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Sports - Keynote Speakers

Dennis Conner

Dennis Conner is the only living four time winner of the America’s Cup. Winner of more than 100 America’s Cup Trial races, Conner won the America’s Cup in 1974, 1980, 1987 and 1988. He also made it to the America’s Cup finals in 1983 and 1995. Though the Cup is the symbol of his victories, Conner has captured many other awards. Having represented the United States in international events since 1963, he has been selected United States Yachtsman of the Year four times and San Diego Yachtsman of the Year seven times. As an author and publisher, Conner has recounted the motivation, teamwork and commitment to winning on and off the water in his books Learn to Sail, No Excuse To Lose, Comeback, The Art of Winning, The Official Record of Stars & Stripes 1987, The Official Record of Stars & Stripes 1988, The Official Record of Stars & Stripes 1992, Sail Like a Champion and Life’s Wining Tips. He is also the co-author of The America’s Cup: The History of Sailing’s Greatest Competition in the Twentieth Century, published in July 1998. In 1987, Conner combined his passion for sailing with his talent for business by starting Dennis Conner Sports, Inc. Over the years, he has worked with hundreds of major corporate clients on product endorsements, sailing events and sponsorships.

Mike Schlappi

There has never been such a powerful story to change so many people’s perspective on life than when Mike Schlappi is your motivational speaker. Mike shares his jaw-dropping experience of getting shot at point blank range in the chest and becoming paralyzed at the age of 14. His battle through recovery brought him to play basketball from a wheelchair and become a standout athlete. Mike’s thought-provoking keynote presentations challenges individuals of all ages that despite difficult circumstances, you can take response-ability and be empowered. Mike’s mission to help people get through difficult times has inspired thousands to be a stronger and better person and continues to do so.

Tom Flick

Dynamic leadership expert Tom Flick has garnered a reputation around the world as an authority on developing leaders, leading effective change and accelerating personal, team and organizational performance. Tom has the unique gift to connect with the audience’s heart as well as their head. He understands that people, not programs, help organizations change and grow. Tom has worked with a list of clients that includes Microsoft, Google, American Express, Amazon, NASA and the Pentagon. Tom draws on his leadership experience as a former NFL quarterback for seven seasons, his extensive work in corporate America, and his alliance with leadership guru, Dr. John Kotter. Tom provides actionable solutions to develop leaders, lead change, and drive performance. Tom has an exceptional ability to communicate clear business solutions combined with humor, wit and razor-sharp insight.

John Cassis

John Cassis brings a rare blend of humor, entertainment and content to being a motivational speaker. He shares his own experiences to show how to embrace change, face adversity and meet the daily pressures of life head-on! From being a professional baseball player to a minister, and the former inspirational speaker for the Chicago Bears, John uses his wide-ranged background and numerous stories to inspire listeners. He is a genuine and passionate professional speaker that truly wants to change the lives of his audience and guide them toward a path to re-energize their lives, careers and relationships.

Kevin Elko

Dr. Kevin Elko is the motivational Gatorade to the sports and corporate world who inspires breakthrough success by building it one brick at a time. He is a nationally renowned performance consultant, professional motivational speaker and author of two books: Nerves of Steel and The Pep Talk. Dr. Elko’s uplifting keynotes have quenched the motivational thirst of individuals and teams from the performance of collegiate and professional sports teams. His passion and desire to better every audience member’s life has created a craving for success that is undeniable once you leave.

Mitch Gaylord

Mitch Gaylord first thrilled the world in 1984 when he led the United States Olympic gymnastics team to its gold medal victory. With a strong entrepreneurial spirit, Mitch went on to create Gold Medal Fitness, LLC and the "Melt it OFF! with Mitch" workout program, which has been on-air for the last four years. Through this project, he personally motivated, trained, and inspired over 100 people to achieve their health and fitness goals by teaching them to "Embrace their Greatness." Mitch has been motivating and inspiring audiences worldwide for over 26 years; he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, associations, and students across the country. Mitch's personal mission is to inspire others to greatness through his presentations and products.

Seth Davis

Seth Davis is an award-winning writer, broadcaster and bestselling author who has distinguished himself as one of the nation’s foremost experts on college basketball. He is currently a Senior Writer for Sports Illustrated, and contributor to SI.com where he writes his popular “Hoop Thoughts” column during college basketball season. Since 2004, Seth has served as an on-air analyst for CBS Sports’ coverage of college basketball. Seth is also the author of two New York Times best sellers, Wooden: A Coach’s Life, and When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball. Seth draws upon his own experiences to provide audiences with a heartfelt and humorous motivational message on what it takes to become successful.

Larry Csonka

Larry Csonka and power running became synonymous in the NFL of the 1970's. As a player with the Miami Dolphins he charged so tenaciously through defenses that his name became a household word and his nickname, Zonk, became a new American verb. Larry continues to work in the “public eye” as host and producer of the outdoor adventure series, “North to Alaska". Larry has a tremendous story to tell and backs it up with a warm sincere and motivational approach that will have listeners on the edge of their seats. Larry will speak about the game, the players, coaching and starring moments of a great career. His audiences delight in his humor and leave feeling that they have always known him. Larry is more than a retired football player; he is a legend. He will leave your group with a renewed confidence to strive for perfection in any endeavor.

Roy Firestone

You cannot call Roy Firestone a typical sports speaker. His keynotes are collaborated with his talents as a singer and sports journalist to provide an entertaining and unforgettable performance. Roy has won seven prestigious Emmy® Awards spinning his own brand of magic with more than 5,000 men and women from the worlds of art, politics, and popular entertainment. The late Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Jim Murray called Firestone, "the best interviewer I've ever seen. That's not the best interviewer in sports, that's the best interviewer period." Roy’s talents are not limited to being a thoughtful interviewer. His successful one man multi-media show has appeared from Las Vegas to corporate meetings and conventions all over the country. Roy moves, inspires and uplifts audiences with storytelling, music, spoken word narratives and inspiring life experiences.

Derek Daly

Derek Daly epitomizes the complete champion. As a legendary Hall of Fame race car driver and network television color analyst, Daly has spent nearly three decades as the face of motorsports. For 17 years he was among the best professional drivers. Daly was almost killed in 1984, surviving the hardest crash impact a race driver has ever survived. After 14 surgeries and three years of therapy, he came back to win the biggest international races of his career. Daly then moved to a 20-year television broadcasting career. He now uses the analogy of racing to address business success and to identify the skills of winners. Daly is the best-selling author of Race to Win: How to Become a Complete Champion.

Jim Craig

Olympic history would not been made if it was not for Jim Craig. In 1980 Jim was the goal tender for the “Miracle on Ice” Team that brought the gold medal to America beating out the Soviet Union and Finland. His accomplishments did not stop there though. Jim then went on to be a professional hockey player and when retiring from the sport moved on to a career in marketing and later became president of Gold Medal Strategies, a promotion and marketing firm and a motivational speaker that inspires people from around the world. As a keynote speaker Jim uses his storytelling skills to motivate those around him. His topics on his Olympic Gold experience and current business success motivates his listeners and provides examples of how successful teambuilding can create more opportunities.

Dick Hoyt

This is not your typical motivational experience when you have Team Hoyt as your keynote. The father son duo of Dick and Rick has transformed the lives of many. They tell their compelling story of how they have completed over 1,000 athletic events around the world while fighting the challenges they faced with Rick’s disabilities. Rick was born as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy and as a non-speaking person, but his spirit and mind have always been strong. Rick’s father, Dick travels the country with him to speak for corporate and community events to educate them about disability awareness and to promote their inspiring motto: “Yes You Can.” After hearing their motivational seminars you will walk away with a greater desire to achieve.

Peter Guber

As one of the most successful executives in the entertainment and communications industry, Peter Guber is the founder and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, the visionary multimedia venture spanning movies, TV, sports, and news media. He has also produced films such as Rain Man, Batman, Flashdance and The Color Purple and is author of Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story, which reach #1 on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists. Guber has dedicated himself to empowering current and future leaders by showing them how the influence of oral narrative can bring you further in business. You will be able to learn the power of your own story and be prepared to share it once you leave the room.

Greg Gumbel

It is very likely that you know that face and voice to the name of Greg Gumbel. As one of the most outstanding and seasoned broadcaster in the sports entertainment industry, Greg has covered the NFL and college football, Major League Baseball, the Daytona 500, the World Figure Skating Championships, the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. When he is not being a sports journalist, Greg is a motivational speaker to groups across the nation. Sharing his thoughts and stories to his audiences have inspired many as they listen to his vibrant and passionate anecdotes.

Peter McLaughlin

Peter has developed a toolbox of great ideas both ancient and new to help people and companies move through the maze of 21st century challenges and opportunities. Peter McLaughlin’s mission in life is to help people maximize their productivity and quality of life. A poll conducted among top corporations named Peter McLaughlin, along with Tom Peters and Peter Drucker, as one of the best business speakers in the nation. (Source: Journal of Business Strategy). Peter is author of the book CatchFire: A 7-Step Program to Ignite Energy, Defuse Stress, and PowerBoost Your Performance, and co-author of the book Mentally Tough: The Principles of Winning at Sports Applied to Winning in Business. For twenty years, he has studied the leading research on individual and team performance, and created programs to help businesspeople improve their effectiveness.

John Naber

John Naber became America’s most decorated athlete at the 1976 Games in Montreal, winning four gold medals and one silver medal. He set four world records in swimming at those games, which lasted an amazing seven years after his retirement. He was also the first swimmer in history to win two individual Olympic medals on the same day of competition. After his retirement from swimming, Naber quickly entered the broadcasting field, serving as expert analyst, play-by-play host or sideline reporter for over 35 different sports, filing reports at eight Olympic Games. He has worked for all major networks and most cable outlets during the past twenty-five years. For over a quarter century, Naber has delighted audiences with his stories of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary results in the area of life that is most important to them. Standing ovations attest to his ability to customize his remarks with humor, personal anecdotes and “Power Paragraphs” appropriate for every occasion. Naber consistently receives “gold medal reviews” from each of his clients.

Kay Koplovitz

Kay Koplovitz is the Founder of USA Networks and The SyFy channel and is the visionary who created the business model for cable networks by introducing the concept of two revenue streams – licensing and advertising. Kay is one of today’s leading women in business, as she led USA Network to first place in cable prime time ratings and it remained there for 14 years. Kay is the author of Bold Women, Big Ideas, which she wrote to inform and inspire women entrepreneurs to create wealth through equity. She is also the author of Been There, Run That, an anthology of best practices of leaders. She is a sought after motivational speaker on subjects ranging from women’s leadership, women’s entrepreneurship, capital formation, creating a human capital ecosystem, to emerging media and management. Most recently, in 2016, she co-founded Springboard Growth Capital to invest in Springboard Alumnae companies, leveraging the strong brand, deep entrepreneur relationships, and extensive mentor network built by Springboard Enterprises.

Vince Poscente

Use Vince Poscente’s expertise to your advantage. His against-all-odds Olympic strategy is powerful way to have your team reach BIG GOALS fast. Vince is a business guy who decided he would compete in the Olympics four years after his 26th birthday. At the age of 30 Poscente was vying for Gold, blasting down the mountain at an incredible 135 mph on skis. With his acumen for speedy goals, he soon became a New York Times bestselling author and Internationally award winning speaker. Vince Poscente will help you accelerate towards BIG GOALS in Short Order.

Vince Papale

Philadelphia through and through, Vince Papale is a true local hero. His story - that you should never give up and always continue to pursue your dreams - embodies the spirit of Philadelphia and serves to empower anyone who has ever been told they can’t achieve their goals. In 1976, at the age of 30, Vince tried out for the Philadelphia Eagles, made the team, and became the oldest rookie in the history of the NFL. He still holds that record! He was with the Eagles for four seasons as a wide receiver before a shoulder injury ended his career in 1979. While active, he was voted special teams captain by his teammates and in 2007 he was voted the most outstanding special teams player in the 75-year history of the Eagles. In 2006, Disney released a movie about Vince called "Invincible" that opened to rave reviews finishing #1 at the box office two weeks in a row! Vince's inspirational journey from humble working class beginnings and troubled home life, to successful professional athlete and businessman is a story that audiences of all demographics will relate to. His topics include “Hold Fast to Dreams”, which explores Vince Papale's Cinderella rise from 30-year old Philadelphia Eagles season ticket holder to Philadelphia Eagles football player, the stuff that dreams are made of. Vince's story will certainly inspire anyone who is privileged enough too hear one of his motivational speeches.

Rudy Ruettiger

Against all odds on a gridiron in South Bend, Indiana, Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, in twenty-seven seconds, carved his name into the history books as perhaps the most famous graduate of the University of Notre Dame. In 1993, Tristar pictures immortalized his life with the blockbuster film "Rudy." Today, as a highly sought after motivational speaker, Rudy entertains international corporate audiences with a unique, passionate, and heartfelt style of communicating. Rudy will re-ignite the fire for 'The Dream" in your group, inspire your people to develop goals and work together as a team. Rudy's personal experiences of adversity and triumph together with his captivating personality and powerful message of "Yes I Can" will stay with your audience forever.

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