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Speakers

 
Each year the National Sports Forum features 80+ speakers from a variety of leagues, organizations, agencies and top spokespeople within the sports industry.
 
Below are the speakers for the 2017 National Sports Forum.

Ethan Casson

Chief Executive Officer
Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx



Ethan Casson is entering his first season as Chief Executive Officer for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx. He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League.
 
As the CEO, Casson oversees the business operations for the Timberwolves and Lynx, working closely with his executive team on setting the organization’s strategy and vision. His initial focus will be on the development of personnel, strengthening the fan base, driving key revenue opportunities and expanding the organization’s involvement in the community.
 
Prior to his current role, Casson spent six seasons with the 49ers, initially in 2010 as the team’s Vice President of Corporate Sales. He was promoted to Chief Revenue Officer in 2014 and Chief Operating Officer in 2016. Casson led a team focused on generating corporate revenue associated with the 49ers’ new stadium project. He spearheaded the organization’s effort in securing a 20-year, $220 million naming rights partnership with Levi Strauss & Co., one of the largest naming rights deals in NFL history. Under Casson’s direction, the first two seasons at Levi’s Stadium saw record-breaking revenue growth in several areas of the 49ers business, inclusive of ticket and premium sales and corporate partnerships. In addition, Casson helped procure some of the most prominent events in sports and entertainment, including Super Bowl 50, WrestleMania 31, the NHL Outdoor Stadium Series, Pac-12 Championship Football and various music headliners. His impact on the 49ers business and success of the Levi’s Stadium project led to Casson being recognized as a member of the Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” class of 2014.
 
Prior to the 49ers, Casson worked for 11 years with the Timberwolves and Lynx. As Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Game Presentation, Casson established many long-term partnerships with key Twin Cities’ brands, while working to enhance the overall in-arena fan experience. Before his tenure with the organization, Casson served in sponsorship development at ESPN.
 
Casson earned a Bachelor of Science in sports management from Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire. A standout college basketball player, he was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in July 2013 and the Colby-Sawyer College Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2015. Casson served on the board of directors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Greater Bay Area and was previously a board member for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Minnesota during his first stint with the franchise. Casson and his wife, Lisa, reside in Minneapolis.

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