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Sports, Civic Leaders Add Pittsburgh Flavor to Sports Marketing Conference

The Duquesne University School of Business's Sports Marketing Department will welcome five sports figures and leaders to the annual conference of the North American Society of Sports Management.

The largest gathering in the organization's history, the Pittsburgh conference will bring about 600 people to the city on May 27-31, meeting at a number of venues including host site the Omni William Penn Hotel, Heinz Field, CONSOL Energy Center, PNC Park and the Duquesne campus.  

Besides hearing academic research and the latest from practitioners, conference attendees will hear from:

  • Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive
  • Len Komoroski, chief executive officer of the Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Charlie Batch, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and head of a local nonprofit
  • Art Rooney II, team president and co-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Rob Ruck, sports historian and author.

Brief bios and times of their talks are:

Thursday, May 29
9 a.m., Rich Fitzgerald at the Omni William Penn
Since taking office as county executive in 2012, Fitzgerald has focused on economic development of the region and job creation, meeting weekly with companies to address the issues that are priorities for their growth. This focus provides a climate where a skilled workforce is a key component of local growth. 

9:20 a.m., Len Komoroski at the Omni William Penn
CEO of the Cleveland Cavaliers and a 1982 cum laude graduate of Duquesne, Komoroski has more than 30 years of experience in professional sports and entertainment. His leadership has helped set a solid business foundation for growing the Cavs as well as the Lake Erie Monsters, Cleveland Gladiators, Canton Charge and Quicken Loans Arena into some of the country's most successfully operated sports and entertainment organizations.

11:45 a.m., Charlie Batch at the Duquesne University Power Center Ballroom
A Pittsburgh native, Batch has spent 11 seasons with the Steelers, including the Super Bowl XL and XLIII championships. In 1999, Batch founded the Best of the Batch Foundation based on his values of dedication, leadership and trust. This nonprofit is devoted to improving the lives of children and families in distressed communities by building character, self-esteem and appreciation for education.

6 p.m., Art Rooney II at Heinz Field
The keynote speaker at the group's awards reception, Rooney is team president and co-owner of the Steelers. Previously, he served as vice president and general counsel of the Steelers, and has been a member of the Steelers' Board of Directors since 1989. Rooney, a Duquesne law school graduate, was principally responsible for the design, development and financing plan for Heinz Field, which opened in 2001.

Friday, May 30
12:15 p.m., Rob Ruck at the Omni William Penn
Sports historian and University of Pittsburgh professor, Ruck has received many prestigious awards for his work, including an Emmy for Outstanding Cultural TV programming. A Pittsburgh native, he wrote the books Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh and Rooney: A Sporting Life.

The conference will include stadium tours, riverboat cruises and a look at the recreational opportunities in the area. To review the complete agenda for the conference, visit www.nassm.com.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.