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2021 Pulse Conference
The UCLA Anderson Pulse Entertainment, Sports & Technology Conference brings together leading executives to share insights and perspective on the current trends, opportunities and challenges impacting the entertainment, sports and technology industries.

The 2021 Pulse Conference was held the week of February 22-26, 2021.



20/20 Foresight

How the past year will shape the future of media, entertainment and sports

2021 Pulse Conference

Hosted by the Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports (MEMES) at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the Pulse Conference showcases influential executives and innovators in media, technology and sports. The 2021 conference will take place virtually and will explore how the pivots, inventions and learnings of 2020 will shape the entertainment, media and sports ecosystem over the next five years and beyond. We will also provide unique mentoring and networking opportunities, announce the winners of our annual entertainment case competition (hosted in partnership with Paramount) and share a featured conversation with the winners of our 2021 Game- Changer Award.   

Join us as we discuss emerging consumer experiences, the impact of direct-to-consumer (D2C) and the shift to streaming, the evolution of brand partnerships, diversity and inclusion, and more.

Animation Summit:

February 22-23, 2021

5:30pm – 9:00pm (CET)

8:30am  - 12noon (PST)


The animation summit is a semi-annual summit in two creative hubs of the world: LA and Berlin. Hosted by UCLA, Baby Giant Hollyberg and Truffle Time, the conference's focus is to broaden the understanding of animation as an asset class.  Additionally, the summit serves as a non-sales, industry exchange about the issues affecting animation and the potential impact animation can play in shaping the world's challenges.



Gary Bettman

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Bonin Bough
Chief Growth Officer,

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Day One - February 22, 2021

Time Session Participants
8:30 - 9:15 a.m.

Annimation Summit Welcome and Opening Presentation

Keynote by Heiko Nemmert

Colinne S. Bartel, Owner, AC Innovation GmbH

Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for MEMES

9:30-10:30 a.m. Panel: Distribution Markets, Trends and Challenges 

Moderator:  Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for MEMES

Jason Grode, Manager and Founder, Grodehouse

Solveig Langeland, Principal Founder and Managing Director, Sola Media

10:30 - 10:45 a.m. BREAK
10:45 - 11:45 a.m. Panel: Environmental Animation, Educating the Next Generation 

Moderator:  Colinne S. Bartel, Owner, AC Innovation GmbH

Nurit Katz, UCLA Chief Sustainability Officer, Executive Officer of Facilities Management

Paulina Olsson, Co-Founder & CEO, Peppy Pals

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Open Discussion Round- End of Day 1

Digital Cocktail Reception  

Colinne S. Bartel, Owner, AC Innovation GmbH

Heiko Nemmert, CEO, Baby Giant Hollyberg

Day Two - February 23, 2021

Time Session Participants
8:30 - 9:15 a.m. Welcome and Opening Presentation: Day 2

Colinne Bartel, Owner, AC Innovation GmbH

Keynote: Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for MEMES

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

The Creators Panel

Moderator:  Heiko Nemmert, CEO, Baby Giant Hollyberg

John Attanasio, CEO & Co-Founder,  Toonstar

Jimmy Hayward, Writer, Director & Executive Producer

Andrew McNally, Director 

10:45- 11:30 a.m.  The Investors Panel

Moderator:  Colinne Bartel, Owner, AC Innovation GmbH

Dr. Barry L. Jenkins, CEO & Founder, Instant Interactive

Bill Noonan, Business Development Director, Choose New Jersey 

11:30 - 11:45 a.m. Wrap-Up & Summary

Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for MEMES

12:00 - 12:05 p.m. Pulse Conference Welcome

Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for MEMES

12:05 p.m. - 12:50 p.m. New Experiences in Media and its Sustainability 

Moderator: Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for MEMES

Bonin Bough, Chief Growth Officer, Triller

12:50 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Exploring the Consumer Shift: How will it impact what we used to think of as "TV"

Moderator: Eric  Johnson ('91), Founder & CEO,  WON WORLDWIDE

Cheryl Idell, Vice President, Consumer Insights, Netflix

1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Covid & Tech:Redefining the in-person experience

Brett Schneider, Senior Director, Brand Partnerships, Complex Network

Cay Young, VP Corporate Sponsorships, Los Angeles Sparks

Rachel Shapiro, SVP Marketing Strategy, Complex Network

Laura Petro, Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing,  Peloton

2:15 p.m. Expo Open

Day Three - February 24, 2021

Time Session


9:00 - 9:50 a.m. Wide World of Sports

David Dellea ('02), Head of Sports Business Advisory, PwC

Charlie Marshall, CEO, European Club Association

Frank Leenders, Director General, FIBA Media & Marketing Services

Sarai Bareman, Chief Women's Football Officer, FIFA

10:00 a.m. Expo Open
10:30 - 11:00 a.m. REAL Madrid: Building a Global Brand

Moderator: Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for MEMES

Alex Wicks, Global Head of Partnerships, Real Madrid C.F.

11:00 - 11:30 a.m. Innovator Showcase: PLLAY

Moderator: Irina Shames,  SVP, Head of Strategy & Revenue, 3BLACKDOT

Shawn Gunn, CEO & Co-Founder, PLLAY

11:30 - 12:30 p.m.

FANDOM-Audience & Fan Engagement: How Are Organizations Holding on to Their Fans

Moderator: Andy Campion (B.A. '93, '03), Chief Operating Officer, Nike Inc.

Gary Bettman, Commissioner, NHL

Francesco Aquilini (’94), Owner, Vancouver Canucks

12:30 - 1:15 a.m. Future of Sports in Los Angeles

Moderator: Terri Hines, EVP of Communications, FOX Sports 

Debbie Spander ('95), SVP, Media & Coaching, Wasserman

Cara Vanderhook, VP, Marketing & Communications, STAPLES Center & Microsoft Theater

Karina Herold, VP of Major Events, LA Sports & Entertainment Commission

Christy Castillo Butcher,Sr. VP, Programming & Booking, SoFi Stadium

4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Pulse Networking-Industry Professionals Hopin 
5:00 - 5:45 p.m. Understanding Culture Through Sport

Moderator: Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for MEMES

Ema Ryan Yamazaki, Documentary Film Producer

Day Four - February 25, 2021

Time Session Participants
9:00 - 9:40 a.m. Featured Speaker

Moderator: Rachel Souder-Arguedas ('17), Technologist and Innovation leader

Kathryn Bertine, Author, Activist, & Pro Cyclist, Stand: A Memoir on Activism

10:00 a.m. Expo Open
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Featured Conversation: Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Moderator: Sheila Marmon, Founder & CEO, Mirror Digital + Reflect Beauty

Corey Shepardson, VP of Finance & Accounting, Hello Sunshine

Sheereen M. Russell, Group Vice President, Ad Sales & Client Partnerships for Inclusion Audiences,  OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network

Andrea Smith, Director, Diversity Outreach, WarnerMedia

11:30 - 12:15 p.m. The Growth of Latin Music & Monetizing Opportunities

Jesus "Malverde" Gonazalez, President & Co-Founder, Sonus Agency

Marjorie Garcia, Esq., King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP

Richard Lom, Talent Agent, William Morris Endeavor

Gaby Herrera, Management for multi-platinum recording artist Prince Royce

Snow Tha Product, Successful Independent Mexican-American rapper, Singer and Actress

12:15 - 1:15 p.m. Women in Entertainment

Moderator: Torrie Harris (EMBA '21), Founder, Life after Sports and Entertainment

Bernetta Hardy (EMBA '21), Attorney, Business & Legal Affairs, ViacomCBS

Martha Saucedo (EMBA '21), Executive Vice President, External Affairs at AEG

Ashley McFarlin Buie, VP, Development, WE tv

Ryann Lauckner (EMBA '21), President & Chief Strategy Officer, Asylum Entertainment Group

1:15 - 2:15 p.m.

Open Networking


Day Five - February 26, 2021

Time Session Participants
9:00 a.m.

How To Break Into The Creative-Tech Industries And Stay Competitive

Moderatoe: Dr. Maya A. Beasley, Founder & President, T10 Group 

Andrea Berry, Senior Vice President & GM, TV & Film Group Production Resource Group(PRG)

La Mer Walker, Co-Founder & Chief Design Officer, Valence Enterprises

10:00 - 10:10 a.m. Welcome/Last Day Remarks Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for MEMES
10:10 - 10:55 a.m.  Featured Conversation: Social Media & New Experiences

Moderator: Cynthia Littleton, Reporter, Variety 

Josh Rebholz, Senior Associate Athletic Director, UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics

Dan August, Vice President of Strategy & Ticketing, Los Angeles Rams

Katrina Conn, GM, Customer Experience, Teradata

Simone Deocares-Lengyel, Sr. Director of Digital, Converse

10:55 - 10:55 a.m. Case Competition Award Howard Hseih, VP, Strategic Planning & Business Development, Paramount Picture
10:55 - 11:00 a.m. Game Changer Introduction (Video and Intro) Eric Johnson (B.A. '91), Founder & CEO, WON WORLDWIDE
11:00 - 11:45 a.m. Game Changer Conversation

Moderator: Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for MEMES

Elizabeth Williams, Secretary, WNBPA Atlanta Dream

Chiney Ogwumike, Vice President, WNBPA Los Angeles

11:45 - 12:15 p.m. Networking/Lunch
12:15 - 1:00 p.m. Careers in Entertainment & Sports (Students Only)

Moderator: Mark Francis, Instructor, UCLA Anderson Summer Institutes

Felisa Israel, CEO, 10Fold Entertainment

Arielle Moyal, Head of Baseball Marketing, PR & Digital Strategy, REP1 Sports

Sherí Barros , Chief Brand Strategist, Global Strategic Sports Alliances, American Cancer Society

Ted Yeschin, VP, Talent Marketing, Wasserman

12:15 - 1:00 p.m. Voices of Equity: Paving the way for Greater Representation in Media & Business

Moderator: Kerry Edelstein ('02), Founder, Reseach Narritive

Michaela Mora, President, Relevant Insights, LLC

Damion Taylor, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Prometheus Digital Studio

Candace Hokett, Lead Consultant & Founder, CHH Consulting

1:00 - 1:45 p.m.  Featured Conversation: The Power of Partnerships in Digital Media

Kelly Merryman, VP, Content Partnerships, YouTube

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Speed Mentoring Session

MBA Students

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Pulse Networking/Expo

UCLA Undergraduates

2021 Pulse Conference Highlights
2020 Pulse Conference Highlights

2020 Pulse Conference Highlights

Pulse 2020 Game Changer Award Recipient Ice Cube

Keynote Conversation with Mark Zoradi, CEO, ’80, Cinemark

Keynote Conversation with David Linde, CEO, Participant 

Innovator Spotlight: Monetizing Influence

Building Global Sports Brands

Fandango Panel

Global Research: Streaming

Innovator Spotlight: Building Global Brands

Gaming and Esports 

The Next Beat: Latin Music

Getting Pacific: Launching Entertainment Initiatives in Asia

Brands Partnerships & Monetization

At Home in L.A. and True to Himself, Ice Cube Reflects

The award-winning sports and entertainment powerhouse is UCLA Anderson’s 2020 Game Changer

About Pulse 2020

Hosted by the Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports (MEMES) at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the Pulse conference is the ultimate forum for strategic discussion, game-changing insights and career-altering networking opportunities. The 2020 theme was Monetizing the Global Audience. We explored how the increasingly global market for media, entertainment and sports has transformed the industry by creating new opportunities for innovation, new consumer experiences and new business models. Presenters focused on a number of topics, including:

  • Delivering Direct to the Global Consumer: Growing Streaming Platforms Beyond the United States
  • The Power of the Global Franchise: Monetizing Sequels, Franchises, Blockbusters and IP in the Global Filmed Entertainment Market
  • The Power of Brands and Partnerships
  • The Rise of the Latin Consumer in Music, TV and Film
  • Gaming and eSports: What We Can Learn from Asia and Beyond
  • Winning Overseas: Bringing Major World Sporting Events to U.S. Markets

The annual event attracts roughly 500 students, business professionals and entrepreneurs, and benefits from the participation of influential business leaders and legends in the entertainment industry. Past presenters include Jeffrey Katzenberg, founder of Quibi and co-founder of DreamWorks SKG; Susanne Daniels, global head of original content at YouTube;  John Penotti, producer of Crazy Rich Asians; Jerry Bruckheimer, award-winning television and film producer; Kevin Lin, chief operating officer of Twitch; and Debra L. Lee, former chairman and CEO of BET Holdings Inc. (More on Pulse)