NASCAR, Detroit Lions and cycling leader Trek to discuss using AI, Big Data tools for a competitive advantage and amped up fan engagement 

Media Contacts: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications,, 248.260.8466; Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley,, 248.457.3301

TROY, Mich.—October 23, 2019—Automation Alley, Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center and leading technology and manufacturing business association, has added a panel discussion to its global Industry 4.0 conference, Integr8, focused on how smart technologies are disrupting the professional sports industry to help demonstrate how the Fourth Industrial Revolution—including the Internet of Things, Big Data, cloud computing, AI and more—has moved to sectors well beyond the factory floor. 

The panel discussion, titled Power Play: How Smart Technologies are a Sports Industry Game-Changer, will close out the conference, which is being held Nov. 6 in Detroit. Panelists include Ashton Mullinex, Detroit Lions executive director of business strategy and analytics; Steven de Jongh, a Dutch-born former professional road bicycle racer who now works for Trek, a multi-national bicycle and cycling product manufacturer and distributor committed to improving race performance and results through data analytics; and Gene Stefanyshyn, senior vice president and chief international officer for NASCAR, which is using Big Data, AI, 3D printing and modeling and simulation to bring new opportunities to a uniquely American experience that is seeing increased global popularity. 

“Industry 4.0 is a game-changer not only in manufacturing, but in every segment of business, and the business of sports is no exception,” Kelly said. “The Power Play panelists will explain how Industry 4.0 is leading to new ways to engage fans, improve player health and safety, and win at the highest levels of professional sports entertainment.”   

Supported by blockbuster brands including IBM, Intel, Verizon, Comcast and DTE; locally by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; and globally by The World Economic Forum, Integr8 is expected to draw 1,000 tech and manufacturing professionals to the TCF Center in Detroit. In addition to  keynote presentations by John Kovac, Microsoft director of U.S. Industry Manufacturing, and Martina Koederitz, general manager of IBM’s U.S. Industrial Market in North America, there will be an Integr8 expo to further highlight the technology options available that facilitate digital transformation, new Industry 4.0 roundtable sessions, breakout sessions focused on Industry 4.0’s impact on the workforce, small and medium-sized manufacturers, the health care and automotive industries and much more. In addition, the Smart Technology Zone, presented by Automation Alley partner the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, will focus on information and hands-on demos tailored to help the supply chain better understand Industry 4.0.

Integr8 is a cross-discipline global conference focused on the eight core smart technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, robotics, artificial intelligence, the cloud, cybersecurity, additive manufacturing and advanced materials and modeling, simulation, visualization and immersion. Integr8 attracts a global audience seeking to learn from and engage with their American counterparts. 

Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for the day long Integr8 conference are available at The evening before the conference, Nov. 5, Automation Alley is inviting the business community to mingle with Integr8 presenters and VIP guests at Integr8 Luminate, a strolling dinner and cocktail kick-off reception also being held at TCF Center. Tickets for Luminate are also available on the website. 

About Automation Alley

Automation Alley is a nonprofit manufacturing and technology business association and Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, with a global outlook and a regional focus. We connect industry, academia and government to fuel Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. We offer programs, resources and knowledge to help our members grow and prosper in the digital age.

Our Mission

The mission of Automation Alley is to position Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping our members increase revenue, reduce costs and make strategic decisions during a time of rapid technological change.