On March 25 and 26, the University of Toronto Sports Business Association (UTSB) will be hosting its annual Toronto Sports Industry Conference (TSIC). The association has hosted this event for the past ten years, providing attendees with the opportunity to network with and hear from professionals within the sports industry.
Since I’ve had the opportunity to be a journalism associate at the UTSB for the last five months, I wanted to share more about this year’s conference with The Varsity’s readers.
About the UTSB
Made up of 40 team members, the UTSB is Canada’s largest sports business association run by students. The team is made up of a number of different departments, including marketing, events, corporate and speaker relations, social media, programming, media, and finance. According to the mission statement on its website, through its network of connections spread throughout both the Greater Toronto Area and North America, the UTSB strives to make “an accessible pathway for UofT students looking to break into the sports industry now and long into the future.”
Since the UTSB was founded in 2011, the association has organized a number of events, including the Women in Sports webinar series, the Career Prep Series, and Sports Industry Night, all of which help prepare its members for futures in the sports industry.
However, the TSIC is still the UTSB’s largest event. Last year, the TSIC was held entirely online, but this year, the conference will feature both in-person and online components.
Discussing the conference, UTSB President Joseph Nina wrote to The Varsity, “We’re really excited for the conference to finally be back in-person in some capacity. The sports industry is… very tight knit so it’s amazing to be able to get such a great group together to connect.”
The in-person portion of the event will take place on March 25, at the Westin Harbour Castle, from 7:00–11:00 pm.
The online portion of the conference will be held from 9:05 am to 4:05 pm on the virtual platform Accelevents. It will feature events such as Industry Insights sessions, interactive workshops, and panel discussions, and will also feature networking opportunities.
Mark Shapiro, the president and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays, will present at the morning’s Industry Insights session. Bill Manning, the president of the Toronto Argonauts and Toronto FC, will speak at the afternoon session. There will also be a number of other presentations, including Brand Building & Digital Analytics with the Buffalo Bills and The Playbook of the NFL in Canada, among many others. “Our two-day conference is centred around learning and fostering connections which will push students forward in their career,” wrote Nina.
A number of speakers and industry representatives will be attending the conference this year, including individuals who are affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto FC, the NFL, the NHL, the NBA, MLS, Sportsnet, and more.
“We are grateful to have a lineup of 50 speakers and industry representatives at TSIC. Bringing together such an esteemed group of leaders provides incredible learning opportunities for students,” Nina wrote to The Varsity.
Online ticket sales for the in-person portion of the event ended on March 20, but you should consider purchasing tickets next year — and keep an eye on what’s going on at this year’s conference as well! Anyone interested in attending only the online portion of the conference will be able to purchase tickets for free. However, these online tickets can only be bought until March 23, so make sure to secure your spot at the conference before then.
Disclosure: Audrey Miatello is a journalism associate at the UTSB.