The Business of Sports

Date: Thursday, September 22, 2016
Time: 6:00pm-8:30pm
Location: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
1400 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304

The Business of Sports no longer stands alone. Today it requires the best of what technology and big data offer. It survives on contemporary media aligned with traditional news and public relations. It extends beyond the playing venue to community involvement and citizenship. Player and talent recruitment is the height of competitiveness and compensation is even higher. It is a burgeoning global enterprise. Sports teams today are run by data metrics, social media and business applications, many of which, if not most, have come or are currently coming from Silicon Valley.




Laurence M. Baer

President & CEO
San Francisco Giants

A fourth generation San Franciscan, Larry Baer has gained a national reputation as one of professional sports’ leading visionaries. Baer joined the team in 1992 as the executive vice president after he and Peter Magowan led the effort to assemble a new ownership group and negotiate the sale that kept the Giants in San Francisco. A limited partner of the ownership group, Baer was named chief operating officer in May 1996, team president in October 2008 and CEO on January 1, 2012. In his first year as president and CEO, the Giants won their second World Series Championship in three years. In 2014, the Giants won their third World Series title in five years.

Baer also serves as chairman and CEO of Giants Development Services, which is currently developing Mission Rock – a new, mixed use urban neighborhood located on a 25-acre site across McCovey Cove from AT&T Park. The project is currently in the entitlement phase with groundbreaking projected for early 2017.

Baer chairs Major League Baseball’s Long-Term Strategic Planning Committee and serves on MLB’s Business and Media Board and MLB’s Legislative Affairs Committee.

Baer is a member of the Board of Directors of KQED, Inc., the San Francisco Committee on Jobs, the Bay Area Council, Comcast Sports Net Bay Area and is a member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America Pacific Region Board of Trustees. In addition, Baer and his wife, Pam, co-chaired the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation Campaign Committee in support of the new hospital, which will open as Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.


Al Guido

San Francisco 49ers

Al Guido was named president of the San Francisco 49ers on February 15, 2016. Guido oversees all key business initiatives for the team. Prior to being named president, Guido served as the team’s chief operating officer from 2014 to 2016. Under his direction, the construction and year-one operations of Levi’s Stadium exceeded all projections – finishing under budget on construction, with lower public debt than expected, delivering $2.8 million to the City of Santa Clara general fund from non-event revenue in just the first eight months of operations, and fully funding reserve cash balances for the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.

Prior to being elevated to his former role as chief operating officer in 2014, Guido worked on behalf of the 49ers and the Santa Clara Stadium Authority as the senior vice president of global sales for Legends beginning in 2010. In that capacity, he led a suite and SBL sales initiative for Levi’s Stadium that achieved record-setting results by totaling more than $530 million.

Before joining Legends, Guido served as sales manager for the Dallas Cowboys. In that role, he managed the premium seat department for Cowboys Stadium (now AT&T Stadium) that broke industry records for PSL sales totaling over $600 million.

A Board Member of City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley, a contributor to the Navy Seal Foundation, Board Member of the Coach K/Fuqua School of Business, Guido received his bachelor of business administration from the College of New Jersey, where he played wide receiver for the school’s football program. In 2016, Al was recognized by Sports Business Journal on the annual Forty Under 40 list as well as the San Francisco Business Times’ 40 Under 40 list for excellence and innovation in his career, all before the age of 40.


John Tortora

Chief Operating Officer
San Jose Sharks

John Tortora enters his third season as chief operating officer of Sharks Sports & Entertainment (SSE). Tortora, 46, oversees all aspects of SSE’s business operations and represents the organization’s ownership. He serves as an alternate governor for the San Jose Sharks to the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Board of Governors and serves as the governor for the San Jose Barracuda to the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Board of Governors. Tortora joined SSE in June 2011 as executive vice president and general counsel where he oversaw all legal matters pertaining to the franchise.

Prior to joining SSE, Tortora spent 14 years with the NHL in New York, where he most recently was Vice President, Media. Tortora was actively involved in the launch of the NHL Network in Canada in 2001 and the United States in 2007. Further, Tortora worked closely with both the NHL’s senior management team and the NHL Clubs on navigating a variety of content rights issues across various distribution platforms. Tortora also monitored and addressed regulatory matters in Ottawa and Washington.

After graduating magna cum laude in accounting from Seton Hall University in 1991, Tortora attended Seton Hall University School of Law, graduating in 1994 and serving as editor-in-chief of Volume 4 of the Seton Hall Journal of Sport Law. Following law school, Tortora practiced law and worked with the East Coast Hockey League in Princeton, New Jersey.

A native of New Jersey, Tortora is a member of the New Jersey and New York State Bars and is a registered in-house counsel with the State Bar of California. Tortora also is active with the Bay Area Council, Institute of Sports Law and Ethics at Santa Clara University, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, National Sports Marketing Network, San Jose Capital Club, San Jose Downtown Association, San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, San Jose Sports Authority, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.


Rick Welts

President & Chief Operating Officer
Golden State Warriors

One of the most respected business executives in the NBA, with over 40 years of experience in the league, Rick Welts is currently in his sixth season as president and chief operating officer of the Golden State Warriors. In this role, he oversees all business-related operations for the Warriors, including the team’s proposed development of a privately financed sports and entertainment center in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood. He owns the rare distinction of being part of championship teams in the NBA (2), WNBA (2) and NBA Development League (1).

Under Welts’ direction, the organization has established several franchise benchmarks from a business standpoint in recent years, as the Warriors brand continues to grow in stature following Golden State’s 2014-15 NBA championship season and consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.

Prior to joining the Suns, Welts enjoyed a successful 17-year (1982-1999) stint at the NBA league office in New York, where he ascended through the ranks to eventually become the league’s third-in-command as the executive vice president, chief marketing officer and president of NBA Properties.

Welts currently serves as a board member of San Francisco Travel, the Bay Area Council and the Warriors Community Foundation. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Direct Elect Committee, the NBA’s Team Advisory Committee, and Global Inclusion Council.




Todd Manley

Senior Director Corp. Development
Blue Coat Systems

Todd Manley leads up M&A and integration activities as a Senior Director, Corporate Development at Blue Coat. He has over 20 years of experience with startups and large multi-national companies in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining Blue Coat, Todd worked at HP Enterprise on multiple deals and integrations and spent time at RGP helping build their M&A services business and consulting to clients in Northern California.

Todd’s previous experience includes Cisco where he was focused on M&A integration and leading global teams. Not a stranger to the entrepreneurial side of Silicon Valley, Todd worked with WebEx Communications and Postini to build the underlying business application foundation to fuel their corporate growth. Todd holds a BA degree from Stanford University and a MBA from Santa Clara University.

Todd played on the Stanford Cardinal Men’s Basketball team from 1991-95. During that time the team made it back to the NCAA Tournament in 1992 for the first time in 50 years and then again in 1995 which was the first year of an impressive 13 out of 14 year run of appearances.




Matt Levine

Managing Director

Matt Levine leads a national management/marketing consulting, business development, interim operating management, litigation support/expert witness and marketing research services practice serving the sports & entertainment industry.

Matt has provided marketing counsel to the San Francisco Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and Boston Museum of Fine Arts, served on Board of Directors of American Musical Theatre San Jose and Board of Advisors of the Tech Museum of Innovation; currently serve on the Board of Trustees of Palo Alto University, the Advisory Council of the Commonwealth Club of California and The York Theatre in New York City.

Matt was executive vice president with the San Jose Sharks and was instrumental in the internationally acclaimed start-up, including the market positioning and branding of the San Jose Sharks hockey franchise and opening of San Jose Arena (now SAP Center) with responsibility for building management team and driving all revenue streams.

Prior to that, Matt was president, CEO and founder of Pacific Select Corp and Sports Team Analysis & Tracking Systems (STATS, Inc.) which pioneered integration of computer technology in TV and radio Major League Baseball broadcast commentary, player performance evaluation and game tactics planning, the foundation technology for “Moneyball.”

Matt was featured in Sport Marketing, the nation’s leading higher education text book on sports management, as “the father of sports marketing.”