High-powered Sports Decision Makers panel will look at new ways of structuring sponsorship deals

Senior executives from Fenway Sports Management, BSE Global and Citizens Bank will take a deep dive into the sometimes-opaque world of sponsorship deals during a session set to be to be among the highlights of the inaugural Sports Decision Makers Summit in Miami on May 6 and 7.

Mark Lev, president of Fenway Sports Management, will be joined by BSE Global chief revenue officer Michael Zavodsky and Sean Sullivan, director of sponsorships at Citizens Bank, on a panel that will look at the pressure for change in the way deals are structured, valued and paid-for as the sector evolves alongside the technology and media on which it relies.

The session follows a keynote address by Eelco van der Noll, head of partnerships & experiential marketing at Anheuser-Busch InBev and one of the most influential people in global sponsorship.

As president of FSM, Mark Lev brings 25 years’ experience of the industry to the day-to-day operations of the company. He has been intimately involved with many of FSM’s major business dealings, including its unique partnership with NBA superstar LeBron James. He has been an integral part in bringing many major special events to Fenway Park and in securing high profile sponsorship deals for Fenway Sports Group-owned properties, including Warrior Sports’ then record-setting kit deal with Liverpool Football Club.

Michael Zavodsky has risen quickly through the ranks within the BSE Global organization.  As CRO he oversees the ticketing, suites, sponsorship sales, and partnership marketing departments for all of BSE’s venues and businesses, including Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets.

As vice-president, director of sponsorships for Citizens Bank, Sean Sullivan implemented the first consistent, quantitative approach to evaluating the bank’s sponsorships to ensure they are achieving business and marketing goals and supporting the community. He oversees a large portfolio including Citizens Bank Park, the Detroit Grand Prix and an extensive partnership with Live Nation. Sean started his sports career with the New York Yankees, where he worked directly for George Steinbrenner.

Sponsorship is one of seven subject strands running through the Sports Decision Makers Summit, a joint venture between SportBusiness and Sportel. The other strands are media, finance, fan engagement, betting, esports and the game day experience.

Devised as a new generation of data-led sports conferences, Sports Decision Makers Summit Miami combines high-level keynotes with insightful panel discussions to deliver the business intelligence and opinion to support C-suite guests in making better informed business decisions.

The high-level speaker line-up also includes:

  • Al Guido, president of the San Francisco 49ers
  • James Pallotta, president and chairman of Serie A team AS Roma and co-owner of the NBA’S Boston Celtics
  • George Pyne, founder and chief executive of Bruin Sports Capital.
  • Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference
  • Sean Bratches, managing director of commercial operations at Formula One
  • Terrence Burns, executive vice-president for Global Sport at Engine Shop
  • Xavier O’Callaghan, head of FC Barcelona’s US operations
  • Charles Baker, co-chair of the sports industry group at O’Melveney
  • Sophie Goldschmidt, chief executive, World Surf League

Sports Decision Makers ushers in a new era of tightly-focused, data-driven events, designed exclusively for the people whose decisions determine the direction of sports business. It will cover a range of topic strands including media, sponsorship, the game day experience, betting, finance and fan engagement.

The Miami event is the first in a series that will move on to London, where it will be staged at the Rosewood Hotel, High Holborn on July 9 and 10.

Discussion and debate will be given context and direction by exclusive data drawn from a major research project to gauge the preferences and attitudes of 10,000 sports fans in the world’s most important sports markets, enabling the Sports Decision Makers Summit series to deliver on its promise of delivering unmatched value.