Dr. Harvey Schiller To Address Next-Generation Leaders at CSVS

Dr. Harvey Schiller’s experiences in the sports industry have taught him invaluable lessons about success and leadership. At the College Sports Video Summit, to be held June 8-9 in Atlanta, Schiller will share some of those lessons with the college video professionals in attendance. He will open the presentation of the College Sports Media Awards on June 8 with a keynote address aimed at the next generation of sports leadership.

“I will focus on the idea of leadership in today’s marketplace,” Schiller says. “I will provide my view of how one succeeds, using some ideas and personal experiences that worked for me, which may work for the people in the audience as well.”

His experiences in the sports industry have been broad and varied, with executive positions at the Southeastern Conference, United States Olympic Committee, and Turner Sports. Throughout his career, he has seen some dramatic technical changes take place, moving from a time when enormous investments were required to purchase high-resolution equipment to today, when everyone can be a producer using any of numerous devices available.

“It’s a unique opportunity to address this audience, similar to attending commencement at this time of year,” he says. “The nominees of the College Sports Media Awards have been identified for making significant contributions to their institutions, and the opportunity to speak to young people that are just embarking on their careers and futures is exciting.

“I hope that they can relate to my experiences on a personal basis,” he continues. “Hopefully, they can use my experience as a tool in going forward for whatever they’re trying to accomplish, because everybody in that room has a different dream.”

Schiller’s experience in the college-sports industry goes back nearly 25 years. As commissioner of the Southeastern Conference from 1986 to 1990, he learned a great deal about media rights and the constant struggle between what is good for individual institutions and what is good for the conference.

“Each institution has a set of rights regarding their content, and, at the same time, the combination of all the institutions brings added value,” he explains. “From the commissioner’s office, and it doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the NBA or the SEC, the constant back and forth is, what are the rights that the institutions are willing to give to the conference to sell as a package and what are the rights that are left?”

Fortunately, Schiller adds, colleges have far more content available to monetize than professional leagues have.

“When you think about all the men’s and women’s sports, coaches’ shows, daily practices, and so forth, in a conference with 12 institutions, you have effectively close to 300 sports, compared to just 30 teams in a professional league,” he says. “That leaves a tremendous amount of content that has the opportunity to be distributed.”

The challenge with all of that content, he points out, is to determine what should be reserved for broadcast and cable versus what can be given over to the digital universe.

“Matching those up is going to be a challenge for the commissioner, as well as athletic directors going forward,” he says.

After his time at the SEC, Schiller served as executive director/secretary general of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), working directly in support of the planning for the 1996 Olympic Games, which were ultimately awarded to the city of Atlanta. He has also served as VP of sports programming for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., president of Turner Sports Inc., and chairman/CEO of YankeeNets, a sports conglomerate that included the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets, and New Jersey Devils. He also served as chairman of Assante U.S., a leading provider of financial- and life-management products and services, before taking his current position, chairman of the board/CEO of GlobalOptions Group.

Schiller will address the CSVS audience on Tuesday June 8 as part of the Achievements in Motion presentation. Click here for the full conference program.