2019’s iSportconnect Dubai Summit took place on Thursday, December 5 at the Dubai Sports Council, bring together key figures from the world of sport for a fantastic day of networking and learning.
Host of the day’s events, Ben Nichols, said of the event, “The fourth iSportConnect Dubai Summit proved to be a huge success. Attended by delegates from the sporting world, participants gathered in the Dubai Sports Council headquarters to hear some of the leading voices from the industry discuss topics ranging from fan engagement to sponsorship and partnerships and from big events to the ever-growing world of eSports.”
“The event was headlined by a captivating discussion on Big Events, which featured World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper, the ICC’s Head of Global Events Chris Tetley and FIBA’s Director General Frank Leenders. Fresh off the back of their own respective world cups this year, all three representatives spoke of the importance of balancing their day to day governing body roles with that of being event organisers, the ever-changing expectations of host cities and partners with major events and the rise of the women’s game in their respective sports.”
The day began with an introduction from Ben, before a very interesting opening presentation on fan engagement delivered by Heikki Rotko of Choicely, setting up the first panel.
The morning session’s first panel then followed on the similar topic of ‘Global Fan Engagement’, featuring Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, Kinda Ibrahim, Partnerships Director, MENA at Twitter and Maite Venture, Managing Director of MENA for LaLiga, which was moderated by Mark Bishop of Vindicia.
We then moved onto the topic of Esports for our second panel, with David Jenns of Emirates Esports and Rupert Svendsen-Cook from Veloce Esports joining us to take part alongside Christian Volk, Director of eFootball and Gaming at FIFA, moderated by Mark Reed, Founder and Owner of Heaven Media.
Prior to lunch, we finished with another presentation, this time from Christophe Firth of A.T. Kearney, who delivered a presentation surrounding the changing model of sports media in “the Digital Age”.
Our guests then enjoyed a networking lunch followed by Francis Casado of 3D Digital Venue giving an excellent presentation on how their 3D visualisation technology can benefit ticketing sales for both fans and stadiums.
The first panel of the afternoon session surrounded ‘Sponsorship and the Evolution of Partnerships’, with participants Peter Thomas, Marketing Director of EMEA at Accenture, Juli Ferré, Commercial and Marketing Officer at AS Monaco and Arjoon Bose, Head of Brands Experience Creative and Partnerships, General Mills, with the panel moderated by Luis Cardenas of LaLiga.
Our final panel focussed on three of 2019’s major sporting events, the men’s world cup in rugby, cricket and basketball. Participating in this panel we had Brett Gosper, CEO of World Rugby, Frank Leenders, General Secretary of FIBA Media and Chris Tetley, Head of Global Events for the International Cricket Council. ICC Chief Executive Officer Manu Sawhney was unfortunately forced to pull out of the event, however Chris was able to join us to discuss the fantastic success of the 2019 World Cup.