David J. Stern, widely credited for building the model for professional sports in league operations, public service, global marketing and digital technology over the course of a three-decade tenure as commissioner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), will discuss the global growth and success of the league during his tenure and its potential relevance to Thoroughbred racing in a special question-and-answer session at the Pan American Conference June 3-5 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
Stern, who stepped down and became commissioner emeritus in February 2014, oversaw the NBA’s growth with seven new franchises, a more than 30-fold increase in revenues, an expansion of national television exposure, and the launch of two leagues, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League. He implemented the first anti-drug agreement in professional sports and introduced the salary cap system and revenue sharing to the NBA.
Stern also oversaw the launch of the league’s digital assets, including NBA.com, WNBA.com, and NBADLeague.com; social media platforms; NBA LEAGUE PASS; NBA TV; and mobile applications, all of which reach hundreds of millions of fans every day.
Under his leadership, the league launched NBA Cares, a global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. NBA Cares supports a host of community outreach initiatives, including a myriad of internationally recognized youth-serving programs that focus on education, youth and family development, and health and wellness.
Stern was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014 and is a 2013 recipient of Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal. He has served on the boards of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Paley Center for Media, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ben Vonwiller, a partner at McKinsey & Company, will moderate the question-and-answer period with Stern.