FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marty Maciaszek, NSGA Director of Communications
(847) 296-NSGA (6742), ext. 1260
DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS (February 18, 2020) – Herm Edwards has been linked with one of sports’ famous phrases for nearly 20 years.
“You play to win the game” was born out of a challenging stretch of Edwards’ coaching stint with the New York Jets in 2002. That phrase became the inspiration not only for his team’s amazing comeback to make the playoffs that season but for many others fortunate to be influenced by Edwards’ message.
Playing to win the game has personified Edwards’ life as a successful NFL player, NFL and college coach and national television analyst. It is an approach that will hit home with attendees of the National Sporting Goods Association’s (NSGA) 56th Annual Management Conference & 22nd Annual Team Dealer Summit in Phoenix, Arizona when Edwards serves as the kickoff keynote speaker of the event on Monday, May 18.
“Herm Edwards is a winner in every sense of the word and NSGA is excited to have a speaker of his caliber to share his inspirational message with our Management Conference attendees,” said Matt Carlson, NSGA President & CEO. “Herm has responded to some monumental challenges throughout his life with tremendous success and that will resonate well with those in the sporting goods industry facing their own challenges.”
Edwards just completed his second season as head coach at Arizona State and led the team to a Sun Bowl victory and an 8-5 record that included an upset of Rose Bowl champion Oregon. He defied skeptics who wondered if he could be successful on the sideline again by leading the Sun Devils to a bowl game in his first season after nine successful years as an NFL analyst for ESPN television and radio.
The ability to defy the odds was evident early in Edwards’ life as he played collegiately at the University of California and San Jose State but was not selected in the NFL draft. Edwards made the Philadelphia Eagles and started a 10-year career as a cornerback. That included a Super Bowl trip in 1980 and one of the most iconic moments in NFL history in 1978 when he returned a fumble in the final seconds for a touchdown to beat the New York Giants in a game known as “The Miracle at the Meadowlands.”
Edwards was the first graduate of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship in 1987 and eventually worked his way to become an NFL head coach for eight years with the Jets and Kansas City Chiefs from 2001-08. One of his four playoff teams was the 2002 Jets, who lost 5 of their first 7 games, but responded to Edwards’ “you play to win the game challenge” by winning 7 of their final 9 games and a Wild Card game.
In 2003, Edwards was named a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Positive Coaching Alliance, which has a content-sharing collaboration with NSGA, and he is also active in numerous charitable and philanthropic endeavors, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Herm Edwards Youth Foundation. He co-authored the book You Play to Win the Game – Leadership Lessons for Success On and Off the Field with ESPN’s Shelley Smith. He is a dedicated golfer who appeared on the Golf Channel’s original series “The Haney Project” with pro instructor Hank Haney, who spoke at NSGA’s 2017 Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit.
Coach Edwards continues NSGA’s tradition of presenting speakers unlike any event in the sporting goods industry, including basketball Hall of Famers Bill Walton and coaches Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Tom Izzo of Michigan State, legendary baseball iron man Cal Ripken, Jr., world champion boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and outspoken golf analyst David Feherty. Registration is open for the Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit at nsga.org/events/conference2020/.
There will be more announcements coming about the rest of the speaker lineup and education sessions for the Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit. Speed Networking, which has become one of the most popular features of the event, will return Monday afternoon as retailers and team dealers have the opportunity to talk with manufacturers in a series of short, structured meetings.
The Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony will cap off the event on Tuesday evening with the induction of Peter Capolino (Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Company), Robert Greenberg (Skechers) and Klaus Obermeyer (Sport Obermeyer). Capolino pioneered the sports replica jersey business, Greenberg was instrumental in re-shaping the footwear industry and Obermeyer was an innovator in the ski industry. For more information on the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame, please visit nsga.org/hall-of-fame/.
The National Sporting Goods Association has served as the leading voice for the sporting goods industry since 1929. NSGA is devoted to providing a competitive edge to sporting goods retailers and team dealers through industry leading research, networking, advocacy, and unmatched customer support. For more information about membership or NSGA’s products and services, please visit nsga.org.
About the NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit
The NSGA Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit is the longest-running and most successful leadership event in the sporting goods industry. Top executives and decision makers from sporting goods retailers, team dealers, manufacturers, sales agencies and industry supporting vendor companies gather for education, best-in-class networking, dynamic speakers and industry recognition at the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame induction. For more information, visit nsga.org/events/conference2020/.