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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.

To find out more about the type of speakers that contribute to the conference please read through the biographies of speakers that took part in our last event.

Catherine Hawkins

Catherine Hawkins

Founder, Think!Sponsorship

Catherine Hawkins is a commercial specialist with over 15 years 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 the youngest ever Group Sales Manager for Sport Business International, she launched Think!Sponsorship in October 2002. Catherine specialises in working with sponsorship-seekers to identify assets and opportunities within organisations with the goal of converting these into revenue-generating & sustainable commercial programmes.

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 - 6,000 attendees, 24 previous editions), industry-acclaimed research tool Find!Sponsorship, the Talk!Sponsorship networking series and the popular Sell!Your Sponsorship workshop training series (over 900 course attendees). Catherine bought the incumbent Sponsorship News title in 2009 and in her role as publisher re-launched what became the trade magazine for sponsorship - ‘Platform’. In March 2012, she successfully sold the title.

Catherine is a Non-Executive Director of National Parks Partnerships in the UK and works with a diverse portfolio of consultancy clients on a one-to-one basis. She is a regular contributor to conferences and industry events and is Course Director of the ESA Sponsorship Sales Certificate - a specialist qualification for sales practitioners in the sector. In November 2016 Catherine (in collaboration with Rosie Sarginson) ran the first Women in Sponsorship networking event that aims to support professionals working in the sector and the group has gone from strength to strength in 2017. 

Anthony Lo

Vice President Exterior Design, Groupe Renault

Anthony Lo was appointed Vice President Exterior Design at Renault in April 2010. He leads exterior and concept car design activities at Renault Technocentre in Guyancourt, France.

Born in Hong Kong, Anthony Lo graduated in 1985 from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University with a degree in Industrial Design. He furthered his studies with a Master’s Degree in Automotive Design at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London.

His first break came fresh out of university. An RCA professor offered him a position at Lotus Cars in England where he designed the iconic Lotus Carlton, the world’s fastest four-door sedans at the time. In 1990, his career took him to Audi in Germany, where he worked on the AVUS Concept Car and the A4. In 1993, Car Styling Magazine featured his design for the 1993 Tokyo Motor Show, which catapulted his international career. In the same year, Mercedes-Benz recruited him to Japan to work at its new design studio on the M-B F200, the M-B Maybach concept cars (Paris 1995 and Tokyo 1997) and the S-Class (W221); in 2000, Saab brought him to Sweden as the Chief Designer of Advanced Design; and in 2004, he was appointed Director of Advanced Design for General Motors Europe, overseeing Saab, Opel and Vauxhall projects. Several world renowned concept cars were developed under his leadership, the Saab Aero X was the most successful of them all.

Anthony Lo accepted the challenge in 2010 to create an all new Renault line up that are unique, attractive and with global appeal. He is instrumental in the development of Renault ‘Cycle of Life’ design strategy and showcased it with a series of award winning concept cars: Dezir (Paris 2010), Captur, R-Space (Geneva 2011), Frendzy (Frankfurt 2011), Twin’Z (Milan 2013), Twin’Run (Monaco 2013) and Initiale Paris (Frankfurt 2013). He led the global design teams that are behind the creation of the all new Renault line up.

Anthony Lo has received numerous accolades - 2006 United States’ AutoWeek Best in Show; 2006 Louis Vuitton Classic Concept finalist; 2006 United Kingdom’s Auto Car Concept Car of the Year; 2007 United Kingdom’s Car Design News Concept Car of the Year; 2006 Geneva Auto Show’s Best of Show; 2007 Hong Kong Elle Style’s Asian Designer of the Year; 2008 United States’ AutoWeek Best Concept; 2012 World’s Outstanding Chinese Designer Award; 2013 Hong Kong Outstanding Polytechnic University Alumni Award






Samantha Preece

Head of Corporate Responsibility LV=

Samantha Preece is a marketing professional with over 20 years’ experience in financial services and insurance.  After starting her career in marketing communications with BUPA , Sam joined Liverpool Victoria as a campaign manager in 1999. Gaining a rich and varied  experience over a number of marketing disciplines, she took on responsibility for developing LV’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme  in 2010.  As the current Head of Corporate Responsibility, Sam has lead on the strategic definition, development and delivery of LV’s approach, moving it successfully from an operational to strategic function. 

As a mentor with the Aspire Foundation, Sam works to support other women from a variety of differing business backgrounds by sharing her marketing knowledge and expertise.  When not juggling work life balance with her two young children, she indulges in her passion for running, completing both the London and Brighton Marathon events in recent years.

Daniel Mathieson

Daniel Mathieson, Head of Experiential Marketing & Partnerships, Barclaycard

Daniel started in the industry in 1996 where he joined Advantage International to work on the MasterCard account. His first project was World Cup 2008 where as well as supporting UK promotional activity he was part of the on-site team managing all stadium activity in Paris.

On his return he was tasked with managing MasterCard's sponsorship of the British Professional Golf Tour as well as moving into the athlete management area where he was helping to look after the careers of the stable of young football players. This role led to a brief spell in the football agency world with Key Sports Management, before he returned to the sports marketing arena with PRISM. There he looked after Ford's sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League including all of their pan-European activation activities, media promotions and high level hospitality programmes.

After five years at PRISM, he was tempted away to join Sportingbet to look after their pan-European sponsorship property, Euroleague Basketball.

 In 2007, Daniel moved to Barclaycard to deliver a new sponsorship strategy and source new partnerships to embed within the business.  This strategy took them into the entertainment space where they have looked to integrate payment technology and great customer experiences into the three pillars of ticketing, events and venues.  Their partnership portfolio has evolved over the years and has included, The Barclaycard Mercury Prize, The Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham and Barclaycard presents British Summer Time in Hyde Park. More recently they have extended their strategy into their key European markets and launched the Barclaycard Center, Madrid and The Barclaycard Arena, Hamburg.

Ellie Carter-Silk

Fitness & Training Manager – Reebok UK

Eleanor first joined Reebok in 2012 as a brand ambassador in the growing sport of CrossFit®. Whilst competing at the highest level in Europe in CrossFit she also held a position as a marine scientist researcher, eventually leaving that role to be involved with the Reebok brand full time. Eleanor now manages Reebok’s relationships with key partnerships throughout the UK and Ireland. Management of events, athlete and gym contracts and the relationship of Reebok’s partners; CrossFit®, Spartan Race, Les Mills, UFC and newest global partner Ragnar Relay. Eleanor lives the brand and the partnerships she works with, still competing in the Reebok CrossFit Games Open each year as well as participating in Spartan Races and marathons alike. She believes that good sports marketing is based on creating great relationships with brand partners and living that partnership in, and outside of the workplace.


Olivia Whitlam

Olivia Whitlam, Corporate Citizenship Manager, Siemens

Since retiring from International Rowing in 2012, Olivia has worked on the strategic delivery of Siemens societal programmes.

Drawing on her Environmental Science BSc (Univeristy of Nottingham) background to improve measurement rigour, and fact based decision making in Siemens community agenda. Working to embed societal purpose across all Siemens UK business operations.

Colin Banks

Head of Sponsorship and Reward, SSE

Colin is responsible for managing the energy company’s vast sponsorship portfolio. Aiming to make a real difference to their customers and the wider community, SSE focus on investing in a range of sporting sponsorship's and sport and entertainment venues such as The SSE SWALEC, Cardiff; The SSE Arena, Wembley and The SSE Hydro, Glasgow.

Having worked in sport and entertainment sponsorship's for over 20 years, Colin has experience working with both major brands and rights holders. Starting his career with Tennent’s, Colin over saw the brewery’s music and sport sponsorships including major Scottish music festival T in the Park. He then moved to the Scottish Football Association to run their marketing department before moving to SSE 5 years ago. 

Colin is a passionate Scot with a love for live entertainment and sport, especially grassroots development and new customer experiences.

David Peters

Founder and Director, The Value Xchange

David is a sponsorship, marketing and media consultant with over 30 years’ experience in agencies helping brands achieve their marketing and business objectives.

He started his career at TMD Advertising (now Carat) as a Television Buyer, subsequently working for Leo Burnett in a similar role before returning to Carat in the late 1980’s to become Broadcast Planning Director. David set up Carat Sponsorship in 1999 which grew to become an agency employing sixty people before it was split to create two agency brands for Dentsu Aegis Network; namely The Storylab and MKTG where has was the Managing Director. David has worked with many blue-chip clients on multi award winning campaigns including General Motors, British Gas, Mondelez and FedEx.

David now has his own consultancy business, The Value Xchange, which helps brands, media owners and rights holders maximise the value they extract from their sponsorship and partnership marketing programmes.  

David has taken an active role in the wider sponsorship industry as the inaugural Chairman of the IPA Sponsorship Group, a judge of UK Sponsorship Awards and as a director of the European Sponsorship Association. 

In 2014 he was recognised with an award for his Outstanding Contribution to the Sponsorship Industry at the UK Sponsorship Awards.

Paul Shulver

Head of Music Sponsorship, O2

Paul's remit includes overseeing the sponsorship of the 19 x O2 Academy venues across the UK and the delivery of Priority Tickets, O2’s loyalty scheme for music fans that gives them access to gig tickets up to 48 hours before general release. Since its launch in 2007, O2 customers have bought more than 4 million tickets for hundreds of venues and thousands of shows through Priority.

Over the past 4 years Paul has strived to make music synonymous with O2 and a core part of its brand DNA. Highlights include leading partnerships and multi million ATL campaigns with Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, (Priority Tickets) and being lead promoter for Wear the Rose Live, the official send off for the England Rugby Team (sell out show at The O2). Together with War Child, the BPI and AEG Live, Paul has also played an integral role in developing ‘Passport to BRITs Week’ and ‘BRITs Week’ and helped to raise over £2m for children affected by war.


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.

Lisa Ramsell

Head of Corporate Development, Royal Shakespeare Company

Lisa has enjoyed a 26-year career in marketing and fundraising working in New Zealand and the United Kingdom in the commercial and NFP sectors. Previously she has worked for 3M, Variety – the Children’s Charity, World Vision, Royal New Zealand Coastguard and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Lisa is currently working as Head of Corporate Development at the Royal Shakespeare Company focused on exploring innovative partnerships to grow the corporate and education partner portfolios in the UK and internationally. She is an FCIM Chartered Marketer who holds the international Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification and has participated as a Board Member for the Fundraising Institute of New Zealand, Include A Charity, and as a NFP Executive Member for the NZ Marketing Association.

Lisa’s experience includes strategic planning, brand development, marketing, fundraising, corporate partnerships, stakeholder relations and people management.

Alex Michaels

Corporate Relations Manager, The British Library 

Alex has worked for the British Library since 2014 looking after a diverse portfolio of relationships, from large sponsorships with law firms to technology partnerships across exhibitions, international work and a large learning programme. Before the Library Alex worked at the Economist and FT as an Account Manager and has looked after a wide range of clients involving sponsored content and events. Alex is also a local councillor, sitting on a large local authority with responsibilities ranging from budgeting to CSR agendas and grant giving.

Charlotte Terry

Sponsored Student Project Manager, Innovation and Business, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London 

Charlotte works with external organisations to run live briefs with students across a range of the college’s nine programme areas. Her role involves facilitating the relationship between the client and academics to refine the brief and ensure that the project meets the academic needs of the courses and the commercial and creative needs of the client.

Chris Hurst

UK Head of Digital, Nielsen Sports 

Chris joined Nielsen Sports in November 2016 as the UK Head of Digital with 15 years of experience in sports digital, broadcasting and corporate communications having worked for BBC Sport, the Premier League and the International Cricket Council.

Prior to working for Nielsen Sports, Chris was Digital Development Editor for BBC Sport, leading on the editorial development of BBC Sport’s award-winning interactive services and social media strategy for major events including the Rio Olympics. He also worked with major governing bodies on a range of other leading events including the FIFA World Cup, Euro 2016, Wimbledon, the Commonwealth Games, the FA Cup and the Six Nations.

Prior to the BBC, Chris began his career at the Premier League as Public Policy and Communications Executive between 2002-6. He then worked for the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai as Corporate Communications Manager and Digital Content and Rights Manager between 2006-13, launching the ICC onto a range of social media channels for the first time. He then joined BBC Sport in 2013 as the division’s  first-ever dedicated Social Media Editor.

Clive Sanders

Head of Events, Cancer Research UK

Clive Sanders is an event specialist with over 15 years experience in sport and mass participation. Beginning his career in sports marketing and sponsorship with SBI, he went on work for Quintus, IMG, LOCOG, and most recently Cancer Research UK. During that time Clive has worked across a range of sports in roles spanning events, marketing, innovation, sponsorship, sales, and operational delivery across both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. 

Clive is currently Head of Events at Cancer Research UK, leading a nationwide team to develop, manage, and deliver over 400 mass participation events annually. This includes the Race for Life and Race for Life Pretty Muddy events series. Each year over ½ a million people will participate in Cancer Research UK events raising in excess of £65m.

Liana Mellotte

Head of Music, Entertainment & Development, War Child UK

Liana has been specialising in music and entertainment for 15 years. Her focus has been devising strategies, partnerships, live events and talent engagement programmes for big brands and charities in music, film and sport. 

Starting her career in the commercial sector, Liana has worked with brands including O2, Red Bull, Jack Daniel’s, MasterCard, Sony Europe, Channel 4, Children In Need, Save the Children plus a multitude of events including BRIT Awards, British Academy Film Awards, MOBO Awards, T4 On The Beach, BBC Electric Proms and (almost) every major UK music festival. She joined War Child two years ago where she leads on the O2 partnership.

Mat Bell

Senior International Commercial & Event Licensing Director, Tough Mudder 

Mat Bell is the Snr International Commercial & Event Licensing Director for Tough Mudder. Founded in 2010 with the launch of the Tough Mudder event series of 10-12 mile obstacle courses, Tough Mudder Inc. has since grown to become a leading active lifestyle company and leader in sports video content creation and distribution. The brand includes Tough Mudder Half, an obstacle course challenge bringing the thrills of Tough Mudder to a 5-mile course; Toughest Mudder Series, an eight-hour, overnight competition series; World’s Toughest Mudder, a grueling 24-hour endurance competition; and an extremely vibrant engaging social and digital destination for fitness, nutrition and wellness content delivered across multiple platforms. The Tough Mudder family of brands and online community is united by a commitment to promoting courage, personal accomplishment and teamwork through unconventional, life-changing experiences. 

Mat's role includes the management and development of all of Tough Mudder's commercial rights across EMEA, which includes its brands and events in England, Scotland, Ireland and Germany.  A major focus of Mat's role is securing and working closely with each of Tough Mudder's EMEA sponsors , including iconic brands such as Merrell, Jeep and Olympus to develop and execute a personalized partnership program to fit their objectives. He also works closely with Tough Mudder's internal teams, including social media and content marketing, event operations, product marketing, public relations and more to co-create and implement strategies which benefit Tough Mudder's partners. 

Mat also heads the Event Licensing division at Tough Mudder that has seen the company partner with the likes of IMG to take the TM brand and events into new markets including China, Mexico, Indonesia and the UAE. Over 2.5 million people have participated in Tough Mudder's unique challenge-based events to date and the company will produce more than 130 events worldwide in 2017 across four continents, including Asia and the Middle East.  Mat works from the company's London office. Prior to joining Tough Mudder, he worked in partnership and commercial roles across brand, agency and rights holders, including Foster's Australia, Dentsu Aegis and Cricket Australia. Mat received a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce, Sports Management & Marketing from Deakin University, Australia

Nick Rhodes

Programme Director, Product Ceramic & Industrial Design, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London 


Nick Rhodes is an educator and designer. He directs the Queen’s Anniversary Prize-winning Masters course in Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Beyond the UK, he teaches and consults in China, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, the Caribbean, and in Japan where he is Fellow of Musashino Art University.

Nick has worked and collaborated with international brands such as Moët & Chandon, Montblanc, Unilever, Molton Brown, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble, Roche Bobois, Huawei, LVMH, Camper, Microsoft, Diageo, Renault, Orange, Paul Smith, Vertu, Coca-Cola, Givenchy, and Kenzo. He also supports non-profit and governmental development agencies including The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, Jamaica Trade and Invest, Caribbean Export Development Agency, and the Centre for Development of Enterprise Brussels.

Nicholas Mott

Head of Sponsorship, QBE Insurance – European Operations

Nick Mott has an established track record over 15 years as a sponsorship and brand marketing professional for a series of well-known businesses including global insurer QBE and Philips. He has worked with many top brands across the globe in the consumer electronics, automotive, FMCG, insurance and professional services sectors. Starting his career in corporate PR at global communications agency Ketchum, Nick moved to a motorsport specialist agency where he was responsible for the Honda Powerboat Series and Philips Electronics sponsorship of the Williams Formula 1 team. Nick joined the Australian global insurance giant QBE in 2010 to manage their sponsorship strategy, brand marketing, advertising and guest experience for their European assets which variously included the English Rugby Premiership, England national rugby team and the Autumn Internationals, and now the prestigious British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand in 2017. Nick specialises in working with brands to align sponsorship assets to drive business priorities, with the goal of supporting customer retention and revenue growth.

Nick Wiggin

Head of Corporate Partnerships, Royal Horticultural Society

Nick manages corporate partnerships for the world’s leading horticultural charity. He leads a team that handles multiple sponsorship accounts across a portfolio of events and campaigns, from RHS Chelsea Flower Show to the Campaign For School Gardening.

He joined the RHS from Huawei where he was Vice President Global Partnerships. During his time at Huawei Nick lead football sponsorship activation across a selection of top tier clubs in Europe, as well as delivering go-to-market activity for a wide range of devices.

While at the world’s second largest mobile phone company, Nick consolidated his international partnership experience. Working with Chinese colleagues on pioneering projects helped position the flagship phones as having the best pre-loaded content, contributing to an improved user experience.

Prior to that Nick was Head of Global Partnerships & Strategic Alliances at Ericsson, where he lead the establishment of their global mobile advertising business. He used his network of contacts in the media industry to build an international partnership programme that was instrumental in driving a successful launch of a proprietary advertising platform in South America.

Nick’s background is on the media agency side, having lead international teams for OMD in South East Asia and Europe, before setting up his own mobile media business. As a pioneer in the use of mobile as a marketing channel, he chaired the Mobile Marketing Association, delivered the world’s first mobile advertising campaign for Specsavers, launched Endemol mobile and picked up a GSMA award for best mobile advertising in Asia.


Nick Wright

Director, Innovation and Business, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

Nick's role is to lead the commercial activity at Central Saint Martins and to support the translation of strategic innovation, business and other initiatives into core teaching and research.

Nick has a background in strategic organisational and business leadership within commercial and HE education. He has a track record in international business development, developing and leading target driven teams to maximise revenue and profit. Nick’s experience covers B2C commercial training and assessment, along with developing B2B innovation and insight services to leverage the transformative relationship between industry and academia for UK and international clients from a wide range of industry sectors.


Richard Mason

Chief Operating Officer, Volvo Ocean Race 

Richard Mason is a four-time veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race and one of the great communicators in the sport of sailing. He is now the Volvo Ocean Race’s Chief Operating Officer and his experience as a leading professional sailor, a coach for the all-female Team SCA and now one of the most influential operators on the event side gives him a unique perspective.

Rick Jenner

Director of Strategy and Insight, Limelight Sports 

Rick Jenner is Director of Strategy and Insight at Limelight Sports. Prior to joining Limelight, he spent 15 years working for some of the UK’s best-known companies including ITV, News UK and Virgin Media. In his insight and product development roles he helped those businesses become more customer-centric – putting the understanding of their neends at the heart of developing great propositions and campaigns. For the last four years he’s been working with a number of organisations and start-ups in sport, including Sport England’s “This Girl Can” campaign, helping them to grow their businesses. Rick now leads the global delivery of strategy and insight for Limelight – using insight-led ideas and strategies to deliver campaigns that engage brands’ audiences with guaranteed results.

William Fenton

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

Colette Casey

Manager - Brand Communications, Renault

Colette has spent over 15 years working within the automotive sector, in several key marketing and commercial sales positions working across nine manufacturer brands before joining Renault UK in 2014.   In her current role of National Brand Communications Manager, along with having responsibility for the delivery of Renault’s media strategy and 360 advertising campaigns. For the past two years, she has been core in driving and the execution of several key partnerships and sponsorship activations for Renault that have included Clerkenwell Design, The Eden Project, Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest, The Color Run, Big Feastival as well as Renault’s current collaboration with Central Saint Martins.  Colette has an MSc in Marketing Management.


Liz Watts

Liz Watts, Research & Consultancy Director, EdComs

Liz has spent over 25 years working in research, strategy and communications and over 15 years working in education at EdComs, the UK’s largest communications and marketing agency specialising in education.

Liz’s career started as a market researcher conducting both qualitative and quantitative research projects, before moving into the worlds of advertising, brand consultancy and finally education. Liz gained the Diploma of the Market Research Society in 1982 and is a full member of the MRS.

Liz leads the Research team at EdComs, offering expert research solutions and strategic advice for the education market. Working with a diverse range of clients such as PHE, The Wellcome Trust, Google, OCR, McDonald’s, LEGO Education, Samsung and BP. Liz’s team use research and their experience to provide data and recommendations that help clients make the most of their work within the education sector. This includes ensuring that the business, educational and social impact of our client’s work are considered.

Liz was instrumental in setting up EdComs Teachers, an online research community of teachers from across the UK. EdComs uses this community to make sure the voice of the teacher is always heard in their work.

Amanda Andrews

Head of Communications Strategy & Research, Vodafone Group
Amanda has worked in the External Communications team at Vodafone since 2012, creating global media and digital storytelling consumer campaigns focused on corporate themes. Amanda was a journalist for 13 years, most recently Media Editor of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph and Media Business Correspondent at The Times. Other roles include business correspondent at the Sunday Express and business reporter at The Scotsman. Before joining Vodafone, Amanda was Head of Media and Technology in the corporate division of Freud Communication.

Owen Laverty

Head of Fan Insight, Ear to the Ground
Owen Laverty joined Ear to the Ground 5 years ago, having completing a masters in marketing management.
Focused on delivering strategic solutions that are routed in genuine fan insight, Owen spearheaded the agency’s strategic planning & insight department: Fanatic.  From academic research to constantly talking to fans, tracking rituals, dress codes and language, the team look to understand fan psychology & behaviour better than anyone else. This ground-breaking fan insight is the cornerstone of Ear to the Ground's work with some of the most exciting brands in the world, connecting them with sports and music fans.
As Head of Fanatic, Owen leads a team of creative strategists and planners to create actionable insight and deliver award-winning campaigns for the likes of UEFA, England Rugby, LTA, Samsung and many more.
Highlights of Owen’s work over the past five years have been driving Samsung to become the number 1 smartphone provider in the UK, helping Nike to grow its share in the already crowded football market and getting lapsed rugby players back into the game with England.

Steven Ward

Steven Ward – Executive Director

Steven joined ukactive initially as an intern researcher within the Public Affairs and Policy Team, rising through the ranks to become the first Manager and then Director of the Department, before taking up the position of Development Director in 2012. In April 2015 he was appointed as Executive Director as successor to outgoing CEO David Stalker. 

In his time with ukactive, Steven helped shape the rebrand from the FIA to ukactive, strengthen ukactive's ties to key partners such as the Department of Health and Sport England, and drove ukactive's partnership's with major brands. In 2014 Steven and the policy team were awarded the 2014 Public Affairs Award for Trade Association Campaign of the Year in recognition of driving almost £40m of traditional investment into tackling inactivity at local authority public health team level. He is a policy expert on all matters relating to the promotion of physical activity for health and is prominent commentator on the topic both within the sector and beyond.

Gillian McCormack

Managing Director, Material_UK

With over 13 years experience in the sponsorship space, Gillian has led teams working on a diverse number of brands and projects working both on behalf of major brands and rights holders.

An expert in designing creative business solutions for brands across sport and entertainment, Gillian and her team have developed and delivered consumer engagement propositions and platforms such as T in the Park, Beck’s Fusions, Bank of Scotland’s Tier 1 partnership with London 2012 and as SSE’s entertainment agency work in close collaboration with the utility company’s in-house team to create and deliver an engaging customer experience and reward strategy around SSE’s title entertainment venue partnerships including The SSE Hydro and The SSE Arena.


‘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)