USOC), Tim Brosnan (EVP, MLB), Eric Grubman (EVP, NFL), Brian Jennings (CMO, NHL), Sal LaRocca (EVP, NBA), and was moderated by Scott Baxter (President Jeanswear Americas & Imagewear, VF Corp.) A second panel was the Aspen Timeout session, which was hosted by Aspen Institute Director of Sports & Society and ESPN Reporter Tom Farrey, who discussed the keys to getting more people involved in sports and reducing the barriers to participation. The panel featured Christine Brennan (USA Today Columnist), Ed Foster-Simeon (US Soccer Foundation President & CEO), Dan Jablonic (Washington Capitals) and Caitlin Morris (Nike, Sr. Director for North America, Access to Sport). The final panel of the Industry Leaders Summit, the Global Industry President/CEO Roundtable, was moderated by Tom Cove and featured Scott Baxter (President Jeanswear Americas & Imagewear, VF Corp.), Sarah Fields (President, Century Martial Arts), Hugo Malan (President, Fitness Sporting Goods & Toys, Sears Holdings), and Dusty McCoy (Chairman and CEO, Brunswick Corporation).