TEDx – The Benefits of Sports Fandom

Navigate’s Founder, AJ Maestas, took the stage at TEDxChicago. He shared lessons he’s learned in a career of researching sports business and behavioral psychology.

Why are sports fans so passionate, and why do they act so irrationally? AJ explores the lessons that sports can teach us about community and human behavior. In a time when the world seems more divided than ever, perhaps the surprising answer to bringing us all together can be learned from sports.


AJ Maestas is the founder of Navigate, a data-driven consulting firm specializing in sports and entertainment. Over the past 20 years, he has established himself as a trust- ed advisor to Anheuser-Busch, ESPN, the NFL, the Chicago Cubs, and numerous other clients on all sides of the industry. AJ is a Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 winner, a frequent speaker at conferences and events, and host of the Navigating Sports Business podcast, which has featured commissioners, coaches, and CEOs.

AJ is passionate about global travel, personal growth, and giving back. He has served as a board member with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Phoenix, a National Sports Forum steering committee member, a Big Brother’s Big Sisters of the Valley board member, and a fundraiser for Dr. Rick Hodes Medical Programs.


Some of AJ’s favorite books include:

  • Influence – Robert Cialdini
  • Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
  • Boys in the Boat – Daniel James Brown
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  • Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
  • Originals – Adam Grant




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