UCLA quarterback Chase Griffin (center) talked about NIL deals (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The 2022 L.A. Sports Innovation Conference touched on several topics including community outreach, business opportunities, and NIL deals. Several big names in the sports industry shared their experiences and expertise through panel discussions.

2010 NBA champion Metta World Peace, two-time Olympic gold medalist and Angel City FC general manager Angela Hucles, former Dodgers star Adrian Gonzalez and former NBA player Josh Childress were on a panel talking about the businesses they run.

World Peace is the founder of Artest Management Group. He recalled having to learn coding to run his business.

Olympian and Angel City general manager Angela Hucles talked about building a young franchise (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

“I learned the language … so I can work with product managers, UX, UI, API’s, data capture, data analysts and how are you going to work with a team,” World Peace said. “When you’re a co-founder of a startup, you have to do a lot on your own.”

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While it is a young franchise that is trying to establish its culture, a key value that Angel City FC has is community outreach.

“We have a very innovative group and club,” Hucles said. “And I think part of the main reason of our success so far in year one is that ability to take something that has been around as the world’s most popular sport and to think about it differently.”

Metta World Peace talked about the Artest management group (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

L.A. Dodgers Foundation CEO Nichol Whiteman talked about how the foundation hosts outreach events in the community.

“I’m really excited to be here as a model sports team foundation really focused on deep impacts here in the Los Angeles community,” Whiteman said. “It’s a really nice opportunity to show that it’s bigger than baseball because of the partnerships that we created.”

UCLA quarterback Chase Griffin won the 2022 NIL Athlete of the Year.  He usually spends up to four hours a week managing his NIL deals and had to create content for the companies he works with.

“I look forward to, on the personal side, growing my business in the space,” Griffin said. “I think by being transparent, being authentic, and remaining an open book, I can help others follow in their own way on how to best navigate their own NIL journey.”

The conference also had a startup competition where five entrepreneurs presented their business plans to a panel of celebrity judges. Drink Barcode founder and CEO Mubarak Malik was the winner; he received a $120,000 cash prize.

Drink Barcode founder and CEO Mubarak Malik won the startup competition (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Ajay Nwosu used the conference to bring more awareness to Teqball. Nwosu is the president of Teqball USA.

“Teqball is essentially the purest use of a soccer ball, it’s soccer ping-pong. It can be played in singles or doubles,” he said.

L.A. County economic development corporation (LAEDC) COO Stephen Cheung presented the economic impact report of sports in Los Angeles. The various sporting events show youth the diverse amount of jobs they can get in the sports industry.

“To really showcase this information on this public stage allows us a platform to be able to tell the story that sports entertainment is not just about the football player or the basketball player,” Cheung said. “It’s about the everyday worker that’s basically making sure the stadium is able to move forward, the planning of the whole process.”