Wharton Business Radio

Wharton Sports Business Summit 2018

Hosts Jeremy Siegel, George Weiss, and Dan Loney are joined by Debbie DiVito (SVP of Sports Finance, Citi), William Deng (Vice President of Media Strategy & Business Development, The National Football League), Theo Feder (Quantitative Analyst, New York Yankees), Melanie LeGrande (VP of Social Responsibility, Major League Baseball), Bruce Lefkowitz (Executive Vice President, Fox Networks), Stu Siegel (CEO & Owner, HockeyTech), Jeff Luhnow (General Manager, Houston Astros), and Wayne Kimmel (Managing Partner, SeventySix Capital) on the Saturday, November 10, 2018 edition of Specials.

Air Date: Saturday, November 10, 2018 on SiriusXM 132

Jeff Luhnow

Air Time: 11:30 am
Featuring: Jeff Luhnow

Stu Siegal

Air Time: 11:45 am
Featuring: Stu Siegel

Bruce Lefkowitz

Air Time: 12:00 pm
Featuring: Bruce Lefkowitz

Melanie LeGrande

Air Time: 12:15 pm
Featuring: Melanie LeGrande

Theo Feder

Air Time: 12:45 pm
Featuring: Theo Feder

William Deng

Air Time: 1:00 pm
Featuring: William Deng

Debbie DiVito

Air Time: 1:30 pm
Featuring: Debbie DiVito

Wayne Kimmel

Air Time: 9:45 am
Featuring: Wayne Kimmel

Featured Guests

Jeff Luhnow

General Manager, Houston Astros


Jeff Luhnow was named the 12th General Manager in Astros franchise history on Dec. 7, 2011. Since Luhnow took over the baseball operations functions, the Astros Major League club has transformed into a contender with top-tier young talent, and possesses one of the best player pipelines in the industry.

In 2015, the Houston Astros advanced to the postseason for the first time in a decade, making it to the American League Division Series versus the eventual World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. Astros farm system product and Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel went undefeated at home, anchoring a pitching staff that finished the season with the best team ERA (3.57) in the American League. The first two draft picks of Luhnow’s tenure as Astros GM, Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers, debuted in 2015 and made immediate, significant contributions to the Major League club. Correa led all AL rookies in home runs (22), OPS (.857) and slugging percentage (.512) on his way to receiving American League Rookie of the Year honors. McCullers led all AL rookie pitchers in WAR (2.8) with a 3.22 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 22 Major League starts. Both promise to help shape the increasingly strong core of young Astros players moving forward.

Veteran second baseman Jose Altuve turned in another strong season in 2015, receiving his third All-Star nomination, second Silver Slugger Award and first Gold Glove Award. The Astros bullpen experienced a major turnaround thanks to Luhnow’s acquisitions of 2016 All-Star Will Harris, Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek, who led the Astros bullpen from 29th in the Majors in 2014 to sixth in 2015. Colby Rasmus, whom Luhnow drafted for the Cardinals in 2005 and signed as a free agent prior to 2015, proved essential in the postseason for Houston, belting four home runs in six 2015 postseason games.

After unprecedented success in the minor leagues, the Astros were named the Best Farm System in all of baseball by MiLB.com in 2015. The Astros minor league system posted the best combined overall record among all 30 organizations during the regular season with a 502-405 mark. Seven Astros affiliates made it to the playoffs, becoming the second organization since 2005 to have seven minor league teams qualify for the playoffs in a single year. Of the Astros seven playoff teams, the Triple A Fresno Grizzlies and Rookie Level Greeneville Astros each captured championship titles in their respective leagues. Several of Luhnow’s draft picks were tapped for top minor league honors, including 2013 draft pick Jon Kemmer (Texas League batting champion), 2015 draft pick Bobby Wernes (New York-Penn League batting champion) and 2014 draft pick A.J. Reed, who led all of minor league baseball in home runs, RBI and OPS while batting .340, and was recently named Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year, ESPN.com Prospect of the Year, California League MVP and MiLB Offensive Player of the Year.

Prior to joining the Astros, Luhnow spent eight years with the St. Louis Cardinals as Vice President of Baseball Development (2003-2005), Vice President of Player Procurement (2005) and Vice President of Scouting and Player Development (2006-2011). During much of his time with the Cardinals, he oversaw the scouting, international, and player development functions of the club that brought in many players instrumental to the 2011 World Series victory, the 2012 NLCS team and the 2013 World Series team. Of the 25 players on the Cardinals 2013 World Series roster, 16 were drafted while Luhnow oversaw player development and scouting.

Before joining the Cardinals organization, Jeff founded Archetype Solutions, where he served as President and COO. His background also includes stints as General Manager and Vice President of Marketing at Petstore.com, and five years with the global management consulting firm of McKinsey and Company.

Jeff is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in economics and engineering. He also earned his MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Jeff is a U.S. citizen, but was born and spent more than 15 years in Mexico City, Mexico, and is fluent in Spanish.

Twitter – @jluhnow | @astros
Full Profile

Stu Siegel

CEO & Owner, HockeyTech


Serial entrepreneur, primarily in the tech industry. Although I did dabble in pro sports team ownership with my stint with the NHL Florida Panthers from 2008-12, where I served as Managing Partner, CEO and NHL Governor. Currently satisfying my passion for hockey and technology with my company HockeyTech.
Full Profile

Bruce Lefkowitz

Executive Vice President, Fox Networks


Bruce Lefkowitz is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Vice Chairman of the IRTS Foundation, and Executive Vice President of Ad Sales at Fox Networks Group. During his time as an undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania, Bruce was a star member, later captain, of UPenn’s basketball team. He is one of the university’s top- ranking players of all-time, and went on to play professional basketball for a few years before joining the media industry.

Anyone who has spoken with Bruce may have heard him recall he owes his life, his wife, and his six children to his first internship at ESPN over twenty years ago. The current EVP has been an MVP of ad sales ever since, having worked as the Vice President of Sales at Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting and Senior Vice President at Discovery Networks before moving to Fox in 2002.

Full Profile

Melanie LeGrande

VP of Social Responsibility, Major League Baseball


Driven, assertive and enthusiastic individual with a passion for improving the community. Experienced in foundation programming, community relations (employee engagement, nonprofit relationship building, corporate philanthropy), event/project management and communications. A strategic thinker who cares about people, results and thrives in a fast-paced environment.
Full Profile

Theo Feder

Quantitative Analyst, New York Yankees


I have successfully completed severals data science projects across a variety of industries, including retail, telecommunications, insurance, telematics, and sports. Through my work helping companies to tackle complex issues with data-driven techniques, I have gained significant experience with:
· Business problem scoping
· Data wrangling (cleaning, transformation)
· Machine learning models (e.g., regression, classification, time series analysis, clustering)
· “Big data” analytics (e.g., Spark, Pig)
· Data visualization (e.g., R Shiny and Tableau)
· Communication of findings/results to non-technical stakeholders

I am also proficient with several languages, such as R, SQL, Python, and Java.
Full Profile

William Deng

Vice President of Media Strategy & Business Development, The National Football League

Debbie DiVito

SVP of Sports Finance, Citi

Wayne Kimmel

Managing Partner, SeventySix Capital


Wayne Kimmel wasn’t always a venture capitalist, investing in game-changing companies alongside the likes of Richard Branson, Steve Case and Mark Cuban. He was once a 29-year-old law school graduate with no connections who obsessively networked his way to success. Wayne Kimmel is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, philanthropist, tireless networker, keynote speaker and the author of Six Degrees of Wayne Kimmel.

Wayne has been named a Top Innovator by Philadelphia Magazine and is on the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Power 100 list.

Wayne has invested in over 50 startup technology and healthcare companies, including SeamlessWeb (now public as GrubHub), Take Care Health Systems and Nutrisystem. Among the Fortune 500 companies that have acquired his portfolio companies are Aramark, Intel, IBM, Walgreens and Yahoo!

His partners at SeventySix Capital are Jon Powell, CEO of Kravco Company LLC, a leading real estate company that developed the King of Prussia Mall, and Ryan Howard, Major League Baseball National League MVP and 2008 World Series Champion with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Wayne, Jon and Ryan are also a partners in Rubicon Talent, a sports marketing and talent agency with clients including, Olympians Kerri Walsh Jennings and Lolo Jones, MLB legend Cal Ripken, Jr., and NFL stars Greg Olsen, DeMarco Murray, and Emmanuel Sanders.

He is on the Board of Einstein Healthcare Network and was on the Board of Jewish Federations of North America, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Wayne is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and the Delaware Law School. He is passionate about Philly’s pro sports teams and about working to make the world a better place.

Twitter – @waynekimmel | @76Capital
Full Profile

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