In a first-of-its-kind partnership, CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and Boardroom, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s premier media brand covering the business of sports, music and entertainment, are teaming up to produce Game Plan, an all-new, high-powered event taking place on July 25 in Los Angeles.
From what drives the modern-day sports fan to emerging opportunities in teams and leagues, this invite-only event will host the most influential leaders from across the sports landscape including athletes, owners, investors and innovators to devise a GAME PLAN for a rapidly evolving world.
Kevin Durant is a 14-year NBA veteran and forward for the Phoenix Suns. He is a 2x NBA Champion and Finals MVP, having also won an NBA MVP Award, four NBA scoring titles, two Olympic gold medals, two NBA All-Star Game MVP Awards, 13x NBA All-Star, and an NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He is also included in the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
Off the court, Durant is co-founder of Thirty Five Ventures (35V) alongside his business partner Rich Kleiman. Founded in 2016, 35V incorporates the duo’s business entities across sports, tech, media, philanthropy, and more.
35V’s portfolio includes Boardroom, a media network covering the business of sports, entertainment, and culture; ownership stakes in emerging and undervalued teams sports properties, including Athletes Unlimited, Gotham FC, Philadelphia Union, Premier Lacrosse League, and Major League Pickleball; film and TV projects including the Academy Award-winning Two Distant Strangers (Netflix), the critically acclaimed scripted series SWAGGER (Apple TV+) and documentary NYC Point Gods (Showtime.) The company’s investment portfolio also includes 100+ early stage investments.
The Durant Family Foundation’s signature programs include Build It and They Will Ball, a global basketball court renovation project with 28 courts completed to date, and The Durant Center, a 10-year, 10-million dollar program in partnership with College Track that helps low-income and underserved students enroll and graduate from college. Durant received the season-long NBA Cares Community Assist and ESPN Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian awards in 2018.
Pete Bevacqua is Chairman, NBC Sports Group. He was promoted in September 2020, becoming the third Chairman in the history of NBC Sports. In this role, he oversees NBC Sports’ unprecedented collection of assets and platforms, which includes NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBC Sports Digital, and two transactional sports businesses, GolfNow and SportsEngine.
Together with his team, Bevacqua completed numerous key rights agreements. Most recently, in March 2021, NBCUniversal and the NFL agreed to an 11-year extension and expansion for NBC Sports to continue as the home of Sunday Night Football, primetime television’s No. 1 show for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years. The deal also includes live coverage of every game by Peacock and Telemundo Deportes for the first time. In addition, NBCUniversal re-acquired the complete U.S. media rights for all United States Golf Association championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, through 2026; agreed to a nine-year extension of the company’s PGA TOUR rights; secured a new Sunday night NFL Wild Card playoff game, which was presented live across NBC, Telemundo, and Peacock in January 2021; and established NBCUniversal’s multi-year partnership with PointsBet, making PointsBet the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports.
Bevacqua joined NBCUniversal in September 2018 as President, NBC Sports Group, overseeing programming, marketing, digital, the NBC Sports Regional Networks, and all Golf businesses. In February 2019, Bevacqua assumed oversight of the entire sports division.
Previously, Bevacqua served as CEO of the PGA of America from 2012-2018. In this role, Bevacqua guided the business and overall strategy of one of the world’s largest sports organizations, serving the Association’s nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals.
Prior to the PGA of America, Bevacqua served as Global Head of Golf at Creative Artists Agency (CAA Sports). He was also Chief Business Officer for the USGA and served as the first Managing Director of the U.S. Open Championship. Bevacqua began his career as a legal associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in New York City.
Additional roles Bevacqua has had include: World Golf Foundation Board of Directors’ Chairperson; a PGA World Alliance leadership team member; Chairperson of the International Golf Federation, a group that was instrumental in golf’s return to the Olympics; special advisor to the Captains Club for The Memorial Tournament; and a board member for RISE, an alliance of sports organizations that promote racial equality. A former SportsBusiness Journal “Forty Under 40” honoree, Bevacqua also received the 2016 March of Dimes Sports Leadership Award.
Bevacqua graduated from the University of Notre Dame magna cum laude (1993), with a B.A. in English. He earned a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center, where he graduated cum laude (1997). Bevacqua serves on the board of directors for Georgetown Law and Brunswick School (Greenwich, CT). He and his wife, Tiffany, have three children.
James "Jimmy" Pitaro was named Chairman, ESPN in February 2023, responsible for full operational control and financial responsibility for ESPN, one of the three core business segments of The Walt Disney Company. This includes the management and supervision of the company’s full portfolio of sports content, products and experiences across all of Disney’s platforms worldwide, including its international sports channels, creative development, marketing, sales, distribution and technology.
This includes eight linear domestic networks, including ESPN and ESPN2; sports content across all Disney domestic and, going forward, international platforms; ESPN+; ESPN Audio; ESPN Digital; ESPN Social; ESPN Fantasy and a variety of owned sports events, among other responsibilities.
Previously, he was Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content, since October 2020. He was named ESPN president and co-chair, Disney Media Networks, on March 5, 2018, after serving eight years as a top Disney executive. In making the announcement, Bob Iger, then The Walt Disney Company chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Jimmy’s appointment was the result of more than 20 years spent at the intersection of technology, sports and media.”
Pitaro’s record of success leading businesses focused on consumer products, digital initiatives and sports made him the quintessential selection for ESPN at a pivotal point in its then 38-year history: a time of unprecedented technological advancements and rapidly changing consumer habits.
A visionary leader, Pitaro has identified and consistently communicated internally and externally five business priorities — Direct to Consumer, Innovation, Storytelling and Programming, Audience Expansion as well as diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within ESPN’s ranks — to keep ESPN poised for future success.
Since Pitaro was named ESPN’s leader, his collaborative leadership style has led to impressive employee engagement and results, clearly evident in ESPN’s performance during the pandemic and social justice movement in 2020 and continuing today.
Under Pitaro, ESPN has reached creative new rights agreements with the NFL, UFC, SEC, NHL, MLB, PGA Tour, XFL, La Liga, Wimbledon and more, encompassing Disney-wide assets; achieved linear ratings successes in 2022 in total day (+8%) and primetime (+22%); remained cable’s leader in the key male and adult demos; achieved several ratings successes with a variety of shows and series, including ESPN’s signature show, SportsCenter, Get Up and First Take; and fueled consistent growth in ESPN+’s distribution and offerings since the April 2018 launch of Disney’s multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service.
Also, ESPN continues to further strengthen its hold as the sports leader on digital and social platforms, standing as No. 1 among U.S. digital sports properties; the ESPN App is the clear No. 1 U.S. sports app; and ESPN Social remains the No. 1 sports media publisher. In 2022, ESPN set all-time records across its digital platforms, including an average of more than 108 million unique users in the U.S. each month and 7.5 billion engagements on social media.
Pitaro’s focus on innovation has led to two developments that have changed how fans watch sports: Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli, and putting microphones on Major League Baseball players on ESPN’s popular Sunday Night Baseball series.
During the pandemic, the innovative and hard-working culture of ESPN led to: moving up “The Last Dance,” which shattered ESPN records for documentary viewership and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series; a ground-breaking collaboration with the NFL for a totally virtual NFL Draft telecast; critical contributions to the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando; the successful presentation of Major League Baseball’s “Fall Frenzy;” and many other accomplishments in event and news programming.
From February 2016 through March 2018, Pitaro had served as chairman of Disney’s consumer products and interactive media division, the world’s largest licenser of consumer products. Among his many responsibilities, he oversaw the creation of branded digital and physical products, including a robust digital game slate. He and his team brought to life the characters and stories of four iconic brands – Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel – across toys, apparel, home goods, the world’s largest children’s publisher, hundreds of Disney store locations worldwide, the e-commerce destination ShopDisney, and the Disney Digital Network of social and digital channels that reach one out of every three U.S. social media accounts.
Pitaro originally joined The Walt Disney Company in 2010 as co-president, Disney Interactive, where he successfully led the turnaround of the digital media and gaming division.
Pitaro came to Disney from Yahoo, where he rose to head of media. He was in charge of, and set, strategy and executed growth-driving initiatives for, Yahoo’s media properties, including Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Music. In 2009, he was named to Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” annual list of top achievers in sports for his dynamic leadership and “breathless flurry of market-moving pacts” with major sports rightsholders and media companies.
Since joining ESPN, Pitaro was honored as 2018’s Multichannel News Sports Executive of the Year. Sports Business Journal named him Sports Executive of the Year for 2019-20, citing that the biggest company in sports media continued to grow, highlighting the expansion of its linear footprint with ACC Network, growth from ESPN+, moving further into the sports betting space and continued aggressive moves in the digital and social arenas, which saw significant growth.
He serves on a variety of industry and charitable boards, including the NCTA, the Paley Center for Media, The V Foundation, The National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, Pacer and CoachArt. Pitaro also serves as Co-Committee Chair of the March of Dimes, and is a Board Observer at Draft Kings. In October 2022, he will serve as Honorary Chair of NAMIC’s 36th Annual Conference. He is a member of the Cornell Athletic Alumni Advisory Committee.
Pitaro earned a bachelor of science degree in economics in 1991 from Cornell University. He earned his Juris Doctor from St. John’s Law School in 1994. After practicing law in New York for five years, he was named head of business affairs for Launch.com in 1999 before joining Yahoo.
A native of Westchester County, N.Y., Pitaro, 53, is ESPN’s eighth leader.
Tamika L. Tremaglio is the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). In this role, she works on behalf of NBA players to ensure their rights are protected and that they are fairly compensated for the value they bring to the court and as ambassadors of the game around the world. Tremaglio began her 4-year term as executive director in January 2022.
Prior to joining the NBPA, Tremaglio served as the Managing Principal for Deloitte’s Greater Washington offices where she managed over 15,000 professionals across 17 offices that provided market-leading audit, tax, advisory, and consulting services. At Deloitte, Tremaglio built a thriving practice and advised a diverse range of clients on high-profile matters relating to strategy development, corporate governance, talent management, organizational alignment, risk management, and regulatory compliance. Tremaglio held several leadership positions at Deloitte in both the business and talent areas of the firm before she was appointed Managing Principal for the Greater Washington Area in 2017.
In addition to her professional achievements, Tremaglio has dedicated a tremendous amount of time and effort to give back to her community through volunteering, mentorship, and board service.
Tremaglio earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount St. Mary’s University in Business & Finance in 1992. She received her JD from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1995, and an MBA from the University of Baltimore in 1995.
Rich Kleiman is Kevin Durant’s long-time manager and co-founder in Thirty Five Ventures (35V) and Boardroom. Founded in 2016, 35V incorporates the duo’s existing business entities, including a media network, Boardroom, that sits at the intersection of sports, entertainment, business, and culture; Durant’s personal brand/marketing portfolio and on-court contracts; and an investment portfolio that includes ownership stakes in emerging teams and leagues such as Athletes Unlimited, Gotham FC, Philadelphia Union, and Premier Lacrosse League.
Other projects under the 35V/Boardroom umbrella include the critically acclaimed scripted series SWAGGER in partnership with Imagine Entertainment and Apple TV+, the Academy-Award-winning short film Two Distant Strangers (Netflix), and Emmy-nominated documentary NYC Point Gods (Showtime). The company’s investment portfolio includes over 100 early stage investments across sports, technology, finance, media, and more.
Kleiman serves as the Executive Director of the Durant Family Foundation (fka Kevin Durant Charity Foundation), helping underserved and low-income families and youth across the globe. He also sits on the Board of Directors at New Heights Youth, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to sports-based youth development and education in New York City.
Previously, Kleiman helped launch Roc Nation Sports, where he served as Vice President of the agency founded by Jay-Z. Kleiman started with Roc Nation in 2008 as a music manager representing Mark Ronson, Solange, Meek Mill, Wale, and many others.
Marc Lasry is the chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of Avenue Capital Group, a global alternative investment manager focused on distressed and undervalued debt and equity opportunities in the U.S., Europe and Asia. In 1995, Mr. Lasry formed Avenue with his sister, Sonia Gardner, with less than $10 million in capital from friends and family. Today, Avenue is one of the largest distressed debt investors globally, managing assets of approximately $9.5 billion, with headquarters in New York City, and offices in London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, and five offices throughout Asia.
Lasry is known as a pioneer in distressed investing which has been the focus of his professional career for over 33 years.
After law school, Lasry clerked for Edward Ryan, chief bankruptcy judge for the Southern District of New York. He spent the following year practicing law at Angel & Frankel, which focused on bankruptcies.
Lasry subsequently became the director of the private debt department at R.D. Smith, the firm where he first became involved in “trade claims,” the market in purchasing and selling to investors the unsecured claims of vendors and other creditors against a debtor. In 1987, he moved to Cowen & Company where he was co-director of the bankruptcy and corporate reorganization department. It was at Cowen that he caught the attention of the Texas investor Robert Bass, who was a client of the firm. When he left Cowen, Lasry went to manage over $100 million for the Robert Bass Group, Inc., where he invested in bank debt, senior bonds, and trade claims. The Bass fund Lasry oversaw was called Amroc Investments, L.P., and, at the time, it stood as one of the largest distressed funds in the U.S. In 1990, he co-founded a boutique distressed brokerage firm, keeping the Amroc name and maintaining the affiliation with the Robert Bass Group.
He is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he has served and will continue to serve on various other boards of advisors/directors of both for-profit and not-for-profit private and public companies. He is also co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks NBA team.
Lasry received a B.A. in History from Clark University (1981) and a J.D. from New York Law School (1984).
Jessica Berman is the Commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League where she oversees all operations of the league with a focus on supporting players on and off the pitch, working with NWSL clubs to continue to build on the positive momentum of the league’s growing audience, and collaborating with NWSL partners to create the most engaging and entertaining fan experience.
Berman joined the NWSL after two and a half years serving as deputy commissioner and executive vice president of business affairs at the National Lacrosse League. During her time with the NLL, Berman’s responsibilities included overseeing team services, operations, marketing and communications, broadcast and content, community engagement, human resources, and league governance.
Prior to her time with the NLL, Berman spent 13 years with the National Hockey League, first serving as vice president and deputy general counsel for the organization before becoming vice president of community development, culture and growth and executive director of the NHL Foundation. In her role as Deputy General Counsel, she was involved in collective bargaining negotiations, and was a key contributor in creating and executing the NHL’s labor strategy during the 2012 talks.
Berman’s later roles with the league focused on bolstering the sports experience for NHL and hockey enthusiasts around the globe. This included implementing a positive, inclusive, community-friendly approach across the league and working to increase access to hockey at all levels of the game. In addition, Berman oversaw the design and execution of the NHL’s corporate social responsibility goals and initiatives, an area she is particularly passionate about.
A graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, Berman also worked as an associate at Proskauer Rose LLP in the labor and employment sector where she represented several employers in collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, mediations and litigations, and worked on pro bono cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault and military matters.
Berman completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, graduating with a degree in Sports Management and Communications.
During her time at Michigan, Berman was involved with the men’s hockey and football programs as an assistant in the sports information office. While completing law school, she served as editor-in-chief of the Fordham Sports Law Forum and was an associate editor of the Urban Law Journal.
Berman has earned several distinctions throughout her sports career. She was named to Sports Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list in 2014. She currently sits on the Sports Lawyers Association Board of Directors, the University of Michigan Sport Management Advisory Board, the Fordham Sports Law Forum Board of Advisors, Sports Innovation Lab Women Executive Network, the Vice Chair of SIGA America Advisory Board and is a founding member of the Pro Sports Assembly, an organization dedicated to promoting diversity & inclusion in the professional sports industry.
A Brooklyn, New York native, Berman resides in Larchmont, New York, with her two sons and two rescue dogs.
Aryeh B. Bourkoff is Chairman and CEO of LionTree, an independent merchant bank advising and investing in the companies and entrepreneurs leading the evolution of the global digital economy. Through its M&A advisory, capital markets, and asset management businesses, LionTree works in partnership with CEOs, creators, and investors to build and shape industries over the long-term, leveraging its thematic advice, strategic insights, capital resources, and global connectivity.
Prior to founding LionTree, Aryeh spent 13 years at UBS, closing his tenure as Vice Chairman and Head of Americas Investment Banking. Prior to UBS, he was a high‐yield research analyst at CIBC World Markets and Smith Barney and ranked as the number one cable and satellite analyst by Institutional Investor for seven consecutive years.
Aryeh serves on the boards of Yahoo, Gagosian, and Carnegie Hall. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Trustees of both The Paley Center for Media and the Royal Academy of Arts. Aryeh graduated from the University of California at San Diego and resides in New York City with his family.
Julia Boorstin is CNBC’s Senior Media & Tech Correspondent based at the network’s Los Angeles Bureau. She covers media with a special focus on the intersection of media and technology. Boorstin also plays a key role on CNBC’s bi-coastal tech-focused program “TechCheck” (M-F, 11AM-12PM ET/8AM-9AM PT) delivering reporting, analysis and interviews around streaming, social and the convergence of media and technology. She joined CNBC in May 2006 as a general assignment reporter and in 2007 moved to Los Angeles to cover media.
In 2013, Boorstin created and launched the CNBC Disruptor 50, an annual list she oversees, highlighting the private companies transforming the economy and challenging companies in established industries. Additionally, she reported a documentary on the future of television for the network, “Stay Tuned…The Future of TV.” She also helped launch CNBC’s ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative covering the people and companies closing gender gaps, and leads CNBC’s coverage of studies on this topic. She is currently writing a book called, “WHEN WOMEN LEAD: What they achieve, Why they succeed, and How we can learn from them,” about female founders that Simon & Schuster’s Avid Reader imprint is publishing in October 2022.
Boorstin joined CNBC from Fortune magazine where she was a business writer and reporter since 2000. During that time, she was also a contributor to “Street Life,” a live market wrap-up segment on CNN Headline News.
In 2003, 2004 and 2006, The Journalist and Financial Reporting newsletter named Boorstin to the “TJFR 30 under 30” list of the most promising business journalists under 30 years old. She has also worked for the State Department’s delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and for Vice President Gore’s domestic policy office.
She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a B.A. in history. She was also an editor of The Daily Princetonian.
Andrew Ross Sorkin is co-anchor of "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET), CNBC's signature morning program. Sorkin is also a financial columnist for The New York Times and the editor-at-large of DealBook, a news site he founded that is published by The Times.
Sorkin is the author of the best-selling book, "Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves," which chronicled the events of the 2008 financial crisis. The book won the 2010 Gerald Loeb Award for Best Business Book, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Samuel Johnson Prize and the 2010 Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award. The book was adapted as a movie by HBO Films in 2011. Sorkin was a co-producer of the film, which was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards.
Sorkin is also co-creator of the drama series "Billions" on Showtime starring Paul Giamatti and Damien Lewis.
Over the years, Sorkin has broken news on many major mergers and acquisitions, including Chase's acquisition of JPMorgan and Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of Compaq. He also led The Times's coverage of Vodafone's $183 billion hostile bid for Mannesmann, resulting in the world's largest takeover ever.
He won a Gerald Loeb Award in 2004 for breaking the news of IBM's historic sale of its PC business to Lenovo. He was also a finalist in the commentary category for his DealBook column. He won a Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award for breaking news in 2005 and again in 2006. In 2007, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader. In 2008 and 2009, Vanity Fair named him to its "Next Establishment" list. He was also named to the "Directorship 100," a list of the most influential people on the nation's board of directors. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Sorkin began writing for The New York Times in 1995 under unusual circumstances: He hadn't yet graduated from high school.
He graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. degree in May 1999.
Scott Wapner is host of CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” (M-F, 12PM-1PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and “Closing Bell: Overtime” (M-F, 4PM-5PM ET), which broadcasts from the New York Stock Exchange. Wapner is known for interviewing some of the world’s most influential investors, drilling down into stocks and sectors and navigating viewers through breaking news and market moves during and after the trading day.
He is also the author of “When the Wolves Bite,” which documents the battle between billionaire investors Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn over Herbalife.
Inaugural event on July 25 focused on the intersection of sports and business
The most influential leaders from across the sports business landscape, including top-tier athletes, league owners, multi-media moguls, cultural innovators and cutting-edge investors
Hear from the biggest names who are innovating the business of sport