| Oct 14, 2014

The revamped event, with a new brand identity and a new format, saw over 60 international speakers take to the stage covering 24 sessions and 5 themes; the leader, the business, the fan, the brand and the technology.

A record number of delegates, 1764 in total, attended with over 70% from outside the UK and spread across 54 countries. With the summit streamed live online and broadcast all over the world by 150 media in attendance and the Leaders14 hashtag proving a hit with delegates and followers alike, it made for a genuinely global event for the global business of sport. The event sold out in record time, some three and a half weeks ahead of schedule with 189 delegates on the waiting list unfortunately missing out.  Sadly only 6% of delegates were women leaders in sport but, with a highly successful networking breakfast arranged for those in attendance, the organisers are committed to increasing this statistic in years to come.

A strong football presence on stage included CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb; UEFA and AFC General Secretaries Gianni Infantino and Dato Alex Soosay; owners from AS Roma, Inter Milan and Club Santos Laguna; FIFA’s Thierry Weil and Michel D’Hooghe; ECA Board members Karl Heinz Rummenigge, Umberto Gandini and Pedro Lopez Jiminez from giants Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Real Madrid; Christian Siefert, CEO, Bundesliga on the German master plan; as well as a Premier League Manager, Champions League Manager, Premier League player, and one of the world’s biggest football agents in Sean Dyche, Paolo Sousa, Mark Schwarzer and Paul Stretford.  The football community was further boosted by the European Club Association and European Professional Football Leagues who both hosted their Executive meetings at the event.

The content expanded into a number of fascinating areas for the sports business with Microsoft Chief Envisioning Officer, David Coplin and AKQA’s Founder, Ajaz Ahmed on creativity and consumer trends; Beats by Dre CMO, Omar Johnson on their engaging World Cup campaign; digital fan engagement with NBA’s Melissa Brenner, Facebook’s Glenn Miller, Borussia Dortmund’s David Gorges, San Francisco 49’ers lead consultant Craig Howe, Arsenal’s Michael Leavey, Real Madrid’s Rafael De Los Santos, Olympic diver Tom Daley and Major League Gaming’s Founder, Sundance DiGiovanni; media trends with ESPN’s Russell Wolff, Bleacher Report Founder, Dave Finocchio and Ralph Rivera from BBC Future Media; the future of sponsorship with Nissan’s Roel De Vries, Allianz Global Brand Director Christian Deuringer, Coca-Cola’s Amber Steele, Apex-Brasil’s Marcello Martins, Heineken’s Hans Erik Tujit, Citigroup’s Chief Brand Officer Dermot Boden and Claire Williams from Williams F1. The content was complemented perfectly with engaging sessions on the North American market from brothers Tim and Todd Leiweke, an insight into a US owners mind-set in NJ Devils/Philadelphia 76’ers owner Josh Harris, as well as world class leadership sessions from Travis Tygart from the USADA and Sir David Brailsford, Team Principal, Team Sky.

The launch dinner for the Leaders Under 40 Awards, a global search for the best talent in the business of sport under the age of 40, was held at the BAFTA’s in London on the 8th October and hailed an overwhelming success by the 100 leaders in sport that attended. With over 20 international judges already confirmed for the initiative, and the list continuing to grow, the Awards will be an accolade worth winning for the next generation of leaders in the business of sport. The Summit also saw the launch of Leaders Consulting, a Management Consultancy taking insights from the performance realm of sport and delivering organisational and personal development programmes to business.

Louise Cheetham, Head of Sponsorship & CR Manager at Aviva described the sessions at the event as ‘stimulating, empowering, challenging and thought provoking’, whilst Teri Naidna, Director of Business Development at the NFL said ‘the quality was amazing, as always’. Richard Moore, CEO at Capitalize hailed the Summit ‘a great success’, Tim Leiweke, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment who spoke at the event said he was ‘glad to be a part of it’ and Sophie Goldschmidt, Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer, Rugby Football Union called it a ‘great conference’. Alex Horne, General Secretary, FA, described the Leaders Under 40 launch as ‘an interesting event with a good room of people’, and ‘a good chance to meet up with a number of key contacts’ is how Matt Stevenson, Head of Sponsorship at EE described the event. Matt Cutler, Editor, Sport Business International described the event as ‘superb’ with ‘top delegates, interesting and varied panels’, whilst Bill Sweeney, CEO, British Olympic Association praised ‘an excellent event and concept’.

James Worrall, CEO, Leaders commented: “We’re really thrilled with the success of this year’s Leaders Sport Business Summit. We’ve had some fantastic feedback on the quality of speakers, seniority of delegates and the customer experience.  We know there is still room for improvement and we look forward to working with the Leaders community to make sure the next event we run is even better.”

The Leaders Sport Business Summit is an exclusive invite only event, with 1500 places available to Director level executives in sport worldwide. To learn more about the event, please contact one of the team on +44 (0) 207 042 8666 or visit the conference subpage here.



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