March 21-22, 2019
Media Innovation Center at Evansdale Crossing (4th Floor)
Presented by WD Esports + Entertainment and sponsored by West Virginia University's
Reed College of Media, John Chambers College of Business and Economics and College
of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
March 21, 6 p.m., WVU Media Innovation Center
These experts will examine how the Esports ecosystem is structured, provide insights into career opportunities for university students, educate future entrepreneurs about innovation and how universities can prepare students for the business side of Esports.
The event is free and open to the public.
David has more than 10 years of experience with a big 4 firm. He created and developed the Chinese Services Group for Deloitte Mexico. In 2010, David and his team were recognized by the Global Deloitte firm and they won the prestigious "Standards of Excellence Award" for a $1 billion USD merger. At the age of 34, David was one of the youngest partners at Deloitte, and worked on over 500 transactions with Fortune 500 companies. David joined SparkleCOIN in 2017, a blockchain and cryptocurrency company, as CFO and VP of Business Strategy—David worked closely on the development and strategy of the company and is excited that SparkleCOIN was the first cryptocurrency with "real world" applications for P2P and B2B transactions. Most recently, David started the group GTIF Capital and is partnered with several major businesses in the Esports, technology, healthcare, branding, and real-estate industries. David sits on several boards including FaZe Clan, the largest Esports team.
Ashley is the co-founder and managing partner of WD | Esports + Entertainment and also the co-founder of the Saint Peter’s University Esports and Entertainment Business Program. Previously he was the founder and managing principal of LVRG Sports, a leading brand management and marketing consultancy. Ashley has consulted for notable global sports talent, brands and properties including Ray Lewis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Deontay Wilder, Kenny "The Jet" Smith, Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, US Army All-American Bowl and the collegiate athletic departments at Texas A&M University, University of Minnesota, Texas Christian University and University of Maryland, University of Houston and Northwestern University. His marketing campaigns have been featured in leading media outlets and publications such as Forbes, ESPN, USA Today Sports, HBO Sports, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, Sports Business Journal, SportTechie and ESPN Magazine. Ashley also serves as a judge and mentor at Stadia Ventures, a sports and esports tech accelerator that is an innovation hub for entrepreneurs, industry partners and investors. Ashley holds a Masters in Sports Management from Texas A&M University, one of the top five Sport Management programs in the country.
Neil joined WorldGaming in 2014 to help build a collegiate gaming division. He spearheaded the acquisition of the Collegiate Starleague (2015), The Melee Games (2017) and Smash 4 Collegiate (2017). To date, the Collegiate Starleague is the world’s largest collegiate Esports tournament and league provider. It’s represented on 1600 campuses with over 40,000 student gamers competing for scholarships in 12 games across PC, console and mobile. Neil also sits on the advisory board for the integration of Esports into academic programs at St. Clair and Lambton Colleges. Neil also was an Executive Vice President for the eGames, an Olympic-style Esports event sanctioned by the British Government and held at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Dr. Marc Williams
Marc is the co-founder and managing partner of WD | Esports + Entertainment and also the co-founder of the Saint Peter’s University Esports and Entertainment Business Program. Previously he was the founder and managing partner at Williams Communications, a marketing consulting group specializing in strategic marketing and communication strategies. He has been widely regarded as a sports marketing pioneer and is one of the nation's experts on marketing, career transition, crisis management and professional development. He has worked for three of the largest sports brands in the world (Champs Sports, Footaction and Reebok) and his insights have been featured in media outlets such as CBS Evening News, BBC, Billboard Magazine, AdWeek and USA Today. During his tenure at Champs Sports, he was in charge of strategic partnerships, oversaw the advertising and media strategies for the brand and managed the day-to-day relationships for the company's sports and entertainment properties including NCAA, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Arena Football, NBC Sports, ESPN, EA Sports, Activision, 20th Century Fox, Atlantic Records, Universal Music Group and Def Jam Records. He has worked with sports and entertainment icons including Michael Jordan, Beyonce, Venus Williams, Allen Iverson, Maroon 5, Aaliyah and Will Farrell. Dr. Williams holds a B.S. in Sociology from William Paterson University, a Masters in Sport Management from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and earned his Doctorate in Education at West Virginia University.
Esports Master Class
March 22, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The Esports Master Class is a one-day, six-hour workshop for undergraduates. Students will learn about the history, ecosystem, trends, career paths and cultural impact of the multi-billion-dollar Esports industry. They'll explore how to create a successful Esports marketing campaign and how to develop strategic partnerships in the gaming industry.
Twenty students were chosen by a selection committee through an application process.