LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Four University of Tampa alums attended the annual Hashtag Sports festival and sports business conference in Las Vegas, Nevada this past week.

The Hashtag Sports conference is a three-day event, centered around the sports and entertainment industry for business professionals. This event is highlighted by panels of CEOs from various sports leagues, as well as senior executives in marketing, digital design, and major companies around the country. The festival is also highlighted by the Hashtag Sports Awards red carpet show that awarded the top innovative, creative and transformative organizations and individuals in the industry.

Recent University of Tampa graduates and entrepreneurs, Daniel Guthrie, Chris Tulley, Jake O’Donnell and Marc Whitaker took on the event as an opportunity to promote their own brands to industry leaders.

UT entrepreneurs and members of the 2022 graduating class, Jake O’Donnell and Marc Whitaker founded EAMG Sports and Maverick Media Group respectively. Industry professionals and 2021 UT Sport Management graduates, Daniel Guthrie and Chris Tulley each work for sports agencies in the Tampa Bay area and specialize in brand partnerships, consulting and business development.

While O’Donnell and Guthrie attended the event on behalf of EAMG Sports, which is a startup marketing agency focused on the Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) of student-athletes, graduating class of 2022 and EAMG founder, O’Donnell sought out the event in an effort to network and promote the company which currently serves over 25 student-athletes around the country.

Class of 2021 and MBA candidate, Guthrie serves as a brand consultant for the company, striving to help the company gain exposure through public and media relations, as well as brand partnerships. Whitaker founded Maverick Sports Media, a subsidiary of Maverick Media Group, shortly after winning the 2022 Alan Weimer Entrepreneur of the Year award. This company works as a sports and entertainment media agency, specializing in branded content and athlete storytelling.

Tulley serves as the Partnerships Manager at Distinction Agency which is a full-service marketing agency that specializes in brand partnerships, public relations, social media and influencer and athlete marketing.

On Wednesday during the conference week, Distinction Agency partnered with Hashtag Sports and Dapper Labs to host a VIP party at Drai’s Nightclub, aimed at connecting industry leaders. The idea of the party started with a single tweet by Distinction Agency CEO Alex Onaindia, then came to life only a month later. Party attendees included industry executives, agents, athletes, influencers, and more. The night included over 200 attendees and allowed industry leaders to come together and network in a social and engaging environment while being in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.

Guthrie, O’Donnell, Tulley and Whitaker look to continue their collaboration, making individual and collective marks in the sports industry.