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Hassan Al Thawadi holds the position of Secretary General for the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the organization responsible for delivering stadiums and other infrastructure in readiness to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.
His appointment in March 2011 as Secretary General follows on from his role as CEO of the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee, in which he worked closely with Bid Chairman, H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Thani, promoting Qatar’s revolutionary and ultimately successful attempt to bring the FIFA World Cup™ to the Middle East for the first time.
A graduate in Law from Sheffield University, Hassan is also General Counsel at Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and Qatar Holding – entities founded by the State of Qatar in 2005 to diversify the country’s economy and that have recently invested in Porsche, Volkswagen, Barclays Bank, the New York Stock Exchange and Harrods. Prior to joining QIA in 2006, Hassan worked for Qatar Petroleum.
Eric Shanks is President, COO and Executive Producer of FOX Sports. Shanks oversees all entities within FOX Sports, including FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, the FOX Sports Regional Networks, FOX Deportes and all digital ventures. Shanks and FOX Networks Group President & COO Randy Freer were the driving force behind the historic and successful launch of America’s new sports networks, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2, on Aug. 17, 2013.
Shanks also serves as Executive Producer of all FOX Sports productions and is responsible for the look, sound, editorial content and superior quality of FOX Sports’ studio and game broadcasts. Named to the position in June 2010 at age 38, he is believed to be the youngest president of a broadcast network sports division ever.
He also oversees all aspects of FOX Sports television investments and partnerships. In addition, he spearheads the division’s strategy of pursuing major event programming to ensure FOX Sports position as a premier network sports broadcaster.
Futurist and Principal Engineer
The future is Brian David Johnson’s business. As a futurist at Intel Corporation, his charter is to develop an actionable vision for computing in 2020. His work is called “future casting”—using ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data, and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. Along with reinventing TV, Johnson has been pioneering development in artificial intelligence, robotics, and using science fiction as a design tool. He speaks and writes extensively about future technologies in articles and scientific papers as well as science fiction short stories and novels (Science Fiction Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction, Screen Future: The Future of Entertainment Computing and the Devices we Love, Fake Plastic Love, and Nebulous Mechanisms: The Dr. Simon Egerton Stories). He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter.
Managing Partner, Governor & Chief Executive Officer
One of the most successful teams in the NBA, the Boston Celtics’ seventeen championships are the most for any NBA franchise. As Managing Partner of Boston Basketball Partners LLC, a private investment group he formed alongside his father, Wyc purchased the Celtics in 2002 with the primary goal of returning the team to contention for their 17th World Championship. He achieved that goal on the 17 June 2008 when the Celtics defeated the Lakers by 39 points and became World Champions for the first time in 22 years.
With involvement across NBA business, Wyc currently serves as Chair of the NBA Planning Committee and as a member of the NBA Labor Relations, Finance, Compensation and Audit Committees.
Chief Marketing Officer
As Chief Marketing Officer, Denise Karkos is responsible for the overall management of TD Ameritrade’s Marketing to the Long-Term Investor, Trader and Advisor segments. Specific functions that she oversees include segment strategy, brand and advertising, social media and content marketing, marketing analytics and operations. Previous experience at TD Ameritrade includes Managing Director of Brand and Advertising and Managing Director of Retail Segment Strategy.
Prior to joining TD Ameritrade in 2010, Karkos spent four years with TD Bank, as the Senior Vice President of Marketing Planning, where she managed multiple bank acquisitions including Commerce Bank, which doubled the firm’s footprint.
With more than 20 years of experience, Karkos has held multiple positions building media and marketing strategies for national brands from both the advertising agency and the client side of the business. She has held positions in notable advertising agencies, including The VIA Group, Digitas, Hill Holliday and Initiative Media, where she played both account and media roles, and managed clients including American Express, Top Flite Golf, and Johnson & Johnson.
As the man at the helm of the luxury Swiss watchmaker, Jean-Claude is the brains behind a number of the brand’s successes. Using the sport industry to carve out Hublot’s market position in the watchmaking world, Jean Claude has helped the brand secure sponsorship deals with, amongst others, Manchester United, FC Bayern Munich, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Ajax Amsterdam, the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and the Financial Times. Hublot has also provided special versions of their watches to referees officiating at UEFA Euro 2008, served as the Official Watchmaker of Formula 1, the Official Watch and Official Timekeeper for both Ferrari and the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament, and also as the Official Time Keeper of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2014 FIFA World Cup.
VP of Marketing
Matt is currently VP of Marketing and Communications at Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers. Twitch launched in June 2011, won back-to-back Webby Awards in 2012 and 2013, and is growing fast. Business Insider called Twitch “one of Silicon Valley’s Hottest startups.”
Prior to Twitch, Matt launched and managed marketing for Socialcam, a stand-out social mobile video application that was acquired for $60 Million in July 2012.
From 2007 to 2010, Matt was Director of Marketing and Communications at Federated Media. During that time, FM became one of the leading voices in new media, and is now a top media property per comScore.
Professional Golfer & Captain
Paul achieved his place in golfing folklore by holing the winning putt on his Ryder Cup Debut in 2002. He also went on to represent European in 2004 and 2006, making him the first European Golfer to be a winner in every one of his three appearances. Once again Paul showed his skills at team golf when he led the Great Britain and Ireland team to victory in the 2009 and 2011 Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros, 2009 being in his first experience of captaincy.
He has always been passionate about the team format, a point that was recognised by Colin Montgomerie who named him as one of his Vice Captains for The Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor Resort. Whether it is The Ryder Cup, Seve Trophy, World Cup or Royal Trophy, he has been on a winning team for all of them. Paul also continues to help shape The European Tour as a member of the Tournament Committee.
Chief Marketing Officer
Lisa Baird was named chief marketing officer of the United States Olympic Committee in 2009. As the USOC’s CMO, Baird directs the sales and marketing division and oversees corporate sponsorship, properties, media, events, consumer products and direct marketing. Since joining the USOC, she has signed more than $400 million in revenue in one of the most challenging marketplaces in recent years and has successfully raised the awareness and profile of Team USA. Prior to joining the USOC Lisa served as senior vice president of marketing and consumer products for the NFL, where she directed the league’s consumer products, direct marketing, e-commerce, entertainment marketing and advertising programs. She also previously held a series of advertising and marketing positions at IBM, General Motors, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble.
Chief Executive Officer
Jens was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Redpoint Ventures prior to Jaunt. Before that he was a founder and CEO of Ellerdale, an AI startup focused on real-time semantic analysis. Ellerdale assembled a world-class technical team and was one of the first companies to process the full Twitter stream, enabling it to identify and organize trending topics in real-time. Flipboard, the worlds’ first social magazine, acquired Ellerdale in 2010.
Jens was also a founder of WebSwap, a pioneering barter site. Earlier, he was a founder and CEO of PostModern, a software company that developed the first Java ORB. It merged with Visigenic, a private enterprise software company, where he continued on as CTO and board member through its IPO and subsequent acquisition by Borland. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University and a B.A. in Computer Science from Columbia University.
SVP and General Manager, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr.
Keith Dawkins has been Senior Vice President of Programming Partnerships of Nickelodeon Networks, Inc. since November 2007. He is responsible for forging new creative partnerships and co-productions with non-traditional programming partners, while overseeing the international and domestic acquisitions of series, films, and short-form programming for both Nickelodeon and Nicktoons Network. Under Mr. Dawkins’ leadership, Nicktoons Network has hit the distribution milestone of 50 million households. The network also became ad-supported, in 2005, and now stands as the fastest growing kid’s network in the marketplace in the last two years. In his new, expanded position, Keith continues to oversee the daily operations of Nicktoons Network as its GM, as well as secure creative content deals, funding opportunities and partnerships with companies within the toy, gaming, digital, and movie studio industries. Prior to Nickelodeon, Mr. Dawkins served as Producer for Fox News Channel and as a Supervising Producer at VH1.
President & CEO
As chief executive of Discovery Communications, David Zaslav sets the strategy and oversees all operations for the #1 pay-TV programmer in the world. Discovery networks now reach nearly 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries.
Zaslav has led Discovery since 2007, executing a number of initiatives that have focused the organization on growth, performance and operational efficiency. He also has directed a strategic effort to clarify and strengthen Discovery’s world-class brands, including a renewed focus on creativity and increased investment in original content. Since Zaslav took the helm, Discovery has launched some of the fastest-growing cable networks in the U.S. Most recently, the company completed a transaction to acquire a controlling interest in top European sports platform, Eurosport International.
Chief Operating Officer
In 2013, Brent Dewar was named NASCAR’s first COO in seven years when he joined after three decades with General Motors, and before officially joining he had worked as a consultant to Chairman Brian France for a year. In his 32 years at General Motors, he learned the value of NASCAR while running the Chevrolet division and later presiding over GM’s $3 billion annual media budget. NASCAR recently began their 10-year media partnership with NBC Sports Group and it will be highlighted by multiple network broadcasts, including the season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship event, which will be on network television for the first time since 2009.
Ivan was a member of the founding management team that set up Major League Soccer in 1996. In 2001 he was appointed its Deputy Commissioner and, during his time, oversaw the key strategic and business decisions of MLS and its marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing.
He was appointed CEO of Arsenal in 2009, one of the world’s most prestigious football clubs with a massive global fan following. The team has an unparalleled record of on-field consistency, qualifying for the Champions’ League 17 years in a row, and is renowned for its values-driven, self-funding approach. In recent years Arsenal has signed two of the most lucrative shirt sponsorship contracts in the EPL with Emirates and Puma, reportedly worth approximately $100 million/year in aggregate, and has built an extensive partnerships portfolio including Gatorade, Huawei and Citroen.
Chief Executive Officer
Liverpool FC is widely considered one of the most historic and internationally popular soccer brands in the world. Since first joining his home city club as the Commercial Director in 2007 Ian’s been responsible for a number of successes, including securing what is thought to be one of the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deals in soccer – the club’s deal with Standard Chartered Bank.
Ian was promoted to Managing Director at Liverpool in 2011 and CEO earlier this year. Ian spent the earlier part of his career in a number of roles including Chief Operating Officer at Total Sports Asia and Chief Executive and Chairman at Huddersfield Town FC, before making the move back to his home town.
President & CEO
As the Chief Executive Officer of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, Brett Yormark oversees the business enterprise that manages and controls Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets, and the New York Islanders business operations, as well as the redevelopment and future operation of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Since its grand opening in September 2012, Yormark has had oversight for all facets of Barclays Center, including operations, event programming, sales, and marketing. In moving the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn, Yormark developed and transformed the team’s brand from a sports logo to a trendy lifestyle brand, revolutionizing the public appeal through marketing, partnerships, and public relations efforts.
Billy King was named as the Nets’ general manager on July 14, 2010, and oversees all aspects of the team’s basketball operations. In July of 2012 the Nets advanced to the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-07 season and did the same the following summer in 2013. Before the Nets, King served as the Philadelphia 76ers team president from 2003-2007. He originally joined the 76ers in 1997 as Vice President of Basketball Administration, a role in which he served as the point person for basketball operations. Less than a year later he was promoted to general manager before being named team president following the 2002-03 season. King has been honoured and recognized by numerous organizations for his dedication and commitment to success.
General Manager Global Sports Marketing
Heading up PUMA’s global sports marketing since 2010, Christian has been responsible for the sponsorship and business development (sports licensing) strategy, to lead key rights negotiations, to secure and manage athlete endorsements and sign professional sports teams as well as other marketing platforms to create consumer demand for the PUMA brand globally. Using the advantages of Big Data he heads up the ROO/ROI measurement of the global investments in sports assets.
President, Global Operations and Merchandising
As President of Global Operations and Merchandising, Salvatore LaRocca manages the NBA’s regional offices and international development as well as the league’s award-winning merchandising and consumer products business.
LaRocca oversees a staff based in offices worldwide who manage the NBA’s international business activities across consumer products, television and media, marketing partnerships, events, communications, and new business initiatives. LaRocca is also responsible for all aspects of the NBA, WNBA, and NBA Development League merchandising business, including product development, merchandising, licensing, sales development, marketing, retail, and direct-to-consumer initiatives. The NBAStore.com and the league’s publishing and home video business units also report to LaRocca.
Under his direction, NBA merchandise is now available in more than 100 countries on six continents and sales on NBAStore.com have increased by more than 100 percent.
David Blitzer is a co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA, and New Jersey Devils of the NHL alongside Apollo Global Management co-founder Joshua Harris. David is a senior managing director at the $265 billion private equity firm Blackstone Group and In August 2013 they also purchased a majority stake in NHL team the New Jersey Devils. David heads Blackstone’s tactical opportunities unit, which launched in early 2012 and has been raising lots of cash. The division invests in illiquid or longer-term assets that fall outside the firm’s other fund strategies.
Executive Vice-President International
Waller joined the NFL in February 2006, heading up the league’s international effort. He was named senior vice president of marketing and sales in June 2007 before being named the NFL’s first Chief Marketing Officer in September 2009.
Waller is responsible for creating an integrated marketing function that operates across all NFL platforms and properties, including NFL Ventures, NFL Network and NFL.com. He works closely with sponsors, network partners, advertisers and licensees to ensure that the NFL brand is consistently presented in alignment with our goals. In addition to his responsibility for the NFL brand, marketing, promotions and creative across all entities, Waller continues to oversee the international business.
Guy-Laurent Epstein joined UEFA in October 2002 and became Head of Marketing Activities in December 2004. In 2005, he then created the Media Rights unit which is responsible of the overall sales of the UEFA competitions TV rights, which he managed till March 2010, when UEFA decided to set up a new company UEFA Events SA to handle all UEFA’s commercial and event operations, in order to deliver a better and streamlined service.
Consequently, Guy-Laurent was appointed Director of Marketing of UEFA Events SA and as such, he is responsible for the ongoing development of the marketing and commercial activities across all competitions of UEFA.