Driving the new era of sports
Leading experts across the sports ecosystem will gather together on 28 & 29 April 2021 to discuss the most disruptive and challenging topics facing the industry today.
In 2020, attendees heard from and connected with the most innovative brands, rights holders and technologies from all corners of the globe.
Founded on six key pillars – everything from AI to data to sustainability to digital transformation was tackled head-on by the event’s pioneering speakers and thought leaders.
Virtual summit in numbers
2020 Virtual Summit Speakers
Gary Neville is a broadcaster, hotelier, property developer, football club owner and a director in a TV production company.
Having won everything possible with Manchester United under the great Sir Alex Ferguson, including 8 League Titles and 2 Champions League Trophies.
In 2011Gary joined Sky Sports and quickly became the most influential pundit on television and he and helped the Monday Night Football team win the RTS Award for Best Sports Programme in 2016.
Gary is uniquely placed to look at the sports industry from every angle.
Head of Sales, Americas
Kate Pratt serves as Head of Sales – Americas for Liverpool Football Club working under the stewardship of Fenway Sports Management (FSM). Pratt is responsible for all LFC commercial activities in the region and works in tandem with FSM to develop and execute LFC’s U.S. strategy. She is LFC’s first-ever senior executive liaison in the Americas and brings more than a decade of experience to her role.
Prior to joining Liverpool Football Club, Kate was Director of Team Sales and Marketing Partnerships at the Madison Square Garden Company. At MSG, she was responsible for finding new corporate partners through integrated marketing opportunities across MSG’s sports, live entertainment, and media properties. On the Team Sales side, Kate led the New York Knicks’ first-ever jersey patch partnership and was responsible for securing numerous brand partnerships across the company. Pratt began her sports career at the Breeder’s Cup and previously worked for the New York Yankees in corporate sales and sponsorship.
She was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 sports list in 2017 in recognition of her accomplishments and impact on the business of sports. Kate is originally from Fairfield, Connecticut, and a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, OH. Kate currently resides in New York City with her husband, Jay.
Will Yoder oversees strategy and initiatives for Instagram Sports Partnerships’ league and team partners, as well as the group’s go-to-market strategy for Instagram Shopping. Over the past three and a half years he has worked closely with hundreds of partners in the sports industry to help them better understand how to be successful on Instagram’s rapidly evolving platform of over 400 million sports fans, while also partnering strategically with them on amplifying their presence around major global sports moments.
Since joining Instagram in 2016, Yoder helped manage the go-to-market strategy for major product rollouts such as Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, IGTV, Camera A/R and Instagram Shopping, each of which scaled from zero to hundreds of millions of users since their launch. Yoder also oversaw the platform’s global initiatives around the 2018 World Cup which registered over 1 billion interactions and was the largest event ever measured event on Instagram.
Prior to joining Instagram, Yoder served as the Digital Lead for Octagon’s Athletes and Personalities group for five and a half years. In that role Yoder managed Octagon’s digital strategy and partnerships as well and oversaw the development and maintenance over Octagon-owned digital applications that reached hundreds of millions of sports fans.
In his spare time, Yoder has previously served as a Mentor for the Los Angeles Dodgers Accelerator as well as a Guest Lecturer for Georgetown’s Sports Industry Management graduate program. Born in Arlington, VA, Yoder graded from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in Journalism focusing on digital engagement and innovation. He currently resides in the New York City area with his wife, Colleen, and his two sons Bobby and Jack.
Head of Regional Marketing, Southern Europe
Jackie leads Regional Marketing for Visa in Southern Europe, covering Spain, Italy and Portugal. In addition to managing all brand and marketing activity for the region, she leads a team responsible for the local activation of world-renowned sponsorship programmes including FIFA, The Olympics and UEFA, with Visa being the biggest and most active sponsor of Women’s Football in Europe.
Prior to joining Visa, Jackie worked at MBNA / Bank of America, where she worked with some of the world’s leading sports and leisure brands in the UK, Spain and Italy, to launch affinity and co-brand credit card programmes. She has now worked in the payments industry for over 20 years.
Chairman & Founder
Andrea is a leading entrepreneur who has has been at the forefront of the global sports media industry throughout his distinguished career.
Andrea is owner and Chairman of global investment company Aser Ventures; Leeds United Football Club and international sports content platform Eleven Sports.
Andrea has also led Aser Ventures’ investment in several growing digital businesses including Whistle Sports, Hellodi, Easyprod and Sports Data Labs, creating an ecosystem of innovative services and sports related content
Head of Production
Monica Forlano has over 20 years of media industry experience ranging from managing international operations of cable television in Europe to leading broadcast channels and content production departments in Australia. Monica is Head of Production at the Australian Football League where she has implemented AI technology for matchday highlights production.
Group Vice President, International Strategy
As the NHL’s Group Vice President of International Strategy, Jaka Lednik is responsible for the development and implementation of the NHL’s strategy in Europe. Since joining the NHL in 2017, Lednik has been instrumental in the introduction of new NHL initiatives in Europe designed to expand the NHL’s footprint abroad and super-serve fans worldwide. The NHL Global Fan Tour is an interactive fan experience and touring tribute to the NHL. In its first two years, the Fan Tour visited 12 cities in three countries in Europe. The fan experience pays tribute to extraordinary players, championship teams and the Stanley Cup with an innovative museum that includes original video content as well as interactive content.
Lednik leveraged the NHL’s relationships with its international broadcast partners to introduce NHL European Game of the Week, delivering NHL games live in primetime on weekends throughout the season to fans in more than 24 countries and territories across Europe. The programming initiative creates a destination viewing experience for loyal NHL fans across Europe.
Prior to joining the NHL, Lednik served as a Principal at The Boston Consulting Group in London, United Kingdom, where he advised leading national and international financial services, insurance and sports organizations on their key strategic and operational issues.
While in London, Lednik was part of the London Organizing Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games. In the lead-up to the Games, he was responsible for identifying and monetizing new revenue opportunities. During the Games, Lednik was the lead representative for the Commercial Function at the Main Operations Centre, the ‘control room’ for the Games, and coordinated the approach and response to live games issues across ticketing, sponsorship and merchandising. One of his key roles was managing the venue-by-venue operational response to empty seats across both the Olympics and Paralympics.
Throughout his career, Lednik has been involved with nonprofit organizations that have are committed to service, education and volunteerism. He was a trustee and board member for the ABCTT, a charity that aims to introduce young people to climbing.
Lednik earned a first class master’s degree in Chemistry from Oxford University in the UK. He is fluent in German and Slovene and is conversational in French.
Lednik also has an MBA from Harvard Business School. During his time in Boston, Lednik supported the Boston Celtics in sponsorship sales, focusing on the NBA team’s digital assets as well as innovative new business ideas.
Advisory Board shaping the agenda
SportsPro has developed a comprehensive Advisory Board balancing international rights holders, broadcasters and technology leaders to shape the format and strategic direction of the event. The support and participation of these industry innovators ensures that we create the content, environment and ultimate value for each and every attendee.
Chief Marketing Officer
Bio Coming Soon…
Chief Technology Officer
European Tour / Ryder Cup
Michael was appointed as the CTO for the PGA European Tour in November 2017, with the responsibilities extending across Digital Systems, Scoring Systems, Technology Infrastructure and Data Management including Official World Golf Rankings.
Formerly, Michael was CEO And Co-founder for TrueGold Communications, a sports marketing agency specialising in technology-based global sport sponsorship, supporting the number of Olympic Games and sponsors for Rio2016, Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo2020, as well as the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.
Chief Finance and Commercial Officer
Alexander (Sasha) Ryazantsev joined the Board of Directors of Everton Football Club in March 2016 following a successful career in finance and investment banking spanning more than 20 years.
He became the Club’s first Chief Finance and Commercial Officer in June 2018.
Sasha graduated from the Russian Plekhanov University of Economics in 1995 with a BSc in Economics and Commercial Management, later working as an investment analyst at Global Natural Energy PLC, where Everton major shareholder Farhad Moshiri was CEO.
After completing his Masters in Finance from the London Business School in 2002, Sasha joined ABN AMRO Bank, where he led a team advising European consumer brands on their capital structures and corporate financing. Sasha was then invited to join the corporate financing and risk solutions team at RBS in 2007, where he was responsible for bond issues and mergers and acquisitions across Europe, Middle East and Africa. In 2016, Sasha advised Mr Moshiri on the acquisition of a significant stake in Everton and the strategy of the football club going forward.
Born into a footballing family, Sasha’s father was a goalkeeper at a number of clubs across the former USSR in the 1960s and 1970s and he himself played at right-back for Dynamo Moscow boys until the age of 16 but then turned his focus towards his studies.
In 2018, Sasha completed the Business of Entertainment, Media and Sport programme at Harvard Business School to further enhance his commitment to the business of sport and finance.
Head of Digital Projects
FC Bayern Munich
Benjamin is a native from Munich, Germany that studied Media Management and Sports Marketing. Steen has worked for over 15 years now in Germany’s largest and most successful soccer club, FC Bayern Munich. Since 2010 Benjamin has been responsible for the operations, marketing and development of digital projects. In 2014 Benjamin was put in charge of customer care, digital licensing as well as the digitalization of the Allianz Arena.
2020 Attendees included...
This event is designed for C-levels, senior vice presidents, directors and heads of departments from international rights holders, broadcasters and digital innovators. Download the sample delegate list to see who will be attending this year.
"SportsPro Live is an incredible gathering of sports leaders to discuss and network."
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