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Duncan Wardle Shares Disney Innovation Experience as Opening Speaker at 2021 Management Conference

NSGA News • July 29, 2021

DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS (July 29, 2021) – Duncan Wardle played an instrumental role in the innovation and creativity of Disney for three decades. Members of the sporting goods industry have the chance to learn from Wardle’s experiences in his Monday morning opening presentation, “Back In Action: Igniting a Culture of Innovation & Creativity,” on September 27 at the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida.

“It is exciting to have a speaker of Duncan Wardle’s caliber as we bring members of the sporting goods industry together again at this year’s Management Conference,” said Matt Carlson, NSGA President & CEO. “Duncan had a tremendous track record of success at Disney and it will be great to hear him share his experiences with our attendees. His presentation is extremely important at a time where our industry’s leaders are looking at every opportunity to ‘capture lightning in a bottle’ as we recover from the global pandemic.”

Wardle retired from Disney in 2017 and founded iD8 and innov8 to help people and businesses tap into their inner entrepreneur with a simple set of tools to innovate. He started at Disney as an intern in 1987 and rose to Head of Innovation and Creativity in 2008. His team helped Imagineering, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Disney Parks to innovate and create magical new storylines and experiences for consumers around the world.

Wardle shares his Disney experience with his unique Design Thinking process which helps companies embed a culture of innovation into everyone’s DNA. Design Thinking helps place the end user at the core of the creative thinking process and looks at ways to uncover insights for innovation and help create fresh thinking and disruptive ideas.

Wardle is a multiple TedX speaker and contributor to Fast Company magazine. He teaches innovation Master Classes at Yale, North Carolina, Duke and Florida. He received the American Citizen of Choice Award at the White House in 2008 and holds the Duke of Edinburgh Award presented by Queen Elizabeth.

Registration is open for the 2021 NSGA Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit on September 26-28. Go to–team-dealer-summit/.

About the National Sporting Goods Association

Since 1929, the National Sporting Goods Association has been the leading voice and go-to resource for sporting goods retailers and dealers. NSGA helps the industry grow the business through research, advocacy and networking. For more information about membership or NSGA’s products and services, please visit

About the NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit

The NSGA Management Conference and Team Dealer Summit was first held in 1965 and 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.