Speakers & Guests

 

Mark Cuban

Dallas Mavericks | Owner
Bio

Since the age of 12, Mark has been a natural businessman. Selling garbage bags door to door, the seed was planted early on for what would eventually become long-term success. In 1995 Mark came up with an internet-based solution Broadcast.com – streaming audio over the internet. In four years Broadcast.com would be sold to Yahoo for $5.6 billion dollars. His trade to collar his shares of Yahoo has been called one of the top 10 trades of all time. He acquired the Dallas Mavericks in 2000 (valuation of the team worth in 2019 was $2.25 billion) and has overseen the Mavs competing in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2006 and becoming NBA Champions in 2011. In addition to the Mavs, Mark appeared as a Shark on the ABC show Shark Tank in 2011 and he has been a star on the hit show ever since. Mark is the best-selling author of How to Win at the Sport of Business and gives back to the communities that promoted his success through The Mark Cuban Foundation.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Arsène Wenger

FIFA | Chief of Global Football Development & former Arsenal FC Manager
Bio

Known as Le Professeur for his meticulously studious approach to the game. At FIFA, Arsène Wenger is responsible for overseeing and driving the worldwide development of football for both men and women around the world. Arsène Wenger has spent his whole career in football. After hanging up his boots, he found his true calling in football management, his career taking him from his native France, where he enjoyed a successful stint with AS Monaco, to cup success with Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan, and to England, where with Arsenal he went on to become one of the longest-serving and most eminent managers in English top-flight history, winning the Premier League three times. Away from the pitch, he is a highly respected TV match analyst.


Michael Payne

Payne Sports Media Strategies | Chairman – CEO
Bio

Michael served as senior strategic advisor to the successful London 2012, Rio 2016 and LA 2028 bids. For more than a decade, Michael has acted as special advisor to F1’s former Chairman / CEO Bernie Ecclestone. He advises on major Olympic and other sports media rights and sponsorship negotiations for clients across the world, negotiating many of largest broadcast and sponsorship deals. Most recently he pioneered, with his Chinese partners Shankai, the ground breaking innovative Alibaba – IOC long term partnership deal. He has been at the forefront of the sports marketing industry for over thirty years – having led the global marketing effort for the Olympic Movement for more than two decades, from 1983 to 2004 as the IOC’s first ever Marketing and Broadcast Rights Director. During his tenure at the IOC, Michael led the marketing team that would generate in excess of $15 billion in broadcast and marketing revenues. On leaving the IOC, following the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Michael founded his own strategic consultancy Payne Sports Media Strategies SA.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Kim Skildum-Reid

Power Sponsorship | Founder & Director
Bio

Kim is one of the sponsorship industry’s most influential thought leaders. She has over 30 years’ experience in corporate sponsorship and is one of very few professionals credited with defining and setting the best practice benchmark for the sponsorship industry. Kim has provided strategic advice, audits, and training to blue chip clients on six continents, reworking the strategies of major brands and properties. She is co-author of industry bestseller The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit, author of the bestseller for sponsors The Corporate Sponsorship Toolkit and The Ambush Marketing Toolkit. Her white papers “Disruptive Sponsorship” and “Last Generation Sponsorship” have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. She is author of one of the industry’s best-read blogs. Kim is now based in Sydney, but grew up in Minnesota.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Ricardo Fort

The Coca-Cola Company | Vice President, Global Sports & Entertainment Partnerships
Bio

Ricardo leads the company’s global portfolio of sponsorships, partnerships and events, including the ones with the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, UEFA, the Special Olympics, athletes, McLaren F1 team, record labels, movie studios, the gaming industry and other worldwide sports and entertainment properties. His team is responsible for the global hospitality programs and for building company-wide capabilities in the areas of sports and entertainment. Prior to this role, Ricardo was the SVP of global brand, product & sponsorship marketing at Visa, and earlier in his career he worked as global marketing director for the dairy category at the Group Danone, based in Paris. Ricardo graduated with a Bachelor of civil engineering at University in Sao Paolo.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Lewis Wiltshire

Seven League | Chief Executive Officer
Bio

Lewis is the Chief Executive Officer of Seven League, Europe’s leading digital sports consultancy and agency, and the EMEA arm of the Mailman global group which 7L is part of. Lewis joined Seven League in 2017 after five years with Twitter, where was Twitter’s first UK head of sport, first global head of sport, and then Senior Director of Media Partnerships. Prior to Twitter, Lewis was with BBC Sport for 11 years, serving as Editor of the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport’s first social media editor. Lewis has also worked in a pro bono capacity for the Women’s Sport Trust during 2020.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Florian Lamblin

Tour de France (A.S.O.) | Head of International Development
Bio

Amaury Sport Organization (A.S.O.) is a company that owns, designs and organizes top international sporting events. Specialized in the ‘non-stadia’ events, it has in-house knowledge of professions linked to organization, media and sales of sports events. A.S.O. organizes 240 days of competition per year, with 90 events in 25 countries. A.S.O. is involved in cycling with Tour de France, motor sports with the Dakar, sailing, mass events and golf. Florian is in charge of international strategy and development for A.S.O, which includes creating new events and business, building relationship with sponsors, partnering with local event organizers and public authorities, and improving Tour de France and Dakar footprint abroad.

LinkedIn


Matthew Entwistle

Two Circles | Group Managing Director
Bio

Matthew is responsible for ensuring great client results are delivered across the agency’s global client base, and leading Two Circles’ (Agency of the Year at Sport Industry Awards) unique ventures with sports rights-owners and financial investors. He has a 25-year career that includes senior roles in strategy consulting, marketing and commercial operations. This includes retail giant Tesco, where he was both Non-Food Marketing Director and International Director of Tesco.com. In July 2020, Matthew authored Sports Media’s Hybrid Future, analysis of trends in the commercialisation of sports media rights, and explanation for why the Covid-19 pandemic will accelerate the development of a hybrid media model.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Sam Mathews

Fnatic | Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Bio

An early adopter of what has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, Sam Mathews launched the Fnatic brand in 2004, selling his car to send a team to its first competitive gaming event while still attending university. Under his leadership over the past 16 years, Fnatic has become one of the world’s largest, most popular and most successful esports organisations. With offices around the world, an in-house developed award-winning line of esports peripherals and apparel, and partnerships signed with the world’s most respected brands as well as dominating the competitive realm of international leagues, Fnatic has cemented its position as leaders of esports performance.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Edel McCarthy

ESB Group (Electric Ireland) | Head of Sponsorship & Brand
Bio

Edel leads sponsorship across the organization, which includes retail brand Electric Ireland where sponsorship has been critical in building a compelling and differentiated brand in the highly competitive Irish energy supply market. She is responsible for strategic direction, acquisition and activation across a diverse sponsorship portfolio, which includes the Gaelic Athletic Association and its Darkness Into Light partnership (annual walking event and fundraiser) with suicide prevention charity Pieta. Sponsorship of Darkness Into Light is recognized as a leading example of cause sponsorship and has won the ESA overall European Sponsorship of the Year. Before joining ESB, Edel was at Microsoft Ireland in the role of Marketing Manager for their Xbox and Entertainment division.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Anne Smyth

Electric Ireland | Sponsorship Specialist
Bio

Anne manages the Electric Ireland’s sponsorship portfolio in Northern Ireland including the ESA award winning Game Changers campaign in partnership with the Irish Football Association. A graduate of North Umbria University in Newcastle, Anne’s passion for sport developed as a young girl and she has carried that passion through into a successful career in communications that has largely focused on sport. Before joining Electric Ireland, she worked in communications roles with a wide range of sporting organizations including Ulster Rugby, Sport Institute Northern Ireland and Team GB and NI during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Anne also ran her own consultancy practice and worked with Rugby Players Ireland as well as other sporting bodies.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Stefan Gunnarsson

Icelandic Football Association (KSI) | Commercial and Marketing Director
Bio

Stefan is the Commercial and Marketing Director of the Icelandic Football Assocation. Recent milestones include a new Puma kit deal and a restructure of the brand portfolio of the association, including launching a special new crest for the team. He has over 15 years experience in brand management, marketing, strategy and negotiation. Prior to joining the association he ran a marketing agency in Iceland working with some of the world´s leading brands. He has an MSc in International Marketing from the University of Strathclyde, and an MBA Football Industries from the University of Liverpool.

LinkedIn


Luca Massaro

WePlay | Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Bio

Luca is the Founder and CEO of WePlay, a full-service agency that specialises in helping sports brands to achieve their commercial growth objectives across emerging direct-to-consumer revenue streams. The agency’s results are reflected in multiple industry awards including back-to-back Agency of the Year titles at the Football Business Awards in 2017 and 2018. WePlay has a growing global footprint with offices in London, Paris and Madrid serving a roster of leading international rights holders, brands, not-for-profits and charities. These include AC Milan, Aspire, ESPN, FIFA, IRONMAN, LaLiga, Olympique de Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain, PGA European Tour, Sported, UFC, UK Sport, WRC and Yokohama Tyres. Luca was named part of the inaugural Sport Industry NextGen class of 2016. Prior to WePlay, he led the digital and social media strategy for Chelsea Football Club.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Franjo Bobinac

Hisense International | Vice President & Managing Director for Global Marketing
Bio

Franjo Bobinac is the Vice President of Hisense International and a Managing Director for Global Marketing (including partnerships with UEFA, PSG, Fnatic and Dwyane Wade). He has over 30 years of experience in technical consumer goods business, leading Gorenje Group as its President & Chief Executive Officer for more than 15 years. Before becoming the CEO, he was a Management Board Member for sales and marketing. He also spent 5 years in France as the Managing Director of Gorenje’s sales company. He finished his MBA at ESCP Business School in Paris. Currently, he is also the President of Slovenian Handball Federation and a member of the Executive board of the Slovenian Olympic Committee.

LinkedIn


Guy Edri

Vidaa | Executive Vice President of Business Development
Bio

Guy Edri joined the management of Vidaa (including partnership with NBA League Pass) at the start of the process, driving the vision of an independent Smart TV platform being the core of the future Smart home environment. He is a serial entrepreneur that started his career in the retail industry, launching Israel’s first 24/7 retail chain. From a single kiosk, he grew AM:PM to one of the most recognized retail chains with over 30 stores in Tel Aviv, before selling it and moving on to new ventures. His Israeli company Exit Electronics is the exclusive distributor of major global electronic brands, from where his experience and passion for Smart TVs and the platform business is derived.

LinkedIn


Gemma Schmid

Purplebricks | Head of Brand & Communications
Bio

Gemma heads up the brand marketing team at Purplebricks, which is the UK’s leading technology-led estate agent and offers customers a transparent and convenient way to buy, sell, or let their homes. Her team is responsible for building insight-driven consumer focused brand campaigns at a national and local level at Purplebricks and also for their strategic brand partnerships. She was instrumental in the launch of the partnership with Team GB, where the brand is supporting the national squad in the build-up to the Tokyo Olympic Games. Prior to this Gemma carved out her marketing career at UK supermarket Sainsbury’s.

Twitter | LinkedIn


Nicholas Rogers

Cadbury, Mondelēz International | Sponsorship Lead
Bio

Nicholas leads the company’s global portfolio of UK football club sponsorships, brand marketing and activation, as well as its partnership with Merlin Entertainments and British Paralympic Association. His team are responsible for the activation of their global rights across Mondelēz International, owner of the UK’s favourite chocolate brand Cadbury and other iconic global and local brands such as Oreo, belVita, Milka and Toblerone. Prior to this role, Nicholas has had experience working on some of Britain’s other biggest and most-loved brands, spanning sport, broadcasting and entertainment in cross-functional roles.


Bob Mitchell

Harbottle & Lewis | Partner
Bio

Bob has been a dedicated sports lawyer and head of the Sports Group at the London law firm of Harbottle & Lewis for almost 25 years. He advises a broad range of sports-related clients on a cross-section of commercial, regulatory and disciplinary issues. He has advised on some of the most high-profile sponsorship deals including Barclays’ sponsorship of the Premier League, Standard Chartered Bank (Liverpool FC), Emirates (Arsenal, Real Madrid and F1), Marlboro (Ferrari), Vodafone (McLaren) and O2 (England rugby team). He also advises clients that include governing bodies, clubs, player associations, sports marketing agencies, promoters and athletes. Bob is a director of the European Sponsorship Association.

LinkedIn


Janja Garnbret

World’s best sport climber
Bio

Janja is the girl from the top. Already at the end of primary school in Slovenj Gradec, she climbed to the youth climbing national team of Slovenia, where she quickly became both World and European champion in difficulty and bouldering. Already in 2016, as a 17-year-old, she earned the title of winner in the overall World Cup in difficulty, the same year she was already a world champion. In 2018 she became the world champion in both bouldering and combined, while she graduated in Velenje, and a year later she became a three-time world champion in Japan (bouldering, difficulty and combination), winning the World Cup again. She was also the sportsman of the year 2018 in Slovenia, her next big goal is the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.


Ivana Španović

Top-ranked long jumper
Bio

Ivana is for years one of the world’s top-ranked long jumpers. Her style and professional attitude, both on the track and off it, have made her globally recognisable. Born in Serbia in 1990, Ivana has won long jump medals at both national and international level. Highlights include bronze at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, gold at the 2016 European Championships, gold at the 2018 World Indoor Championships and gold at the 2015, 2017 and 2019 European Indoor Championships. Ivana ended the 2017 season as the IAAF No.1 ranked long jumper in the world. Keeping focused on achieving outstanding results, Ivana has become a highly appreciated and respected role model for many. Her optimistic outlook and healthy lifestyle reveal her unwavering passion to achieve great things.

Twitter


Laura Unuk

Chess Grandmaster (WGM)
Bio

Laura is one of the most talented chess players in the world. She won the title of Woman Grandmaster in 2019 and thus became the youngest Slovenian with this title (by age of 19). Laura, 21 now, became acquainted with chess at the age of eight. At the age of 13 she joined the Slovenian national team and only a year later she became the world junior champion in the category of girls U16. She also won the girls’ U18 category of the World Youth Chess Championship in 2017. Laura is the No. 1 ranked Slovenian female player as of October 2017 and is on her way to be the first player from Slovenia to win the title of International Master (in men’s competition).