Thu. Aug 16th, 2018

The 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit Is Coming To…

There’s a great quote by Henry Kissinger which I’ve used for many years. It says “Each success only buys an admission ticket to a more difficult problem.” Simply put, every time you achieve a goal, be prepared to face and conquer an even bigger challenge.

In 2018 I took that advice when I introduced the Barrett Sports Media Summit in Chicago. Mitch Rosen and his team at 670 The Score gave us access to a great staff and venue, and the attendance by many of sports radio’s best programming minds helped us create a successful first event.

To execute this type of event, required countless hours of preparation, creation, and networking to secure top notch speakers. It’s a ton to tackle in a short period of time, especially with other business demanding my focus, but I welcomed the challenge because I believe events like this are important to help industry folks who have limited opportunities to share ideas and stories, network, and learn new ways to grow their business.

Sports radio programming is heard on roughly 800 stations, but we operate now in a multi-platform world against fierce competition. We’re no longer just creating audio and competing against other radio groups for dollars and ears. The opportunities, challenges, and threats are endless which is why it’s more important than ever to learn new things, meet new people, embrace new platforms, and consider alternative methods to future success. By the way, that’s not just a message for programming people. It applies to sales, marketing, social, and digital folks too.

At our Chicago event, we explored many critical areas of our business from podcasting to social media to diversity, merchandising, measurement, imaging, and the intersection of sports and politics. We also welcomed leaders from VSiN and the Action Network to discuss the expected growth for sports betting. In fact, a number of the sports radio PD’s who were in the room that day have since teamed up with VSiN, and the Action Network has since joined forces with ESPN. You can see our full agenda from the last show by clicking here.

Though we may not solve every problem known to mankind, I have no doubt that those who attend our summit will leave the room wiser and better prepared to help their brands maximize ratings and revenue. I’m also confident that attendees will gain new ideas and insights, a deeper appreciation for the business, and a stronger understanding of what missed opportunities and what’s on the horizon.

With that in mind, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the 2019 Barrett Sports Media Summit will be held February 21-22, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA at the beautiful Clive Davis Theater inside the Grammy Museum. The venue is located at 800 W. Olympic Blvd. inside of the L.A. Live complex. Be advised that this event is strictly for sports media professionals.

I considered a number of cities for our next event. New York is my home, San Francisco has special meaning, and Boston, Miami and Houston are other fantastic cities that were given strong consideration. In the end, L.A. made the most sense because it offered a great mix of a spectacular venue, tremendous weather, major brands, and quality talent. The city of Angels has no shortage of sports teams or influential people, and when we open the doors on February 21st, and kick off the first day of our event, we plan to showcase what makes it unique.

A few things will be different at our next event compared to the one we hosted in Chicago. For starters, the Clive Davis Theater offers 200 seats and we intend to fill them all. There will be a ticket fee to attend, which is necessary to offset the costs associated with creating the event. The earlier you purchase your seat, the lower the cost. We will also have a few sponsorship opportunities available for companies who are interested in reaching our online and on-site audiences.

For those of you who will be flying into Los Angeles to join us, we are partnering with the fabulous Luxe City Center which is directly across the street from the Grammy Museum. The hotel is within walking distance of ESPN and the Staples Center (if the Lakers could schedule a home game on one of our evenings that’d be greatly appreciated). BSM has also secured a special discounted rate for rooms which includes a complimentary breakfast. More details will be passed along shortly.

If you’re planning to attend and are interested in speaking at the event, inquiries can be sent via email to I can’t promise stage time to all interested parties, but if an opening exists and a fit is there I’ll be in touch.

Additionally, I am thrilled to share that we will be introducing four awards at our next summit. Each of these awards are being named in honor of someone who has made a significant contribution to the sports media business. The names of those four individuals and the inaugural recipients of these awards will be revealed at a later date.

I want to be clear that the purpose behind creating these awards isn’t to fill time on our schedule or pat my clients on the back. It’s to recognize and celebrate the impact that a select few have made to our business. It’s bothered me for quite some time that many who do special work in the sports format aren’t remembered beyond a few articles and internal thank you’s. Some of these folks have given their lives to the business, taken big risks, shared their wisdom, and used their talents to create special connections with audiences and advertisers. If their work has been good enough to live inside the minds of the people who consume it for decades, then the least we can do is make time to show our appreciation for what they’ve accomplished, and elevate the stature of those who continue to do meaningful work and blaze new trails for our industry.

By now you’re likely asking, “how do I buy a ticket and book my hotel room?” Since this is an industry only event, the information will not be featured on this site. A second site has been created specifically for this event, and that link will soon be sent to industry members by email.

If you ever needed an excuse to get away from the cold three weeks after the Super Bowl, when the sports schedule is extremely light, then this should do the trick. This is going to be an action packed event that benefits those in attendance, and I’m excited to share additional details with you about what we have planned in the weeks and months ahead. I look forward to seeing you all in Los Angeles this February!

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