April 2019, London

Where Technology Meets Sports Business

Key Stats

Director level or above
1 in 3
From overseas

Drill down into the most disruptive topics transforming the industry

The sixth edition of SportsPro Live will feature a future-focused sports agenda looking at the meeting point between tech, business and fandom. We’ve added 5 new forums built around the hottest topics in sports business to ensure we go deeper than ever into the most disruptive topics transforming the industry today including: finance, artificial intelligence, esports, digital transformation and broadcasting. 

Key Themes

  • What investment is driving tech growth, both sporting and non-sporting?
  • How blockchain and cryptocurrencies can change the sports industry?
  • Where are new technologies being applied? How is this helping drive product adoption and accelerate growth?
Artificial Intelligence
  • How Machine Learning is revolutionising sports video production
  • Ways to use data, predictions and analytics to attract viewership and maximise fan engagement
  • How AI is changing the future of sports marketing
  • How to attract and engage tech-savvy sports fans today
  • How can rights holders embrace esports in a way that’s credible and mutually beneficial?
  • What types of formats will extend the viewershipand improve the experience for the esports fanbase?
  • How does the esports model tell us about how to reach fans on digital platforms?
Digital Transformation
  • How to leverage data and insight for digital growth?
  • How can sports properties embrace technological innovation and new forms of media to keep its audience engaged?
  • How can sports build a world-class fan experience?
  • What will the smart, successful OTT services of the future look like?
  • How has the growth of streaming services impacted the international market?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges for traditional broadcasters investing in OTT?

Advisory Board

Andreas Heyden

Chief Executive

Andreas Heyden has been CEO of a company that may not immediately stand out to you. Called DFL Digital Sport GmbH, it’s better known as the digital arm of the German Football League, the Bundesliga.

Now 2 years into his first role in sport, he’s been an integral part of the drive to develop an engaged community of fans of the league, and obviously its 36 teams who are all stakeholders in the business.  They’ve succeeded in bringing more production in-house as they look to control their destiny in an ever changing media landscape.

He’s passionate about taking down the silo’s we see in production, where you have separate TV, digital, partner and social teams. Stating that, “The more you break the structure up the more you can re-use and re-utilise content to create interesting, compelling and highly engaging content either for B2B or for B2C”.

Before he ended up in football, Andreas built up almost 20 years of experience with internet businesses. Starting out with I-D Media and Microsoft before spending 6 years at German broadcaster RTL. Rising up to become a leader of people at a young age.

Angela Ruggiero

CEO and Co-Founder

Olympic Gold Medalist and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame with leadership positions at the highest levels of sport, including the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee, Angela guides the strategies of major sports organizations in her role as CEO and co-founder of the Sports Innovation Lab.

Bruna Zanin-Juresic

Global Content Partnerships, Sports

Bruna has over eight years of experience across media, advertising and most recently sport. Prior to joining Twitter in 2015, Bruna worked at Ogilvy London & São Paulo, and Publicis Brazil. She now leads content partnerships efforts at Twitter UK with a range of different sports partners including football clubs & leagues, broadcasters and key motorsports leagues. Her goal is helping sports partners to get closer to their followers in the one social platform conversations happen in real-time – through Live content, video, Twitter emojis or other innovation formats.

Danna Rabin


Danna Rabin is a global business and technology executive, who most recently served as Chief Operating Officer at HEED (joint venture between AGT International and WME/IMG), AGT International (a pioneer in proprietary IoT, IoT Analytics, Deep Web Analysis, Machine Learning, Social Data Management, Big Data integration and advanced analytics), and the media-technology venture, Vocativ (www.vocativ.com – which utilizes proprietary technology to explore the deep web for original news, stories and video production).

George Ciz

Senior Vice President, Marketing & Business Development

George started his career at DDB Worldwide, New York where he gained valuable marketing and advertising experience.

During his fourteen years at the ATP, George has played a vital role in strategic planning for ATP’s Brave New World (the biggest strategic change process in the organisation’s history), the introduction of the new ATP branding in 2009, creation of the new categories of tournaments (Masters 1000, 500 and 250) and the relocation of the Nitto ATP Finals to London.

George is currently responsible for driving ATP’s business development and marketing, production of the weekly ATP World Tour Uncovered TV show, editorial management of ATP digital & social channels as well as marketing and show production at the Nitto ATP Finals, the world’s biggest indoor tennis tournament. Most recently George co-led the launch of inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last November, a pioneering new event that trialled numerous innovations in the game as well as serving as a global platform to promote the future stars of the sport.

Jeremy Waite

Chief Strategy Officer

Jeremy is Chief Strategy Officer for IBM Watson Customer Engagement (Europe). He travels around the world talking to executives about marketing and consumer trends and how IBM Watson’s cognitive computing capabilities will revolutionise the future. He has been voted the most influential person on twitter for #BigData and one of the top 10 most influential marketing professionals globally. In previous roles he was the Head of Strategy for Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Head of Social Strategy for Adobe Marketing Cloud. Jeremy is the host of The Ten Words podcast and author of three books, the most recent of which is also called TenWords, a book about 140 “characters” who changed their industry with a ten word statement. All profits from the book are raising money for the NHS to buy to incubators for their intensive care neonatal unit.


Michael Cole

Chief Technology Officer

Michael was appointed CTO for the PGA European Tour in Nov2017, with responsibility for Digital, Scoring, Infrastructure and Data Management including Official World Golf Rankings. Formerly, Michael was the London 2012 Marketing and Communications Director for BT Global Services, and responsible for activating BT Global Services’ highly successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games marketing campaign worldwide, as well as being responsible for operational and crisis communications across BT’s highly acclaimed London 2012 Delivery programme. Michael then went on to form TrueGold Communications, a sports marketing agency specialising in technology-based global sport sponsorship.

Patrick Jeant

Director of Innovation

Bio coming soon…

Previous Speakers

Clare Connor

Director of England Women’s Cricket


Clare is a former England cricket captain. At the age of 30, she was awarded the OBE after leading England to a first Ashes win in 42 years. Clare retired from playing for England in 2006 with over 100 international caps and having led the team for 6 years. Clare is now Director of England Women’s Cricket at the England & Wales Cricket Board driving a hugely successful period for the women’s game. This included a spell of four years from 2009-2013 where the England women’s team retained their number one world ranking and back-to-back Ashes wins in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, the ECB announced professional contracts for England’s top 18 female players, a ground-breaking step for women’s cricket.

Damani Leech

Vice President, Football Strategy & Business Development


Damani Leech began working at the League office in 2015.  In his current role he develops strategic plans for new or existing football operations platforms to position the game of football for long-term growth in the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, he serves as an interdepartmental liaison on behalf of football operations to other League office business units to better integrate football operations opportunities and key considerations into league-wide business planning and partnerships.

Prior to the NFL, Damani Leech worked at the NCAA national office for over 17 years, where he provided strategic oversight and direction for multiple NCAA championships – including Division I football, women’s volleyball, men’s ice hockey and baseball – in addition to managing the Association’s playing rules & officiating department.

A native of Tacoma, Washington, he received his bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and International Affairs from Princeton University in 1998, where he was an All-Ivy League football student-athlete.

Joanna Manning-Cooper

Digital, Marketing and Communications Director

England Rugby

Joanna became RFU Director of Digital, Marketing and Communications in May 2016 and is responsible for the England Rugby digital, marketing and communications strategy, integration, planning and delivery. Her remit covers: England Rugby content and channels, including digital strategy and delivery, team and corporate communications, media relations and media operations, CRM, the England Rugby brand as well as setting and delivering the fan’s stadium spectator experience and match-day sports presentation. She was Communications and Marketing Director for three years at England Rugby 2015, organisers of Rugby World Cup 2015.

John West

Founder and CEO

Whistle Sports

As CEO and Founder of Whistle Sports, John West is responsible for executing the company’s mission. West has more than two decades’ worth of experience of launching and growing businesses, including Enstrat, an environmental engineering firm, and Silver Oak Solutions, a financial services firm. In addition, West was a partner at management consultancy firm Mitchell Madison Group. In 2008, West formed Whistle Sports to provide millennial sports fans with engaging content, direct on social media platforms. West holds a BSc in engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife have three children.

John Gleasure

Chief Commercial Officer


John is one of the founders of Perform and is currently Chief Commercial Operator of DAZN and a member of the board for Perform Group. Over the past 11 years, John has overseen all Commercial Partnerships and Rights Relationships and its international expansion across the globe. John has over 23 years’ experience within the Sports, Entertainment and Music business, having previously spent time at Sky Sports, EMI Records, Hutchinson Whampoa and Sony Pictures.

Julie Bogaert

Strategic Partnerships, EMEA


Julie Bogaert is part of the Media Partnerships team at Facebook where she manages relationships with emerging talent and public figures across EMEA. She has worked at Facebook for over two years ago, where she joined from Sony Music. At Sony Julie managed brand partnerships for artists signed to the Sony Music roster.

Mai Fyfield

Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer


Mai is Sky’s Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer. Mai leads the strategy function across the group. She is also responsible for the distribution of Sky’s channels to other platforms including cable and IPTV.  Her team acquires third party channels and VOD services to include in Sky’s packages.  Her remit also covers business development which spans partnerships with large corporations such as Vodafone and Apple to working with early stage companies such as Roku.  She joined Sky in 1999, and prior to that spent nine years working as an economic advisor to blue-chip companies in a number of different industries, both in the UK and the USA.  She has a BA in Economics from Cambridge University and a Masters in Economics from Tufts University, USA.  Mai is a Non-Executive Director of Nationwide.

Matthew Roberts

Global Research Director

Formula 1

After graduating in French & German from Bath University in 2001, I joined the Millward Brown graduate programme,. After building up a solid understanding of media research at Millward Brown, I joined the research team GWR radio where I stayed for 2 years. I then spent 4 years in the national newspaper market, taking on senior research roles at both The Sun and Daily Mirror. I joined Eurosport as Head of Research in September 2008, before moving to ESPN UK in July 2010 where I headed up the EMEA Research team. There, my team focused on devising a quantitative/qualitative research strategy with the ultimate objective of growing subscribers and audience across all ESPN TV & Digital brands. After the sale of ESPN in 2013, I joined BT Sport to set up the insight function for the brand new sports channel before joining Sky to head up their sports insight division. In 2017, I joined Formula One as Global Research Director.

Who Attends


Omnigon is a team of digital strategists, artists and technologists working exclusively in digital content delivery in the sports, media and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 2008, Omnigon has established itself as a market leader, focused on helping clients achieve returns on the strategic, creative and technical investments they’ve made. Omnigon, headquartered in New York and with offices in Los Angeles, London, Toronto, Kiev and St. Petersburg, works with celebrated, global brands including PGA TOUR, AS Roma, NASCAR, World Rugby, Arsenal FC, Little League International, the United States Golf Association (USGA), FOX Sports, Miami Heat and countless others.













European Tour



Hookit is the leading sponsorship analytics and valuation platform for sports. Hookit developed the first, most trusted standard in the global marketplace that effectively measures $5B per month of previously unknown sponsorship value that brands receive from athletes, teams, leagues, venues and events in social and digital media. Hookit aggregates billions of data points from social and digital platforms and uses machine learning and predictive analytics to provide real-time insights and valuations for brands and properties to quantify and maximize sports sponsorships. For more information, visit www.hookit.com.





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