Wednesday, July 18, 2018


CONTENT BLOCK #1: Laying a Foundation

9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.

Welcome to the eSportsTravel Summit

Tim Schneider, Sports Division Chairman, Northstar Travel Group

9:10 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Chat #1

“Let’s Get Real: Esports Beyond the Hype”

Projections for the growth of esports have been eye popping. While there is tremendous opportunity ahead for all stakeholders, how much of the hype is speculation and how much is grounded in reality? This session will set the table for the discussion of where esports is today and where it is headed tomorrow. 

Jon Bukosky, Founder & CEO, Ultimate Media Ventures

In conversation with Jason Gewirtz, Editor, SportsTravel

9:30 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. E-Talk #1

“An Introduction to Super League Gaming”

Esports at the amateur level is growing, with opportunities for children as young as 6 to experience competitive play. One of the most successful ventures to date has been Super League Gaming, which models itself not just as a potential feeder system to the pros, but as a way to engage youth through esports. With organized teams and events in 16 cities and plans for more, Super League is succeeding as a next-generation youth-sports organization. 


Matt Edelmen, Chief Commerical Officer, Super League Gaming


9:40 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Panel #1: 

“Engagement and Immersion: Youth and Esports”

Professional esports leagues get a lot of publicity, and with good reason given the size and scope of their events. But not all esports events are filling 20,000-seat arenas and 60,000-seat stadiums. At the youth level, esports is being seen as a way to engage youth in new ways that previous generations have not experienced. In this session, learn how several youth-serving organizations view the future of esports at the entry level.


Matt Edelmen, Chief Commerical Officer, Super League Gaming

Justin Jia, Founder, Youth Esports of America

Mason Mullenioux, Founder, High School Esports League

Lenny Silberman, Founder, 4G44 Esports

Moderator: Jennifer Lee, Senior Editor, SportsTravel



CONTENT BLOCK #2: The Evolution of Esports         

10:45 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. Panel #2:
Owners, Franchises, Teams, Gamers and the Esports Lifestyle”

The professionalization of esports has revolutionized video gaming in a short amount of time and has brought with it the evolution of the esports lifestyle. Understanding this aspect of what’s happening in esports is tantamount to leveraging the growth of esports for marketers of all kinds, including those in the destination and hospitality industries. In this session, you’ll learn how esports pros and online content creators have become the new social media influencers and how an understanding of the esports lifestyle will factor into successfully connecting with this growing market segment.


Roger Caneda, Operations Manager, Mavs Gaming

Anthony Marquez, Founder & CEO, Impact Gaming

Moderator: Jason Gewirtz, Editor, SportsTravel


11:25 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Chat #2:

“Entering the Mainstream: The NCAA and the Olympics”

As recently as a few years ago, the thought of an esports team sanctioned at the secondary school or university level may have seemed unlikely. But university athletic departments are investing in esports teams and attracting top talent as a result. In addition, international multisport events such as the Asian Games are already welcoming esports competition and the International Olympic Committee is considering a future for the Olympic and Paralympic Games with esports as well. Learn what is happening on campuses and at the international level and how that will impact traditional multisport events.


Kurt Melcher, Executive Director of Esports, Intersport

In conversation with Tim Schneider, Sports Division Chairman, Northstar Travel Group


11:45 a.m. – 12 noon E-Talk #2: 

“How Video Games Saved My Life”

While serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq, Stephen Giddings was injured by sniper fire and retired from the service in 2010. He soon realized that gaming was the only way he could be distracted from and cope with his injuries. That love of esports eventually led to the formation of the Warrior Gaming League, offering soldiers a new outlet to bond and in some cases, to heal.  


Steven Giddings, Founder & CEO, Warrior Gaming League


CONTENT BLOCK #3: Venues, Events and Logistics

Sponsored by Bloomington CVB


1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. E-Talk #3

“The Esports Venue of the Future” 

Esports events can be held in a wide range of venues, but the rise of the esports-specific venue is now upon us. Leading the charge is Allied Esports, which has opened eight esports-specific properties for competition and content creation—and has plans for more. Learn how this company’s approach to venues could be a sign of what’s to come.

Jud Hannigan, Chief Executive Officer, Allied Esports

1:15 p.m. - 2:05 p.m. Panel #3: 

“Destinations and Esports Venues”

For destinations serious about growing their event and room-night footprint, esports need to be part of the mix. While many cities are trying to figure out where to start, several have made the leap into esports and are seeing results from having done so. In this session, you’ll hear how several leaders in the travel and hospitality industry have already capitalized on the growth of esports and how they are rethinking the events and venues available to accommodate the growth ahead.


Neil Johnson, Director of Global Sales, MGM Resorts International

Lisa Motley, Director of Sports Marketing, Las Vegas CVA

Dan O’Neill, VP of Strategy and Sales, Bloomington CVB

Roy Edmondson, VP of Sports Development, Sports Anaheim

James Wood, President & CEO, Meet AC 

Moderator: Jennifer Lee, Senior Editor, SportsTravel


2:05 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

“The Lucky Seven: Three-Minute Fast-Intro Session”

The number of event organizers in the esports is growing at a rapid rate. In this rapid-fire session, you’ll meet seven established organizers who will briefly discuss the scope of their events and what they are looking for in a host city or venue.


CONTENT BLOCK #4: Visions for the Future


3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Chat #4: 

“The Full Extent of the Market” 

Esports competitions are one thing. But the budding esports industry is producing a wide range of events that go beyond gameday. Learn about the full extent of the esports market, including conventions, fan fests and other events that are attracting growing numbers of participants from coast to coast. 


Peter Perez, Gaming Events & Festivals, DreamHack 

In conversation with Tim Schneider, Sports Division Chairman, Northstar Travel Group


3:45 p.m.  – 4:00 p.m. E-Talk #4: 

“Going Outside the Box: Placing the Right Bets in Esports”

Esports may be a relatively new slice of the sports-event industry, but there are thought leaders who are directly guiding the evolution of esports. Industry veteran Tobias Sherman co-created ELEAGUE in partnership with Turner Broadcasting after opening his own esports talent agency, which was acquired by WME-IMG. With his new venture, Foundry IV, this visionary continues to anticipate the direction of the market, most notably the impact that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on sports wagering will have on esports.

Tobias Sherman, CEO and Co-founder, Foundry IV


4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Panel #4:

“The Future of Esports Events and Travel”

While there are many unknowns when it comes to predicting the future of esports, there is certainty that the number of live, in-person esports events will continue to grow. With that growth will come an ever-increasing impact on the travel industry. In this session, you’ll hear from a range of esports industry leaders as they predict the future of the esports event industry, how travel and tourism will be a component of that growth and how your organization can stay on the leading edge as esports events emerge and expand.


Tobias Sherman, CEO and Co-founder, Foundry IV

Jamie Oakley, President, Revolution RFP

Kim Meltzer, CEO, KidKesty Productions

Tyler Schrodt, Founder and CEO, Electronic Gaming Federation

Moderated by Jason Gewirtz, Editor, SportsTravel


Timothy Schneider
Founder & Chairman, Sports Division
Shalise DeMott
Vice President, Sales

Florence Nalepka
Global Director of Sales, Sports Division

Barbara Cox-Dunn
Sports Sales Director
Beth Dean
Event Director, Sports Division

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