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10 September 2019, London

Engage. Influence. Retain.

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Key Stats

300+
Attendees
70%
Director level and above across platforms
35+
Influential speakers
20+
Sessions
180+
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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Rahul Kadavakolu

Executive Director of the Global Branding & Marketing

Rakuten

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

He has been instrumental in Rakuten signing partnerships with FC Barcelona, Golden State Warriors, NBA, and Spartan Race, to name a few. 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’.

He has over 17 years of global marketing and branding experience across various industries with a focus on 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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Stephen Day

Vice President, Sponsorship, Brand & Product Marketing

Visa

Stephen has worked at Visa for 13 years, where he has previously headed up the Marketing function for CEMEA as well as Marketing Operations and Sponsorship across AP & CEMEA regions (both based in London). He moved to Moscow for 5 years as Head of Marketing for Russia CISSEE sub region, before moving back to London, initially working for Visa Global Marketing on the FIFA Sponsorship. He moved into his current role in late 2017.

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Rebecca Smith

Global Executive Director of the Women’s Game

COPA90

Bex Smith first came to prominence as a World Cup and Olympic footballer representing New Zealand, and culminating her club career winning The Triple with VfL Wolfsburg as UEFA Champions League, German League, and German Cup Winners up until her retirement in 2013 (due to a knee injury). During her time as a professional footballer she earned her degrees in Economics, Spanish, an MBA, and Masters in Psychology.

Since then she has worked for FIFA as Manager of Women’s Competitions and Strategic Planning, as a freelance sport consultant, as an Executive Producer, and she is now Executive Director of Women’s Game for COPA90, the world’s largest independent football media business.

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Laurence Joslin

Brand Director, Product and Marketing EMEA

New Era

Since Laurence joined New Era Cap he has helped drive the brand forward across EMEA. The focus has been on the consumer, through the Retail, PR and Digital channels, alongside elevating the brands Sport and Cultural influences. The brand is known for it’s strong campaigns around the NFL, MLB and NBA, as well as for gin strong European sports relationships, hence the Euroleague association.

He has a wealth of knowledge in the consumer products industry, with over 20 years experience in Brand Management and Consumer Marketing. Most recently, Laurence spent 10 years within Nike’s European Headquarters, heading up the brand for Action Sports, Running and then he took on the role as Marketing Director for Nike Retail, as well as time spent as Business Director Football North/Central Europe. He successfully managed a large number of consumer retail projects including an Olympic 2012 campaign at Nike stores across Europe, the launch of Nike+ Fuelband in the UK, the 2006 launch of Nike+ across EMEA and introducing Nike Skateboard to Europe.

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Nick Read

Managing Director, Vitality Programme

Vitality

Nick was part of the team that initially set up insurance company Vitality (formerly PruHealth) in the UK. He is MD of the Vitality Programme and has extensive involvement in the company’s sport sponsorship strategy, alongside being a member of UK Executive Team. Before this, Nick spent 10 years as a strategist for Accenture.

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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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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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Amar Singh

Head of Football Content & Strategy

Budweiser Brewing Group

Creative, results driven and commercially-adept, a media professional with 14 years’ experience in print and digital media. A versatile leader with a passion for product innovation, online content, social media, cross platform strategy and a proven ability to manage teams that deliver tangible results.

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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

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.

Felicity Barnard
Felicity Barnard

Chief Executive

George Mead
George Mead

Head of Brand

Zarah Al-Kudcy
Zarah Al-Kudcy

Head of Commercial Partnership Development

James Kirkham
James Kirkham

Chief Business Officer

Jonno Turner
Jonno Turner

Head of Digital Content

Luke Nicholson
Luke Nicholson

Head of Digital and Content

Max van Den Doel
Max van Den Doel

Head of Football & Olympic Sports

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