Top 50 Sports Business Speakers
- By Aaron
- Aug 29, 2023
Sports business encompasses everything from marketing to team ownership. It’s an industry worth billions and billions and one where the best sports business speakers are often in high demand for topics like sports law, technology, ethics, and sports media, and that’s just a start. Take a closer look at our top 50 sports business speakers and explore all that they can teach or demonstrate to your team, organization, students, or group.
1. Amy Trask
Amy Trask worked for the Oakland Raiders for close to three decades, including 16 years as the organization’s CEO. She worked her way up from an internship and became the NFL’s first female front-office executive. In her long career, she’s won a “WISE Woman of the Year Award,” and “Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award.” She currently works as a CBS Sports Network football analyst.
Odell Beckham Jr. is an NFL wide receiver for the Baltimore Ravens. His college football career was impressive and led to a Paul Hornung Award. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in his first three NFL seasons and has been a second-team All-Pro twice. When it comes to sports business speaking, he’s an expert in converting short-term thinking processes into long-term ones and using a mix of trust and risk to achieve your business goals.
David Meltzer is the co-founder of Sports 1 Marketing, transitioning to this role from his position as CEO of Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment. Marshall Goldsmith named him a “Top 100 Business Coach,” and he’s one of the world’s most popular sports business speakers and coaches.
4. Chris Kelly
At first, you might wonder why a former Facebook exec is on a list of sports business speakers. Chris Kelly’s expertise encompasses a range of fields, but his knowledge of sports and business comes when he was one of a group of investors who purchased the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. He helped solidify the systems used for management and technology at the Golden 1 Center.
He’s the host of Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take,” a podcast that focuses on trending sports topics. Dan “Big Cat” Katz excels at pairing sports business with comedy that ensures listeners relate to the topic at hand. Lately, he’s been on the road with Alex Rodriguez with “The Corp” podcast where they travel the country to talk to sports professionals and business leaders about their success.
6. Pat McAfee
Former NFL player Pat McAfee is the founder and CEO of the digital media company Pat McAfee, Inc. He gained his sports business expertise as a college football analyst. Once he retired, he joined Barstool Sports to share his insights using humor to engage with his listeners. Humor and expert knowledge ensure that everyone in his audience takes home valuable lessons from his talks.
7. John Lynch
He’s a six-time finalist of the Pro Football Hall of Fame following a 15-year football career and over eight seasons as a football analyst. He’s the general manager for the San Francisco 49ers and has earned a reputation for shaping a positive team culture. He won the PFWA NFL Executive of the Year at the end of the 2019 season. Book him for your keynote speeches, special appearances, or custom experience.
Brandon Steiner is the author of “The Business Playbook: Leadership Lessons From the World of Sports.” He’s also the co-host of YES Network’s “Yankees-Steiner: Memories of the Game.” He’s spoken at some of the country’s best business schools, including The Harvard Business School and Yale. Book him for your next appearance and have him talk about maintaining a competitive edge, networking, and one of our favorite topics, “The Underdog Has Everything to Win Whereas the Winner Has Everything to Lose.”
Mike Tannenbaum became an NFL Front Office Insider for ESPN in 2019 after leaving his position as Executive VP of Football Operations for the Miami Dolphins. He’s moved up and appears on several ESPN platforms including First Take, Get Up!, NFL Live, and SportsCenter. He’s been in team front offices for more than 20 years and has a lot to share with your employees, students, or team.
10. Don Yaeger
Don Yaeger has written more than 30 books and was Sports Illustrated’s longtime associate editor. He left Sports Illustrated to become a public speaker. One of his most popular keynote speeches is “What Makes the Great Teams Great.” He’s also worked with the Florida State University School of Business to establish a corporate webinar program on building a culture of success. Ask him about his latest keynote on “Becoming a Team of Great Teammates.”
11. Dan Le Batard
Dan Le Batard is the commentator for ESPN’s “Highly Questionable.” He’s a multiple award-winning sports journalist and winner of two National Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Studio Host. He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and a former Harlem Globetrotter. In addition to playing sports and working as a commentator, he also helped raise awareness of the financial situation some retired athletes face and advocated for better support after retiring from sports.
British-born Domonique Foxworth played for the NFL for six seasons. He grew up in Maryland and attended the University of Maryland where he was an All-ACC cornerback. The Broncos drafted him, and he played with the team for three years before moving on to Baltimore and Washington. When he retired from the NFL, he earned his law degree and became an NFL analyst and commentator for ESPN. He’s the youngest person to be named President of the NFLPA where he served for two years. As a sports business professional, he’s a strong advocate for players’ rights, safety, and treatment during retirement.
13. Jermaine O’Neal
The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Jermaine O’Neal when he was just 17, making him the youngest player ever in the NBA. Through hard work and dedication his transition from high school to professional sports was a success. He shares his insight on marketing yourself and partnering with other companies that help you achieve your worth.
14. Jake Olson
Jake Olson is the first completely blind football player in college football history. Despite losing sight in both eyes by the age of 12, he didn’t want to give up his dreams of playing football, and he achieved that goal in 2017, a story he’s shared on major networks and newspapers alike. After college, he won an adaptive golf championship and spoke to audiences about his experiences. Book him for a custom experience or keynote speech on sports. He’s even available if you want to play golf with him or have him join your football team for a long snap.
15. Jimmy Rollins
Jimmy Rollins spent most of his MLB career with the Philadelphia Phillies. In that time, he played in three All-Star games. He’s won many awards in his decade-long career, including a World Series championship and National League MVP. He’s available for custom experiences and partnerships.
Amy Dubois Barnett received an MFA from Columbia University and took a position as a lifestyle editor at Essence magazine. She’d use that experience to become the deputy editor at Harper’s Bazaar and then editor-in-chief at Ebony. She was instrumental in the magazine’s first redesign in more than six decades. After leaving Ebony, she became the executive editor for ESPN’s “The Undefeated,” a sports and culture website. Most recently, she’s been named the Chief Content Officer at Outside Interactive, a community for athletes, outdoor adventurers, and people focused on healthy lifestyles.
17. Chris Mullin
Chris Mullin is a two-time Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee for his career in the NBA and his time on the 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball team. Following a lengthy NBA career, he managed the Sacramento Kings and coached St. John's University’s Red Storm from 2015 to 2019. He’s available for speeches and custom experiences.
18. Ryan Howard
Ryan Howard is a professional baseball player who’s received Rookie of the Year, National League MVP, and World Series championship awards and accolades with the MLB. After his MLB career, he became a mentor in sports and business, becoming a partner of SeventySix Capital. SeventySix Capital is a venture capital fund that helps startups in the sports industry.
19. Allison Feaster
She’s the VP of Player Development and Organizational Growth for the Boston Celtics and specializes in team building and leadership skills. How did Allison Feaster gain her expertise? She played professional basketball for 17 years. After retiring from the WNBA, she entered the NBA’s Basketball Operations Management Development Program and was the lead of Player Personnel & Coach Relations with the NBA-G League.
20. Baron Davis
Baron Davis played for five NBA teams and became a two-time NBA All-Star in his 13-year career. He left basketball and transitioned into business as the founder of Baron Davis Enterprises where he oversees BIG (Business Inside the Game) and Sports and Lifestyle in Culture.
21. John Schneider
John Schneider is the GM of the Seattle Seahawks, a role he’s held for over 11 seasons. He’s also the Executive VP for the team. In a ten-year span, he and Pete Carroll have brought their team to the playoffs eight times and won the Super Bowl in 2014. John is available for keynote speeches, custom experiences, and other appearances.
22. Dr. Corey Yeager
He’s the psychotherapist for the Detroit Pistons, combining his love of helping others with sports. Dr. Corey Yeager helps players, front-office leadership, and coaching staff get the support they need to succeed. He strives for all to have meaningful conversations about race, racism, and healthy cultures. He’s one of our most popular sports business keynote speakers.
23. David Jacoby
David Jacoby joined ESPN in 1999. He’s a commentator, coordinating producer, and co-host of Jalen & Jacoby, as well as a guest host on shows like SportsNation. He’s been nominated for three Emmy Awards, a National Magazine Award, two EPPY Awards, and multiple Webby awards. His knowledge of sports is unbeatable, but he pairs that with degrees in marketing and management.
24. Scott Pioli
Scott Pioli is the former Assistant GM for the Atlanta Falcons and former analyst for NBC Sports, NFL Network, and NFL Radio on Sirius XM. He’s also held executive positions for the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, and New York Jets. He’s the youngest and one of three NFL executives to win back-to-back NFL Executive of the Year Awards.
25. Amobi Okugo
Amobi Okugo played professional soccer and has played in hundreds of games for the MLS and USL. He founded A Frugal Athlete, a business platform that helps student and professional athletes make smart financial and career decisions. One of his most popular talks is “Maximizing Your Opportunity as an Athlete Entrepreneur.”
26. Shawn Marion
He’s a former NBA champion and all-star with most of his 16 years spent with the Suns. After retiring in 2015, he and another NBA player became majority shareholders of the New Zealand Breaker. Shawn Marion is just as skilled in talking about playing the game as he is about the business side of sports.
27. Janet Evans
Janet Evans is a three-time Olympian and five-time medalist who’s broken seven world records. Her professional swimming career transitioned her to a role as Vice-Chair for the Bid Committee for Los Angeles 2024 and was instrumental in ensuring Los Angeles became the host of the 2028 Olympics.
28. Cardale Jones
Following a two-season career in the NFL and half a season with the XFL, the pandemic put Cardale Jones's XFL career on hold. At that time, he turned to business and founded The Cardale Jones Fund for Adolescent and Young Adults Cancer Research. He advocates for student-athletes, too. He’s also the General Manager of the Foundation, a non-profit for the Ohio State University Buckeyes, and co-founder of a sports marketing agency.
29. Angela Ruggiero
Angela Ruggiero is the CEO of Sports Innovation Lab, a tech-powered market research firm specializing in sports marketing. It’s with this company that the term Fluid Fan was established. She’s built her career from her experiences as a four-time Olympian and Team USA Ice Hockey gold medalist. She was the first female non-goalie to play in men’s professional hockey and brings many unique and entertaining details to her keynote speeches and appearances.
30. Laura Dixon
Laura Dixon is a big name in the sports industry as she helps grow sports businesses by using her tremendous leadership skills, entrepreneurial expertise, and passion for sports to be inclusive and fair. She’s the former head of external relations for Spur Sports and Entertainment. Pro Sports Assembly is an association for professional sports business leaders and it’s one of her two companies. She also founded Long Game Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in sports businesses that are making an impact.
31. Darren Prince
From the young age of 14, Darren Prince started selling baseball cards and traveling to trade shows around the country. He sold that company six years later and became a leader in private sports and celebrity memorabilia signings. He founded Prince Marketing Group in 1995 to represent athletes in marketing and endorsement deals. Magic Johnson was his first client. Over the years, he’s negotiated more than $200 million in deals, but he also gives speeches and custom experiences as a sports business expert
32. Paul Epstein
He’s known as the go-to fixer for teams, franchises, and sports executive offices. He’d tell you his biggest strengths are in the come-from-behind win with an all-in culture that helps you grow. Paul Epstein’s sports business speeches encompass how it’s always important to play defense to grow beyond what you ever imagined would be possible.
33. Kyle Long
Kyle Long is an offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs and son of NFL star and football analyst Howie Long. In addition to playing football, he was also an All-American high school pitcher. So good, in fact, that the Chicago White Sox drafted him but he’d already committed to Florida State University. His love of football grew, however, and he was drafted by the Chicago Bears where he won three Pro Bowls and was Second-Team All-Pro. He retired briefly and worked for CBS but returned to the NFL. Football is his passion, and he’s dabbled in business, too, as the part-owner of an iRacing team.
34. Chris Long
His family is enmeshed in football, so it’s not surprising that Chris Long followed in his dad’s footsteps and became an NFL player. In his eight seasons with the Rams, he switched to the New Patriots and won his first Super Bowl. His second Super Bowl happened the next year with the Eagles. After retirement, he founded Chalk Media and his popular “Green Light” sports podcast.
35. Bill Ripken
Bill Ripken is a 12-year MLB veteran and MLB Network analyst. He’s been on the Emmy-winning MLB Tonight and won a Sports Emmy for “Outstanding Studio Analyst.” After retiring from the MLB, he joined his brother, Cal Ripken, Jr., and formed The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, a non-profit that helps with organizations that serve youth living in distressed communities across the U.S.
36. Daron K. Roberts
Daron K. Roberts is the author of Sports Illustrated’s picks for the “2017 Best Sports Business Books.” “Call An Audible” was also a #1 Amazon New Release. He’s the founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at the University of Texas. He coached several professional football teams, including the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, and Kansas City Chiefs. His sports business topics range from failure management and leadership to handling rejection and staying resilient.
37. Nick Swisher
Nick Swisher played first base or outfield for several teams including the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. While with the Yankees, he won a World Series and was an All-Star a year later. After he retired from the MLB, he took a role with Fox Sports as a baseball analyst and is a special assistant to the general manager of the Yankees.
38. Darren Heitner
He’s the founder of Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., a sports law and contract law practice. Darren Heitner is legal counsel for several athletes and agents, including Jose Bautista, Antonio Brown, and Brandon Marshall. He’s also an adjunct professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law where he teaches sports law. It’s also in Florida where he was asked to help craft the legislation that would help Florida’s college athletes gain the right to make money off their name, image, and likeness. He’s the speaker you won on topics like sports business law.
39. Arielle Moyal
Moyal Enterprises is a marketing agency that helps athletes, teams, and sports brands strategize and execute beneficial solutions. It’s a firm founded by sports marketing expert Arielle Moyal. She’s also been the VP of Basketball & Baseball Marketing and the PR and digital strategist for REP1 Sports. Tapping into her Master of Arts in Sports Management, she has a tremendous success record. When she’s not working on sports marketing strategies she’s also a skilled soccer player.
40. Sarah Fuller
Sarah Fuller was the first woman to play and score in a Power Five football game. She’s been active in sports since. After receiving an MBA in Sports Entertainment Management, she became the Director of Athlete Relations at NOCAP Sports. She’s especially knowledgeable on topics like women in sports, student-athlete rights, and mental health for players.
41. Jim Lampley
Jim Lampley is one of the nation’s most renowned sports broadcasters. For over 20 years, he hosted HBO World Championship Boxing. He’s also worked on more Olympics telecasts than any other American broadcaster. Building on his expertise in sports broadcasting, he founded Atticus Entertainment and collaborated with Peter Berg on the widely praised HBO series “ON Freddie Roach,” a documentary about the life and career of Freddie Roach and his battle with Parkinson’s disease.
42. Mo Evans
For over a decade, Mo Evans has been an industry expert and business leader in sports. He’s played for seven teams, including the Lakers, Magic, and Wizards. During that time, he was the VP of the NBA Players Association. Once he retired, he founded ELOS Sports Group, a talent agency for brand management services for sports businesses and players from around the world. He’s a popular sports business speaker and consultant.
43. Darren Rovell
Darren Rovell is the Senior Executive Producer at The Action Network, a network dedicated to sports betting. He’s also worked for ESPN and was a business correspondent for ABC News. His knowledge of the sports industry covers many areas, including his role as an anchor on a documentary that took a closer look at sports and Nike which earned an Emmy nomination.
44. Jimmy Spencer
He’s a sports media executive who’s developed and grown relationships with athletes and sports culture influencers. Using his connections and business expertise, Jimmy Spencer helped found the Cheatcode Foundation, an organization that helps athletes, artists, and musicians heal from trauma and use that healing to help communities with limited access to mental wellness care.
45. Adam Scherr
Adam Scherr is a professional wrestler, business entrepreneur, and actor rolled into one. As a business professional, he co-founded a nutrition and wellness line and advocates for mental health with his company Diskuss. He’s also active in professional wrestling and won the WrestleMania 36 world title in 2020. When he’s not in the ring, he is active with the Wisconsin business community.
46. Corinne Milien
She’s the Managing Director for the Pro Sports Assembly where she leads efforts for memberships, partnerships, and programming to ensure fairness and equity in professional sports. Corinne Milien is also the Co-founder and Executive Director of The Winning Edge Leadership Academy, dedicated to empowering the next generation of women and minorities in sports and entertainment. With this knowledge, she also launched a platform (WRK) that helps make finding, assessing, and hiring talent a more inclusive process.
47. Cory Hahn
In 2009, Cory Hahn helped Team USA Baseball win gold. He opted not to sign when the San Diego Padres drafted him in 2010. Instead, he went to the Sun Devils and attended Arizona State University where he had a career-ending injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down. That didn’t stop him, he became a student coach instead. He’s continued to gain sports business experience and is currently the Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
48. Beth Bass
For four decades, Beth Bass has championed for equity and access for sports institutions, coaches, and players. She helped solidify one of the first shoe deals for the WNBA. She received a 2020 Naismith Award for her contributions to the advancement of athletics. Most recently, she spearheaded NCAA Collegiate partnerships with Adidas. Her specialty lies in national sports marketing, especially for the underrepresented.
49. Jeremy Wolf
Jeremy Wolf has an all-encompassing view of the world of baseball. The Mets drafted him out of Trinity University, and he’d close out his career helping Israel make it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He formed a union for minor league players. Jeremy also founded the non-profit More Than Baseball in 2018 to raise funds for the global development of baseball. He's also the founder of MindReady, a firm that helps coaches and athletes hone the mental performance it takes to win.
50. Ron Moses
Ron Moses holds several certifications and licenses from establishments like the NCAA’s Charles Whitcomb Leadership Institute, Big 12 Diversity Leadership Program, and N4A Professional Development Institute. He’s been the assistant director or director of football academics for several colleges and universities. He’s currently the Executive Senior Associate AD of Internal Operations, Student-Athlete Welfare, and University Affairs at Old Dominion University. Ron is an expert in the business of sports, especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
If you’re interested in one of our top 50 sports business speakers for your next event or meeting, we’re happy to help. Ask questions while completing your research on the right speaker for your needs and then schedule the speaker online. Remember that our popular sports speakers often book up months in advance so don’t wait too long.