The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer
Terrence Burns, “Olympic Marketing Unpacked”

Terrence Burns, “Olympic Marketing Unpacked”

July 28, 2021

Terrence Burns is best known as the “Bidding Guy” (in his own words), having supported and worked on more successful Olympic bids than anyone else in the industry. Lots of great stories and learn from his incredible experiences at Delta Airlines (which inspired several books) to working with sponsors and brands across the world. Great insights into the Olympic Games, from bidding processes and how it has changed, to branding the Games, to emotions which describes what the Rings mean to people.  Enjoy the history lesson of the Games while watching the Tokyo Olympics 2020-21.   

 

Key Highlights

  1. Starting at the bottom of Delta Airlines fresh out of College –  Maintenance Utility Employee & working his way up the ranks over a period of 15 years 
  2. Official Airline of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta – how it all started 
  3. Leading Delta’s sponsorship program of the Games, massive learning curve.  Key setting clear KPI’s, to manage the board expectations
  4. Moving from being a Client to the Agency side with Meridien Management, official marketing agency of the IOC
  5. Joining Founders Chris Welton and Laurent Scharapan as Sn. VP Marketing – commissioned first proper research on the IOC and Olympic brand  
  6. McDonald’s five Cheeseburger Olympic story to illustrate the change in thinking
  7. Sponsors have to tell a story to show consumers why they are involved and build the connection.  The fee is just the entry ticket to the party. 
  8. Celebrate Humanity Campaign with Robin Williams 
  9. Talking numbers of Olympic programs in early 2000 – both for the TOP and LOC program 
  10. Salt Lake City crisis and how it turned around through “research lead facts” with sponsors 
  11. Losing Moscow Bid, character building and leading to the next gig – Sochi 
  12. Partnering with Frank Craighill, one of the foundering partners of ProServe (Donald Dell’s Agency) and Chris Walton to launch Helios (adding Chris Renner, Prescient later)
  13. Success with Five Olympic bids & 2 World Cups , bringing Wrestling & Golf back into the Games, Asian Games, etc – helping to steer those bids and creating the stories around it
  14. PyeongChang winning bidding story vs Munich’s losing story 
  15. New IOC approach to decide on future locations – no longer beauty parades, now Executive Board looks at which cities reflect the Olympic Values and best location for the movement 
  16. Emotional Senegal story – Olympics means “hope” 
  17. Asian Games gig – a balancing act – Doha 2030 and Saudi Arabia 2034
  18. Current focus for him – working with Sponsor on the great decade of global Sports for North America, from the 2026 World Cup to the 2028 LA Olympics to potentially the Winter Olympics in 2030
  19. Basic advice to sponsors – don’t sign the BTA (Basic Terms of Agreement) before you get advice from an expert
  20. Latest numbers, US$ 200 million fees for TOP or LOC programs (4 year cycle) – the ratio of fees to activation investment debate
  21. LA Bid about the next 100 years of the Olympic movement 
  22. Sochi story – the US$ 50 billion number unpacked 
  23. Tokyo 2020-21 thoughts to wrap it up – differences in sponsor mind set in Japan or China vs the US market

 

About Terrence Burns

I have a long history in Olympic marketing, dating from 1993. My background is unique, and includes: 

  1. A combination of sponsorship consulting/sales, Olympic and World Cup bidding, Olympic Agreement negotiation, and international sports branding and communications.
  2. Serving "on all sides of the table" - as an Olympic sponsor, as a rights holder with the IOC/Meridian, and as a consultant to bidding cities and nations, rights holders and sponsors around the world.
  3. Advising clients as varied as Allianz, the Australian Rugby Union, Australian Football Federation, Samsung, Petro-Canada, the City of Moscow, BHP Billiton, TNT China, Bell Canada, Dow Chemical, Nissin Foods, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Paralympic Committee to name but a few.
  4. Directing Delta Air Lines' highly successful sponsorship of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
  5. Joined the IOC’s then-new external marketing agency, Meridian Management SA after the Atlanta Games where I served as Senior Vice President – Marketing, responsible for managing the marketing and client servicing relationships with the IOC’s global TOP Partners.
  6. At Meridian, I helped spearhead the first-ever global assessment and positioning of the Olympic Brand, resulting in the IOC’s first brand image campaign, “Celebrate Humanity”.
  7. Served as the lead brand and marketing consultant for the successful Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018, and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic bids, the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup & United 2026 FIFA World Cup bids, and the Doha 2030 Asian Games bid.
  8. Served as the lead brand strategist for Golf and Wrestling’s bids to return to the Olympic Games.

 

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Patrick Mouratoglou, “The Coach”

Patrick Mouratoglou, “The Coach”

July 20, 2021

Patrick Mouratoglou, also known as “The Coach”, currently the most influential coach in tennis, sharing his incredible journey with us, starting with his difficulties in his childhood to overcoming them and turning his passion for Tennis first into a business (Academy) and then into a profession (Coach).  Amazing stories and incredible learning on multiple levels.  Best warm up story ever on the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast. I am certain you will enjoy it.  

 

Key Highlights

  1. Early childhood stories and challenges (from low self esteem and panic attacks) and the lessons from it
  2. Winning the fight against his body and mind at the age of 11 – (first little victory) – lesson, we are the product of our life lessons (have a little win every day)
  3. Started playing tennis at the age of 4, playing 8 hours per day – Court was only place where he felt safe and confident 
  4. Age 15, parents “forced” him to stop playing against his will – another turning point in his life – his dream was destroyed
  5. Age 17, started psycho therapy for 10 years – developed tremendous skills how to read people due to his in-ability to interact with people 
  6. Working in his father’s company to learn the trade from the ground up – but wasn’t for him – pursued his passion for tennis again
  7. Great life Lessons from his meetings with his parents 
  8. Starting his first academy – renting two Courts (for E$ 3 per court per hour) – putting flyers on cars – after one year 40 “average” players taking lessons
  9. Next step – approached Bob Brett (at that time Boris Becker’s coach) to partner with him for the “Bob Brett Academy”
  10. Had two months to put it all together before Bob Brett showed up. Patrick was the “manager” and running the academy, unfortunately, after six years Bob leaves. 
  11. Worst business decision to build a name for someone else and now the “brand” disappears on him – luckily his young players stayed on
  12. He decided to put his own name on the “door”. Only problem was, he was not a Coach (yet).  
  13. From that decision onwards, it took him 10 years to win his first Grand Slam as a Coach – we unpack that incredible journey
  14. Marcos Baghdatis, first protégé, next lesson (from bad coaching)
  15. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, just made French Open Final  – 16 years old when she joined him, struggling together, great story 
  16. Serene Williams, she was going through a tough moment when they first met, hadn’t won a Grand Slam for two years and lost in first round in Paris 
  17. Called him to train in his tennis academy in Paris (at that time he was coaching Grigor Dimitrov) – “talk to me” story 
  18. He showed her what he thought she was doing wrong, working for 3 days and she loved it – next meeting in Wimbledon (which she won while Patrick coached her)
  19. Massively successful year in 2012, winning Grand Slams, Olympic Gold, etc at the age of 30 – and 10 Grand Slams later 
  20. Patrick Mouratoglou Academy  - from Nice, France to Greece & Dubai (Tennis Centers within top resorts)  
  21. Schooling and sports program – 200 students, 40 different nationalities – also for families, hotel, medical center, seminar area, etc 
  22. UTS – Ultimate Tennis Showdown – amazing new concept, shorter format, adapted rules, focused on digital audiences, players love it 
  23. Patrick talks us through his vision for UTS and what he thinks is right and wrong with tennis right now – must listen for anyone in the business of tennis
  24. UTS formula - short, dynamic, immersive and authentic content – started in 2020 in height of pandemic – coverage across 100 countries, 20 mil viewers, 10 invited players 
  25. Raising US$ 50 million right now, to build a League, 10 events per year in amazing locations across the world – like F1 (only same 10 players)

 

About

Patrick Mouratoglou is a French tennis coach and sports commentator of Greek descent. He has been the coach of Serena Williams since June 2012.

He founded the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in 1996 near Paris (later relocated to the outskirts of Nice), and has coached many up-and-coming players, including Marcos Baghdatis (whom he coached to the final of the 2006 Australian Open), Julia Vakulenko, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Aravane Rezaï, Irena Pavlovic, Jérémy Chardy, Laura Robson, Yanina Wickmayer and Grigor Dimitrov.

Mouratoglou started coaching the ATP player Marcos Baghdatis in 1999 when Mouratoglou invited him to his Tennis Academy in October 1999, on a one-week basis. Baghdatis was, according to Mouratoglou, "not an athlete at all", however within seven years he would become a junior world No. 1, win the 2003 Australian Open boys' title, reach the final of the same tournament in 2006 and reach the world's top ten.

In July 2007, he started coaching Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Within two years, Pavlyuchenkova reached the world's top 30 and has since made two Grand Slam quarterfinals and reached a career-high ranking of world No. 13. They ended their association in August 2009, and Mouratoglou moved onto coaching both Aravane Rezaï and Yanina Wickmayer. Rezaï enjoyed a successful 2010 season, entering the world's top 20 and winning the Premier event in Madrid whilst Wickmayer reached a career-high ranking of world No. 12 in April 2010. Mouratoglou stopped working with both Rezaï and Wickmayer in August 2010 and April 2012 respectively.

In December 2010, Mouratoglou started coaching Laura Robson, who was world No. 217 at the time and still struggling to break into the senior tour. They worked together for six months before separating shortly before Wimbledon in 2011, when Robson was still struggling to make any progress on the WTA Tour, having slipped further to world No. 257. During this same period, Mouratoglou also coached Jérémy Chardy within his academy.

In March 2012, Mouratoglou started coaching Grigor Dimitrov and set about guiding him back into the world's top 100, having dropped to No. 102 by the time he started. This association ended in September that year and Mouratoglou moved on to coaching Serena Williams.

By the time Mouratoglou started coaching Williams, she had just suffered her first-ever opening round defeat in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament, losing in the first round of the 2012 French Open. Since then, Mouratoglou has guided Williams to her fifth, sixth and seventh Wimbledon titles, the Olympic gold medal, her fourth, fifth, and sixth US Open titles, her second and third French Open titles, three consecutive year-end championships titles, her sixth and seventh Australian Open title and lifted her back to world No. 1 in the WTA rankings.

 

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Giampiero Rinaudo, “Sports Tech, Made in Italy”

Giampiero Rinaudo, “Sports Tech, Made in Italy”

July 1, 2021

Giampiero Rinaudo, a passionate Italian sports tech Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO of Deltatre. Being the CEO for the past 35 years, managing the growth over three decades with now a team of over 1,000 technologists, designers, and innovators across the world who are driven by a passion to change the way the world consumes content. 

 

Key Highlights

  1. How it started, at the young age of 20 as a student, started to work part time in “timing support” with Olivetti – in Alpine Skiing and F1  
  2. In 1986, Deltatre was born, with three partners – continuing to service Olivetti in result and timing systems (manual time spotting at F1) 
  3. Olivetti starting to have financial problems, time to be a proper entrepreneur and start offering service to multiple clients 
  4. In 1995, about 40 people, growth in second decade driven by growth in media rights fees, especially Football 
  5. UEFA Champions League, big new client and opportunity, central results system operator 
  6. Staying at the cutting edge, working with top clients who push company to new heights and working globally 
  7. Internet and PC boom offering new opportunities, World Championship of Athletics, Gothenburg, 1995 – first real time results on the internet  
  8. Building websites and portals for Federations – clear focus to be a service provider, not in competition with our clients 
  9. In 2005 (second decade), 110 staff, two offices, heavily focused on 2-3 big clients, UEFA, FIFA, IAAF
  10. His own Entrepreneurial journey and learning – software developer turned CEO.  Learning on the job 
  11. Third decade, from 5 clients to 70 clients, streaming over the internet and social media, nearly 500 people 
  12. First Olympic streaming website for NBC at the Beijing Olympics 2008 – great success 
  13. London 2012 – first proper digital Olympics – again involved at a major level 
  14. Starting to develop “Products” for broader range of clients with smaller budget (changing from Service to Product culture)
  15. New Broadcasters clients, still focused on Europe and a few around the world 
  16. Growth funded internally until 2008, looking for growth beyond organic, Italian investor came in and Deltatre saved them during the subsequent global crisis
  17. 2016 Bruins Sports Capital (BSC), buys 75%, 25% still held by management – big growth in the US through BSC strong network 
  18. First new client(s) in the US, NFL Game Pass, then MLB, MLS
  19. OTT growth, now 50% of the business – broadcast clients 
  20. Acquisition of Massive Interactive – combining their product culture with Deltatre service culture 
  21. OTT – discussion about the evolution, the opportunities and challenge with monetization 
  22. Partnerships with Rights Holders, example with DFL (Bundesliga) and Sportec Solutions
  23. Beyond sports, a look at entertainment, Gaming & Esports
  24. Deltatre and Covid – effects on company & “one company” system & the “new normal” office culture 
  25. Look into the future of Deltatre – continued two digit growth, acquisition, etc 

 

About Giampiero Rinaudo

“When I was young, I wanted to be a timekeeper for alpine skiing,” says Deltatre’s Group CEO, Giampiero. Fascinated by sports, and growing up near Turin, Italy, within easy reach of mountains, it wouldn’t have been an unrealistic goal. But Giampiero, known as Gipi, would follow a related, but different, tact.

After completing his Computer Science studies at the University of Turin, he took his career dream as a starting point and supercharged it. Setting up Deltatre with two partners in 1986, he combined his interests in technology and sport to produce better fan experiences across the world – an ambition which began with creating ways to record times and other sports data more accurately. “I was a lover of computers and data and I loved sports, so I thought ‘what better than setting up Deltatre?’ Computers and sports were my passions,” he says.

When he set up the company aged just 27, Deltatre was unsurprisingly a very different place to today. An early project involved developing software to provide more accurate timekeeping for Formula 1, with the company installing transponders within cars to ensure lap times could be measured accurately – a tactic still used to this day.

Personal computers were in their infancy, meaning heavy equipment would often be carted to games. “They did the tasks we were doing at that time like record timings and inform about results,” he says. “Now we’ve moved in a completely different direction.”

Gipi could never have foreseen the incredible growth that Deltatre would encounter. From its humble beginnings as a team of just three, to more than 1,000 technologists, designers, and thought-leaders today in 19 offices across the globe. Now a silent partner powering many of the world’s most-watched events, including FIFA World Cups, UEFA Champions Leagues, ATP Tennis Tournaments, and NFL Super Bowls – to name just a few.

Disruption has remained constant over the past three decades – and Gipi and employees have evolved with it rather than fervently clung on to techniques of the past. With the recent acquisition of software company Massive Interactive, which specialises in the entertainment OTT space, this has never been more true. “When I look back every year, the company is never the same as the year before; it’s a constant transformation,” he says.

As well as the continued growth of the company, he believes one of his biggest achievements is the culture fostered at Deltatre. “It’s a very informal environment and my door is always open,” he says. And how does he want others in the company to view him? “Honest and loyal,” he says, “which I believe are also important sport values.” Outside of work, he enjoys alpine skiing, swimming, and hiking.

 

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Clive Bowen, “Racing Resorts”

Clive Bowen, “Racing Resorts”

June 17, 2021

Clive Bowen is a man truly shaped by his early career experiences; from his days at Rolls Royce to his years working with a large Saudi group before entering into the world of motor racing and him emerging as a world leader in building Racing Resorts around the world:

 

Key Highlights

  1. Studying mechanical engineering and landing first job at Rolls Royce (Aerospace) 
  2. Moving on to Wright Machinery (PPM). Amazing experience serving clients in Middle East – commencement of project management responsibility 
  3. Middle East stories from late 80s. A territory which changed dramatically each year for 20 years. 
  4. Great Lessons and stories from running Haldir Ltd., a division of a Saudi group for nine years. Commencement of the ‘always under promise and over deliver’ mantra
  5. 1997, meeting Paul Berger in Dubai and various other motorsports luminaries. Entry into the motorsport industry, initially as a hobby, then as a profession
  6. Pitching Dubai Autodrome for four years with Paul Berger. Cutting a deal with Union Properties, working with HOK Sports (now Populous). First design for a track and masterplan for a venue
  7. West Surrey Racing days - six years in Touring cars with MG – even becoming ‘team principal’ of the Junior MG BTCC team that launched the career of Colin Turkington
  8. Dubai Autodrome stories; how it evolved as a major property development 
  9. Next Apex project in Iceland and how 2008/09 financial crisis killed it
  10. Development of first "Race Resort", Hampton Downs Motorsports Park, New Zealand 
  11. Various Karting design and construction projects in Middle East 
  12. Herman Tilke, mutual respect - positioning Apex purposely below his F1 tracks 
  13. Difference in company philosophy: Tilke ‘race circuit focus’ vs ‘venue with a race circuit inside’ focus for Apex 
  14. Pragmatic approach to developing leads in the industry: 1 in 100 chance a lead turns into a construction project; Apex has had over 2000 inquiries, 200 project codes, turned into 20 construction projects. Typical five years lead time from enquiry to venue
  15. Difference between a race drivers point of view vs a designer's on what constitutes a great track 
  16. What makes an ultimate race track?
  17. Race Resort Projects in China
  18. Insights into the new Miami F1 track
  19. Potential new Race Resort in South East Asia 

 

About Clive Bowen

I established Apex Circuit Design Ltd in 1997 and developed it to become a world-leader in the field of motor race circuit design, engineering and master planning. My team and I design cost-effective, relevant, multi revenue, multi-use motorsport based entertainment destinations.

In 2009 we were appointed the FIA Institute Facilities Advisory Partner on a multi-year contract to support projects which are grant funded by the FIA Motor Sport Development Fund. Our service is to provide commercially and environmentally sustainable master plan designs for race destinations anywhere in the World.

We pride ourselves on creating exciting, interesting and commercially viable race track designs and currently have projects on 5 continents.

Our master planning services are accepted as among the World's finest. We are considered the de facto choice for commercial developers even in today's harsh economic climate.

We aim to meet the future needs of environmentally sustainable developments whilst also supporting and nurturing motorsport from the grass roots to the highest levels

Specialties: Race Circuit Design (Road course, street circuit, temporary circuit), Motor Sport Destination design, Entertainment Destination design, Master Planning services, Motor Sport event management, Motor Sport operational management, Motor Sport sustainability consultancy, Motor Sport environmental consultancy.

Please review our website at www.apexcircuitdesign.com for further information.

 

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Joachim Hilke, “From Hamburg To The World”

Joachim Hilke, “From Hamburg To The World”

June 2, 2021

Joachim Hilke, is a German sports marketing Veteran with an colorful career across NFL Europe, UFA/Sportfive early growth story,  HSV (Hamburg Football Club) and now with Fanatics in Europe.  Lots of great stories on how the NFL started in Europe and the challenges around it, to an insider look into German Football Club thinking and off course a deep dive into Fanatics’ amazing online merchandise retail business globally.  Enjoy.

 

Key Highlights

  1. From his College thesis to the first job at the NFL Europe with Rhein Fire - great stories how the League and team started (Americana in Duesseldorf)
  2. Next stop, UFA/Sport 5 -
    • HSV (Hamburger Sport Verein – Bundesliga Club) great stories about selling their rights and sitting on the board of a major Club.
    • Naming rights of HSV Stadium – AOL Arena – focusing on sponsorship and marketing while the rest of the company is mostly selling TV rights
    • UEFA National Team deals – the good old days of maximizing 2nd & 3rd party rights both in TV and sponsorship (Double production – sell both sides of the pitch to different sponsors)
    • Front Runner of UEFA Qualifiers packages now managed by CAA Eleven
  3. 2nd run at HSV – Chief Commercial officer & Board member again – dream job for a kid from Essen. At that time, team was a regular in European Football and amongst top teams in the Bundesliga  (Emirates Airlines on the Jersey)
  4. Challenging six years on the pitch, legal structure of German Football clubs make it challenging with Fans having a large say and voting rights (Members Club) – lots of emotions which start influencing decisions
  5. Current role at Fanatics – Managing Director Global Partnerships – massive online Merchandise and Licensing retailer, valued US$ 12.8 billion (up from 6b mid last year) – representing all major US rights holders
  6. com – V-Commerce Model (vertical) – the ultimate online sports apparel and fan gear store (80% of revenue online)
    • Difference between official apparel of Kit supplier and other fan apparel merchandise
  7. Demand for Fan products stayed strong during Pandemic, especially after Leagues started playing again - Fandom is still alive and well
  8. International roll out – differences in Europe to US model with Leagues – in Europe deals are done with Clubs and not Leagues
  9. Some big names signed up in Europe, German and English FA, PSG (Paris St Germain) and Bayern Munich
  10. With large volume but thin margins in merchandise, wondering why European Football Leagues don’t bundle merchandise like the American Leagues?
  11. Opportunity to take global IP to Asia and other parts of the world. Hillhouse Capital (PE Fund), JV partner for China market launch. Office in Tokyo, dealing with Japanese Baseball and US Sports
  12. Counterfeit products not a major focus or concern -  focus heavily on Football/Soccer for now

      

About

2017 – today, Fanatics International, MD Global Partnerships

2011 – 2017, Hamburger SV (HSV Fußball AG), CCO

1998 – 2010, Sportfive, CEO International

1994 – 1997, NFL International, MD Rhein Fire

 

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Ricardo Fort, “Sport By Fort”

Ricardo Fort, “Sport By Fort”

May 19, 2021

Ricardo Fort spent his incredible career on the "brand side" of the business, deploying hundreds of millions of sponsorship and advertising dollars for the likes of Coca-Cola and VISA to name a few.

Great deep discussion about his views on sports as a platform from the perspective of a true "Advertising Man" who has worked with some of the biggest sports sponsors in the world. 

 

Key Highlights

    1. From studying Civil Engineering to realising that marketing was his calling at Unilever.
    2. FMCG space, great place to learn marketing, brands spending big dollars
    3. His dream (which was also mine) working for Coca Cola coming true. The Coke TV commercial that triggered it (featuring Zico). Third time lucky 🍀. 
    4. Starting at Sprite brand before moving to Coca Cola brand. Brazil the 3rd biggest market for the brand. 
    5. First involvements with FIFA World Cups, starting in 2002 Japan/Korea.
    6. Working across FIFA, UEFA and teams. 
    7. HQ roles, developing global frame work vs local team execution and leveraging the property 
    8. After the 2006 World Cup, back to Brazil before a stopover in India. These countries are a "mess", challenging new role. Fans are similar in their passion for their respective sports (⚽ & 🏏) 
    9. Short sting at Danone. Global Marketing Director based in Paris. Not the best match. 
    10. Next stop Visa in San Francisco. More similarities than difference in approach by Coke & Visa to sponsorship. 
    11. Beginning preparations for Brazil World Cup 2014 and Rio Olympics 2016
      My Sao Paulo and Brazil World Cup experiences 🇧🇷 🇩🇪 🏆
    12. Inside look on how Visa leverages and measures these mega events, very focused on the customer (mainly Banks at the time, now much broader). Develop specific promotions. 
    13. Being a big "Sponsor" - about the relationships with the Rights holders, not about the money 🤔? Ricardo explains. 
    14. Back at Coke - homecoming as VP Global Sports & Entertainment Partnerships
    15. Coke's massive global marketing and sponsorship budget, where and how to invest it. Being seen as the go to guy for the industry. Seeing 25 proposals per week. 
    16. Everything starts with a "Problem". How can a sponsorship help fix the problem. THE KEY MESSAGE (if you learn nothing else from our discussion). 
    17. Start with public filings by companies and look at what problems they have. Look for the challenges and how you can help.
    18. Beyond sports - global entertainment, movies, music and gaming & Esports
    19. Gaming - huge visibility, distribution, eye balls. Connecting with Gamers via Publishers. 
    20. Reaching hardcore Gamers, thru Influencers & Esports
    21. Coke in Gaming since 2002 with EA's Fifa, 2007/08 early days in Asia. Sensitivity to certain type of Games. 
    22. Being authentic as a brand is key - fans can smell fake from far 
    23. His thoughts on the "Sugar drink" issue 
    24. Coke vs Pepsi discussion 
    25. Sport by Fort Consulting - his brand new agency - going Entrepreneurial route 
    26. Helping other companies/brands with his 25 years experience in sponsorship 
    27. Current Project examples:
      • Working with brands who are looking at global events 
      • Sport tech start-ups 
      • Marketing plan for a Footballer, build a brand 
      • Higher education project 
      • Investors and Football club owners
    28. His final thoughts on Crypto & NFTs and brands

 

About Ricardo Fort

After 25 years working for some of the best companies in the world and almost a decade successfully leading the Global Sponsorship teams of Visa and The Coca-Cola CompanyRicardo launched Sport by Fort Consulting to help sponsors, leagues, investors and athletes successfully invest in sports.

An excellent track record dealing with major global and local sporting organizations and the savvy of having negotiated over a billion dollars in sponsorship contracts, position Ricardo as an expert with unique skills to help investors evaluate, decide and negotiate partnerships.

At Coca-Cola (Atlanta, GA – USA), Ricardo led the Company’s global portfolio of sports and entertainment sponsorships, partnerships and events, including the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, UEFA, the Special Olympics, athletes, McLaren F1 team, record labels, movie studios, the gaming industry and other worldwide sports and entertainment properties.

Prior to this role, Ricardo was the SVP of Global BrandProduct & Sponsorship Marketing at Visa (San Francisco, CA – USA), where he was responsible for all global consumer marketing initiatives including branding, advertising, digital, design and sponsorships.

Ricardo led the Visa team, one of the most active sponsors in the world, in the end-to-end initiatives related to the International Olympics Committee, FIFA, the International Paralympic Committee, UEFA, the NFL, dozens of Football, Baseball and Basketball teams in the USA and hundreds of Olympic athletes.

Before Visa, Ricardo was the Global Marketing Director for the dairy category at the Group Danone (Paris – France), and held several other Marketing roles at Coca-Cola in Brazil, USA and India, and multiple roles at Kellogg’s and Unilever.

Ricardo obtained a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo and has a Specialization in Business Administration from Fundação Getúlio Vargas, both in Brazil. He is married and the father of two teenage girls.

 

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Mark Pannes, “From Basketball To Football”

Mark Pannes, “From Basketball To Football”

May 5, 2021

Mark Pannes is a highly accomplished US sports executive with an incredible career across the US and Europe, from his early days at the New York Knicks, to leading a large European Football Club (AS Roma) on behalf of a US Owner and learning the inside workings of one of the largest Banks in the world (HSBC Private Bank).  Mark has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and his views are well heard (through his own Podcast/Clubhouse talks) and respected in the industry. With the European Super League “fiasco” just over when we spoke, we off course took a good stab at the topic as well.  As always, lots of learning and great insights throughout the discussion. Enjoy.  

 

Key Highlights

  1. How it all started, a High School dream to have a career in professional sports, leads to studying sports at UT in Austin and a summer internship with the New York Knicks
  2. First job on the operational side at Madison Square Garden (MSG), 19 different trade groups (Unions) working in the building, etc
  3. 10 years with the Knicks -  Patrick Ewing and Pat Reilly days – MSG a vertically integrated company, the venue owns the teams and broadcast network – sales force is media let - Knicks the bait to sell other content at the venue (bundling)
  4. Starting to sell Knicks as a stand alone property, non-media related – drove US$ 4 mil of new revenue (total team revenue over US$ 120 mil at the time)
  5. Brand driven vs sales driven approach,  digital and CRM starting to kick off
  6. Ground breaking deal with American Express, co-branded card for the first time
  7. First Entrepreneurial experience – Skilo Brand agency – range of clients and projects  
  8. First overseas sting, overseeing acquisition and then managing a Parisian Basketball Club (Tony Parker, French NBA player was part of the investor group)
  9. After cleaning up the club in phase 1, spending most of the time on ways to finance the “underfunded” Club and connected with HSBC
  10. Next stop HSBC Private Bank, London, banking athletes and IP owners, borrowing against assets
  11. IP owners and athletes, asset & wealth management, borrow against revenue.  COI (contractually obligated income) as security
  12. Insider look during the global Financial Crisis (2008-09) – HSBC’s approach
  13. Next Raptor Accelerator, Jim Pallotta, US billionaire Family office – invested in AS Roma – new role as CEO of the club
  14. The numbers in the AS Roma deal – total US$ 160 million investment (according to reports)
  15. Learnings from his AS Roma days, running a Listed company, every club is a “selling club” – ability to sell players is important
  16. New Stadium plans, great project, big plans, the process to get it started (unfortunately till today it hasn’t come to fruition) (Roman politics or what happened?)
  17. European Super League (ESL) discussion – 48 hours of madness – his view as an American Sports Executive with European Football experience
  18. Mismatch and disconnect between team owners, there was no “executive team” in place to represent the group (it appeared), no apparent media partners, rushed announcements, etc
  19. BCG , JP Morgan and many of the big Clubs got their fingers burned it appears in hindsight – surprisingly many rookie mistakes across the groups   
  20. The underlying challenges between the big clubs and the “others” haven’t gone away – the issue will come again at some point in the future – even the big clubs have little leverage with UEFA, so they need to come up with these threats to push their agenda
  21. Union Sports – private consulting companies, advising on media and other long-term revenue streams
  22. Vancouver Whitecaps FC , turn around, clean up – just when the pandemic hit six months into it
  23. Inner Market Media – consulting and content creation for sports IP owners – focus on transatlantic view – “OTT Sports Speakeasy” (weekly on Clubhouse, Thu, 5pm UK time) and OTT Sports Podcast together with partner Michael Broughton
  24. Last thoughts on the growth opportunities in sports in current climate – expansion period for sports – new money coming in with lots of changes along the way in the process

 

About Mark Pannes

Mark is the Managing Partner of Inner Market Media. A 30 year sports and media industry veteran he has managed sports, media, entertainment, and licensing businesses in North America, the UK, Europe, and Canada.

He has served as CMO of the New York Knicks (NBA)CEO for AS Roma (Serie A)CEO for the Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS), and founding director of the global sports practice at HSBC Private Bank, based in London.

He currently also serves as a teaching fellow and advisory board chair for the Center for Sports Communication & Media at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is based.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Fordham School of Law.

 

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Paul Berger, “Middle East Sports Stories”

Paul Berger, “Middle East Sports Stories”

April 19, 2021

Paul Berger is a true Middle East insider, having been based in Dubai, UAE for nearly three decades and done it all from advertising, motorsports, helping to build the Dubai Autodrome to now running EMEA for the Arena Group, one of the leading temporary event structures groups in the world for sports, music, exhibitions to cultural events.   

 

Key Highlights

  1. Paul’s early days in Advertising in the UK and his route to Dubai. BBDO took him to Dubai. 
  2. From Advertising to Karting – setting up his first business (Leisure Karting) in Dubai – great stories (races in Oman, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi)
  3. Dubai Autodrome & Business Park -  how it all started and where it is now (www.dubaiautodrome.ae)
    1. Clive Bowen of Apex Circuit Design, designed the track (www.apexcircuitdesign.com)
    2. What worked and didn’t work and what is happening on the track now
  4. Next Entrepreneurial venture – Sports Marketing Global – focused on motorsports & brands from the Middle East  (partnered with Chris Akers – who was managing F1 Driver, Robert Kubica at the time)
  5. Working with McLaren (Ekrem Sami), first deal with Emirates in motorsports (and how amazing visuals did the trick)
  6. Abu Dhabi NDA & F1 story -  how the deal came about and contract was signed 
  7. Harlequin Marquees – brother in law business – new challenge – bringing it together with Arena Group, UK (a company with 260 year history – started in 1761)
  8. Arena’s first acquisition outside the UK, big growth since then through acquisition and Public Listing in the UK
  9. Paul’s role as CEO across EMEA – expansion across the region – 350 staff across Asia/Middle East, offices in Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong, etc
  10. Arena America, Europe/UK, Middle East/Asia key regions– his region became the biggest and most profitable division (pre-Covid 2019) – hugely successful year (Anthony Joshua fight in Saudi) 
  11. The Arena Business – temporary Event Architecture – from tents to modular buildings, interiors, hospitality, etc 
  12. And then Covid happened and how that effected the Business and how Arena reacted to it – pivot business away from events, where could the equipment be used (temporary hospitals, etc)
  13. Saudi family was keen to invest, raised money to make it through Covid – prior to that he was in the process of taking the company private again with US PE group (management buy-out)
  14. Looking into the future, when is the event business coming back – his views on 2021 (transitional year) and 2022-23 – two year process to come back to 2019 numbers
  15. Sports in the Middle East – big growth over the last few decades and where is the growth in the future – Dubai was the initial driver, Abu Dhabi the last decade, last few years Saudi Arabia 
  16. Mostly driven by large scale events, from Boxing, F1, UFC, WWE, Tennis, Golf, etc – some top Venues now like Coca-Cola Arena (20k seater) in Dubai
  17. How to operate in the region – need to have a presence on the ground in the key markets, have local experts and strategic partners

 

About Paul Berger

Paul Berger has been working in the Middle East and Asia since 1993. He started his career in Dubai with the OMNICOM Group, as a lead Account Director on Emirates Airline, Pepsi Cola and General Motors. In 1997, Paul moved into the sports event management sector, by launching the first leisure motor sport tracks in the region. Indoor Karting, Outdoor Karting, the Dubai Autodrome FIA Circuit and local motor racing championships.

In 2009, he became CEO of Harlequin and subsequently sold the company to the Arena Group. In 2010, he became CEO of the Middle East and Asia Division for the Arena Group, launching the company in Singapore and Malaysia. Paul has subsequently expanded the division to Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Korea and now Japan. Paul is also the President of the International Live Events Association in the Middle East.

 

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Hrish Lotlikar, “The Superworld of NFTs”

Hrish Lotlikar, “The Superworld of NFTs”

April 8, 2021

Hrish Lotlikar is a living example of a successful digital nomad Entrepreneur. A former Investment Banker turned VC, turned Tech, Blockchain and Crypto Entrepreneur. Besides covering Hrish's amazing career we take a very close look at his latest venture "Superworld", the relevance to sports and the connection to NFTs, the currently hottest trend in the Crypto and sports, music, arts IP (Intellectual Property) world. 

 

Key Highlights

  1. From High school to Navy Reserved Officer and Surgical Technician removing eyes 
  2. Pursuing Triple Degree (MBA, MPH, MD) in graduate school then taking him into Management Consulting and Investment Banking and his first Entrepreneurial exploit creating "The Wall Street Program", teaching how to get a Wall Street job.
  3. Next stop Venture Capital (VC), bio-tech and other tech companies with "world changing ideas" 
  4. From New York City (after the crash in 2008/09), traveling across Eastern Europe for 1.5 yrs. Great story on how to start a seed stage VC Fund in Ukraine with Victor Pinchuk (Ukrainian Billionaire) and tech accelerator in Belarus. 
  5. Early employee, Senior Business Developer/Global Evangelist of Toptal, Andreessen Horowitz backed venture
  6. Rogue Initiative Studios, LA based entertainment studio leveraging the latest in tech, VR, AR with Hollywood IP and partnered with Hollywood director Michael Bay
  7. Superworldapp.com - virtual world in augmented reality mapped onto the real world, with 64 billion virtual real estate blocks (NFTs) on Blockchain which can be purchased
  8. Superworld is Pokémon Go meets Foursquare meet Monopoly
  9. Connecting Superworlds to the Sports & Entertainment space, from Venues to activities in the virtual world 
  10. Still a few steps required to buy a block right now, thru your Ether wallet. Getting easier soon. 
  11. NFT market place coming soon, platform to create NFT for any IP, sports, music, art, etc linked to augmented reality to showcase the NFT 
  12. Exploring Online to offline (O2O) opportunities. Real Estate developers are exploring this space. 
  13. Bringing Sports IP into the virtual world. 
  14. NFT (Non Fungible Token) - basics explained
  15. NBA Top Shots (not Hot Shots 😂) discussion and how it connects to Superworld's NFT market place. Creating digital assets out of content, experiences, unique moments 
  16. NFT Salon vertically integrated into Superworld, music, art, architecture - Mars House example 
  17. Long tail of NFT content to put these NFTs into the "virtual world" of Superworld 
  18. Working across other platforms like Open Sea 
  19. Contact Innerworld@superworldapp.com for on boarding and other questions 
  20. ERC721 is the standard for NFTs, on the Ethereum Blockchain 
  21. Digital Assets (NFTs) can be programed to create earnings for artists in perpetuity (on future sales transactional and value creation). A whole new way of monetization for IP.
  22. Launch of Superworlds NFT Salon in early April:
    Contact Innercircle@superworldapp.comfor IP owners. 
    Collectorscorner@superworldapp.com for NFT Collectors 

 

About Hrish Lotlikar

Hrish Lotlikar is a Co-founder and CEO at SuperWorld. Previously, he co-founded Rogue Initiative Studios, a Hollywood film, TV, gaming, and immersive entertainment studio. He was also the founding Managing Partner of Eastlabs, an early-stage VC fund based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Previously, Hrish was a Senior Business Developer and Global Evangelist at Toptal (backed by Andreessen Horowitz, the Rockefellers & the co-founders of Facebook and Zynga), a venture capital investor at Spencer Trask Ventures, and an investment banker at both UBS Investment Bank and HSBCSecurities, where he specialized in public finance, corporate finance and M&A. He also was an Associate in the Global Business Development Group at management consulting firm Hewitt Associates.

Hrish was born in India and grew up in the United States. He also has spent many years living around the world in Europe, Asia and South America. He has a close connection to the people and cultures in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Spain, France, Vietnam, China, Colombia, Bali and Thailand.

Hrish holds a BA in Political Science from Rice University and both an MBA and MPH from University of Illinois at Chicago. In his free time he enjoys working out, fashion photography and traveling the world.

 

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Sophie Goldschmidt, “From Tennis, Basketball, Rugby to Surfing”

Sophie Goldschmidt, “From Tennis, Basketball, Rugby to Surfing”

April 1, 2021

Sophie Goldschmidt, has been recognized as one of the most influential/powerful Women in sports by multiple publications/organizations from Forbes, Adweek, Leaders in Sport, Sports Business, etc, working across the globe in leadership and senior positions from the WTA, NBA, England Rugby to the World Surf League.  All very different sports, with different opportunities and challenges along the way.  Great stories and learning from her exciting career over the past 20 years.

 

Key Highlights

  1. Journey from Baylor University playing NCAA tennis and landing at Adidas USA in Portland
  2. Working in the Adidas Tennis division, Indian Wells, Roland Garros, dealing with top players from Hingis to Kournikova,  Henman, Safin, etc
  3. Moving to WTA during the time the William sisters, Sharapova all becoming big stars, working with Larry Scott in the commercial and marketing space
      1. Sony Ericsson WTA Tour – US$ 88 million  (5-6 year deal) – breakthrough deal
      2. Porsche, Lotto, Wilson and Eurosport deal
      3. Moved WTA Year end final from LA to Madrid – new commercial deals
  4. Next stop, the NBA in NYC – David Stern and Adam Silver, tennis fans too - made connection through tennis and then moving into this new sport 
  5. Moved back to London as Managing Director EMEA, establishing NBA operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa – more decentralized operations, opening offices in Moscow, Milan, Istanbul, Jo-burg, etc
  6. Over 70 players from Europe in the League already at that time, NBA League Pass (OTT), finding new local marketing partners (sponsors), 
  7. “Basketball without Borders” across South Africa and other countries, grassroots development, something the NBA is very good at – Leading up to potential NBA League in Africa
  8. Long terms view,  “one kid at a time” convert from kicking to bouncing a ball  (David Stern)
  9. Opportunity to join England Rugby (RFU) as Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer – passion for the sport from her dad – opportunity for the sport following the very successful London Olympics and leading up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in the UK
  10. First female board member at the RFU (also became the first female board member of the PGA European Tour during that time), evolved the brand and more progressive approach to sponsors, driving commercial and engagement with fans 
  11. CVC new investment into Rugby and her thoughts on it – new resources and more independent strategic thinking for the sport
  12. Joined the agency world at CSM – getting a look into the agency world
  13. Moving back to the US with the World Surf League as CEO – sport accepted into the Olympics, new wave technology with Kelly Slater Wave Company, etc
  14. Turning the challenge of the unpredictability of the weather (waves) into an opportunity, streaming vs linear TV, early digital adoption, less focus on live, lifestyle brand 
  15. Elevator pitch – as many surfers than golfers (over 400 million) in the world, beautiful location and people doing amazing things, highly engaged audience (sponsors from Corona to Airbnb)
  16. Big educational process, understanding and interest depending on the markets, Brazil is huge 
  17. Sophie continues on the WSL Advisory Board, in addition to new roles now as an Advisor in sports, media, tech, health & fitness including; as a business partner to the new connected Home Health & Fitness Platform (Tersa), LOVB volleyball, MIXhalo, Egoli, Racquet Publishing, Pamos and as Board Governor for the International Tennis Hall of Fame

 

About Sophie Goldschmidt

Sophie is a dynamic, senior, global leader with broad and deep proven experience in sports, entertainment, media and technology. Throughout her career she has been at the forefront of globalizing and innovating sports and entertainment properties.

Most recently she was CEO of the World Surf League (WSL) and previously in leadership, commercial and marketing roles at the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the Rugby Football Union (RFU), the PGA European TourAdidas and the global sports marketing & entertainment agency CSM.

Sophie is a member of the WSL Advisory Board and business partner for Tersa. She also currently advises Egoli, LOVB, MIXhalo, Racquet Publishing, Pamos, round21, West 10th, Sportable and McKinsey, is a mentor for Techstars and a Member of the Board of Governors for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

 

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