Founder and President
Grad Year: 1997
Grad School: The Wharton School
Grad Degree: MBA
Employer: Sports Business Intelligence
David Adams '97 has always sought out ways to blend his love of both sports and business. The Houghton College business major spent time taking courses in coaching and athletic training, even learning to tape ankles; outside of the classroom he played varsity and intramural sports. Adams did a marketing internship with the Buffalo Bills his senior year, and this catapulted him into a professional career in sports business.
"Pick something you love to do, and find someone to pay you to do it," Adams was told as a child. Clinging to these words, he pursued a career that combined his dual passions. Today Adams is the founder and president of Sports Business Intelligence, a web-based analytics solution that revolutionizes the way professional sports teams run their businesses.
S.B.I. is based on a multifunctional device, a sports analytic dashboard, which enables sports franchises to track and visualize trends in attendance, food concessions and merchandise sales, walkup ticket sales, total revenue, and other key indicators and compare these trends to each other and to previous years.
The dashboard was Adams' innovative idea. He traces the idea to a dashboard he created for an NBA team as part of a class project at The Wharton School, where he received his MBA.
"Use your opportunities to leverage what you want to do," Adams advises young entrepreneurs. "For me, I wanted to involve myself in sports, so I sought out sports internships and focused as many class projects as I could in sports. The projects I started in college and business school have launched me into running my own business now."
Adams has worked in a variety of professional sports, including soccer, football, baseball, and basketball, starting his professional career as an intern with the Buffalo Bills. Through S.B.I., Adams has brought in the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals, the NBA's Washington Wizards and WNBA's Washington Mystics as clients.
The value of an analytics dashboard, Adams claims, is the ability to know more about what is happening with your sports business than is really possible to track without automating data collection. His idea is catching fire, as SBI continues to expand its clients.
Adams is grateful to his lifelong family at Houghton for helping him advance his career. "The links from Houghton have been great; professors have provided continual support and advice, and alumni have supported me along the way as well."