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September 2020, London

Engage. Influence. Retain.

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Key Stats

350+
Attendees
70%
Director level and above across platforms
55+
Influential speakers
20+
Sessions
200+
Companies represented

Engage. Influence. Retain.

Sport is changing. Fans are changing. Digital and technological innovations have disrupted traditional communication channels and redirected revenue streams. This year, we’re proud to be launching the SportsPro Fan Conference, taking a new look at the trends affecting sports marketing and sponsorship through the most important relationship the industry will ever have: the one with its fans.

Bringing together the biggest names and the most creative thinkers in the business, the Fan Conference will examine a whole range of ways in which changing behaviour and emerging opportunities are reshaping this sector.

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Key Themes

Sponsorship disruption

The evolution of sponsorship in an age of engagement.

The social generation

How fans are disrupting traditional sports media.

Influencer-generated content

The power of compelling storytelling.

Reimagining the fan experience

Digital transformation efforts and the future of fan engagement.

Data driven results

The key to leveraging technology to optimise assets and ROI.

Sponsorship in esports

Why brands are seizing the esports opportunity.

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2019 Speakers

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Ben Gallop

Head of Radio and Digital

BBC Sport

Ben Gallop leads the radio and digital departments within BBC Sport. He has responsibility for bbc.co.uk/sport – which is the largest sports website in the UK, with an average weekly audience of around 20m unique browsers across mobile, desktop and connected TV. He also leads BBC Radio Sport, overseeing the teams who deliver sports output for 5 Live, and is head of cricket for the BBC. As well as running the iconic Test Match Special programme on radio, he is leading on the return of cricket to BBC TV screens in 2020.

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Matt Riches

Head of Partnerships

Lucozade Sport

At Lucozade Sport, Matt is responsible for the strategic development of partnerships for brand and business integration. He was previously Commercial Director at Tough Mudder, and, prior to that, Matt spent a number of years in different commercial and marketing roles within sports marketing, creative and media agencies.

Matt’s simple philosophy is that being active is fundamental to happiness and through the marketing of sport and an active lifestyle, it is possible to challenge and change how people live and behave towards brands – Matt’s thinking time is best done on the trails, or the bike!

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Matt Stevenson,

Head of Sponsorship

BT Group

Matt is Head of Sports Sponsorship at leading mobile network, EE (previously Orange). He has over 20 years of brand and comms experience including 14 years dedicated to sponsorship and partnership activations, which has seen him work across a number of high-profile brands such as Nike, O2 and now EE.

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Rahul Kadavakolu

Executive Director, Global Marketing & Branding

Rakuten

Rahul Kadavakolu is Executive Director of the Global Marketing Supervisory Department at Rakuten, Inc. He joined Rakuten in 2016 to help lead and drive Rakuten’s global brand and marketing function including all sports and entertainment partnerships.

He has been instrumental in Rakuten signing the global sports and entertainment-led partnerships with FC Barcelona, Golden State Warriors, NBA, Spartan Race and Davis Cup to name a few, as well as the multi-continental sponsorship of Messi10, a global show by Cirque du Soleil.

He also led the charter of signing top sports athletes like Stephen Curry, Andrés Iniesta and Lukas Podolski as Rakuten’s Brand Ambassadors including creating a strong association with Stephen Curry’s recently launched ‘Underrated Tour’ that brings to life Rakuten’s brand promise of ‘Optimism’ and ‘Empowerment’.

Rahul has over 18 years of global marketing and branding experience across various industries with a focus on the IT, internet services and technology sectors. Prior to Rakuten, he held leadership roles at Wipro, Ogilvy and Hakuhodo. He received a Bachelor’s in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai, India and is an avid cricket fan.

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Sara Allison

Senior Editorial Manager

The FA

I live and breathe content and stories – whether it’s through my work, watching movies or with my nose in a book. I’m an advocate of co-creating content that is mainly audience led, finding the balance between what a company wants to say and what the audience wants to hear to drive broad reach and deep engagement.

At The FA  Sara manage’s a team of seven experts who create content for The FA’s websites and social media channels. Her focus is on using data to ensure their audiences are at the heart of every piece of content they create.

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Ian Holmes

Director of Media Rights

Formula 1

Ian has worked in the sports media rights business for over 23 years and for the last 16 years he has worked at the Formula One Group, initially under Bernie Ecclestone and now for the Group’s new owners Liberty Media where he manages media rights exploitation for the FIA Formula One World Championship, Formula 2 and the GP3 Series.

Prior to Formula One, Ian worked at Kirch Sport, Prisma and ISL Marketing during which time he has worked with many of the World’s top sporting Championships, Events, Leagues and their respective Federations including FIFA Football World Cups, IAAF Athletics World Championships, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, La Liga – Spanish Football League to name but a few.

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Jerome Hiquet

Chief Marketing Officer

Formula E

The series announced the appointment of Jerome Hiquet as Chief Marketing Officer in 2018 in order to strengthen the team ahead of a new era of electric street racing.

Working for a number of renowned brands over almost two decades, Hiquet brings a wealth of experience in both marketing and events – making the transition to Formula E from his previous position as CMO at Tough Mudder.

In his former role, Hiquet specialised in building brand awareness and helped the series to grow in the early phase of launching the concept. Now hundreds of thousands of sports enthusiasts and fitness fanatics take part in fun and challenging events across the world testing their physical and mental capabilities.

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James Ralley

Head of Commercial and Marketing

All England Lawn Tennis Club

James joined the AELTC in 2011 as Marketing Manager from MEC Access before being promoted to Head of Commercial and Marketing in 2015. He is responsible for the global development of The Championships brand and the AELTC’s commercial and media partnership programme. In 2016 James appointed McCann London with the remit of amplifying The Championships brand on a global basis and has since launched the ‘In Pursuit of Greatness’ brand proposition. Since 2017, James has also taken on more responsibility within Hospitality and has overseen both the transition of the hospitality suites in No.1 Court and the introduction of Keith Prowse as the AELTC’s exclusive hospitality partner.

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Who Attends?

Arsenal
Arsenal

WWE
WWE

NBA
NBA

IBM
IBM

Google
Google

Manchester United
Manchester United

Premier League
Premier League

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Advisory Board

George Mead
George Mead

Head of Brand

Luke Nicholson
Luke Nicholson

Head of Digital and Content

Max van Den Doel
Max van Den Doel

Head of Football & Olympic Sports

Jonno Turner
Jonno Turner

Head of Digital Content

How do you tell the story of a sporting event often taking place thousands of miles from land? As Head of Digital Content at The Ocean Race, Jonno leads digital communication for sport’s toughest test of a team, driving innovative and exciting ways to engage fans and reach fresh audiences. As the world’s best sailors – Olympic champions, record-breakers and pioneers – battle it out in the most remote spots on the planet, places where they’re closer to the astronauts in the Space Station than anyone else on earth, The Ocean Race has achieved an always-on 24/7 live fan experience and technological infrastructure that sets the standard for extreme sport events globally.

Felicity Barnard
Felicity Barnard

Chief Executive

Zarah Al-Kudcy
Zarah Al-Kudcy

Head of Commercial Partnership Development

James Kirkham
James Kirkham

Chief Business Officer

Katy Leeson
Katy Leeson

Managing Director

Katy began her career in 2005 at a boutique agency in Manchester. After five successful years, Katy decided she wanted to try her hand at a network agency – MediaCom, taking control of a team of press planners and buyers.

It was an interest in pursuing areas of potential business growth that guided Katy to become Business Development Controller for MediaCom North Group.It was her success in this role that saw Katy being appointed Head of New Business & Marketing, where she managed an enormously successful year in 2015 – co-ordinating 66 pitches, with a 63% conversion rate.

Following this, Katy was shortlisted as an IPA Women of Tomorrow in 2016.In 2016, Katy decided it was time to develop further and moved to Global Social Media Marketing Agency Social Chain as Operations Director and after a successful few months Katy was promoted to Managing Director in July 2017.

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