Ben Shields



Ben Shields

Ben Shields is a Lecturer in Managerial Communication at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Shields teaches Communication for Leaders, Advanced Leadership Communication, and Social Media Management: Persuasion in Networked Culture.

Shields’s research focuses on the intersection of social media technologies, data analytics, and audience behavior in the sports, media, and entertainment industries. He has written three books: The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders for a High-Performance Industry (Oxford University Press, 2015), The Elusive Fan: Reinventing Sports in a Crowded Marketplace (McGraw-Hill, 2006), and just released Social Media Management: Persuasion in Networked Culture in December 2016. He has also written numerous articles and book chapters on sports media and marketing communications.     

Shields served previously as the Director of Social Media and Marketing at ESPN. He oversaw social media strategy for the ESPN brand and collaborated across the enterprise to develop and implement company-wide social strategy. He also worked on marketing strategy for several ESPN brands and sub-brands, including the SportsCenter “DaDaDa” campaign and the Emmy Award-winning “It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports” brand campaign.

Shields holds a BS and MA in communication studies and a PhD in media, technology, and society, all from Northwestern University.     

Faculty Media

  • Tech Could Soon Take Over All of the Sports You Watch

    There’s never been any doubt as to whether technology companies have the resources to invest in sports rights. The question has been whether such moves made long-term strategic sense for both parties.

  • The Simple Lessons You Can Still Learn from Sports Analytics

    MIT Sloan’s Ben Shields explains how franchises use data to make personnel, business decisions.

  • Q&A: Ben Shields on The Sports Strategist (Part 1)

    Ben Shields is the co-author of the 2014 book The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders for a High-Performance Industry, which delves into how sports franchises can have success off the field...

  • Q&A with Ben Shields (Part 2)

    Ben Shields is the co-author of the 2014 book The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders for a High-Performance Industry, which delves into how sports franchises can have success off the field...

  • The Intersection of Sports, Technology, and Beyond

    Shields says, “Sports is a petri dish to research and better understand broader trends in business like technology adoption, media consumption, digital disruption on revenue models, and even...

  • 3 points: Calculating Avery Bradley’s chance for DPOY

    MIT Sloan's Ben Shields breaks down Avery Bradley’s chances to be the Defensive Player of the Year.

  • ESPN Marketing Director Shields Says Social is a Tactic, Not a Strategy

    “At ESPN, we deliver a brand promise of sports with authority and personality,” Shields said. “Social media isn’t just about a Facebook post or Twitter feed, but to live up to that brand promise.”

  • ESPN Marketing Director Shields Talks Future of Social Media

    Shields spoke about ESPN’s overall philosophy and how it was molded around the increasing popularity of social media.

  • Yahoo Ramps Up Tech to Compete with Daily Fantasy Sports Pioneers

    "From an industry standpoint, if there was any doubt about the legitimacy of daily fantasy sports, the Yahoo announcement made it very clear that there's a business opportunity in this area," says...

  • The NFL: Twitter’s Kingmaker?

    This fall, the NFL is working with another new media partner: Twitter.


Contact Information

Office: E62-337
Support Staff
Name: Amy Ruth Wasserman
Phone: (617) 258-8360

Teaches In

Advanced Management Program May 29-Jun 29, 2018

Global Executive Academy (multi-language) Jul 11-20, 2017 | Jul 10-19, 2018

Communication and Persuasion in the Digital Age Oct 10-11, 2017 | Apr 10-11, 2018 | Jun 14-15, 2018 | Oct 16-17, 2018

Analytics Management: Business Lessons from the Sports Data Revolution Oct 18-19, 2017 | Apr 12-13, 2018 | Oct 3-4, 2018

Lessons in Analytics Strategy: Takeaways from the Sports Data Revolution

Although decision making in sports is different from that of other industries, the similarities can reveal how analytics, if effectively deployed, can lead to better decisions and more successful organizations. Learn more in this complimentary webinar. July 12, 2017 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT