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Think!Sponsorship connects the sponsorship industry through a broad offering that includes conferences, training, events and our online sponsorship marketplace. We support organisations in maximising their commercial potential through our data, intelligence & consulting services. We are committed to providing affordable information and ideas to all types of organisations looking to develop best practice.

Speaker Information

We draw our speakers from a broad range of organisations with the goal of putting together a truly dynamic content programme.

Speaker biographies of participants of the 2018 Think!Sponsorship Conference can be found in this section of the website.

Catherine Hawkins

Catherine Hawkins (Moderator)

Founder, Think!Sponsorship

Catherine Hawkins is a commercial specialist with over 20 years of experience in the sales and sponsorship sector. She started her career in advertising sales, quickly rising to Sales Director at publishing house Cabbell Publishing before moving to online advertising network ad pepper, where she was responsible for driving inventory sales throughout Europe as Business Development Director. After a successful period as Group Sales Manager for Sport Business International, she launched Think!Sponsorship in October 2002.

Under Catherine’s guidance, Think!Sponsorship has developed & created a number of tools for the sponsorship industry including the largest one-day sponsorship conference in the UK (Think!Sponsorship), research tool Find!Sponsorship, the Talk!Sponsorship networking series (including the Women in Sponsorship events) and the acclaimed Sell!Your Sponsorship workshop training events which she delivers herself. Catherine specialises in working with sponsorship-seekers to identify assets and opportunities with the goal of converting these into sustainable commercial programmes.

Catherine was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the National Parks Partnerships (NPP) board in 2015 – a board specifically created to represent the commercial interests of all 15 National Parks in the UK for the first time in their history. In this capacity she helps to identify revenue-generating opportunities for the parks across sponsorship, licensing, CSR and merchandising.

Catherine created the ESA Sales Certificate in 2017 which accredits sponsorship practitioners in best-practice sales techniques. The course is delivered in partnership with the European Sponsorship Association (the governing body for sponsorship in Europe) with the goal of raising sales standards across the industry.

In 2018 Catherine has become a judge for the UK Sponsorship Awards specifically reviewing young talent in relation to The Barrie Gill Award for Most Promising Young Sponsorship Executive. She is a regular contributor to conferences and industry events across Europe and an experienced moderator.

William Fenton (Moderator)

Director, Sponsorship Ideas  

William Fenton’s status as a sponsorship expert has been built through over 20 years’ experience looking after clients as diverse as The British Library, The Dubai International Film Festival, The World Motocross Championships, Epson, ING, FedEx and The European Space Agency.

William is co-author of The Sponsorship Handbook and is a Board Director of The European Sponsorship Association. He lectures at the HUB Business School and the VUB University in Brussels as well as leading training sessions all over the world. A frequent international conference and television speaker, he holds the Market Research Society's Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice, and is a founder member of the European Sponsorship Association’s Continuous Professional Development Accreditation programme

Jeremy Edwards (Moderator)

Co-Founder, Activative 

Personal Bio:
Jeremy Edwards is a co-founder of Activative - which provides creative and strategic intelligence to fuel game-changing sports and sponsorship marketing Before founding Activative, Jeremy was the director of consultancy at the marketing intelligence agency Xtreme and prior to that worked for media consultancy Human Capital. Before working in the marketing and sponsorship space, Jeremy was a journalist and an editor in the media, financial, legal and political arenas. He holds Masters degrees in Journalism (from Northwestern University, USA) and in Philosophy (from Emmanuel College, Cambridge University).

Company Snapshot:
Activative provides creative and strategic intelligence to fuel game-changing sports and sponsorship marketing. Through our subscription services and bespoke work we offer insights that enable our clients – rights owners, brands, agencies and professional services - stay at the forefront of this evolving landscape. Our focus is on keeping our clients up to date with the latest stand-out creative, innovative campaigns, award winning work, original thinking, new technologies and emerging strategies across the global sports marketing and partnership space. Email visit"


Sandra Greer

Insight Director, MKTG

Sandra Greer is the Insight Director at MKTG the specialist lifestyle agency of Dentsu Aegis Network.  Supporting the team and working directly with clients focusing on insight, strategic planning, evaluation and performance measurement. The planning process works from Objectives through to Performance with the emphasis on an understanding of audiences, lifestyles and the buying journey to help build the core strategic approach.

Sandra has extensive experience of the sports and entertainment industry and develops inspirational evaluation tools and services to provide an integrated offering to clients within the MKTG group and externally.

Patrick Pierce

Vice President, Marketing Partnerships, Etihad

Patrick Pierce serves as Vice President, Marketing Partnerships, for Etihad Airways, the National Airline of the United Arab Emirates.

Pierce is responsible for the airline's strategic marketing investments and business development efforts with other consumer brands, sport properties, tourism bodies, fashion events, arts and entertainment, exhibitions and ambassadors. His team is instrumental in driving brand awareness and advocacy, acquiring guests, and delivering partnership revenue and value.

Pierce joined Etihad in 2015 from Aon, the world's leading provider of risk and HR solutions. As Director of Global Marketing and Communications, he developed and led the firm's sponsorship strategy across 120 countries which included Aon's partnership with Manchester United.

Prior to Aon, Pierce worked in sponsorship, promotions, public relations, media and advertising for Allstate Corporation, the largest publicly held insurance brand in the United States.

Before Allstate, Pierce served as a senior consultant at IEG; worked at McDonald's Corporation where he activated global alliances with FIFA, UEFA and IOC; and began his career at the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games.

Pierce earned an MBA from University of Notre Dame and a bachelors degree from Indiana University.


John Sage

Corporate Responsibility Manager, Tideway

John began his career as a journalist, working for regional papers and The Press Association before becoming Editor-in-Chief of the interactive TV service Teletext on ITV and Channel 4 for ten years.

He then moved to regional water utility Southern Water where he worked in Communications and then Corporate Responsibility, developing the company’s CR strategy and its relationship with Business In The Community. He also developed Southern Water’s CR benchmarking through BITC’s CR Index, where they achieved 4.5 out of 5 stars in the 2015 index.

In 2015 John was appointed Corporate Responsibility Manager at Tideway, the £4.2 billion infrastructure project delivering a ‘super sewer’ underneath the River Thames. John is ensuring that Tideway runs a responsible, sustainable project that delivers a long-term legacy for London. His team co-ordinate Tideway’s substantial community investment, volunteering and charitable giving programmes, both close to the project’s 24 sites and across the capital.



Elizabeth Llewellyn-Jones

Senior Brand, Partnerships & Events Advisor, Ørsted

Liz joined Ørsted in 2016, taking up a newly-created role developing and maximising strategic sponsorships and charity relationships for the world’s leading offshore wind farm developer. The creation of the role reflected the swift growth of the company in the UK. Liz supports and articulates the recent rebrand that signalled the company’s shift away from fossil fuels to a focus on renewable energy. Over the last two years she has embedded and developed sponsorships that are founded in strong values alignment and demonstrate to stakeholders a truly responsible approach.

 Liz has 10 years’ experience in the sponsorship industry, bringing insights from both the rights holder and sponsor perspectives. She previously held roles at Somerset House and the Natural History Museum, developing and managing partnerships across exhibitions and events properties with companies such as XL Catlin, Samsung, Vale and Tiffany & Co.

Naomi Conway

Development Director, National Parks Partnership

Prior to working for the National Parks Partnership, Naomi was Head of Development at the National Portrait Gallery, managing the Corporate, Trusts and Membership functions. A sponsorship specialist, she created and managed partnerships with companies as varied as Burberry, Deloitte, BT, Bank of America and Gap. Naomi took a secondment in 2008/9 to be Development Director for Children & the Arts, one of the Prince of Wales's charities. In her spare time Naomi is a Trustee of the Jane Austen House Museum and enjoys London culture as well as spending time walking and camping in the UK.

Nick Stocker

Strategic Marketing Lead - Global Partnerships, Deloitte

Nick has over a decade of experience activating national and international marketing and sponsorship programmes in the sports industry. From the UK’s first International NFL Games, Felix Baumgartner jumping out of space with Red Bull Stratos to delivering global Olympic and Paralympic Games marketing programmes, he has worked with the world’s leading rights-holders, events and global brands.

Using his sponsorship experience, he has restructured existing partnership programmes at Virgin and Deloitte to be more reflective of the changing requirements of brand-owners and consumers – with particular focus on moving away from the traditional transactional sponsorship model and towards mutually-beneficial partnership strategies. Nick has a strong passion for driving impactful health & wellness programmes for people and customers, which has become critical to corporate organisations in recent years.

Currently he leads Deloitte’s global sponsorship of UCI professional cycling team, Team Dimension Data.


Mike Mainwairing

Head of Sponsorship, Old Mutual Wealth 

Mike Mainwaring is Head of Sponsorship at Old Mutual Wealth (soon to become Quilter), a leading Wealth Management business in the UK and Internationally. He leads the sponsorship with a key focus on England Rugby, notably the sponsorship of the men’s and women’s autumn internationals as well as a nation junior rugby programme “Kids First”.

Mike has over 16 years’ experience in sponsorship and previously worked for leading rugby apparel brand Canterbury, where he successfully led its sports marketing strategy, including Rugby World Cup 2015 and the British & Irish Lions. Prior to this he was a Director at Generate, an independent sports marketing agency and this was preceded by 9 years at Carlsberg where he managed Carlsberg UK’s sponsorship portfolios including Carlsberg & football, (UEFA, England, The FA Cup, Wembley Stadium, Liverpool F.C.) Tetley’ & rugby (England Rugby, Super League, and Tuborg & music (Live Nation, Festival Republic).

Desirée Clarke Noble

Managing Director, Head of Brand and Marketing, Europe and Asia-Pacific, RBC Capital Markets

Desirée has over 15 years financial brand and marketing experience and joined Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in late 2014. In her role she is responsible for managing RBC’s brand and business marketing strategies across Europe and Asia-Pacific as well as overarching RBC brand initiatives. Desirée is a member of RBC Europe’s Diversity Council and co-chairs RBC Rwomen, an employee resource group dedicated to fostering the development and career aspirations of colleagues. 
Prior to joining RBC, Desirée was a senior member of the HSBC Global Banking and Markets marketing team for ten years and managed significant global advertising, marketing and sponsorship campaigns

James Robinson

Group Commercial Director, Limelight Sports 

James has over 23 years’ experience in the participation sports sector and has headed up organisations on both the rights holder and agency sectors. He has been responsible for over 200 international events across triathlon, cycling, running and open water swimming. He spent ten years in various commercial roles at The Great Run Company before relocating to Hamburg, Germany in 2008 to join Lagardère Sports. In his three years as International Director for Marketing and Sales, Robinson was responsible for the commercialisation and marketing of the World Triathlon Series bringing in an array of global partners for the new ITU World Championship Series. He then spent 5 years at WME-IMG as Managing Director, Mass Participation Sports delivering significant growth to the business. In this role, he oversaw over 30 annual international events and was responsible for the creation and implementation of the agency’s strategy for mass participation sports.

Chris Coode

Deputy Chief Executive, Thames21

Chris Coode has over 20 years’ experience working in the field of aquatic conservation, community engagement and environmental education.  He started work at the charity in 2001 as the Education Officer in 2001.  Since then he has worked to develop and grow the organisation.  Before joining Thames21 he worked on a number of marine, coastal education and conservation projects.

Thames21 is now London’s leading waterway charity, engaging thousands of volunteers in river improvements, citizen science data collection, flood risk management and education and learning activities.  As Deputy Chief Executive, Chris works with the Senior Management Team to expand the charity’s reach and influence through targeted campaigning and evidence- based project development that supports national policy drivers.

Jennifer Suggitt

Head of Corporate Relations, the British Museum 

Jennifer Suggitt has been at the British Museum since 2007 and in the role of Head of Corporate Relations since 2008. Her responsibilities include securing new business as well as the strategic management and delivery of all corporate sponsorships and partnerships for the Museum. This includes managing projects ranging from sponsorship of exhibitions, galleries and curatorial posts to technology and logistics partnerships. Major successes during her tenure include securing and overseeing exhibition sponsorships with Morgan Stanley for The First Emperor exhibition in 2007, which attracted 850,000 visitors and the recent America Dream exhibition in 2017.  Both sponsorships went on to win industry awards including the Arts & Culture award at the 2018 UK Sponsorship awards for the American Dream partnership. Jennifer also brokered and manages the long term relationships with Samsung for the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre and the Citi Money Gallery both of which have won or been shortlisted at the Sponsorship Awards in the last few years.

Before joining the British Museum, Jennifer worked as Corporate Development Manager at Historic Royal Palaces from 2005- 2007 setting up the Corporate Fundraising function.

Prior to this Jennifer worked in the brand marketing team at BSkyB as well as publishing roles at Conde Nast, The National Magazine Company and The Sun newspaper

Garry Dods

Founder and Managing Director, WeAreFearless

Garry is founder and MD of WeAreFearless, an integrated creative agency and UK Sponsorship’s Agency of the Year. Only 3 years old, and never shy to challenge convention, WeAreFearless’ rigorous human-centric approach enables their clients to make braver choices that deliver more commercially successful creative work through culture, sports and entertainment. Proud father of 4, Forest fan, general entertainment nut and lover of marketing that stirs the heart, Garry’s career started in retail and brand management with M&S and Mars before 15 years at Octagon, the global sports and entertainment consultancy where Garry led the UK and Australasian marketing teams. 2018 has been a defining year for WeAreFearless across all their clients but in particular the successful roll out of Bridgestone’s integrated Olympic campaign across six European markets from just one pilot in Spain – all before their third birthday! 

John Scurfield

Head of MediaCom Sport & Entertainment EMEA

John leads on the development of partnership programmes for brands, rights holders and talent from strategy to activation and measurement. John has overseen a variety of partnership programmes ranging from global Olympic programmes through to local community and purpose led initiatives.

Nick Sharp

Digital Director, Royal Academy of Arts

Nick Sharp has worked at the RA since 2013.  As Digital Director he oversees digital content, development and product management.  He is currently leading a project looking at the RA’s customer experience in the wider sense, including a complete overhaul of the RA’s customer data and transactional systems.

Previously, he was Head of Digital at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, where he devised and executed the UK Government’s international digital strategy for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He began his career working in voter engagement and education for the Electoral Commission.


Michael Eldred

Deputy Director of Development, Royal Academy of Arts

Michael is responsible for the RA’s corporate sponsorship's and partnerships.  He has over 15 years’ experience in arts fundraising with a background in business development and account management.  He worked for Tate before joining the RA. 

Eoin Treacy

Sales and Marketing Manager, Columbia Sportswear

Prior to working with Columbia Sportswear Eoin spent 5 years as part of the leadership team at inov-8 a British born all terrain running start up where he server as Head of marketing. Before this He worked for ASICS developing mass participation road running in the UK and Ireland while also selling some shoes along the way. In his spare time Eoin likes to run around after his three small children and has recently taken up ultra running to bring some much needed diversity to any bios he may need to pen.


Ben Walsh

Head of Marketing for Europe, UK & Ireland, HTC

Ben started his career agency-side at global ad agency JWT, but has now spent over 10 years client-side at cutting-edge digital tech innovation brands HTC and Samsung. He has designed and led over 60 Global, European and UK product launches including Samsung’s 3D/Smart TV launch, every HTC smartphone launch for the last seven years, as well as HTC’s Under Armour ‘Healthbox’ Connected Fitness System. 

Ben has devised award-winning activations for HTC’s UEFA Champions League sponsorship - including building an app that delivered unseen player data to fans, built the HTC One free indoor Skatepark with Selfridges - that attracted 12,000 people over 4 weeks, been shortlisted at Cannes for HTC & Live Nation's integrated festival activation and created a 24 carat gold smartphone for HTC's MOBOs partnership.

Richard Gould

Chief Executive, Surrey County Cricket Club 

Richard Gould has been at the Oval since 2011. Son of former footballer and manager Bobby Gould, Richard began his career in the Armed Forces and served six years with the 1st Royal Tank Regiment as a Tank Commander before entering the world of sporting administration. Richard served as Commercial Director for Bristol City F.C. before moving to Somerset C.C.C. as Chief Executive in 2005 until moving to Surrey six years later.

Lisa McBreen

Executive Director -  Marketing 

Lisa has responsibility for the Alumni, Advertising, Brand and Sponsorship for Morgan Stanley EMEA. She also works closely with all business areas to support their regional product marketing needs. She joined Morgan Stanley in 2004. Prior to taking up her current role in 2012, Lisa worked in Morgan Stanley’s Investment Management business in a variety of roles in Sales & Marketing covering EMEA and Asia.

Lisa earned a Bachelor in Business Studies and German from Trinity College Dublin and has a Diploma in Financial Management from the ACCA. She is a member of the Financial Services Forum’s Corporate and Investment Banking Steering Group.

Andy Mathias

Marketing Communications Manager, Bridgestone North Region

 Andy has been an indispensable member of many Bridgestone teams for more than 20 years, serving positions in Brussels and the UK with distinction, earning a promotion to role as marketing communications manager for the company’s north Europe region as recently as last year.

His winning mentality helped secure a number of accolades and achievements for the business over the years, not least the implementation of industry-leading business improvement tools including the Bridgestone Retorque App for commercial fleets, and breakthrough fuel efficiency testing for company products.

His commitment to people and personal development has also been brought to life with the arrival of Bridgestone’s first ever dedicated training centre at MIRA for dealers and customers to benefit from – an ambitious concept of Andy’s which he eventually made a reality.

Indeed, two NTDA tyre manufacturer of the year awards in 2015 and 2016 could also be traced to a great deal of pro-active work by Andy across the business.

Such achievements led to Andy’s current role as marketing communications manager, where his experience in marketing and background in sales and operations represent the perfect skill-set to oversee a number of huge projects – in both the consumer and commercial divisions.

The brand activation of Bridgestone’s official International Olympic Committee Partner status is currently being overseen by Andy, not to mention Firestone’s many innovative campaigns to reach out to a similarly vibrant audience through the vehicle of music. In between all this, Andy’s results-driven, high energy and an excellent communication skills are already proving to be vital assets when working closely with Bridgestone’s consumer and commercial sales teams, whose sell-in and sell-out campaigns are stand-out successes in the industry

‘I really enjoyed the Think! Sponsorship conference last month – a great day and such relevant content for us'.

Michelle Goulty, Senior Sponsorship Mgr, Cancer Research (April 17)

Thanks to Catherine Hawkins for a brilliant event today - some great insights, learning's and trends shared #ThinkSponsorship2017

Nick Stocker, Head of Sponsorship, Deloitte (April 17)

Thank you so much for such a great event yesterday. I think the diversity of the attendees is excellent and makes for a very friendly and collaborative environment

Sophie Morris, Millharbour Marketing (April 17)

It was very good event, I very much enjoyed it!

Harriet McDonald, Head of Sponsorship, Transport for London

Thanks for organising a brilliant event yesterday. It was an excellent pathway into the world of sponsorship. I was really impressed by all the presentations.

Lisa Anderson, Natural History Museum

Just a very quick note to say what a wonderful day it was yesterday – I got so much out of it!

Kate Rhodes, Blue Shadow Marketing

It was a great event and it was useful for me in terms of a number of contacts I made.

Jon Walters, Partner, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

I really enjoyed it, I thought it was really well delivered.

Chris Rawlings, Commercial Director, Rugby Football League (RFL)