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iSportconnect adds NFL to Dubai Summit speaker lineup as agenda is finalised

By Community | October 31, 2017

iSportconnect is delighted to confirm that Alistair Kirkwood, Managing Director at NFL UK, has been added to the lineup for the Dubai Summit on November 29.

Kirkwood has been with the NFL for over 15 years in various capacities and took up his current position in 2006, having also previously served as the Vice President of Strategic Planning & Business Development and the Director of Business at NFL International.

Kirkwood’s inclusion bolsters a stellar lineup of speakers and he will take part in a series of discussions as part of the Summit’s fourth and final panel, which is set to offer delegates a unique insight into the sports industry.

The American Football specialist will be joined by the likes of Brett Gosper, CEO of World Rugby, NBA’s Ben Morel – and others – to assess the importance for rights owners to be active on the ground with live events within the globalised digital market.

Other panel topics set to be dissected include broadcasting and the digital audience, a debate on what brands want from sport in regards to sponsorship and partnerships, plus detailed insight from Adolfo Bara into LaLiga’s Brand Partnerships.

Ample break-out sessions on the day will give an intimate capacity of 150 top-tier executives an opportunity to take part in captivating conversations, build new relationships and – crucially – discover the local market.

The event will be held in the lavish surroundings of Address Boulevard; the newest lifestyle address located in the prestigious Downtown Dubai area.

The hotel will also host a networking reception on November 28, allowing delegates and speakers to relax and engage with their high-ranking peers.

Confirmed speaker lineup:

Murray Barnett, Head of Global Sponsorship & Commercial Partnerships at F1

Jerry Newman, Sport Partnership Lead – EMEA at Facebook

Ben Morel, Managing Director and Senior VP – EMEA at NBA

Sanjay Raina, General Manager & SVP, Fox Networks Group/National Geographic – Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan

Aarti Dabas, Head of Media Rights, Broadcast & Digital at International Cricket Council

Brett Gosper, CEO of World Rugby

Adolfo Bara, Marketing Director at LaLiga

Nuala Walsh, Chief Marketing Officer at Standard Life Aberdeen

Alistair Kirkwood, Managing Director at NFL UK

Further speakers will be announced in due course.

Content Programme:

28th November

6pm onwards: Networking Reception

29th November

09:30 – Delegate Arrival

10:30 – Welcome

10:45 – Opening Keynote: Adolfo Bara, LaLiga – Building a Global Strategy

11:15 – Panel 1: Inside LaLiga’s Brand Partnerships

Spain’s globally popular football league is delivering more value than ever before for its partners. This special opening panel will bring together key decision-makers from the inside LaLiga’s brand relationships to explore how the league and brands work together to engage fans, innovate and optimise ROI for partners.

Adolfo Bara, LaLiga

Moderator: James Pearce, BBC

12:00 – Case study by Engage & Sport 360

12:20 – Panel 2: From Sponsorship to Partnership: What do brands want from sport?

With over 50% of marketing budget being invested in digital in many markets, are sports bodies offering a relevant and effective mix of engagement opportunities? Is there still too much reliance on classic sponsorship models? How much flexibility and trust is required between sports and brands to create authentic content? How can they collaborate most effectively in using data? How can they work together to protect the credibility and image of sports properties?

Felicien Dillard, PwC
Nuala Walsh, Standard Life

Moderator: Casey Harwood, Engage

13:00 – Lunch

13:45 – Case Study: Wildmoka

14:10 – Panel 3: Broadcasting & the Digital Audience  

How is the strategy of sports broadcasters in the Middle East and elsewhere changing with the growth of the digital market? How can sports and broadcasters use multiple platforms, digital tools and social media to extend reach and engagement? What are the commercial opportunities and challenges? What is the outlook for new digital sports channels?

Jerry Newman, Facebook
Cristian Livadiotti, Wildmoka
Sanjay Raina, FOX Sports
Aarti Dabas, ICC

Moderator: Ben Barker, Monterosa

14:50 – Networking Break

15:10 – PwC Survey Results by David Dellea

15:30 – Panel 4: Global Sports, Local Fans, Local Events

In the globalised digital market, fans around the world can follow the same international sports attractions no matter where they live. How important is it for the rights owners to be active on the ground with live events and other programmes? What are the challenges to becoming truly global? What are the prospects for the Middle East?

Brett Gosper, World Rugby
Ben Morel, NBA 
Alistair Kirkwood, NFL
Murray Barnett, F1

Moderator: David Dellea, PwC

16:15 – Wrap-up by James Pearce

16:30 – Close & After Event Drinks

There is limited space for this exclusive event so please email Chris Edbrook ( to confirm your interest in attending.

What makes the iSportconnect Summit so special?

  • The Summit is open exclusively to Director/C-Suite level executives at sports rights holders, sponsorship brands and broadcasters.
  • Event capacity is capped at 150 delegates allowing intimate access to key decision makers in the sports industry.
  • No agencies or press in attendance and as we follow Chatham House Rules, all panel discussions will remain confidential.

Alistair Kirkwood Dubai Summit iSportconnect Events iSportconnect press releases NFL