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South by Southwest Invites the Jocks to the Party with SXsports

Wells Dunbar, KUT News

Though its average attendee is much older, you can think about South by Southwest like it was a high school: It’s got cool rockers, AV buffs (SXSW Film), tech geeks (SXSW Interactive), even straight-A students (SXSWedu) and crunchy granola-types (SXSW Eco).

Now South by Southwest has invited the jocks to the party.

For the past 25 years, SXSW has brought people together from across the world for a springtime celebration of music and networking. In 1994, organizers added film and interactive media to the program as a means of growth. And next year the festival will expand again to encompass a new genre of entertainment: sports, with the launch of SXsports.  

Though this new sports track may seem to diverge from the film, music & tech focus of festivals past, programmers describe the addition as an evolution of the festival’s mission. 

“The world of sports truly hits the sweet spot of SXSW, the vital intersection of entertainment and technology,” says SXSW’s Rebecca Feferman, “and we intend to approach it with the same forward-thinking and culturally relevant perspective we shine on all of our events.”

Over the years, SXSW has expanded from its small beginnings to become one of the country’s largest festivals. In addition to its annual March programming, it’s also launched an August offshoot in Las Vegas. And with this year’s festival awash in marketers pushing everything from Doritos to Playtex to Cap’n Crunch, SXsports is a new platform for companies to hawk their services and products. 

The inaugural SXsports panels take place March 7 through March 9. Featured speakers include sports entrepreneur Peter Guber, Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons, and statistics whiz Nate Silver

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