How brands can capitalise on the new sports marketing opportunity

Sport has changed. The triathlon is replacing the fast car as the new mid-life crisis; Gen Z shuns lager for athleisure events and green juice; fit is the new cool. On top of that, this fully connected world is always plugged in, moving from platform to platform, accessing content on demand.

Through this flux, sport retains the power to gel marketing messages on a global level, uniting audiences and consumers through universal passions. But with technology driving so much change, the way marketers can capitalise on sport has also shifted significantly.

From the rise of grass-roots sports to a new fanzine culture, Future Fit, in association with We Are Social Sport , put brands centre stage, uncovering the key trends that marketers need to follow to be future fit for today’s sports marketing landscape… and beyond.

Key themes that were discussed:

  • Understand how significant changes in consumer behaviour, largely driven by rapid technological advances, change the way marketers must play the crucial sports marketing game
  • Explore the opportunities around the key changes in the sporting landscape, and how they can work for your brand
  • Hear about new fanzine cultures and the opportunities for brands around #squads
  • Learn about the new era of sport storytelling: The fusion of sports/lifestyle and entertainment and the evolution of Athlete culture. What are the opportunities for brands?


08:30: Registration

09:00: Chair's welcome address

Jennie Price CBE, Chief Executive, Sport England

09:10:  Scoring a touchdown: why sport is the perfect platform for brands to connect with new audiences

Lindsey Eckhouse, Director of Sponsorship, NFL 
Paul Southby, Senior Project Director, Wasserman

09:30:  The evolution of squads. Placing adidas at the cutting edge of influence

Stephen Cleary, Senior Social Media Manager, adidas Football Global 
Gareth Leeding, Creative Director, We Are Social Sport

09:55:  Sport in a changing world

Sally Hancock, Managing Partner, Y Sport

10:15:  This Brand Can… brands reveal how they leverage sport to maximise brand engagement

Owen Hughes, Head of Global Sponsorship, Nissan 
James Young, Head of Partnerships, Lucozade Sport 
Helena Jennison, Marketing and Communications Director, Movember Foundation 
Nicola Kemp, Trends Editor, Campaign 

10:45: Coffee break

11:15:  Passion Play: How Nature Valley chose sport to help find a role in consumers’ lives

Arjoon Bose, Marketing Head - Haagen-Dazs and Snacking (UK & Northern Europe), General Mills
David Atkinson, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Space

11:30:  Connecting cause and sport

Guy Price, Head of Sport, Unicef

11:55: Fans and Russia 2018: How Russia 2018 will change sports marketing forever

James Kirkham, Head of COPA90

12:15:  Blaze your trail

Sophie Radcliffe, Adventurer, Endurance Athlete, Blogger and Speaker,

12:30:  Chair’s final comments and event close

Jennie Price CBE, Chief Executive, Sport England

Register here for updates on the next Campaign Future Fit


Jennie Price CBE

Chief Executive, Sport England

Jennie joined Sport England in 2007. Under her leadership Sport England has seen the number of people regularly participating in sport grow by 1.6m people since London won the bid to host the Olympic Games in 2012 and, most recently, Jennie led the team that commissioned the multi-award winning This Girl Can Campaign, which received widespread support and acclaim. Jennie received a CBE in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours, for services to sport, especially increasing women and girls participation in sport.


Gareth Leeding , Creative Director, We Are Social Sport

Gareth is Creative Director of We Are Social Sport, a division of global agency We Are Social. We Are Social Sport is dedicated to rewriting the rules of sports marketing for brands, sponsors and icons with a social-first approach. Since joining the agency in 2012, Gareth has led campaigns and projects for global brands including adidas, Red Bull, YouTube and Beats by Dre. He specialises in cut through creative that uses the power of social, with a portfolio of award-winning work for adidas that includes Pogba x Stormzy, Tango Squad and @Brazuca.

Sally Hancock , Managing Partner, Y Sport

Sally is an acclaimed specialist in sponsorship strategy, planning and delivery, and has advised organisations worldwide on maximising the value of their partnerships. She is the Managing Partner of Y Sport, a unique sport strategy and sponsorship consultancy based in London and Zurich, providing original, impartial and independent advice to global brands, broadcasters and sports, with a particular belief and interest in the value of women’s sport.

From 2007-2012, Sally was the Director of the Olympic and Paralympic Games at Lloyds Bank. The Lloyds London 2012 Partnership won numerous awards including the accolade of the most successful UK Sponsorship of the Last 20 Years. Sally then directed SSE’s partnership of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and was responsible for the strategy and planning of SSE’s landmark partnership with the Women’s FA.

James Young , Head of Partnerships, Lucozade Sport

James Young leads Lucozade Sport’s partnership activity, a role he has held since late 2012. This includes defining the brand’s partnership strategy, campaign creation and managing partnerships with the Premier League, the FA, the Virgin Money London marathon, Tough Mudder, Our Parks and England Rugby as well as brand ambassadors Anthony Joshua, Harry Kane and Emily Skye. Before this, James worked in a range of sponsorship and marketing roles at British Airways, O2 and Sony Ericsson, where he was involved with projects including Rugby World Cup 2003, the London 2012 bid and The O2 music venue.

Lindsey Eckhouse , Director of Sponsorship, NFL

Lindsey Eckhouse is Director of Sponsorship for the National Football League, where she leads commercial development for the organization’s UK business. Prior to moving to London, Lindsey worked for the NFL in New York where she managed international sponsorship and marketing initiatives focusing on driving partnerships and fan growth in the NFL’s core markets outside the US.

Owen Hughes,   Head of Global Sponsorship, Nissan

Has been working in the sports sponsorship industry for 20 years. Having started working in the research and insights area for the first half of his career, he moved to Hong Kong and with his own company worked on a number of the major events in the region developing a wide range of experience in event management, marketing and communications. In 2013, Owen joined the global sponsorship team at Nissan in Hong Kong to build and manage its portfolio in sponsorship, which included include the Rio 2016 Olympics and African Cup of Nations, as well as the long term current investments in the UEFA Champions League, City Football Group and International Cricket Council. Owen now leads the global team from London.

Helena Jennison, Marketing and Communications Director, Movember Foundation

Helena is UK Marketing Director for the Movember Foundation, the world’s largest men’s health organisation dedicated to changing the face of men’s health.
Helena has over 10 years of experience in marketing, specializing in integrated campaigns for non-profits, both client-side and agency-side. Helena started her career on the iris graduate scheme in 2007 where she first developed an interest in cause-related marketing, working on partnership marketing campaigns for Government clients. She joined Comic Relief in 2010 where she spent three years working in the Creative team before taking a short career break to travel the world. She then went back to Comic Relief where she headed up new business for the Corporate Partnerships team. She joined the Movember Foundation in 2015 as Partnerships Manager, before becoming Marketing Director for the UK, leading the last two Movember campaigns.

Paul Southby , Senior Project Director, Wasserman

Paul began his career in the music industry working through muddy festival fields and sticky concert venues before jumping on the bands and brands bandwagon en route to the sports marketing world. In over 7 years at Wasserman Paul has led projects for FIFA, Live Earth, UEFA, and the ATP and now leads the NFL account along with other one-off specials.

Nicola Kemp, Trends Editor, Campaign

Nicola Kemp is the Trends Editor of Campaign magazine where she oversees consumer trends and innovation across the creative industries for Campaign. As well as championing diversity and inclusion across the Campaign brand. She started her career as a financial journalist before specialising in technology, social trends and marketing. Her work has appeared across titles including WGSN, M&M Global, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Guardian and The Observer

James Kirkham , Head of COPA90

James Kirkham is the head of Copa90, the definitive youth media brand for football. Copa90 has been called the voice of a generation, resonating with its young audience through content that connects a passion for football with important social issues such as the refugee crisis.

One of the world’s foremost media industry figures and speakers, on topics ranging from football’s power to unite and change society, to the future of technology, James has appeared on stage for six years running at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity and featured in BIMA’s prestigious Top 100 for each of the past three years.

Arjoon Bose , Marketing Head - Haagen-Dazs and Snacking (UK & Northern Europe), General Mills

Leader of the snacking business for UK & Ireland, Nature Valley and Fibre One, and running the world’s most loved ice-cream brand, Haagen-Dazs, for General Mills. This comes with the joy of leading a team of highly talented marketers and cross-functional experts (brand finance, customer/trade marketing) across countries to deliver the P&L, accelerated share growth and brand equity driving a breakthrough innovation pipeline strategy through the line.

Respected too for creating and steering recent partnerships in the world of tennis which have accelerated the fortunes of both Nature Valley and Haagen-Dazs in recent years, including with the LTA, Wimbledon and the ATP Finals, as well as the recruitment of new brand ambassadors in Britain’s #1 female, Johanna Konta for Nature Valley and World Men’s #3 Grigor Dimitrov for Haagen-Dazs.

David Atkinson , Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Space

As co-founder and Managing Partner of Space for the past 14 years, David has been the architect of many global Award-winning campaigns for the likes of General Mills, Heineken, and Eurostar, as well as in the world of sport with UEFA, Wimbledon, and NBA. The agency has a reputation for helping brands to maximise the value and kudos from sports sponsorships, but also creating awareness and education with sporting rights holders and brands. With a career history in sport lasting over 25 years, this experience transcends different sports, different eras, and has proven capability in seeking new ways to engage and interact with sports audiences of all ages and demographics.

Stephen Cleary , Senior Social Media Manager, adidas Football Global

Has worked in the global adidas Football team in the brand's HQ in Germany for the past five years across social during FIFA World Cup 2014 and UEFA EURO 2016.

Guy Price , Head of Sport , Unicef

Guy joined Unicef in January 2017, and he is working to secure the best outcomes for children around the world in, through and around sport. Unicef is the leading global NGO using sport to improve the lives of children, and counts FC Barcelona, Manchester United FC and David Beckham as high profile sports partners and ambassadors. Its mandate is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and Guy and his team in the UK work in partnership with a range of institutions, NGOs, governing bodies and personalities in sport to protect and promote children's rights.

Prior to joining Unicef, Guy was a leading figure in sport in Bristol. He was responsible for delivering the biggest single sporting event ever staged in the city, when a quarter of a million people turned out to watch the Tour of Britain in 2016, and he helped Gloucestershire Cricket secure the county's most valuable selection of major international matches, including seven games in the 2017 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup. He was also Chief Executive of Bristol City Football Club, the first Chief Operating Officer of Bristol Sport, and the founding Chairman of the Bristol City Community Trust.

Sophie Radcliffe , Adventurer, Endurance Athlete, Blogger and Speaker,

Sophie is an adventure athlete on a mission to champion ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things. She's given a TED talk, was recently awarded 'Rising Star' in Sport as one of the 100 most influential women in London and is Founder of TrailBlazers, a youth empowerment initiative to help teenage girls develop the confidence and skills to navigate their own path and live courageously.

Driven by her philosophy "One Life Live It" Sophie quit her job in the city of London four years ago to explore her passion and create a new story. Since then she has completed some of the world's toughest endurance challenges and adventures including becoming the only person in history to have climbed the highest mountains in the eight Alpine countries and cycled between them, climbing five times the height of Mount Everest in 32 days. She’s cycled 300km from London to Paris in 24 hours on nine occasions completed multi-sport adventure races around the world, raced her bike coast to coast across the USA, completed 100km ultra-marathons, is a two-time Ironman, World's Toughest Mudder Finisher (24 hours of non-stop Tough Mudder) and has been part of campaigns by Go Pro, Estee Lauder, Adidas and Red Bull, amongst others.

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