Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer are among those who will share their expertise on the social, cultural and historical implications of sports at the second "A Mirror of our Culture: Sport and Society in America" conference, May 22-24.
The event is co-sponsored by the Packers and St. Norbert College and will take place at Lambeau Field and on the school's campus in De Pere, Wis. The conference will also include presentations by Milwaukee Brewers Vice President & General Counsel Marti Wronski, and Packers Radio Network broadcaster Wayne Larrivee.
Former Packers President Bob Harlan and former GM Ron Wolf will be part of a sports panel that will discuss "Resurrecting a Downtrodden Team: The Green Bay Packers From Post-Lombardi Famine to Model NFL Franchise." The moderator of the panel will be longtime sportswriter Cliff Christl. Larrivee will speak on the opening night of the conference about his experiences with the Packers and will also emcee events throughout the conference.
"Sports are unique compared to other industries," said Conference Director Kevin Quinn, who serves as associate academic dean and economic professor at St. Norbert. "As an industry, it is big business, but it also occupies our minds and it is part of our culture.
"The purpose of this event is it's clear who works in sports and who the academics are studying it, but the two groups spend far too little time talking to each other. They operate in different worlds, and this event brings everyone together to discuss the issues."
Last held in 2010 – the inaugural conference was headlined by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue – the event is international in scope. Attendees from Asia and Europe have registered for next month's conference.
Those who attend will also be provided with a private exhibition of the Packers' four Super Bowl rings, a guided tour of Lambeau Field, admission to the Packers Hall of Fame and screenings of sports-related films. While there are other sports conferences around the country that explore the cultural impact of athletics, Quinn said this will be a unique event. Total registration to the conference will be limited to 200 people.
"To get so many practitioners and academics in the same place is fairly focused," he said. "In looking at the cultural ramifications of sports, there certainly isn't anything else like this event, particularly bringing in so many big names. We've limited the amount of people who can attend to preserve the intimacy, so it's not a massive fan-fest atmosphere. It's not that there's anything wrong with a fan fest, it's just not what we're after with this."
Those who study sports will make presentations of academic papers, and there will also be panel discussions and exhibits on a wide range of sports-related topics. Attendees will be provided with a volume containing a collection of selected papers from the previous conference.
For more information, visit: https://www.snc.edu/sportandsociety. The conference fee of $195 includes access to all keynote speakers, concurrent sessions, as well as luncheons at Lambeau Field and at St. Norbert College. To register for the conference, visit: https://www.snc.edu/sportandsociety/secure/registration.html