January 21.2016

ASSF Panel2

 Leading brands, sports federations, agencies and students attended the prestigious Forum hosted at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

Under the patronage of his Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed al Nahyan, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, The Arabian Sport & Sponsorship Forum returned to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday 19th January. The Forum was an overwhelming success reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s position and the forefront of the sports industry and bringing together a world class panel of regional and international speakers, including HE Mohamed Khalfan Al Rumaithi, Executive Committee Asian Football Confederation, Keith Pelley, CEO of the European Tour, Giles Morgan, the Global Head of Sponsorship & Events for HSBC, Simon Clegg, COO Baku 2015, Stephen Nuttall, Senior Director YouTube EMEA, and Mushtaq Al Waeli of the Josoor Institute in Doha.

Ahead of Tuesday’s Forum, world renowned sports marketing and sponsorship expert, Professor Bettina Cornwell from the University of Oregon, travelled to two of the region’s leading universities, the American University of the Emirates and the Paris-Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, to share her expertise on sponsorship with the students and faculty members. This Future Vision initiative was at the core of the Forum with many students also attending the Forum itself.

The Forum was held at Yas Marina Circuit and further illustrates the Island’s position as one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment destinations. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, commented: “We are proud to have hosted the Arabian Sport & Sponsorship for the third time here in Abu Dhabi. Its success reflects the exceptional image, name and reputation of Abu Dhabi as a distinguished capital for prominent international events and a sporting hub, including the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship this week, the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Red Bull Air Race. The Future Vision initiative was also important as we are keen to develop the next generation of Emirati industry leaders so we thank Professor Cornwell for her time.”

The Forum saw a morning of panel discussions covered topics as wide-ranging as measuring return on investment in sports sponsorships to the social impact of sports events in the Arabian Gulf. Thought provoking ideas came from panelists and audience alike, including Giles Morgan asserting that there was “too much tagging” and “too many logos” in sponsorship, and Simon Clegg reflecting on the responsibility that sport and leaders in sport have to the fans in light of recent controversies. The afternoon saw more interactive sessions with delegates and panelists debating the health of the nation and difference between the role of patronage and sponsorship. Keynote speeches from Frank Saez, Managing Director of SMG Insight/YouGov and Stephen Nuttall, Senior Director YouTube EMEA, provided the metrics, media and digital landscape of the industry and provided insights into how that might change over the coming year.

Jamie Cunningham, CEO of organiser Professional Sport Group, commented: “We would like to thank his Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed al Nahyan and our Platinum Sponsor Abu Dhabi Sports Council for their support. Aside from the quality of our speakers, we are delighted that so many delegates from such a variety of companies, agencies and federations were able to attend and participate in the discussions. The future of our industry in the Arabian Gulf is certainly strong but there are challenges as well. It was really valuable to share ideas and hear from thought leaders in a collaborative Forum.”

Delegates from many leading brands, federations, agencies and universities including Abu Dhabi Media Company, Al Ain Sports Club, Al Fahim, ADNIC, Bahrein Olympic Committee, Daman, Dubai Sports Council, Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, Etisalat, Mubadala, NYU University, Red Bull and the UAE National Olympic Committee all attended.

The Arabian Sport and Sponsorship Forum was proudly supported by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the platinum partner, alongside the Sports Venue Partner Zayed Sports City and 4 Future Vision Partners: the Arab Universities Sports Federation, Etihad Airways, Josoor Institute, Miral, and Yas Marina Circuit. Other partners include AllAboutBrands, Getty Images, ISportConnect, Plan B, SportBusiness and Sport 360.

For further information, please contact:

UAE / GCC Media: Sally Richard sally@profsports.com or +971 50 668 4025

International Media: Liz Box liz@profsports.com or +44 7702 884009

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