The UW Now Livestream with Mike Shannon ’80 and Mark Tauscher ’99, MS’03

“People want connection,” Shannon says, “they want real-life experiences.”

When he looks beyond the pandemic, Mike Shannon ’80 is confident about the leisure travel industry.

But until the world can conquer COVID-19, that future remains elusive. “The path is not clear,” he said, “but I think there is a path forward for travel and tourism.”

The Future of Sports and Leisure Travel

Shannon is the chair and founder of KSL Capital Partners, a financial firm dedicated to investments in the travel and tourism businesses. He has been following the travel economy for decades. On August 4, he joined Mark Tauscher ’99, MS’03, a former Badger and Green Bay Packer player and now a sports radio announcer, to discuss the future of sports and leisure travel during The UW Now Livestream.

With the conversation directed by Mike Knetter, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, the two spoke for an hour and took questions from some of the hundreds of Badger alumni and friends who watched on YouTube.

The Importance of these Industries

Shannon noted that travel and leisure account for more than 145,000 American jobs, and sports another 20,000. Tauscher added that the NFL alone creates revenues between $15 billion and $17 billion.

“Sports is not only a big business,” added Tauscher, “but it also is, I think from a recreation standpoint, a great escape for everybody.”

To hear more from Shannon and Tauscher, view a recording of The UW Now. The series is offered via YouTube and will continue through the summer. The next event will be August 11 and will cover the future of health care.