2024 PULSE Conference

The UCLA Anderson PULSE Entertainment, Sports & Technology Conference brings together leading executives to share insights and perspectives on the current trends, opportunities and challenges impacting the entertainment, sports and technology industries. This will be a HYBRID event. 

March 1, 2024

UCLA Anderson

Hosted by the Center for Media, Entertainment & Sports at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, the Pulse Conference showcases influential executives and innovators in media, technology and sports.

The conference will kick-off on Friday, May 1st from 8:00-5:00 PM (PST) at UCLA Anderson School of Management.

This year's 2024 conference will also be a HYBRID event and will be livestreamed.

Throughout the event, attendees can get a glimpse of what’s next in a setting that allows for candid and authentic dialogue and connection. The 2024 experience will include the following:

  • Integration of blockchain applications within growth business models across entertainment, sports and music companies

  • Key leader discussion on the future of audience measurement in media and drivers of new analytics and a new currency

  • Exploration of the newly unveiled NIL (name, image and likeness) business and the transformation of amateur athletics and the influencer economy

  • Beyond Economics: How addressing the challenge of inclusion in Hollywood impacts culture, community and commerce

  • Streaming: Futurecasting: How the streaming experiments during the pandemic will shape the future of movies and movie marketing

8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Check in/Breakfast
8:20 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.
Inventing the Future
A Book Talk With Beverly Macy
9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.
Jay Tucker
, Executive Director, Center for Media, Entertainment & Sports

9:10 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.
Kickoff Session: Rise of the Production Companies

Panel Description: Production companies are fresh stories and new passion to Hollywood - and opening up significant opportunities in the industry. This conversation will focus on how production companies are reshaping the industry and their impact on creators and investors.

Moderator: Brian Frons, Instructor, Center for Media, Entertainment & Sports

  • Liz Jenkins, COO, Hello Sunshine
  • Tommy Oliver, Founder & CEO, Confluential Films
  • Carmen Bona ('12), Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, United Talent Agency (UTA)
9:50 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Exploring the Intersection of Sports, Media, Entertainment, NFTs and Web3

Panel Description: The intersection of sports, media, and entertainment has always been a dynamic one, constantly evolving with new technologies and platforms. With the advent of NFTs and Web3, the potential for innovation and disruption in this space is greater than ever before. This panel will bring together industry experts to discuss the current state of the industry and the potential future of this intersection. Topics of discussion will include the use of blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the sports and entertainment industries, the impact of Web3 on the fan experience, and the potential for new business models in the digital age. Join us for a thought-provoking and informative discussion on the intersection of these exciting industries.

Moderator: Beverly Macy, Author "Imagine That...From PCs to NFTs" 

  • Ian Brown, ACIB Management-NIL/NFT Sports Management 
  • Shira Lazar, Emmy Nominated Host/Web3, Women in Web3
  • Natalia Aranovich, IP, Attorney 
10:30 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.
10:45 a.m. – 11:25 p.m.

The Power of Franchises:

Major franchises continue to attract fans, and monetizing them goes way beyond the screen. In this session we'll explore licensing, brand partnerships, fandom and more.

  • Jennifer Rogers Doyle, SVP Franchise Management, Disney
  • Asa Tait, Head of Creative Production, Lego
  • Fede Goldenberg, Global Head, TV & Film AVOD Partnerships, YouTube
  • Amy Castillo ('09), Former Disney Brand Strategy and Franchise Management, Marvel and Star Wars
11:25 p.m. –11:35 p.m.

Game Changer Announcement

Eric Johnson (UCLA '91), Faculty Director, Center for Media, Entertainment & Sports 

11:35 p.m. –12:15 p.m.

Game Changer Conversation 
Donna Langley DBE, Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group
Moderated by Jay Tucker (’09), Executive Director, Center for Media, Entertainment & Sports, UCLA Anderson
12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
1:15 – 1:55 p.m.

Video Game Engines & Virtual Production 

The use of virtual production and other emerging technologies enables new ways of telling stories in film & tv. In this session we'll explore the impact of the technologies and how they impact the process of content creation.

Miles Perkins (UCLA '91), Unreal Engine Business Director, Media &  Entertainment, Epic Games

Aaron L. Gilbert, Co-Founder, BRON 

1:55 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.

All the Way Live: The Future of In-Person Experiences 

The pandemic disrupted in-person entertainment experiences, which bring joy to audiences and are central to the business models of many entertainment providers. In this session, we'll explore how the emergence of new technologies and business models will accelerate the return of audiences to theaters, sporting arenas, and live events.

Moderator: Matthew Pierce ('09), CEO, Versus Systems

Nikkole Denson-Randolph, Senior Vice President of Content  Strategy and Inclusive Programming, AMC Theaters

2:25 p.m. – 3:05 p.m.

Beyond the Game: Trends in Games: Publishers, Partners, Gamers 

New experiences and technologies including web3, have created opportunities for fan engagement and revenue generation. In this session, we'll talk about some of the trends that matter in interactive entertainment.

Moderator: Kevin Winston, Founder, Digital LA

Rickey Pinkney aka Ardo, CEO & Guild Commander, Final Frontier

Alissa Smith, Senior Game Designer, Survios

Anne Toole, Writers Guild Award Winning Writer 

Zsuzsa James, Consulate General of Finland in Los Angeles, Senior Trade Commissioner, Interactive Media  

3:10 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

It's Different in the ’20s: Reaching and Engaging Your Audience in 2023 and Beyond

Streaming, subscription services, playlists and recommendation engines have disrupted the ways that brands use entertainment experiences to reach consumers. How are brands using technology, innovative activations and entertainment partnerships to help consumers discover and connect with products and experiences they will love?

Moderator: Amanda Kozlowski, EVP Marketing, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group

Darnell Brisco, EVP, Head of Growth, BOND
Shelby Powell (’11), Vice President, Global Brand Marketing Dolls Portfolio, Mattel, Inc.
David Benoit, Vice President, Art & Science Partners, Inc.
Tulani André, Global Lead, Social & Editorial, Prime Video & Amazon Studios

3:50 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

How Linear TV Continues to Evolve: FAST

What is driving the explosion of free ad-supported streaming television (FAST)? The panel will explore the economic dynamics at play and some of the compelling opportunities to grow this business.

Moderator: Brian Hirsch ('14), Startup Advisor & Consultant

Tiina Piirsoo, VP, Business Development & Global FAST Strategy, Sony 
Laura Florence, SVP, GM Digital, Redbox, Crackle, Chicken Soup for the Soul

Harry Lang, VP, Product Management, Pluto TV

René Santaella ('00), Chief Digital & Streaming Officer, Estrella Media

4:30 p.m. – 5:10 p.m.
Innovation in the Music Business                
Lea Kozin ('10), Director of Brand Marketing, The Recording Academy
Nadir Contractor, SVP Digital Strategy & Business Development, Universal Music Group
Dani Deahl, Head of Communications & Creator Insights, BandLab
Sam Kling ('09), Chief Creative Officer,
Vickie Nauman, Founder & CEO, CrossBorder Works
5:10 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Closing Remarks
Jay Tucker
, Executive Director, Center for Media, Entertainment & Sports
2023 Game Changer
Donna Langley

Donna Langley DBE

Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group

As Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG), Donna Langley DBE is responsible for the global creative strategy and business operations for the motion picture group. In this role, she oversees the production, marketing and distribution for film and television content across Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation (DWA), Focus Features, Universal Pictures International and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

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