Cornell Sports and Entertainment Week

Cornell's first ever Sports and Entertainment week was produced by the ILR Alumni Association Sports & Entertainment Executives (SEE) in celebration of the ILR School's 75th Anniversary.

Open to all Cornell students and alumni, this week consisted of a virtual event series meant to inspire the next generation of Cornellians to pursue careers in these interrelated and dynamic fields.

Cornell students and alumni had the opportunity to interact in immersive online sessions that surface the biggest topics and trends in sports and entertainment. It’s all about learning and networking with accomplished alumni from premiere organizations like the NFL, MLB, NBA, Netflix, HBO and NBCUniversal. 

Live Virtual Events

Discuss the role of sports in advancing social justice, diversity and inclusion.

Monday, October 12 @ 6PM ET

Diversity and Inclusion within sports and entertainment is not just the right thing to do, but also good business. D&I allows organizations to reach expanded audiences in authentic and organic ways. Long before Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest police brutality, sports has drawn attention to civil rights while acting as an economic engine. Modern organizations have an imperative to focus on hiring and retaining underrepresented groups while allowing every voice to acknowledge and amplify issues that color our world, in parallel with driving consumer interest in diverse ways. Doing the right thing leads to economic success. This panel discusses all of these issues and what we can do as Cornellians to make a difference.

Moderator: Frantz Cayo '95, BET Experience

Panelists: Jamal Henderson '03, The SpringHill Company; Nicole Smart '15, Smart EDI Solutions, LLC; George Wilson II '08, NBA G League

Explore the unique career journeys of Cornellians shaping the era of streaming video services.

Tuesday, October 13 @ 6PM ET

The biggest story in entertainment is the explosion of streaming video services bringing movies, series, news, and sports to any device in your home or hand. This panel will introduce an array of alumni working in the digital video space and surface the fascinating academic and professional paths they’ve pursued along the way. Learn what it takes to work in this exciting area where the future of media is coming together right before our eyes!

Moderator: Jordan Berman '95, OFC

Panelists: Meredith Gertler '98, HBO; Bharath Jayaraman '09, Netflix; Rob Landau '91 JD '94, NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Level-up your career search skills during this interactive workshop with small breakout sessions.

Wednesday, October 14 @ 12PM ET

The keys to launching a career in the sports and entertainment industry can be paired down to two basic components: what you know and who you know. While you will not get far without having the appropriate work ethic, educational experiences, and work opportunities, networking is a crucial component in the elusive search for a job in sports and entertainment. Unlike some career fields, a majority of sports and entertainment job opportunities are a direct result of a personal relationship as opposed to an online or formal application. This workshop focuses on teaching students how to network with sports and entertainment industry professionals and establish meaningful relationships that will help them land job opportunities in the future. 
Part 1 of the workshop will be a panel featuring industry alumni sharing tips and best practices for networking specifically within the sports and entertainment industries. After the panel, students will be encouraged to join small breakout rooms throughout the afternoon. Each breakout room will feature a sports and entertainment professional with varying degrees of career experience. These small, informal sessions will allow students to seek advice about networking in a comfortable environment and make new connections with industry alumni! 

Moderator: Alex Gimenez '15, Boston Red Sox

Panelists: Robbie Cohen '13, CAA; Aaron Klein '12,'14, Chicago Cubs; Josephine Martinez '18, NFL

Analyze the challenges of sports leagues returning to play during Covid-19.

Wednesday, October 14 @ 6PM ET

The professional sports industry has long provided fans a reprieve from the challenges of the world around us. However, in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic, the industry was forced to shut down at a time when we needed it the most. This panel focuses on the innumerable challenges faced by professional sports leagues in attempting a safe return to competition, the collaboration by players and leagues that was necessary to overcome those challenges, the lessons learned in managing through the worst crisis the sports industry has ever faced, and the future of professional sports in the age of Covid-19. 

Moderator: Eric Fisher '98, Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp

Panelists: Sean Sansiveri '05, NFL Players Association; Jeffrion Aubry ‘99, NBA; Jon Daniels ‘99, Texas Rangers

See how sports sponsorships are evolving across teams, brands and agencies.

Thursday, October 15 @ 6PM ET

In this panel, we’ll hear from senior leaders from the team, brand and agency perspective as we explore the future of partnerships between marketers and properties. We will look at how teams have sought to continue to provide value to their sponsors despite empty or near empty venues and how this has spurred new ways to engage fans. We’ll also discuss how this seismic shift in the sports landscape will lead to new platforms, technologies and assets that will allow brands to meet myriad objectives through partnerships. 

Moderator: Tim McGhee '84, MSP Sports & Entertainment

Panelists: Andrew Cohen '94, Visa; Jennifer Keene '95, Octagon; Jason Pearl '91, San Francisco Giants

Learn how to bridge your Cornell degree into the business of sports and media.

Friday, October 16 @ 6PM ET

This session features a spectrum of recent Cornell grads sharing their unique stories about how they landed a job in the sports and entertainment industries. Panelists will share valuable insights and advice on networking, internships, and experiences that propelled them into their professional careers. While every career journey is different, this discussion will surface common themes behind successful Cornellians entering sports and entertainment, including hustle, creativity and perseverance. Get the inside scoop on bridging Cornell to career in this lively conversation on breaking into the business! 

Moderator: Elizabeth Berman '97, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment

Panelists: Riele Short ‘19, Peacock TV; Harrison Marcus '20, NFL; Emeka Ojukwu '19, Creative Artists Agency; Robert Pannullo '17, MLB Players Association