Sue reviews Leaders' Week

"This was first my time at the Sports Business Summit, a part of the Leaders Week in London that brings together business leaders from governing bodies, federations, clubs and leagues along with broadcasters and brands from across the across the world.

Now in its 11th year, this year’s event saw over 1,800 attendees from over 50 countries gather at Stamford Bridge to hear from 60 world class speakers.

And what incredible speakers they were. I’ve never attended an event where I’ve learnt so much in just two days.

From the extraordinary line up of keynotes and concurrent sessions I managed to attend 10 sessions and hear from thought leaders and experts from organisations including Amazon Prime, Facebook, ITV and Channel 4, Virgin Atlantic, Miami Heat, Scotiabank, Etihad Airways, London Sport, CBS, Norwich City, WWE, the LA Clippers and Bumble.

Key learnings for me where the changing way in which we're consuming sport content - moving from Linear to OTT, the importance of storytelling to engage new audiences, how brands and sports are using technology to respond rapidly to customer preferences to shape their offerings (sometimes mid-broadcast) and some great guidance for ensuring diversity in business and the benefits that brings for all. 

I had had some reservations about attending the event having heard it was primarily focused on professional football, with male only panels and few women delegates.

Whilst it certainly was a predominantly male event – a sea of dark suits filled most audiences – I was very pleasantly surprised by the balanced gender line up across the majority of panels and the fact that there were plenty of impressive women attending both days from a range of sports and global organisations.

It’s clear that the foundations of the entire event lie in professional football with huge representation from premiership teams and leagues across the globe. That said, many other sports and organisations were in attendance – a quick look through the event’s impressive app showed senior people from over 20 different sports including: cycling, rugby league, rugby union, squash, rowing, triathlon, ice hockey, tennis, UFC, golf, cycling, canoeing, netball, cricket, motor racing, badminton, equestrian, basketball, American Football, Aussie Rules Football, OCR and event ultimate Frisbee.

I thoroughly recommend this event for anyone working in professional sport. Hope to attend myself again next year."

It was great to catch up with Tom Fox, former colleague at Gatorade in the 1990's. 

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