My friend Russell Scibetti has put together an amazing international sports business networking program that has a HUGE day on Wednesday, January 23.
Full details on the Night of Networking Events, including local event info in nearly 20 markets around the world, can be found here. While all of the events are free of charge, they will be raising money for Superstorm Sandy relief in the form of a donation to Team Rubicon.
Obviously, this is a great cause, but the events themselves will provide incredible networking opportunities for sports business professionals.
Russell gave me some insight on the genesis of the Business of Sports Networking Events, and how it grew from a small happy hour to this week’s global phenomenon. Congratulations to him and his team on organizing a massive event — this is a must-attend for people in the sports business world at all levels.
How it began:
Russell: Our very first NY event had 8 people in attendance, but everyone liked the idea, so we tried it again two months later and drew about 50 people. We’ve been hosting them now in NY for over three years, and draw anywhere from 150-200 people per event.
How did it expand:
Russell: I worked in Philadelphia back in 2008-09 and wanted to replicate the experience we had in NY, so we started scheduling them in Philly as well, drawing about 40-50 people per event. From there, I had friends in other cities who liked the idea and saw the value in building a regional networking group in their area. So they help to find a great location and promote the event locally, and I work through my blog, newsletter and social media to spread the word.
Night of Events:
Russell: We were due for our next NY event, and my co-organizer, Joshua Duboff, and I tossed around the idea that it would be cool to somehow coordinate multiple city events on the same night, and we ran with it. The idea took off and more friends volunteered to help in all these new cities that we hadn’t been in yet. So now, we’re up to 11 cities in the US and 2 international locations.
Russell: In the 3+ years we’ve run these events, we have never charged anyone to attend and have never made a profit. It’s always been important to us to focus on creating a environment that everyone can benefit from in building their careers, and we benefit from it in that way too, so its never about money. That said, we realized that the audience for this full night of events could get big enough where we might be able to do some good for others. Everyone knows the northeast was hit hard by Sandy, and Team Rubicon was an important group in responding to the storm and helping those impacted. Joshua actually volunteered with them and was very impressed by their efforts. So, we hope that everyone who attends can pitch in just a few dollars, and we can give something back. The link to make a donation is http://fundraise.teamrubiconusa.org/thebusinessofsports .