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SOTI Keynote: How Sports Can Lead During (and After) the Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic rages, everyone’s immediate concern is their family and their employees. “How do we take care of our people, and what does it mean?” San Francisco 49ers president Al Guido said Friday during the closing keynote conversation at SportTechie’s State Of The Industry virtual conference. For those running sports franchises, which are civic institutions and north stars for communities, how does one provide adequate leadership during these unprecedented times? Golden State Warriors president and COO Rick Welts, who also spoke on the keynote panel, was candid: “The answer is, ‘I don’t know,’ ” he said. “We’re writing the game plan as events are unfolding and trying to react to the best information that we have. ” It’s been said that effective leadership is letting people down at a rate they can handle, which distills the job to being honest and transparent—and letting them know that you’re on their side. To that end, Welts relayed a challenge that NBA commissioner Adam Silver put before the league: “Let’s take this as an opportunity to rethink the ways we’ve done things.

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