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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • SEVT promotion banner featuring guest speakers: Sheila Johnson, Nick Kelly and Nicole Tepper

SEVT conference preview

The SEVT Conference has earned a reputation as a gathering place for current and future leaders of the sport and entertainment management industry, and the 2021 edition could be the best yet.

The conference, hosted by the University of South Carolina’s Department of Sport and Entertainment Management, is set for Nov. 17-19 in Columbia, and the speakers include two of the most powerful women in sport and entertainment and the president of a brand new franchise in one of the fastest-growing leagues in pro sports.

Sheila Johnson, co-founder of BET, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts and president of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, will give one of two keynote addresses at the conference. She will also receive the SEVT Pioneer Award for her groundbreaking achievement in the sport and entertainment industry. Johnson is the first Black woman to become a billionaire, and the first Black woman to be an owner or partner in three professional sports franchises (the Mystics, the Washington Capitals and the Washington Wizards).

Nick Kelly, president of Charlotte FC, will also deliver a keynote address at the conference. Kelly is leading the launch of the new MLS team, which begins play in 2022. He previously served as vice president of partnerships, beer culture and community for Anheuser-Busch, where he was key in developing sports marketing strategies for league, team and player partnerships within MLS, the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, NASCAR, PGA, NWSL, and the Olympics.

Another highlight of the three-day conference is Nicole Tepper, co-owner of the Carolina Panthers and Carolina FC, who will speak at the SEVT Awards Luncheon in an interview conducted by students in the Nicole and David Tepper Scholars program at UofSC. The Tepper Scholars Program was established in 2020 and provides four-year scholarships to four incoming sport and entertainment management freshmen at the University of South Carolina each year.

The conference will also include a wide variety of research presentations, with scheduled topics such as the impacts of esports localization on team identity, the question of whether a promotion / relegation system would have value for MLS, the impact of the Qatar 2022 World Cup announcement on physical activity among residents, and legal fact and fiction regarding vaccinations and sports fans.

The 8th annual undergraduate student case study competition and the career and internship fair will also be highlights of the conference.

For more information and registration, visit

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