Sports Business Journal invites you to their event

Youth Movement: Examining the State of Youth Sports in 2024

About this event

Wednesday, April 10 | 12:30 PM ET

Youth Movement: Examining the State of Youth Sports in 2024

Who should attend:

  • Professionals working in youth sports
  • Sports equipment, clothing and shoe companies
  • Representatives from professional sports teams and leagues working with youth sports organizations and companies
  • College and university professionals, including athletic directors, coaches and staff
  • Technology companies working with youth sports organizations, coaches and trainers
  • Brands looking to be more involved in youth sports activations

Featured speakers (Additional to be announced)

Sameer Ahuja is the President of New York-based GameChanger, a DICK’S Sporting Goods sports technology company. He also serves as senior vice president for DICK’S Sporting Goods, an advisor to Women in Sports Tech (WIST), and a Fast Company Impact Council member. In the community, Sameer is a two-term member of the Board of Trustees for the Village of Scarsdale, New York.

Sameer’s professional narrative is focused on “preparing today’s youth to lead tomorrow.” His vision and passion fuel GameChanger’s mission to help families elevate the next generation through sports. GameChanger's beloved mobile apps are used in all 50 states by millions of youth sports coaches, fans, and athletes to score, stream, and watch youth sports. More games are covered in two months on GameChanger than in the history of all American professional sports combined.

Sameer’s technical and entrepreneurial prowess is shaping the future of youth sports. In 2023, GameChanger was named the #2 Most Innovative Company in Sports by Fast Company. That same year, Sameer was named the “Technology Executive Of The Year” by Sports Business Journal at the inaugural Sports Business Awards: Tech.

He brings 20 years of experience as a Founder, CEO, or COO of high-growth technology businesses from startup to late-stage in multiple industries. He co-founded an interactive sports attraction, founded a quant hedge fund, and built a fintech company. His curiosity and knowledge across several areas of study shine through in his weekly newsletter, Consume at Once, which aims to simplify a complex world disrupted by technology.

Sameer’s professional experiences and work in the community, as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Village of Scarsdale, provide him with a unique perspective on the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,” especially a child athlete in today’s technologically driven world.

Sameer began his career in management consulting at A.T. Kearney and banking at JPMorgan Chase. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Columbia University. Sameer lives in Scarsdale, New York with his wife and two daughters.

As Senior Vice President & General Manager, Brett MacKinnon oversees all youth and recreational sports businesses within NBC Sports Next, which create powerful digital tools and services to simplify youth sports and grow participation. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., and operating under the SportsEngine brand, these businesses serve more than 35,000 small and medium-sized youth sports organizations, the USOPC and Governing Body community, professional sports leagues and thousands of municipalities. More than 16 million coaches, families and fans use the SportsEngine suite of digital products and services annually. 

Under his leadership, SportsEngine has expanded its product offerings, delivering comprehensive solutions that cater to the evolving needs of the youth sports ecosystem. SportsEngine Play launched in October 2023 as a first-of-its-kind subscription streaming service for capturing and viewing live and on-demand video of youth and amateur sporting events. The platform also offers the industry’s most comprehensive collection of player development and training content. MacKinnon also is responsible for the oversight of sales, marketing, and background screening operations, as well as company culture for more than 400 employees, including the support of dozens of non-profit organizations striving to increase access to safe sport for all youth. 

MacKinnon’s 10-year career with SportsEngine has been highlighted by several sales and business development leadership promotions prior to his current role. His journey in the sports industry began with his early involvement in youth sports as a player and volunteer. He developed a strong understanding of the challenges faced by sports organizations. Motivated by a desire to improve these processes, Brett transitioned his passion into a successful career focused on leveraging technology to address these pain points. 

Prior to joining SportsEngine, MacKinnon worked as a business development manager for an executive search firm in Minneapolis and in sales for a provider of IP-based communications.  

MacKinnon earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, where he also played varsity hockey for a team that won two NCAA Division 1 National Championships, earning Big Ten Academic Honorable Mention during his freshmen year. He donates his time to a variety of volunteer and charitable organizations in the greater Minneapolis area where he lives with his wife and three boys.  

Amanda Shank is Executive Vice President, Business Development and Brand Strategy at Unrivaled Sports.

Founded by Josh Harris and David Blitzer, with a significant strategic investment by The Chernin Group (TCG), Unrivaled Sports oversees a diverse portfolio of youth sports properties including Ripken Baseball®, Cooperstown All Star Village, Sports Force Parks™, Baseball Factory™, Softball Factory™, We Are Camp, and the ForeverLawn Sports Complex at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village.

In her role, Shank leads new site development, strategic partnerships, brand and corporate communications and other cross-portfolio opportunities. She joined Unrivaled Sports after stewarding business development and ancillary revenue for its portfolio company, Ripken Baseball®, through a period of record growth.

Shank also spent more than a decade at NFL Players Inc., the for-profit licensing and marketing arm of the NFL Players Association representing more than 2,000 athletes, first in player marketing and then in digital and unconventional licensing. There she guided strategic planning, product development and player activation for EA SPORTS’ Madden NFL franchise and other successful licensees and sponsors in gaming, mobile apps, fantasy football and consumer product goods categories.

Shank earned her master’s degree in Sports Leadership from Northeastern University and her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. She serves on the University of Maryland’s Sports Management Program Alumni Board and the National Sports Forum’s Business of Diversity in Sport & Entertainment committee, creating professional development opportunities for minorities in revenue-generating areas of sports.

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


Hosted by

  • Team member
    Dan Kaufman Managing Director, Sports Technology @ Sports Business Journal

  • Guest speaker
    Amanda Shank Executive Vice President, Business Development and Brand Strategy @ Unrivaled Sports

  • Guest speaker
    Sameer Ahuja President @ GameChanger

  • Guest speaker
    Brett MacKinnon SVP & General Manager | Youth & Recreational Sports @ NBC Sports Next

Sports Business Journal

Be Where the Sports Industry is Every Day

Sports Business Journal (SBJ) sits at the epicenter of the sports industry. SBJ provides the news, the networking and the data to equip the most powerful executives in sports business to make more informed decisions, deals and partnerships.