Sage Summit Day 1: Richard Branson Inspires & B1G Media Day

sage summit 2016

Today was the first day of Sage Summit, a conference for entrepreneurs and small & medium sized businesses, which is filled with tons of learning, training, and networking opportunities. I didn’t now what to expect from the conference since I had never attended before, but the roster of speakers was insanely good, I dug the conference message, and getting the opportunity to hear Richard Branson drop wisdom had me doing Antonio Brown touchdown celebrations.

antonio brown td dance

As always my man Greg Hunter was rocking with me.

Story about how we met Jim Harbaugh and went to B1G Media Day after the conference at the bottom of the page. 

This article is a review of our experience at Sage Summit Day 1 (Tuesday.) Strap in your seat belts, it’s gonna be a fun ride!

I was giddy like you are the day before going to Vegas at getting to hear Richard Branson. I’ve read his books, I dig his story, and love the bravado in which he’s accomplished great things.

richard branson sage summit day one

Like I always do, I took notes so that I can learn from them in the future and not forget. These are the nuggets of wisdom from Richard Branson’s conversation with Sage CEO Stephen Kelly:

  • An entrepreneur creates something that is positive in others lives
  • Nothing is impossible – Richard Branson
  • Get great people around you and empower them
  • Create a product that gets everything right
  • When starting a business, it’s critical to protect the downside
  • Differentiate yourself from the pack with a quality product, and then you can take on the Goliath’s
  • He always worked in a nice environment
  • He inspires his kids to prove themselves
  • Don’t speak ill on someone. It reflects bad on you
  • Look for the best in people. Lavish praise
  • More love and praise in companies
  • Give a percentage of my time to those in need

After Richard Branson’s conversation the Sage Village was open for us to get our learn and network on.

There were four people we met that deserve a shout out:

startup van sage summit

We met the guys from The Startup Van (thanks to Kelly Quinlan), they were cool. I dig their format and what they are doing. We are hopefully gonna have another chat with them in the van tomorrow (stay tuned!)


We had a mentor session with Neil Morgan, EVP Global Digital Marketing at Sage, and he gave us sage advice (pun intended) about what we are working on at Cress Media. We also messed around a got a triple double talking about Snapchat.

While chatting with Neil, Susan Solovic asked us a question about Vine. That lead to finding out that she’s a New York Times Best Selling Author and a small business expert. #EveryDayImHustlin

Shout out to Lizzie Amundsen, Director at Medici, who sat next to us at one of the workshops. If you are doing anything with museum’s give her a shout.

An extra bonus shout out goes to Sage, who put on the conference. Before today I didn’t know a thing about Sage or what they did. Now I know they do some accounting software stuff or something.

I also know that they do a conference up right. I had a blast on day one of Sage Summit and was impressed by the quality, attention to detail, social media integration, super soft carpet in the exhibit hall (yes, I noticed), lunch options, networking, and learning opportunities at the conference.

And Richard Branson.

I’m looking forward to day two of Sage Summit with SharkTank’s Robert Herjavec and Daymond John, who Greg and I met once before in Miami at a pitch competition, are scheduled  to drop knowledge on us. (By the way, I’m halfway through Daymond’s book The Power Of Broke and it’s a banger. Definitely check it out.)

Here’s a Snapchat of our experience, including how we met Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh.

Long story short. Greg an I walk out of the Sage Summit and see that Big 10 Media Day is going down at the adjacent hotel. We go on a choose your own adventure, follow some signs, and then run into Jim Harbaugh in the hallway. Since he’s an honorary member of Bayside High he was cool enough to stop and take a pic.

jim harbaugh sbtb

We then followed some more signs and walked past a door where the Big Ten Media Day interviews were going down. Don’t mind if I do.

We kicked it in there for 20 minutes. Soaked up the atmosphere. Saw Michigan St Coach Mark Dantonio and Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett. Then we bounced.

What a time. To be alive.

sage summit day 3

If you missed my recaps from the other two days of Sage Summit you can check them out here:


1. Ultimate Entrepreneur Reading List – I’ve read over 100 books on creativity, leadership, entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and sports that have had a major impact on my life. These are those books. Get your learn on!

2. What Exactly Does Cress Media Do? – Check this out and you’ll get a great idea of the value Rob Cressy brings to the table.

3. Want To Write Funnier? – For the last 4 years I’ve studied comedy writing at Second City and from one of the Co-Founders of The Onion. Learn how to become a funnier writer and take your business, career, or blog to the next level.

4. Follow Rob Cressy on Snapchat – If you are on Snapchat then you need to be following me faster than Antonio Brown can shake & bake a DB. You can also check out my notes from the Snapchat For Business workshop I taught

bacon sports snapchat

5. Ultimate Guide: Digital Marketing to Millennials – My 6 core principles for creating fun and engaging content that gets people to take action.

6. Subscribe to The Sports Marketing Huddle – My latest project is a podcast that takes a look at all things marketing in the world of sports.

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Sports Content Studio

Cress Media is a Chicago Sports Marketing Content Studio. We help brands activate sports fans by telling their story in a fun and engaging way via audio, video, and social content creation. We get your audience talking, taking action, and having fun with your brand online and offline. Whether in Chicago or any other part of the country Cress Media can handle your content creation and sports marketing needs.