Sports in the Bubble

December 04, 2020

By Nicole Lieblich

At EisnerAmper’s National Virtual Summit Breaking the Rules -- Innovation in Action, Michael Breit, Partner-In-Charge of the Sports & Entertainment practice, hosted a panel of sports innovators and influencers from different angles of the sports world.

Oris Stuart, EVP, Chief People & Inclusion Officer at the NBA discussed five different work streams that the league credits for the tremendous success of the NBA “Bubble” – safety, the game itself, the broadcast, life in the bubble, and the issue of social justice. Players and teams faced a plethora of challenges and hardships, but the league prevailed finishing the season with a championship and zero positive COVID-19 tests.

The CFO of Major League Soccer, Sean Prendergast, spoke about the short-term economic pressure that came with playing in empty stadiums while still managing to engage fans. The MLS celebrated the league’s 25th anniversary this season while focusing on player and staff safety playing in both a bubble and home markets.

Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, shared his optimism about the sports and entertainment community as a whole and the industry’s much-anticipated, emotional, eventual return. Arenas around the world will be adapting to the new normal in order for fans to feel safe, implementing new health and wellness technology and contactless operational procedures.

In summary, the sports and entertainment industry has proven to be resilient. This pandemic has forced all of the leagues to become more flexible, make decisions decisively, and innovate based on the challenges that they were presented with. As a result, the panelists are confident that in spite of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, the sports and entertainment industry will continue to learn and grow and bounce back stronger than ever in 2021 and 2022!

An on demand recording of this session is available here.

About Michael Breit

Michael Breit is the Vice Chair - Strategic Relationships, and oversees existing client relationships and the cultivation of new business relationships to help the firm meet its growth goals. He is also Partner-in-Charge of the firm's Sports and Entertainment Group. Prior to joining the firm, Michael was a Partner at a Big 4 accounting firm.