Posted on: October 8, 2018
By: Allen Wallace, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sport Entertainment and Venues Tomorrow Conference (SEVT) will celebrate its 21st anniversary Nov. 14-16 at the University of South Carolina Alumni Center with a truly impressive group of keynote speakers to mark the occasion.
NBA President of Social Responsibility and Player Programs Kathy Behrens, ESPN Senior Vice President of College Networks (and UofSC alumna) Rosalyn Durant, and singer-songwriter Edwin McCain will co-headline the conference, which annually attracts leaders in the sport and entertainment industry and academia from around the world.
Registration is open now for SEVT, which also includes a career fair, research case study competition, awards ceremony and a dynamic lineup of panel discussions and presentations from industry and academic thought leaders. The three-day event is hosted by University of South Carolina’s Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, which is the largest department of its kind with undergraduate and graduate programs ranked in the top 10 in the world. The conference is dedicated to bringing together sport and entertainment industry leaders, students, and those teaching future leaders of our industry to discuss and analyze the sport, entertainment, and venues industry of tomorrow.
The conference is hosted and organized by the University of South Carolina Department of Sport and Entertainment Management. The department was the first created at any university for the study of sport and entertainment with a solid business curriculum. It is currently ranked No. 1 in the United States by ShanghaiRankings.
SEVT Fall 2018 Headliners
Behrens oversees all NBA programs that coordinate league and player social responsibility efforts, promote youth basketball development, support player growth and education, and enhance the marketing opportunities for current and former players.
She joined the NBA in September 2000 as vice president, community relations, overseeing all of the NBA’s public service initiatives, community outreach and employee volunteer programs. She later worked as senior vice president of community and player programs and executive vice president of social responsibility and player programs.
Prior to joining the NBA, Behrens served as executive director of New York Cares, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes volunteers to help New York City’s neediest residents.
Behrens serves on the board of directors for New York Cares and the Ad Council. She is also a trustee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
A native of the Bronx, Behrens graduated from the University of Hartford and serves as a member of the university’s board of regents.
Durant was promoted to senior vice president at ESPN in May 2015, overseeing ESPNU, SEC Network and Longhorn Network. Her current role includes setting the strategic direction for each network.
In her previous role, she served as vice president, college sports programming and acquisitions overseeing all of ESPN’s college sports relationships, rights acquisitions and programming, including the inaugural College Football Playoff, NCAA Championships, football, men’s and women’s basketball, and Olympic sports in addition to ESPN’s coverage of high school sports and the management of ESPNU. She was named vice president, programming & acquisitions in 2007, and managed ESPN’s relationships with the NBA, Major League Lacrosse, Major League Soccer, FIFA, UEFA, US Soccer and Olympic sport leagues.
Durant played a significant role in the eight-year contract extension with the NBA, which began during the 2008-09 season and included ESPN’s most-comprehensive digital rights package negotiated with any major professional sports league at the time.
ESPNU experienced dramatic increases under Durant’s supervision, surpassing expectations with distribution to approximately 75 million homes. The network has long-term carriage agreements with the top 10 distributors.
After interning with ESPN in affiliate sales and marketing in the summer of 1998, Durant joined that department full-time in 1999 as a coordinator. She rapidly advanced – becoming regional account executive (January 2000); account executive, southeast region (June 2000); senior account executive, western division (March 2002); manager, national accounts (October 2004), and senior director, national accounts (October 2005). In February 2006, she transferred to the programming department as a senior director, programming.
Durant is on the executive committee for the Board of Directors of the T. Howard Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to increasing diversity in the multimedia and entertainment industry, and is an alumnae of the Foundation’s internship program. She was added to the University of Central Florida’s DeVos Sport Business Management Board of Advisors in 2014 and provides insights and advisement on the school’s sport business curriculum and initiatives. Durant was named to Sports Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list in 2015.
Durant graduated in 1999 from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in marketing.
McCain, a native of Greenville, South Carolina, has become one of the Palmetto State’s most popular musicians. He recorded his first album for a major label in 1994, and rose to national prominence in 1998 with the hit single “I’ll Be,” now regarded as an enduring classic. Five of his albums have made the Billboard Top 200.
McCain is known for touring year-round and performs more than 100 shows annually, from solo performances to an acoustic trio, a full band and even shows featuring orchestras. He has performed aboard an aircraft carrier for U.S. military personnel and sang the national anthem before the 2017 AFC Championship Game in Foxborough, Massachusetts. McCain is also the host of the Animal Planet television show “Flipping Ships.”
To register and for more information about the conference, visit SEVT.org.