Talent Forward Alliance

This event is over.


The Reconnecting with Academia committee convenes industry and academia together to discuss ways to bridge the gaps between these two massive ecosystems. The tie that binds industry and academia together is research, and we create a forum to share the latest thinking in the marketing and advertising industry. Typical attendees include marketers & agency leads who are passionate about working with professors, heads of data and analytics, heads of research, deans, professors, academic program directors, and career services.

ESPN Research & Insights: Zooming in for a Wide Angle Shot (11:30am-12:30pm)

For 40 years, the sports fan has been central to everything ESPN does and is indeed our North Star. As times change and fans evolve, insights are even more integral in keeping our finger on the pulse of sports. From the NBA to Formula 1 to UFC, no two sports or fan bases are alike. Our research at ESPN must respect and reflect that diversity. Join Research & Analytics as we show you how we build insights through innovative, transformative and engaging research.

Speaker: Barbara Singer, VP, Sports & Fan Intelligence, ESPN
Speaker: Edwin Roman, Senior Director, Audience and Content Insights, ESPN


Analytics Disconnect: Charting Future Pathways to Growth (1:00-2:00pm)

There is tremendous buzz about the role of analytics in both industry and academia. Despite this buzz, there is still a lack of clarity about how best to deploy analytics for maximum impact. Where does the skill set reside? Where do you find these skills? What skills are important? How do we collaborate with universities so educators can teach analytics? This panel will explore where the disconnects are and look to explore solutions that can benefit all parties.

Panel Discussion Participants:

  • Jay Kaufman, SVP of Global Research & Insights, NBA
  • Alexei Milgram, Vice President, Brand Marketing Performance Analytics, New York Life 
  • Leo Kluger, Marketing Analytics Program Director, IBM
  • Ainul Huda, Vice President, Analytics, Audience & Audience Development, Conde Nast
  • Lisa Cecchini, Vice President, Vice President, Media and Analytics, Situation


Workshop: Research Speed Dating - Industry & Academic Project Pairings (2-4pm)

In this workshop, we will explore research projects that industry and academia can work on together. We will pair industry & academia together in a series of research dates, and then at the end, we will share what some of those projects might be that we can galvanize behind as a unified front. This approach is designed to expand the access between academia and industry around key projects that will benefit everyone involved.