Who's joined us in the past
Here’s a snapshot of some of the A-List keynote speakers that we’ve had join us across the years.
One of the World’s best-known sports promoters, Eddie Hearn heads up the Matchroom Sport group of companies, one of the World’s largest suppliers of sports programming; supplying virtually every major broadcaster of sports in the World. Perhaps best known for his role in World boxing, Hearn has staged and promoted world-class shows from 90,000 crowds at Wembley Stadium to sell-outs at the Mecca of Boxing Madison Square Garden in New York.
Matchroom Boxing is firmly established as the foremost boxing promotional outfit in the World, and with well over three decades of vast experience, the company has taken boxing onto another level in the UK with a series of ground-breaking promotions that have broken all records for ticket sales and viewership.
Hearn landed boxing’s first ever $1bn deal in May 2018 as Matchroom and streaming giant DAZN announced plans of their bold new move into the States. Hearn boasts an unrivalled stable of talent that includes Heavyweight icon Anthony Joshua OBE and Women’s Undisputed Lightweight Champion of the World Katie Taylor.
Dawn was CEO of Getty Images between 2015 and 2018 and remained as a non-executive director until July 2022. Dawn is on the Boards of Channel 4, Grosvenor Estates and Blackbird. She is Chair of the FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship Board, The National Youth Theatre and Digital Theatre. Dawn was also a member of the Government’s Expert Panel for a Fan-Led Review of Football. Dawn is a veteran of the media industry having worked in television for 30 years, holding senior positions at ITV, Channel 5 and BSKYB. She also spent 3 years at Yahoo EMEA.
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.
Following a highly-accomplished professional career on the ATP Tour during which he won three ATP titles and reached a career-high FedEx ATP Ranking of No. 18, ANDREA GAUDENZI obtained a law degree from the University of Bologna, Italy, followed by a Master of Business Administration at the International University of Monaco, where he graduated with honours. He went on to forge a successful career in business over the next 15 years across a wide range of sectors including sports marketing, entertainment, data, technology and media. He held leadership positions at several start-up entertainment, tech and gaming businesses in London, including Musixmatch and Soldo, as well as serving on the Board of ATP Media, where he was instrumental in leading the successful restructuring of the business which serves as the broadcast arm of the ATP Tour.
Former Director of Sport
Barbara Slater took up her role as Director of Sport in April 2009.She had previously been Head of Production and Head of General Sports for the department. Her responsibilities include working with governing bodies to retain a broad portfolio of broadcasting rights, overseeing the planning and coverage of major sporting events and leading the sports journalism operation at BBC Sport’s home in Salford. Barbara was responsible for the BBC’s acclaimed cross-platform coverage of the London Olympic Games – the most watched TV event in UK broadcasting history. Barbara was awarded the ‘Inspirational Woman Prize’ at the Women in Film and Television Awards in recognition of this achievement and has since been appointed as an adviser to the IOC Radio and Television Commission and the UK’s Sports Business Council. Barbara joined the BBC in 1983 as a trainee assistant producer in the Natural History Unit in Bristol, but has spent most of her career as a producer in BBC Sport, specialising in outside broadcasts and overseeing the production of a range of sports including tennis and golf. Barbara was awarded the OBE in 2014 for her services to sports broadcasting. She grew up in Birmingham, and was an international gymnast, competing for Great Britain at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976. Barbara is married with three children.
Sergei Palkin has held the position of CEO at FC Shakhtar Donetsk since June 2004. From 1997 to 2001, Mr Palkin worked as a Senior Auditor at JV Coopers & Lybrand (later – PricewaterhouseCoopers). Since July 2001, he has held the position of director of economics and finance at Kryvyi Rih Cement and Mining Combine OJSC. Since June 2003, Mr Palkin has been the Financial Director of Shakhtar FC. On June 18, 2004, he was appointed General Director.In 1996, Sergei Palkin became a qualified financial manager after graduating from the National Academy of Management with a degree in Finance and Credit”. Since 2002, he has been a member of the Association of Chartered Accountants (Great Britain). In 2009, Mr Palkin was awarded the Order of Merit, III degree and in 2011, he was awarded the Order of Merit II degree.
Humphrey Ker started his career in the world of entertainment, with several years at the BBC before moving to the US in 2013. There, he has worked on a variety of different TV shows, from American Auto and Mythic Quest to It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Curb Your Enthusiasm, in a variety of different capacities. In 2020, he helped Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds see their takeover of Wrexham AFC come to fruition and in early 2021 he was appointed Executive Director of the Club. In this capacity, he sits on the board and acts as a liaison between Rob and Ryan and the boots on the ground in Wales.
VP, Business Development & Partnerships
Marc is Vice President, Busiess Development and Partnerships at Spotify, where he pioneers game-changing deals, including key partnerships with Vodafone, AT&T, Starbucks, Hulu, FC Barcelona and Google. He has also been responsible for distributing and growing Spotify Premium via partners and leading new Premium revenue lines. Since joining the Band, Marc has helped Premium grow from 1M subscribers in 2011 to well over 205M today. Initially, he ran commercial relationships with major record labels, renegotiating contracts in the multi-billions.
Prior to Spotify, Marc oversaw business development for SONY music digital in Europe. There he led the label to a successful partnership with Spotify in the midst of a declining industry and piracy. He also worked at British Telecom Ventures Group on the UK’s first mobile TV initiative and at Accenture as a strategy consultant within its Communications and Media practice. In his spare time, Marc enjoys playing tennis, listening to what is probably considered to be age-inappropriate music and cheering on Arsenal
Head of Sports Partnerships
Tian is the Head of Sports at Roblox, where she is tasked to deliver on a compelling vision for Roblox in the exciting world of sports. She envisions a future where Roblox will be central to building fandom, mobilizing communities, and harmoniously bridging the physical and virtual worlds to make sports ever more engaging, and is thrilled to collaborate with the world’s best leagues, teams, athletes, and brands to make that a reality. Prior to Roblox, Tian worked at Unity Technologies, most recently as the Director and General Manager of the company’s sports vertical where she focused on leveraging real-time 3D technologies to transform sports consumption and commercialization. She also held positions in Unity’s Media & Entertainment and Gaming divisions. Before jumping into the immersive world of gaming, Tian spent years in enterprise tech, having held positions at Adobe where she managed the gross margin strategy for Creative Cloud, and at Cisco Systems where she held a variety of strategic finance roles, from structuring multi-billion dollar telco deals to helping build Cisco’s cloud business venture. Tian holds a bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley and an MBA from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania. Whilst there, Tian founded PennImmersive, Penn’s first immersive technologies association. After over two decades in the Bay Area, Tian recently moved to New York City where she is fully enjoying the distinct seasons, diversity, and the art and creative scenes the city has to offer.
Chair & CEO
President & CEO - Global Streaming & Games
JB Perrette is President & CEO of Discovery Networks International (DNI), a global leader in real life entertainment with worldwide distribution in both television and emerging digital platforms. Based in London, Perrette oversees and sets the strategy for all of Discovery’s business outside the United States. Discovery’s unrivaled global footprint includes an average of 10 channels across 220 countries and territories. Discovery has strengthened its presence in key markets through numerous transactions, including the acquisition of Eurosport, which led to the ground-breaking agreement with the International Olympic Committee making Discovery and Eurosport the home of the Olympic Games across Europe beginning in 2017. Discovery continues to play a pioneering role as a true innovator across the media landscape by creating new story telling genres and investing in technology.
Perrette joined Discovery in October 2011 as Chief Digital Officer and prior to this, he spent 11 years with NBCUniversal, most recently serving as President, Digital and Affiliate Distribution, in addition to playing a leadership role in developing Hulu. Before joining NBC in 2000, Perrette was a member of General Electric’s top leadership development program based in London, and at CS First Boston in London and Tokyo. Perrette received his B.A. from Hamilton College, New York.
Chief Revenue Officer
President & Managing Director WBD Sports Europe
Andrew Georgiou is President of Eurosport and responsible for all of Discovery’s sports businesses, including the recent launch of sport on discovery+, the Olympic Games, Global Cycling Network, Eurosport Events and represents Discovery’s interests on the Board of Formula E.
Andrew is responsible for all rights acquisitions across Discovery platforms, as well as the integration of all sales and marketing efforts across the Group.
Discovery’s sports businesses reach over 115m unique individuals per month across its owned and operated platforms and over 200m when including third-party platforms.
Before joining Discovery, Andrew had a successful 13-year association with Group Lagardère, firstly as CEO of Lagardère Sports Asia and latterly Lagardère Sports and Entertainment where he served as Global Chief Executive Officer.
Prior to linking up with Group Lagardère, Andrew was CEO of the PGA TOUR of Australasia.
Andrew lives in London with his wife and four children.
Head of Marketing and Commercial, Women's Football
Anna Kessel MBE
Executive Director of Development
Anna Kessel MBE is Sky Sports’ Executive Director for Development. An award-winning journalist and champion for agenda-setting change, she was previously Editor for Telegraph Women’s Sport. Prior to that Anna spent 15 years at the Guardian and Observer covering Olympic Games, World Cups and World Championships, and interviewing some of the biggest stars in sport. In 2016 Anna was awarded an MBE for services to journalism and women in sport, and published Eat Sweat Play: How Sport Can Change Your Life. Co-founder of Women in Football, The Independent described her as a “fearless adversary of sexism” in their list of the 50 Most Influential Women in Sport.
Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman
Paul Barber joined the board of Brighton & Hove Albion FC as chief executive in June 2012. In his first season with Brighton, the club secured its highest league position for over 30 years, made the Championship play-offs, enjoyed the highest average attendances in its division, and signed its largest-ever shirt sponsorship agreement, a multi-year deal with American Express.
With a career in professional football that commenced in 1993 at Scarborough AFC, some 30 years later and after spells at Bradford City, Leeds United and as CEO of the EFL, it is the bright lights of Wrexham that are now keeping him occupied. Having left the EFL in 2019, he formed his own consultancy business, Wantaway Limited that provides services to many involved directly or on the periphery of the football business, including FIFA, Macron, and the Football Finance Group. At Wrexham, he acts as the Strategic Advisor to the Board and the driving force behind what is happening in North Wales.
Alan Gilpin is the Chief Executive Officer of World Rugby (and Managing Director of Rugby World Cup Limited). Alan leads World Rugby and the delivery of an ambitious new strategic plan focused on the global growth of rugby, and making the sport more accessible and more relevant around the world. He is also responsible for the management of the globally-renowned Rugby World Cup brand, including the preparations and delivery for Rugby World Cup 2021 in New Zealand (women’s) and Rugby World Cup 2023 in France (men’s).
SVP, International Operational Excellence
Beverly is Senior Vice President of International Operational Excellence at American Express. She leads a pan-International organisation responsible for driving process excellence across the business. Beverly has been with American Express for 34 years, working across many areas of the company. Beverly is the senior sponsor for the American Express partnership with Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club and their charitable arm, Albion in the Community.
Global Sponsorship Strategy Lead
Kishi Dickinson is Global Sponsorship Strategy Lead for Cognizant, a technology company that engineers modern businesses to improve everyday life. Her 20+ year career spans marketing, communications, and events but leveraging sponsorships to strategically align with enterprise goals and objectives is her true passion. Working in partnership with rights holders such as 6 Nations Rugby, the British Triathlon Federation and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One (AMF1), she has helped create engaging, differentiated brand activations for audiences of some of the world’s largest Tech companies. At Cognizant, Kishi works across a portfolio of sponsorships, focusing on enabling the global marketing team and wider business to get the best value out of these investments. Her current mission is unlock the full value of Cognizant’s partnership with SailGP, with a focus on amplifying both organizations’ commitment to sustainability via collaborative work on SailGP’s Impact League. Kishi is never happier than when a partnership has purpose at its centre, and the opportunity to create positive social impact.
Jaguar TCS Racing Formula E Driver & Co-Founder
Mitch Evans is a professional racing driver from New Zealand. He has made a name for himself in the world of motorsport, with notable achievements in GP3 (now F3) and the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship, racing for Jaguar TCS Racing, where he secured his first win in 2019 and has since become a key contender in the series. Known for his exceptional racing skills and determination, Mitch Evans is a rising star in the racing world. Outside of racing, he has positioned himself as an active investor in the sports and media space and is the Co-founder of APEX.
Chris Richards is a centre back for Crystal Palace and the US Men’s National Team. He initially broke through at FC Dallas, and swiftly moved over to Germany with Bayern Munich at the age of 18. He made his Bundesliga debut that same summer, and shortly after had two successful loan spells with 1899 Hoffenheim. This summer, Chris fulfilled a lifelong dream to play Premier League football and signed for Crystal Palace; he won the club’s Player of the Month award in January 2023. Chris is extremely passionate and outspoken about black history; he has a series of black icons tattooed on his body and is devoted to raising awareness for issues African Americans face to this day.
Former England Rugby Player & Co-Founder
Lawrence Bruno Nero Dallaglio OBE is one of the true icons of British sport and one of the outstanding and compelling figures in England Rugby history. Regarded as one of the world’s greatest ever back row forwards Lawrence achieved everything there is to achieve in Rugby for both club and country. Lawrence is immensely proud to have captained his country during an England career that saw him capped 85 times. He won the inaugural Rugby World Cup 7s in 1993 and of course, the 2003 Rugby World Cup, where he was the only player to play in every minute of every match during England’s successful campaign in Australia. This achievement also made Lawrence one of only two northern hemisphere players to hold world cup winners medals in both the 7s and 15 man game. He also played on three British and Irish Lions Tours winning a series in South Africa in 1997.Lawrence was a one club man and from joining London Wasps in 1990 to his retirement in 2008 he had a stellar career with the London Club captaining them to Victory in 5 Premiership titles, 3 League Cups and 3 European trophies. He now sits on their Board. Since retiring from rugby Lawrence has established a number of business and commercial relationships. He launched a Sports Marketing Agency – BBH Sport; delivering strategy, creative and execution for a variety of clients including England 2015, LTA, RFU, Samsung and Adidas. He is also an ambassador of Land Rover Globally. Lawrence’s latest venture has seen him co-found tima, the digital transformation platform for sports. Lawrence uses his extensive expertise in sports and technology to drive tima forward, giving organisations the opportunity to connect with sports communities from the grassroots up, while offering clubs an app to manage their sporting world. Lawrence recently joined Maistro as Strategic Development Director, Leading the wider Maistro commercial team in the engagement of new business along with the development of strategic based propositions for the acquisition of sales-qualified mid to large market clients.He is also a Director at Akuma Sports, working on the overall company strategy and objectives. Key responsibilities include raising brand awareness and building relationships and partnerships with other businesses. Working particularly closely in the educational sector and grassroots sports.In addition to his commercial relationships, Lawrence also undertakes an impressive measure of charity work under the umbrella of his own award winning charity Dallaglio RugbyWorks. RugbyWorks is an intensive, long-term skills development programme based on rugby, through which we aim to get teenagers outside of mainstream education into sustained education, employment or training. In March 2013, Lawrence signed with BT Sport to become the leading rugby union expert. Lawrence’s venture began with BT Sport’s exclusive coverage of up to 69 live matches a season from the Aviva Premiership. He features both as a BT Sport co-commentator for some live matches and studio pundit for other live clashes. He is also a well-respected columnist for The Sunday Times. Lawrence’s outstanding achievements were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, where he was awarded an MBE (2004) and an OBE (2008). A keen Chelsea supporter he lives in Richmond, West London and is married to Alice. They have three children – Ella, Josie and Enzo.