As we gear up for this summer’s Game Plan conference in Los Angeles, get to know the leaders shaping the conversation.
In a first-of-its-kind partnership, CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and Boardroom, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s premier media brand covering the business of sports, music, and entertainment, are teaming up to produce Game Plan, an all-new, high-powered event taking place on July 25 in Los Angeles focused on what drives today’s teams, leagues, and fans in a rapidly evolving world.
So, who are the innovators and thought leaders shaping this special engagement?
Check out the full list of confirmed CNBC x Boardroom Game Plan participants below.
Who’s Headed to the CNBC x Boardroom Game Plan Event?
Co-founder, Boardroom / Two-time NBA champion
Kevin Durant is a 14-year NBA veteran and 13-time All-Star forward for the Phoenix Suns. He is a two-time NBA Champion and Finals MVP, having also won an NBA MVP Award, four NBA scoring titles, three Olympic gold medals, two NBA All-Star Game MVP awards, and the 2008 NBA Rookie of the Year award. He is also a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
Off the court, Durant is co-founder of Thirty Five Ventures (35V) alongside business partner Rich Kleiman. Founded in 2016, 35V incorporates the duo’s business entities across sports, tech, media, philanthropy, and more, including the Boardroom media network. Through 35V, he holds ownership stakes in sports organizations and teams including Athletes Unlimited, League One Volleyball, the Premier Lacrosse League, the NWSL’s NJ/NY Gotham FC, Philadelphia Union of MLS, and Major League Pickleball’s Brooklyn Aces.
Other key 35V/Boardroom projects include the critically acclaimed scripted series Swagger in partnership with Imagine Entertainment and Apple TV+, the Academy-Award-winning short film Two Distant Strangers (Netflix), and Emmy-nominated documentary NYC Point Gods (Showtime).
As the founder of the Durant Family Foundation, he oversees signature programs including Build It and They Will Ball, a global basketball court renovation project with 28 courts completed to date, and the Durant Center, a 10-year, $10 million dollar program in partnership with College Track that helps low-income and underserved students enroll and graduate from college.
Co-founder and CEO, Boardroom and 35V
A longtime manager to Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman co-founded 35V alongside Durant in 2016. The company now includes the duo’s business entities, including Boardroom, Durant’s NBA contracts, and his personal brand and marketing partnerships. 35V’s investment portfolio includes over 100 early-stage investments across sports, technology, finance, media, and more.
In addition to serving as an executive producer on award-winning film and television projects, Kleiman hosts his own show at Boardroom, “Out of Office.” Kleiman also serves as the Executive Director of the Durant Family Foundation in support of underserved and low-income families and youth across the globe.
Before co-founding 35V and Boardroom, Kleiman helped launch Roc Nation Sports, where he served as Vice President of the agency founded by Jay-Z. He first began with Roc Nation in 2008 as a music manager representing artists like Mark Ronson, Solange, Meek Mill, and Wale.
Commissioner, National Women’s Soccer League
Jessica Berman has served as Commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League since 2002. She joined the NWSL after more than two years as Deputy Commissioner and Executive Vice President of Business Affairs at the National Lacrosse League.
Prior to her time with the NLL, Berman spent 13 years with the National Hockey League as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel and subsequently as VP of Community Development, Culture, and Growth. She was additionally the Executive Director of the nonprofit NHL Foundation.
Andrew Ross Sorkin
CNBC Squawk Box co-anchor / New York Times journalist
Andrew Ross Sorkin, who co-anchors signature CNBC morning program Squawk Box every weekday, is additionally a financial columnist for The New York Times and the editor-at-large of DealBook, a financial news brand he founded that the Times now publishes.
Sorkin is the author of the best-selling, award-winning 2009 book Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves that captured the key moments of the 2008 housing market crash and ensuing financial crisis.
He co-produced a film adaptation of Too Big to Fail for HBO that received 11 Primetime Emmy Award nominations and went on to co-create the original drama series Billions for the premium network alongside Brian Koppelman and David Levien.
Executive Director, National Basketball Players Association
As Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), Tamika L. Tremaglio works to ensure that NBA players’ rights are protected and that they receive fair compensation for their work as global ambassadors for the league and the sport.
Tremaglio’s four-year term as Executive Director began in January 2022. Prior to joining the NBPA, she served as Managing Principal for Deloitte’s Greater Washington offices, where she supervised a team of 15,000 audit, tax, advisory, and consulting experts.
Jimmy Pitaro became Chairman of ESPN in February 2023, where he oversees operations and finances for the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” and various Walt Disney Company platforms, including sports channels, creative development, marketing, sales, distribution, and technology.
He previously served as Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content, from October 2020 and ESPN President and co-chair of Disney Media Networks from March 2018 following eight years as a senior Disney executive.
Co-Founder and CEO, Gamma
A radio station intern at age 11 and a program manager by 17, Gamma’s Larry Jackson has already lived several lives in the industry. A record label executive with Arista/RCA and Interscope, Jackson eventually moved over to Beats by Dre to work alongside mentor Jimmy Iovine to shape the platform that would one day become Apple Music, where he served as Global Creative Director and Head of Content.
Jackson received a 2009 Grammy Award for his work on Jennifer Hudson’s self-titled album, as well as a Clio for an Apple Music advertising campaign starring Taylor Swift. In 2016, he was named to Billboard’s “40 Under 40” honor roll.
Gamma, Jackson’s newest project, is a media company and record label backed by funding from Apple, A24, and Todd Boehly’s Eldridge that already counts Rick Ross and Usher among its artist signings. The company aims to prioritize long-term licensing to provide artists more control over their work. The company is additionally involved in producing podcasts and films and is opening an international office in Lagos, Nigeria.
Chairman and CEO, Liontree
Aryeh B. Bourkoff founded investment and merchant bank LionTree in 2012 to advise and invest in the companies shaping the digital future. LionTree works with leading entrepreneurs and investors on mergers and acquisitions, asset management, and navigating capital markets through its bespoke combination of strategic insights and global reach.
Before LionTree, Bourkoff spent 13 years at UBS, where he most recently served as Vice Chairman and Head of Americas Investment Banking.
Aryeh sits on the boards of directors for Yahoo, Gagosian, and Carnegie Hall and the boards of trustees for the Paley Center for Media and the Royal Academy of Arts. He is additionally a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Clara Wu Tsai
Vice Chair, BSE Global / Governor, New York Liberty
Through BSE Global, Clara Wu Tsai and husband Joe Tsai own majority interests in the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, the WNBA’s New York Liberty, and the National Lacrosse League’s San Diego Seals.
She is additionally a prolific philanthropist in support of science, the arts, and social justice causes with the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation. Wu Tsai’s work seeks to confront income inequality, institutionalized racism, and criminal justice reform.
A champion of advancing research in brain science, her efforts helped to create dedicated institutes of study in the field at Stanford and Yale. Along the way, Wu Tsai has also executive produced three feature films, including the 2022 WNBA documentary Unfinished Business.
Co-founder and President, Premier Lacrosse League
A two-time NCAA national champion in lacrosse at Johns Hopkins, Paul Rabil went on to star in both Major League Lacrosse and the National Lacrosse League while he gradually spread his wings as the leader of a nonprofit foundation and an investment company.
His greatest work to date culminated in 2019, however, when the new Premier Lacrosse League he co-founded with his brother, Mike, played its very first game.
Through the league, Rabil sought to expand not just financial opportunities, but television visibility for the game’s best athletes. The PLL’s fifth season began on June 3, 2023, and its broadcast on ABC generated the largest-ever viewing audience for an outdoor pro lacrosse game.
Co-managing Partner, Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment / Global Head, Tactical Opportunities, Blackstone Inc.
With a visionary tenure at Blackstone dating back to 1991, David Blitzer has built a reputation on identifying and executing a truly timely investment — look no further than his sprawling sports portfolio.
Alongside Josh Harris, he operates Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, whose holdings run the gamut from the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils to London-based Premier League soccer club Crystal Palace and MLS side Real Salt Lake.
Co-Head, Basketball, CAA Sports
Jessica Holtz Steinberg represents several of basketball’s biggest stars, including Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns, Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics, and Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2018, she was selected as one of Sports Business Journal’s “Game Changers” recognizing influential women in sports.
In addition to representing future Hall of Famer Chris Paul on his off-court ventures, she made history in the summer of 2022 in negotiating “supermax” contract extensions for Booker and Towns, finalizing both deals on the same day.
Global Editorial Director, GQ
After getting his start at The Fader, Will Welch’s keen aesthetic eye and authoritative profile stories propelled him to GQ in 2007. He became Editor-in-chief of GQ Style in 2015 before taking the Creative Director and EIC reins at GQ proper three years later, spearheading the brand’s digital transformation across multimedia and social platforms.
In 2020, Welch ascended to Global Creative Director as part of a journey he described to Rich Kleiman on Boardroom’s “Out of Office.”
Earlier this year, he facilitated the launch of the GQ Sports Style Hall of Fame at Super Bowl week in Arizona, ringing in the occasion with inaugural inductees Allen Iverson, Derek Jeter, and Deion Sanders.
Global Creative Advisor, NJ/NY Gotham FC
As a goalkeeper for the US Women’s National Team, Ashlyn Harris was part of two FIFA World Cup championships. After announcing the end of her 14-year professional soccer career following a farewell NWSL season with NJ/NY Gotham FC in 2022, she transitioned to a newly-created role that now finds her guiding the creative and artistic spirit of the club.
It’s merely the latest tally for a prolific personality who has already made waves partnering with brands like Adidas, Thom Browne, and Tag Heuer.
2022-23 NBA Rookie of the Year, Orlando Magic
After emerging as a McDonald’s All-American in his native Seattle and growing into a can’t-miss pro prospect at Duke University, the Orlando Magic made Paolo Banchero the No. 1 overall pick at the 2022 NBA Draft. He quickly delivered on their investment by averaging 20 points per game in his first season, earning Rookie of the Year honors.
Banchero already owns a high-profile endorsement deal with Jordan Brand. Away from the court, he can be seen in advertisements for the Columbia Pictures feature film Gran Turismo based on the hit video game franchise of the same name.
Pro Tennis Player
One of the most colorful, unforgettable figures in tennis today, Nick Kyrgios experienced a breakout campaign in 2022 when he won the Australian Open doubles title before storming all the way to the championship match at Wimbledon, his first appearance in a Grand Slam singles final.
Along the way, he became the first player to sign a representation deal with the EVOLVE agency co-founded by Naomi Osaka.
Off the court, Kyrgios endorses Nike and is a founding contributor of the sports media brand AthletesVoice.
CEO, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (Los Angeles Rams, Denver Nuggets, Arsenal FC, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids)
Who’s had a hotter run as a sports owner over the past two years than E. Stanley Kroenke? After opening 2022 with a Rams Super Bowl title, the NHL’s Avalanche won the Stanley Cup mere months later. Rolling into 2023, he watched Arsenal FC mount its best Premier League campaign in years before the Nuggets won their first-ever NBA title in June.
A Missouri native, Kroenke’s original claim to fame was as a commercial real estate developer. These days, his sports and entertainment holdings additionally include the National Lacross League’s Colorado Mammoth and two esports organizations: Los Angeles Gladiators (Overwatch League) and Los Angeles Guerrillas (Call of Duty League.)
WNBA player, Los Angeles Sparks / Executive Committee, Athletes Unlimited
Lexie Brown was an NCAA All-American at both Maryland and Duke — a first in college hoops history — before becoming a top-10 WNBA Draft pick in 2018. She experienced a special kind of breakthrough in 2021, however, when she became both a WNBA champion with the Chicago Sky and a co-founder of innovative sports organization Athletes Unlimited, which is now home to women’s professional leagues in basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, and softball.
Vice President, Prime Video / Global Head of Sport, Amazon
A former technical advisor to Jeff Bezos and one of the key figures that first brought the Kindle e-reader to market, Jay Marine was already a seasoned Amazon veteran before taking on the mission of molding Prime Video into a major player in global marketplace for live sports.
After overseeing the brand’s breakthrough investment in Premier League streaming rights in the UK, he now works to expand Prime Video’s presence in the NFL — highlighted by its exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football — the WNBA, and beyond.
Co-owner, Colorado Rockies
A construction executive for nearly 50 years, Linda Alvarado is a true trailblazer for women and Hispanic Americans in the boardroom. A co-owner of the Colorado Rockies since 1991, her company oversaw the construction of both the Denver Broncos’ home stadium — currently known as Empower Field at Mile High — and the 2.2 million square foot Colorado Convention in downtown Denver.
Alvarado additionally sits on multiple Fortune 500 boards of directors, including PepsiCo and 3M.
Founder, Major League Pickleball
A veteran of the hedge fund world, Steve Kuhn helped grow Two Harbors Investment Corp. and Pine River Capital Management to a combined market cap of $18 billion before setting his sights on an ascendant sport.
Kuhn founded Major League Pickleball in 2021 and has since seen it grow to 16 teams to date, boasting a list of team owners and investors that includes Draymond Green, Kevin Love, Boardroom and 35V’s Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman, and LeBron James.
Co-founder, EVOLVE Agency
Representing Naomi Osaka under the IMG banner for more than a decade, agent Stuart Duguid watched as the tennis superstar exploded onto the scene, helping her negotiate a breakthrough Nike deal on her way to becoming the highest-earning woman on
A former Sports Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree, he would later become proper business partners with the athlete/mogul as co-founder of their very own talent agency, EVOLVE, and production company Hana Kuma.