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Major League Tech: The Most Important Innovations Ahead of Baseball's Opening Day

About this event

Wednesday, March 29 | 12:30 PM ET

Major League Tech: The Most Important Innovations Ahead of Baseball's Opening Day

SBJ Tech Senior Writer Joe Lemire leads this panel discussion examining the sports tech to watch out for heading into MLB’s Opening Day, including initiatives enhancing digital content delivery, venue operations, maximizing sponsorships, marketing the sport more effectively and personalizing the fan experience. The panel will also examine how vendors and team operators are adjusting to MLB’s 2023 rule changes.

Featured Speakers (Additional Speakers to be Announced)

Chris Allphin: In his role as Executive Vice President, Property Consulting for Elevate Sports Ventures, Chris Allphin oversees strategic consulting for Elevate’s venues and business properties; including naming rights, marketing and advertising inventory, partnership activation, and premium hospitality. Most recently, the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers selected Allphin’s Division at Elevate to consult, design and lead the Acrisure Stadium naming rights brand transformation. Allphin previously served as partner and Senior Vice President for Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment, where he worked with both team and league clients on major brand marketing and sales opportunities. Allphin’s teams drove a total pre-opening sellout of U.S. Bank Stadium on behalf of the Minnesota Vikings, in addition to record-setting grand openings for the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park and the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Park. Additionally, Allphin has consulted on buyer-side naming rights agreements, including the Milwaukee Bucks’ Fiserv Forum. Prior to his run with Van Wagner, Allphin spent a decade as Vice President of Wasserman Media Group, where he supported the MetLife Stadium naming rights agreement;  Allphin began his 20-year sports industry career with AEG.

Justin Watkins is the Vice President of Business Strategy for the Atlanta Braves. In this role, Justin leverages data and analytics to inform business and operational strategy across the organization. Additionally, his team is responsible for setting and optimizing pricing, research, and business development. He has formerly led the development, implementation, and operation of the marketing technology stack that included data warehousing, CRM, CDP, and reporting infrastructure. His primary areas of interest include yield management, discrete choice modeling, and technology’s impact on culture and consumer behavior.

Vasanth Williams joined Major League Baseball in 2019 as Chief Product Officer and Executive Vice President. Williams oversees the product and engineering organization that is responsible for the strategy, innovation and implementation of Major League Baseball’s digital products, including the hallmark MLB app, the Ballpark app,,, on-field tracking (Statcast), the prediction game MLB Rally and MLB.TV, the longest-running live streaming sports product.

Prior to joining MLB, Williams spent four years at Amazon where he built and led the company’s advertising business – one of the largest and fastest-growing businesses within Amazon. A graduate of Oregon State University (M.S.) and Duke University (MBA), Williams earlier in his career guided product development teams at Microsoft and Yodle.

Karri Zaremba joined Major League Baseball in 2020 as SVP of Product – Ballpark Experience & Ticketing. Zaremba and her teams are responsible for innovating and strategizing baseball fans’ digital experiences on their way to and at Major League ballparks. Zaremba oversees the many elements of both the MLB Ballpark app and, a subsidiary of MLB. Ballpark experiences that Zaremba is focused on in the near-term include next-gen ticketing, biometrics-based access control, digital-physical convergence, cashless/cashierless payments, and personalization, among others.

Prior to her MLB tenure, Zaremba founded or co-founded multiple start-up businesses. Most recently she founded Venuetize, a B2B mobile technology platform for connected commerce and smart venues that works with professional sports and entertainment venues in North America, including MLB ballparks. Venuetize was acquired by Everi Holdings Inc. (NYSE: EVRI), a premier provider of land-based and digital casino gaming content and products, financial technology, and player loyalty solutions. Before Venuetize, Zaremba served in a variety of senior roles at Vubiquity, the leading global provider of B2B multiplatform premium digital content services and technology solutions that enables consumer viewing of premium content on any permitted device. A Division I athlete at the United States Naval Academy, Zaremba earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master of Science in Foreign Service (candidate) from Georgetown University.

Registration is free. All registrants will receive a link to watch the recording once the session concludes.


Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
    Justin Watkins Vice President, Business Intelligence @ Atlanta Braves

  • Team member
    Joe Lemire Senior writer @ Sports Business Journal

  • Guest speaker
    Karri Zaremba Senior Vice President, Product – Ballpark Experience & Ticketing @ Major League Baseball

  • Guest speaker
    Vasanth Williams Chief Product Officer & Executive Vice President @ Major League Baseball

  • Guest speaker
    Chris Allphin EVP, Property Consulting @ Elevate Sports Ventures

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