Examining Moneyball's Impact on Business and Sports

Released: 2/1/2012 3:00 PM EST
Source Newsroom: Villanova University
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Newswise — Villanova University School of Law (VSL) convenes an all-star roster of leading experts from sports and television for its 2012 Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Journal Symposium, “Moneyball’s Impact on Business and Sports,” Friday, February 10. Jeffrey S. Moorad VSL ’81, vice chairman and CEO of the San Diego Padres, headlines the panel alongside Billy Beane, vice president and general manager of the Oakland A’s; Omar Minaya, senior vice president of baseball operations for the Padres; and Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC. Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell VSL ’68, a guest sports commentator for Comcast SportsNet and the Philadelphia Daily News, serves as moderator. A question-and-answer session follows the panel discussion.

In the 2002 season, Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane and his staff turned heads in the baseball world with their cutting-edge analytical approach to personnel decisions. Despite having one of the league’s smallest payrolls, the A’s assembled a highly competitive team through the use of sabermetrics, an analytical approach that utilizes in-game statistics to determine a player’s current value and to predict his future worth. Though these statistics had been available to baseball teams for years, none had utilized them quite like Beane. His team’s experiment and the extraordinary journey that followed was chronicled in Michael Lewis’s best-selling book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. The Oscar-nominated film Moneyball, based on Lewis’s book and starring Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, was released in 2011.

Beane’s distinctive analytical approach to making personnel decisions, allowing his team to remain competitive while managing payroll, has changed the business-side of sports for franchise executives, players and agents alike. Other Major League franchises—including the San Diego Padres, New York Mets, and Boston Red Sox—soon began ‘playing Moneyball,’ adopting sabermetrics as a predictive tool and in turn impacting the landscape of America’s pastime. Symposium panelists Moorad, Beane, Minaya and Griffin will analyze the impact of Moneyball and the variety of ways it has changed the face of sports from player contracts to media markets and competitive balance.

“Business and law play a critical role in today’s professional sports,” said John Gotanda, Dean of the Villanova University School of Law. “As sports law has long been an area of academic interest at Villanova, it is especially exciting for us to host such an illustrious panel of industry innovators to examine the impact of Moneyball on business and sports. We are particularly delighted to welcome back alum Jeffrey Moorad, whose support and guidance have been instrumental to the success of this year’s symposium.”

The 2012 Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Journal Symposium offers VSL students, alumni and supporters a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear top-flight baseball and media executives discuss the effect of ‘Moneyball’ on business and sports. The Symposium takes place at 12 p.m., in the Villanova Room of The Connelly Center, located on the campus of Villanova University. The event is free for registered attendees (registration is limited); no CLE credits are offered. To register, please visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2774623975. The Symposium will also be simulcast live at www.law.villanova.edu.

Click on the names of the panelists below for full biographies:
Jeffrey S. Moorad, VSL ‘81
Billy Beane
Phil Griffin ()
Omar Minaya
Edward G. Rendell, VSL ’68

The Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Journal is a national legal publication dedicated to providing comprehensive analysis and scholarly review of current sports and entertainment related legal issues to practitioners, professors, students and the judiciary. Past volumes have included articles on copyright infringement, ERISA, gender equity, antitrust, collective bargaining and regulation of indecent speech. As part of its mission, the Journal sponsors a symposium each year on a topic of current importance in either the sports or entertainment field.

Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. The Villanova School of Law provides broad-based legal education and its award-winning clinics and Lawyering Together Program provide free legal aid to those in need. The School is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the American Association of Law Schools. Notable alumni include: Hon. Edward Rendell (Former Governor, Pa.), Hon. Marjorie Rendell (Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit), Richard Trumka (President, AFL-CIO), Joseph T. Sebastianelli (President and CEO, Thomas Jefferson Health Systems), Jeffrey S. Moorad (CEO, San Diego Padres) and Michael Holston (Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Hewlett-Packard Company).


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