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Sports Speakers With Lessons On Leadership & Teamwork

Sports keynote speakers

When it comes to stories that bring to life the themes of refusing to quit, working together, leadership, and expecting the unexpected, speakers from the world of sports always deliver. Sports keynote speakers are able to use lessons from their lives and experiences to both entertain and inspire audiences around the world.

Here are several speakers with backgrounds playing for, coaching, commenting on, and managing major sports franchises:

  1. John Riggins
  2. Mike Greenberg
  3. Tim Howard
  4. Laila Ali
  5. Susan O'Malley
  6. Dawn Hudson
  7. Molly Fletcher
  8. Howie Long
  9. Magic Johnson
  10. Jim Abbott

Read more about each of these terrific sports keynote speakers below and click through to view each of their individual speaker profile pages for more information about their speaking topics and watch their speaker videos to see them in action.

John Riggins

NFL Hall Of Fame Inductee & Super Bowl MVP
John Riggins spent five years with the Jets and became the first back in franchise history to rush for more than 1000 yards in a single season. In 1972, he was voted the Jets’ Most Valuable Player. Later that year, he joined the Washington Redskins where he remained until retiring in 1985. In 1983, Riggins helped lead the Redskins to their first Super Bowl victory while being named the game’s MVP. John Riggins was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. He offers several speeches touching on important themes like teamwork and the importance of doing your job to contribute to a cause greater than yourself, giving yourself the permission to fail, being courageous, and seizing the moment. | Learn more about John here.

Mike Greenberg

Co-Host Of “Get Up” & Former Host Of “Mike and Mike”
Mike Greenberg is co-host of ESPN’s Get Up, and the former host of ESPN’s SportsCenter and ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike, which premiered in 1998 as Mike & Mike in the Morning and was carried by more than 310 affiliates nationwide. Mike jokes that he can talk about "literally anything you want" when it comes to sports, but is known for his hilarious banter and commentary on various sports leagues and the lessons that can be drawn from their successes and failures. Mike also makes a fantastic emcee and dinner speaker. | Learn more about Mike here.

Tim Howard

US Men’s National Soccer Team Goalkeeper
Tim Howard is the record-setting, superstar goalie for the United States men’s national team. With 16 saves against Belgium, it was the best showing by a keeper since 1966 when the league started keeping records. Named “Man of the Match,” he is one of only four goalkeepers to score a goal in a Premier League match. Howard has a powerful voice and matchless personality, motivating audiences with his achievements and personal stories of determination and goal-setting on and off the field. Howard inspires audiences with fascinating and funny stories of the highs and lows of his career. | Learn more about Tim here.

Laila Ali

World-Class Boxing Champion, Elite Athlete, Author, & CEO 
Laila Ali is a world-class athlete, fitness and nutrition expert, TV host, cooking enthusiast, founder and CEO of the Laila Ali Lifestyle Brand, advocate for women and children, wife, and mother of two. The daughter of late beloved global icon and humanitarian, Muhammad Ali, she is a four-time undefeated boxing world champion. She shares incredible stories and lessons about being a champion in all that you do, unlocking your competitive edge and using it as an advantage, finding strength and personal power, and tapping into inspiration during challenging times and against all odds. She is a past President of the Women's Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes equality for women in the world of professional sports and pushes programs that encourage young women to be confident, healthy and strong through sports. |  Learn more about Laila here.

Susan O’Malley

Former President Of The Washington Capitals & The Washington Wizards
As the first female president of a professional sports franchise, Susan O’Malley is a pioneer in two fields: sports and business. She knows what it takes to be a leader in a tough business environment and how to create an organization from the ground up. During her presentations, Susan O’Malley speaks about leadership and thriving in a male-dominated field, calling on anecdotes and lessons learned from her life of unprecedented success. In engaging and upbeat presentations, she outlines seven seminal ‘rules’ for leadership and life and shares insider stories about entertainment, hockey, and basketball. | Learn more about Susan here.

Dawn Hudson

Former Chief Marketing Officer Of The NFL
Dawn Hudson assumed her role at the NFL during a climate of controversy and change. Charged with steering the massive brand back on track, Hudson worked to bring more humanity, laughter, and a younger focus to the League through industry-leading advertising efforts (including her many well-received Super Bowl campaigns), an overhaul of events programs to generate fan engagement, and partnering with institutions to develop brand encounters for fans—like the “NFL Experience” operating out of Times Square in New York City. In speeches, Hudson shares lessons about reinvention, growth, smart business strategy, and pushing further, using stories from her time working for one of the world's best-known and most-loved brands.  | Learn more about Dawn here.

Molly Fletcher

Pioneering Female Sports Agent & CEO
Called the "female Jerry Maguire" by CNN, Molly Fletcher negotiated over $500 million in deals for clients throughout her career. Formerly, as president of client representation for sports and entertainment agency CSE, Molly spent two decades as one of the world’s only female sports agents. She talks about how to unleash potential by using transformational change for good, and shares lessons on achieving peak performance. Molly shares tactical advice for setting goals and chasing them, and uses stories to bring lessons on living fearlessly to life. | Learn more about Molly here.

Howie Long

Hall Of Fame NFL Lineman & TV Personality
Howie Long, former Hall of Fame Defensive End for the Los Angeles Raiders, is currently best known for his position of in-studio analyst for the Emmy Award-winning FOX NFL Sunday team. Howie Long was twice chosen Defensive Lineman of the Year, and was elected to the Pro Bowl eight times, tying the Raiders' all-time record. A multi-talented performer, Howie Long launched his successful television and film career after playing 13 years in the NFL for the Los Angeles Raiders. He shares lessons on leadership and teamwork, drawn from his experience leading teams on and off the field. | Learn more about Howie here.

Magic Johnson

Legendary NBA Player
Having left the basketball court for the boardroom, Earvin “Magic” Johnson has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity from the court into the business world as Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE). With his continued love of basketball, Johnson is utilizing those same skills and bringing his winning spirit in his recent role as the President of Basketball Operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson inspires audiences with his incredible success in basketball and business. | Learn more about Magic Johnson here.

Jim Abbott

Professional Baseball Player and Inspirational Hero

The Major League Baseball pitcher who was born with only one hand, Jim Abbott shares with audiences the keys to adapting, persevering and removing obstacles to success. Those who have hired Jim Abbott to speak will tell you what a truly motivational keynote speaker he is. His style of speaking is humble and humorous. He shows your audience, employees or members of your association how to overcome obstacles and difficulty. He is a living example that disability does not define you, but rather your ability. Motivational speakers can lift and inspire your team. Those who are a living example of overcoming adversity, like Jim Abbott, are the best at bringing the message into the hearts of the listener. His messages use many sports anecdotes, but is 100% appreciated and loved by even those who are not sports fans. | Learn more about Jim Abbott.

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