Jam-Packed Agenda

Get inside the minds of decision-makers from a broad spectrum of industries. Discover how to drive growth through content, channels and customer data. Get inspired by leaders who are creating better partnerships and better futures.

Download the agenda

Monday, March 27

Registration Opens7:00 am

Receive your conference badge, workbook and other materials. The registration desk will remain open throughout the day.

Networking Breakfast7:30 am to 8:30 am

Get a great start on your minimum daily requirement of schmoozing along with fueling up and planning your day.

Special-Interest Groups and Round Tables8:30 am to 9:45 am

You have your choice of attending a gathering of peers from your sector or attending two small-group round-table discussions on a wide variety of topics. The list of round tables will be posted closer to the conference.

Keynote Address10:00 am to 10:45 am

Good Is the New Cool: Market Like You Give a Damn

Afdhel Aziz, Director, Absolut Labs
A passionate believer that sponsorships hold the greatest promise in a new era of marketing, Afdhel has led marketing innovation and partnerships for the iconic vodka brand for four years, with a focus on emerging tech and digital media. He has created groundbreaking experiences and activations incorporating virtual reality, augmented reality and other technology as a sponsor of Coachella and more than 100 other festivals globally, as well EDM artists Swedish House Mafia, Lady Gaga and other performers. Afdhel will explore a range of relevant topics, including the three essential considerations for every partnership; how marketers can generate meaning for their brands, their consumers and themselves, and the critical role of nonprofits and culture creators in building value.

Kick-Off Presentations11:00 am to 11:45 am

Led by subject-matter experts from IEG, our parent company ESP Properties and our sibling organization Two Circles.

Audiences/Data/Engagement: The Keys to Commercial Success

Sam Yardley, Associate Director, Client Services, Two Circles
Insights into audiences is the single biggest driver of commercial revenue growth for rightsholders. This means having access to, organizing and connecting customer data. Although technology plays a part, smart properties approach this not as an IT challenge, but as an opportunity to deliver personalized marketing for your partners.

Maximizing Value in a Changed Marketplace: Partnership Activation & Results

Jim Andrews, Senior Vice President, IEG and ESP Properties
Sponsorships play a new, and more meaningful, role for brand partners today. Examine how sponsors and rightsholders are taking advantage of new approaches and new technologies to deliver value and achieve brand objectives.

Partnership Sales & Strategies: Lead With Solutions, Not Inventory

Bryce Townsend, Head of Solutions + Sales, ESP Properties
Both brands and consumers are engaging with passion points differently than they were just five years ago—and by virtue of that, how they respectively interact with properties. To create more enduring partnerships in this environment, rightsholders must take an audience, engagement and data-led approach to better tailor their marketing solutions to the needs of brands.

Why Rightsholders and Partners Must Increase Their Digital/Content/Media IQ

Andy Wasef, Managing Director, Digital & Consulting Strategy, ESP Properties
Properties that adopt progressive approaches to creating and distributing content will derive a two-fold benefit: protecting sponsorship revenue and staking a claim for brands’ digital media budgets. Explore how to enhance digital assets and maximize their value.

Networking Lunch and Keynote Address12:00 pm to 1:45 pm

About half the lunch tables will be reserved for attendees who want to meet and share experiences with others from their industry. Seating is on a first-come basis. Discussion occurs during lunch, prior to the keynote address.

The Rush to Digital

Russell Simmons, Chairman & CEO, Rush Communications
Sanjay Sharma, CEO, All Def Digital
Few others in the last three decades have had such a deep influence across music, entertainment, fashion, culture and society as Russell Simmons. Best known as founder of Def Jam Recordings, Russell is an enlightened entrepreneur always a step ahead in knowing how to engage with fans, consumers and other audiences. A key force in hip hop, creator of HBO’s Def Comedy Jam (and its successor, All Def Comedy), founder of apparel company Phat Farm and numerous other music, media, lifestyle, empowerment and philanthropic initiatives, Russell’s latest successful venture is All Def Digital, the leading digital content network for urban Millennials. Russell and Sanjay will explore the opportunities for rightsholders and brands that stay authentic, maintain cultural relevance and live where their audiences live online.

Presentations2:00 pm to 2:45 pm

Digital 4.0: What FC Bayern Munich’s Transformation Means to the Club and Its Partners

Rudolf Vidal, President, Americas, FC Bayern Munich
Marco Graf, Global Sports Marketing, Audi AG
Holger Valtin, Global Director, FC Bayern Munich, Adidas
This past year was a monumental one for the leading German soccer club, which embarked on an ambitious fan engagement project addressing digital channels, social media, mobile apps and other initiatives designed to give greater control and flexibility over the club’s digital content and its delivery. It also embarked on a successful Audi Summer Tour of the U.S. as part of its international brand building. Learn the story behind these new directions and their importance to the team’s commercial partners.

Dutch Master: How ING Merged Tech and Culture to Promote Innovation

Tjitske Benedictus, Head of Sponsoring, Events & Activation, ING Netherlands
To support its positioning as an innovative financial services company, ING sought to use its role as sponsor of cultural organizations to spark conversation in traditional and social media. A longtime partner of the Rijksmuseum, home to many paintings of the “Dutch Masters,” ING and agency J. Walter Thompson, Amsterdam struck on the idea of using data and computing technology to create “The Next Rembrandt,” a new portrait “by” the renowned artist. Tjitske will share the story behind the project—which won 16 Cannes Lions in June—lessons learned, and the impact it has had on the bank and its “innovative spirit.”

Every Sponsor Is Different: Aligning Multiple Partners, Activation and Content with Target Consumers

Vince Cicero, Vice President of Global Partnerships, Feld Entertainment
Keith Hester, Sports & Entertainment Partnerships, Chick-fil-A
Alex Louw, Senior Vice President, Marketing, National Vision, Inc.
Tyler McBride, Event and Engagement Marketing Manager, Toyota North America
Feld Entertainment, whose touring attractions include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Monster Jam, and Disney On Ice, is adept at working with a wide range of sponsors—from experienced to first-timers and across many industries. Including two of the largest retail operators in their categories, this session will explore how a property can meet the needs of partners with different perspectives, communications strategies and target markets.

Workshops and Round Tables3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

You have your choice of attending one of the sessions below or two small-group round-table discussions on a wide variety of topics. The list of round tables will be posted closer to the conference.

Brand Confidential: Sponsor Peer Group Discussion

Moderator: Michael Nolan, Senior Marketing & Communications Leader, Accenture
Corporate marketers, in a session exclusively for them, will address their most pressing concerns surrounding sponsorship management, selection, activation and measurement through facilitated small-group discussion and feedback.

Trumped: Avoiding Political Pollsters’ Problems in Your Market Research

Jed Pearsall, President, Performance Research
Bill Doyle, Vice President, Performance Research
The big market research questions coming out of 2016 are: How were the outcomes of the U.S. presidential election and Brexit missed so badly? Did the combined sciences of sampling, big data and algorithms cover-up some hidden truths behind the polls? Is audience research still reliable? Add to those: Are we too often making the same mistake in sponsorship research? Discover what has been learned about research in this era of constant change and how to apply those insights to your partnerships to gain more reliable, meaningful and actionable intelligence.

Evening Reception7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

We will take a short trip to a Chicago destination, where you can mix and mingle with newfound colleagues and friends while enjoying great food and drink.

Download the agenda. Schedule subject to change.