SportsPro's virtual conference series
Gathering leading experts to discuss the most important topics facing the business of sports.
Attendees will get free access to SportsPro’s unrivalled network and hear first-hand how the industry’s disruptors have overcome their challenges. Each session is free to attend and will go deeper than any virtual event has before, addressing subjects such as engaging Gen-Z, sports investment, monetising consumption, diversity & inclusion, esports, matchday experience and much more.
Keep your eyes peeled for our next series of virtual events coming in 2021.
Insider Series in numbers
VP Emerging Media & Innovation
Pete Scott is vice president of emerging media and innovation for WarnerMedia Studios. In this role, Scott advises internal brands on the effectiveness of social media and audience intelligence across the entire WarnerMedia portfolio. Additionally, he is helping to lead the charge on the gaming and esports entertainment brand, ELEAGUE. As a digital strategist that has been moving through the ranks at Turner for more than 26 years, Pete has helped the company develop and evolve into a leading force in the digital media space.
Prior to his current role, Scott served as the vice-president of emerging media for Turner Sports, a division of WarnerMedia. While in this role, Scott was responsible for digital operations and technology for the entire Turner Sports digital portfolio which includes Bleacher Report, NCAA.com and the critically-acclaimed NCAA March Madness Live suite of products. In addition, Scott managed the company’s strategic partnership with Yahoo! Sports. His unique hybrid background of TV and digital platforms helped Turner Sports develop into a leader in the digital sports business.
Scott began his Turner career as a sound tech and editor for CNN, covering such major events as the war in Bosnia and the U.S. invasion of Haiti while working with international correspondents Christiane Amanpor and Nic Robertson. In 2001, he transitioned to Turner Sports’ new media team where he started laying the foundation for development of Turner’s unique digital portfolio. He served as executive director of partnerships managing digital and mobile rights for NASCAR.com, PGA.com, NBA.com, and PGATour.com as well as broadband channels TNT OverTime on NBA.com and TBS Hot Corner on MLB.com. Scott also guided the day-to-day programming of interactive content on each of the sites, which includes live streaming coverage, widgets and downloads, interactive TV and wireless platforms.
Additionally, he helped to create a digital media team with diverse expertise that attracted attention from other professional leagues and their peers throughout the digital media industry. In 2010, he helped launch NCAA March Madness Live, the successful live streaming video experience that is now available across more platforms than ever before for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
Before Turner, Scott served as a senior video producer for FoxSports.com where he produced and directed the first live college football game streamed online. Before Fox, he served as a senior production manager of remote operations for Turner Sports, coordinating logistics for the production of NBA, NFL and MLB telecasts
Scott earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in film and television, with a minor in business, from Boston University.
VP, Business Development
Eric is a leading expert in the digital video space, advising the world’s largest, most complex, and most demanding customers, from media and sports entities to Fortune 1000 corporations. His career spans executive, sales, marketing and business development roles in markets around the globe-including Australia, Asia, South America Europe and the United States. Prior to Zixi, Eric worked for Com Tech, PictureTel, Vela Research, Venaca and Signiant.
Deepen is a Partner at Courtside Ventures, which is an early-stage VC fund, backed by Dan Gilbert (Cleveland Cavaliers) and WPP. They focus on investing in technology companies across the sports, athlete performance, media and gaming verticals. At Courtside, some of his investments include 100 Thieves, Beam (acquired by Microsoft and rebranded as Mixer), The Athletic and Religion of Sports.
Prior, he was a Partner at Interplay Ventures, a NY based incubator and early-stage investor. He also co-founded NYVC Sports with the mission of bridging the gap between sports leagues, teams, investors, entrepreneurs, and media companies.
Deepen started his career at UBS and earned his BA in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Diego A. Suarez
Head of Global Brand Marketing
A CPA by trade, Diego Suarez worked at Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers prior to joining Burger King’s finance department in 2010. Suarez spent five years counting Whoppers before coming to the ad side in 2015. Since then, he brought “The King” out of retirement to appear with Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor, Triple Crown-winning horse trainer Bob Baffert and Cheetos spokescat “Chester Cheetah,” and he reunited Napoleon Dynamite with Pedro to help sell Cheesy Tots.
Diego is part of the team that has propelled Burger King’s marketing efforts and Burger King became Client of the Year at the D&AD in 2016, Creative Marketer of the Year in Cannes 2017, Client of the Year at the One Show 2018, Advertiser of the Year at the Clio Awards 2018 and Creative Brand of the Year in Cannes 2019. More recently Diego has worked on campaigns such as “Google Home of the Whopper”, “Bullying Jr”, “Whopper Neutrality”, “Turning Their Tweets Against them”, “Promposal” ,“Whopper Detour”, “Stevenage”, “Moldy Whopper” and “Cows’s Menu”.
Spurs Sports and Entertainment
RC Buford was named CEO of Spurs Sports and Entertainment in July of 2019, leading the business operations for each of the sports franchises owned and operated by Spurs Sports & Entertainment – the San Antonio Spurs (NBA), Austin Spurs (NBA G League) and San Antonio FC (USL Championship), as well as the operations of the AT&T Center and Toyota Field. Prior to being named CEO, Buford held the role of president of sports franchises for SS&E from 2008-19 and served as the general manager of the Spurs while overseeing the sports administration for the other three teams in the SS&E family. He has twice been named the NBA’s executive of the Year in 2014 and 2016. Buford started his professional career as an assistant coach at the University of Kansas in 1983, and during each of his five seasons at Kansas the Jayhawks participated in the NCAA Tournament. Buford was on the coaching staff for the team that won the 1988 NCAA Championship as well as the 1985–86 squad that advanced to the Final Four. He made the move to the NBA in the summer of 1988, joining the Spurs as an assistant coach on Larry Brown’s staff (other assistants on that staff included Gregg Popovich, Alvin Gentry and Ed Manning) and spent four seasons as an assistant with the Spurs. During that time San Antonio won back-to-back Midwest Division titles (1990 and 1991). Buford joined the Los Angeles Clippers in the summer of 1992 as the first assistant for Coach Brown, and then served as an assistant coach at the University of Florida during the 1993–94 season (as the team advanced to the Final Four for the first time in school history). He returned to San Antonio in the summer of 1994 when Popovich hired him as the team’s head scout, and in the summer of 1997 became the Spurs director of scouting. Buford was then promoted to vice president/assistant general manager in the summer of 1999 and was named the Spurs general manager in July of 2002. Buford played collegiate basketball at Texas A&M University and Oklahoma State before receiving his degree from Friends University. He is involved in the NBA Basketball Without Borders Africa camp and in 2015 became an Advisory board member for Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics (COLE) at Duke University. He also serves on the Board of Directors of PeacePlayers International. Buford’s wife, Beth, is a former player on the LPGA Tour. Together, they are active with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). They have a son, Chase, and a daughter, C.C. In 2004 they welcomed Alexis Wangmene from Cameroon to their family after meeting through the Basketball Without Borders program in Johannesburg. In 2007, Samer Jassar from Israel joined the Buford family after being introduced through PeacePlayers International.
Chief Transformation Officer
Michael Sutherland is the Chief Transformation Officer at Real Madrid, which is consistently ranked as the highest earning european football club and is one of the most valuable sports brands in the world. Prior to Real Madrid, Michael was the Director of Virtual Reality and Director of Product and Design for Emerging Technologies at HP Inc in Silicon Valley. He has been an active angel investor, founder and advisor in early stage companies and has led the growth and commercialization of technology startups in Silicon Valley. He is a global technology leader and expert in corporate innovation and commercialization of new technology products.
National Women's Soccer League
Lisa Baird, Commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), oversees all operations for the NWSL with a focus on growing revenues and audience while elevating the profile of the league globally. Baird joined the NWSL in March 2020 from New York Public Radio (NYPR), where she served as the Chief Marketing Officer for more than a year. Prior to NYPR, Baird spent a decade as the Chief Marketing Officer at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. During her tenure with the USOPC, Baird played the leading role securing broadcast, sponsorship and licensing deals and launched the iconic Team USA brand. She became the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Licensing for the National Football League (NFL) in 2005 and continued to grow the most commercially successful sports league in the United States, directing the NFL’s consumer products, entertainment marketing and advertising programs. She was named the 2011 WISE Woman of the Year for making a significant impact on the business of sports and was recognized in the 2011 Sports Business Journal’s inaugural class of “Game Changers: Women in Sports Business.” More recently, she was named to the 2016 Business Insider TOP 50 Most Innovative Global CMO’s and most recently in 2019 as an OpCon Top 50 Marketer.
Founder and owner of SweetSpot and formally in charge of Investor and Corporate relations at Carphone Warehouse. SweetSpot are a sports events, marketing and media company specialising in the creation and execution of high-quality, annual sporting events headlines by the Tour of Britain – the UK’s most prestigious men’s cycle race – and The Women’s Tour, part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour.
Hugh is committed to showcasing Britain as a country that supports equal opportunities for investment and growth in professional road cycling.
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