Last week, the first event in The Shadow League Sports Connect Series Powered by AT&T series, went down at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway in New York City. The event focused on the integration of sports and technology, with opening remarks given by Shadow League CEO, Keith Clinkscales. Check out the photo gallery above to see all of the panelists in action.
The opening panel discussion, moderated by Shadow League GM Yussuf Khan, was an enlightening and entertaining exchange about the complexities in sports sponsorship and the importance of technology in those sponsorships with JP Morgan Chase VP of Sports & Entertainment Marketing Nubia Murray, Capital Consulting Group Founder Kevin Parker and AT&T Regional Director of External Affairs, Brandon Ray. This was followed by a discussion between newly-minted Shadow League Editor-in-Chief Ali Danois and an All-Time beloved New York Knick, Allan Houston, who currently is Assistant GM of the New York Knicks and GM of the NBDL affiliate, Westchester Knicks. Ali and Allan reflected on his parental and basketball lineage, discussed his duties as Assistant GM and much more. Below is a small excerpt of their exchange.
Ali Danois: Before you picked up your first basketball, what your thoughts, visions and dreams.
Allan Houston: I have seven kids now. My wife is obviously incredible. We’ve been going on 20 years now. When I look at a picture of myself as a sophomore in high school I see my son but he denies that he looks anything like me with every fiber of his being when it is clear as day. My father was an incredible force himself. He was one of the first three black signees at the University of Louisville in 1962, a pioneer. He coached Darrell “Dr. Dunkenstein” Griffith” in high school. Growing up, basketball was such a huge part of our lives. For me, just growing up, I learned to walk on a basketball court. Basketball was such a huge part of our lives. Through basketball I learned core values and found out who I was and my self-identity can through life experience, but seeing what type of man he was the way he treated my mother and my two little sisters, just an incredible example of a man. By the time I went to play for him at the University of Tennessee I kind of already established that we had humility.
Ali Danois: You are in the Kentucky basketball hall of fame, your father is in the Kentucky basketball hall of fame and your grandfather is in the Kentucky basketball hall of fame. To have that type of lineage come from your grandfather, father and down to you. Between the three of you there is a lineage not many can boast about.
Allan Houston: We don’t mention it in that context a lot but when it is brought up we bask in it. Before integration, they had the national high school championship and he won five of those. He had over 800 wins to something like 50 losses at Central High School. Phil Jackson often says something resonates, ‘You can over coach but you can’t over teach. I look back on that, I look at everyone from my grandfather and his wife, as well as both of my parents, and everyone was a teacher. The skill, the art, the trade of teaching is so important to me. As a coach and a parent, you’re a teacher, the way that you can help our kids and even help our players learn, is through the gift, art and expression of teaching. My wife has a Masters from the University of New Haven in Education, so it’s something that has always been such a big part of our life that once you establish foundation there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.
A discussion between Buick and GMC National Experiential Brand Manager Chris Hornberger and Black Enterprise’s Alfred Edmonds, Jr. followed, covering Buick's continued re-branding and how they are reaching fans through their innovations in car technology and their corporate partnership with the NCAA, particularly during March Madness.
The final speaker of the day was Lamell McMorris, founder of Perennial Strategy Group and Perennial Sports & Entertainment, the man who is said to be the mastermind behind helping Cam Newton build his brand.
This event was the first in The Sports Connect Series Powered by AT&T, an ongoing series which will focus on the business of sports and how both companies and individuals are working in the field to build their brands and grow their businesses. The video features from the event are coming soon, so make sure you stay tuned for those and please make sure you attend for the next event coming soon.