Ben Shields is a Senior Lecturer in Managerial Communication at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He studies the multibillion-dollar sports industry to identify broadly transferable management lessons in areas such as leadership communication, data-driven decision making, and innovation.
He is the author or co-author of three books, Social Media Management: Persuasion in Networked Culture(Oxford University Press, 2016), The Sports Strategist: Developing Leaders for a High Performance Industry (Oxford University Press, 2015), and The Elusive Fan: Reinventing Sports in a Crowded Marketplace (McGraw-Hill, 2006).
He teaches a number of courses in the graduate programs at MIT Sloan, including Communication for Leaders, Social Media Management, Sloan Fellows Seminar on Leadership, and a new course on sports management and analytics that will be offered Spring 2020.
For MIT Sloan Executive Education, Shields is Faculty Director of the Formula 1 Extreme Innovation Series and the Global Executive Academy and Co-Faculty Director of the LEAD20@MIT program with the Ruderman Family Foundation. Shields created and leads Analytics Management: Business Lessons from the Sports Data Revolution and the online course Management Analytics: Decision-Making Lessons from the Sports Industry. He is also faculty for Communication and Persuasion in the Digital Age and Maximizing Your Personal Productivity.
His other sports work at MIT includes co-hosting “Counterpoints”, the sports analytics podcast from the MIT Sloan Management Review, and teaching in the MIT Sports Entrepreneurship Bootcamp program, which is offered through MIT’s Office of Open Learning.
Prior to MIT 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.
Ben Shields knows that the sports industry has much to teach us about the power and limitations of data and analytics, especially when it comes to making game-changing predictions and decisions. In...
When Covid19 temporarily halted F1’s normal operations (as it did every industry’s), it resulted in even more lessons on innovating at speed and discovering new successful ways to operate. Ben...
This webinar examines how one global business, Formula 1, has innovated at speed during the pandemic. Ben Shields is joined by Yath Gangakumaran to discuss how F1 has not only accelerated ideas...
Ben Shields asks top executives from the Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins for their perspective on why it costs so much to be a fan. Bottom line: Teams are selling more than the game.
Data science must become an organizational capability to inform decision-making, and these lessons from sports can help.
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...
In this Counterpoints podcast installment, Wharton’s Cade Massey argues that it’s "near" impossible. Ben Shields and Paul Michelman invited him on to make his case.
Hosts Ben Shields and Paul Michelman talk with former director of sports analytics at ESPN Ben Alamar, one of sports’ leading proponents for and experts in basketball IQ.
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.
MIT Sloan’s Ben Shields explains how franchises use data to make personnel, business decisions.
Global Executive Academy (multi-language)
Maximizing Your Personal Productivity: How to Become an Efficient and Effective Executive
Communication and Persuasion in the Digital Age
Interpersonal Communication: Strategies for Executives (self-paced online)
Ben Shields knows that the sports industry has much to teach us about the power and limitations of data and analytics, especially when it comes to making game-changing predictions and decisions. In this webinar, Shields leads Brian Billick and James Dale (authors of The Q Factor) in an exciting discussion about high-stakes challenges.
This webinar examines how one global business, Formula 1, has innovated at speed during the pandemic. Ben Shields is joined by Yath Gangakumaran (from F1) to discuss how F1 has not only accelerated ideas already in the pipeline but also created and implemented new ideas to respond to the crisis. They discuss key innovations on both the sporting and commercial side of the organization as well as in its social impact efforts.
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.
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