The SPORTO programme delivers a 360-degree insight into the industry trends. Case studies, discussions and in-depth one-on-one interviews create the content at the crossroads of relevant industry areas with a focus on sponsorship strategy and activation, branding and building brand equity, digital communication and innovation, Olympic marketing, fan engagement and other specific topics with one touch point – harnessing the power of sport. Topics will be discussed (also) through the perspective of the Covid-19 pandemic and the prism of adaptation.


Central European Time (CET / UTC +1: Ljubljana – Zagreb – Belgrade – Brussels – Rome – Berlin – Paris)

Thursday, 21 January

11:00 – 11:40
Sponsorship insights
Kim Skildum-Reid | Power Sponsorship, Founder and Director
Kim Skildum-Reid, one of the most influential and charismatic experts in the sponsorship industry, will share top-level knowledge from the sponsorship world and her views about the current challenges and solutions for sponsors/brands and rights holders.
12:00 – 12:35
Winning in the digital age
Luca Massaro | WePlay, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
2021 is all about growth – sustainably growing revenues by developing audiences. Luca Massaro, founder and CEO of the award-winning performance marketing agency WePlay, talks about how sports organisations can win in the digital age.
#digital #smsports #fanengagement
13:00 – 13:35
Tour de France: Covid-19 adaptations and innovations
Florian Lamblin | Tour de France (A.S.O.), Head of International Development
A behind-the-scenes look at how major events like the Tour de France have adapted to the Covid-19 crisis and how they continue to innovate (including the Virtual Tour de France 2020 on Zwift).
#events #sponsorship
14:00 – 14:40
Game Changers & Darkness into Light
Edel McCarthy | ESB Group, Group Sponsorship & Brand Manager
Anne Smyth | Electric Ireland, Sponsorship Specialist
Electric Ireland’s award-winning sponsorship case studies*: partnership with the Irish Football Association (Game Changers) and the charity Pieta (Darkness into Light).
*ESA Sponsorship of the Year Award
#sponsorship #causesponsorship
15:00 – 15:40
The future of sports consumption
Matthew Entwistle | Two Circles*, Group Managing Director
Franjo Bobinac | Hisense International, Vice President & Managing Director for Global Marketing
Guy Edri | Vidaa, Executive Vice President of Business Development
How is the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the development of the hybrid media model? How to put the users and their habits at the centre of the (TV) experience? What will the future of sports consumption look like?
*2020 “Agency of the Year” at Sport Industry Awards
#ott #sponsorship
16:00 – 16:35
FA Iceland: Rebranding
Stefan Gunnarsson | Football Association of Iceland, Commercial and Marketing Director
Insights and learnings from the high-profile rebranding and strategic branding of Iceland’s national football team and the Football Association of Iceland*.
*Silver winner of the 2020 Clio Sports Awards in the Brand Identity category
16:40 – 17:20
SPORTO virtual Exhibition
17:20 – 18:00
SPORTO Talk: Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban | Dallas Mavericks, Owner
One-on-one talk about the business of sports, values, culture and leadership with the owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks (listed as one of Forbes’ most valuable franchises in sports), best-selling author of “How to Win at the Sport of Business” and serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban.
#leadership #sportsbiz

Friday, 22 January

9:00 – 10:30
SPORTO Sponsorship Masterclass/Webinar

with Kim Skildum-Reid, Founder & Director at Power Sponsorship

(a session for the registered Masterclass participants only)
11:00 – 11:40
SPORTO Talk: Arsène Wenger
Arsène Wenger | FIFA, Chief of Global Football Development
One-on-one talk with “Le Professeur” Arsène Wenger, the renowned French coach/manager, about leadership, interdependency between the sporting vs. commercial objectives in elite sport, creativity/art vs. discipline/science and the future of football.
12:00 – 12:35
Sports organisations as media businesses
Lewis Wiltshire | Seven League, Chief Executive Officer
Why will sports organisations, in order to continue thriving, need to become media businesses? What does the Third Age of Sport – the digital age – look like, if the first was more amateur and the second started to build the sports business?
#digital #smsports #fanengagement
13:00 – 13:40
Exploring the role of sponsorship
Gemma Schmid | Purplebricks, Head of Brand & Communications
Nicholas Rogers | Cadbury (Mondelez International), Sponsorship Lead
Sponsorship case studies and the discussion about the reflections on 2020 and predictions for the sponsorship sector in 2021. Session organised in cooperation with the European Sponsorship Association (ESA).
14:00 – 14:35
Fnatic’s world
Sam Mathews | Fnatic, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Insights into the innovative approach, fan-engagement and ecosystem of one of the most successful esports brands of all time.
#esports #branding #fanengagement
15:00 – 15:40
The power of the rings
Michael Payne | Payne Sports Media Strategies, Chairman – CEO
Ricardo Fort | The Coca-Cola Company, Vice President, Global Sports & Entertainment Partnerships
An Olympic-themed discussion (topics include Tokyo 2020 evolution of Olympic sponsorship and Rule 40 in the 2020s) with two of the world’s leading experts and influential thought leaders when it comes to commercial partnerships in sports.
#olympics #sportsbiz #sponsorship
16:00 – 16:35
Sports & commercial: legal angle

Bob Mitchell | Harbottle & Lewis, Partner

Major sports (sponsorship) law issues in 2020 and key topics to watch in 2021.
Session is organised in cooperation with the sports law institute Sport Lex.
#sportslaw #sponsorship
16:40 – 17:20
SPORTO virtual Exhibition
17:00 – 17:30
2020 SPORTO Brands

Revealing of the 2020 SPORTO Brands (in cooperation with Mediana Research Institute) and a talk with Serbian track and field (long jump) star Ivana Španović and Slovenian climbing sensation Janja Garnbret.

Lectures and discussions will be held in English language. The organizers reserve the right to make changes to the event programme.