Workshop intensives, executive level keynotes delivered by brand-side presenters and traditional breakouts… this year’s program has it all!
Head of Esports Partnerships
Moderator: TOP OF THE MORNING: EXECUTIVES TAKE ON THE HEADLINES Moderator: STATE OF THE UNION: LEAGUE OF LEGENDSAs Head of Esports Partnerships at Riot Games, Naz Aletaha oversees global sponsorships, strategic partnerships, business development, and media rights for League of Legends Esports, a premier global sport with 13 professional leagues worldwide. After graduating from the University of Southern California, she spent her early career at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Activision Blizzard, before joining Riot Games in 2012.
At Riot, Naz leverages her business expertise and passion for gaming to identify business development opportunities, securing partnerships with the likes of State Farm, Coca-Cola, Dell Alienware, and Mastercard. Naz also helps the League of Legends team shatter numerous industry records, including the latest viewership milestone that saw 99.6 million unique viewers tune-in to watch the 2018 World Championship Finals.
SVP, Esports and Partnerships
Jacob 'PR' Arce
Born and Raised in Southern California, started gaming at a young age which had me hooked. I always had that competitive drive and with video games coming naturally that’s why I turned to esports. It allows me to do what I love in two different ways; competing and gaming. I went from being a Hypefestation Pro Player to a MLG Pro Coach, Analyst and current Broadcast talent for many different Major Esports Events. Im also a Manager for Ghost Gaming and work with professional players from different games and places as well. I strive in entertaining others while being able to educate them during broadcast. I also have a big heart and care for everyone I come across. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Head of Partnerships & Business Development - NA Esports
Prior to joining Riot Games, Matt spent his career learning the intricacies of the media, marketing and publishing landscapes working at agencies GroupM & Omnicom, news publishers (BBC), streaming platforms (Tubi TV) and niche entertainment brands (We Are The Mighty). He has helped to develop process and build infrastructure in each role, leading to increased revenue and new monetization streams. As a passionate sports fan and gamer, he brings traditional media/marketing strategies into the sector and continues to push the limits on innovative partnerships and brand relationships for the LCS through new product identification and execution.
Matt graduated from Villanova University and is an avid college hoops fan. When not watching LCS or playing golf, you’ll find him glued to every ‘Nova basketball game.
Executive Vice President and Head of Games
Super League Gaming
Prior to Super League, Andy was President of Brandissimo Inc., which created, developed and managed the National Football League’s youth brand, NFL RUSH, for over ten years. The main engine in the NFL's youth engagement efforts, NFL RUSH saw over 250 million gameplays from 2007 - 2016 and grew into several mobile apps, a full consumer products line, apparel, comic books, a collectible card game, a board game, an animated TV show on NickToons and a McDonald's Happy Meal.
Andy was previously the President of Infusio NA, a French mobile video game publisher, and prior to that spent ten years managing business development for Take Two Interactive, 2K Games and SegaSoft. He has published over 200 video games across console, handheld, PC, online and mobile platforms.
Andy earned his MBA from Stanford University and his Bachelor's degree in Communications Studies from UCLA.
Associate Director of Influencer Marketing
Moderator: WOMEN OF ESPORTS BASHAs Bumble's Associate Director of Influencer Marketing, Justin Balanon leads talent and influencer marketing initiatives across the company. He also leads Bumble’s gaming and esports initiatives, including Bumble's partnership with Gen.G. Justin began his career over a decade ago in media advertising at Viacom, before moving into influencer marketing with roles at Fullscreen and Maker Studios. He is passionate about bringing communities together around shared interests and helping to further Bumble’s mission of gender equality.
Director, Experiential Marketing
Host for Call of Duty Esports
Founder, Walk Swiftly Productions
Executive Producer/Good Game: UC Irvine
Prior to her foray into entrepreneurship, Bernstein developed her executive chops as Vice President, Content and Brand Development for Campus Insiders. This followed six years with the ESPN family in a variety of hosting roles, including NFL Live, Outside the Lines, Jim Rome is Burning and First Take, as well as New York Football Live on ESPN Radio in New York. Bernstein also patrolled the sidelines for Sunday Night Baseball and ESPN on ABC College Football; hosted the Pro Gymnastics Challenge; and created, executive produced and hosted a series for espnW showcasing prominent women who were competitive athletes in their youth.
Bernstein’s career blossomed at CBS Sports, where she was the Lead Reporter for the NFL and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships. She contributed features for The NFL Today; hosted the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships as well as the Network’s Emmy-nominated anthology series, Championships of the NCAA; and anchored CBS’ studio shows, SportsDesk and At the Half. Track and field, figure skating, and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships rounded out her assignments at the Network. During Super Bowl XXXVIII, Bernstein became the first sideline reporter to serve as both a network TV (CBS) and network radio (Westwood One) correspondent on the same broadcast.
Bernstein first joined ESPN in 1995 as its Chicago Bureau Chief, where she covered Michael Jordan and the Bulls’ second historic “three-peat.” She also filed game reports and features for SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, NFL Countdown and College GameDay.
In 1993, Bernstein made local television history at KRNV-TV in Reno, NV (NBC), as the “Biggest Little City’s” first-ever female weekday sports anchor. She began her television career at WMDT-TV (ABC) in Salisbury, MD, anchoring weekend news, and broke into broadcasting in radio as the News and Sports Director for WXJN-FM in Lewes, DE.
Outside of broadcasting, Bernstein is a passionate public health advocate, with a focus on youth health and wellness. She joins such notables as Jillian Michaels and Rachel Ray as a member of the Celebrity Ambassador Team for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation; has served as a National Ambassador for ING KiDS Rock; and co-chaired the committee supporting the Congressionally chartered National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, which generates private funds for childhood obesity initiatives. Additionally, Bernstein is the Co-National Spokesperson for the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis. Since surviving near-fatal blood clots in 2006, she has canvassed the country promoting DVT education and awareness and helped influence federal DVT legislation and a “call to action” issued by the U.S. Surgeon General.
Numerous publications have documented Bernstein’s work, including The New York Times, Newsday, Sports Illustrated, TV Guide and USA Today, and lifestyle magazines such as Allure, Glamour, Self, Men’s Health and Celebrity Living. She has received Pop Warner’s “Female Achievement Award” for serving as a positive role model for kids, and has been named to New York Moves Magazine’s “Power Women” list, as well as Jewish Women International’s “Women to Watch” list, an exclusive group selected from the United States, Canada and Israel for their professional achievements.
Bernstein graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Maryland’s prestigious Merrill College of Journalism. She currently serves on the College’s Board of Visitors as well as the Advisory Board for the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism. While at College Park, Bernstein was an Academic All-American (gymnastics) and received the Thomas M. Fields Award for academic and athletic excellence.
Bernstein was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and grew up in Howell, N.J. She presently resides in New York City.
Co-Founder / CEO
ReKTGlobal / Rogue
Recently, Dave became enamored of the bourgeoning esports and broader gaming industries. A void of “best practices” and business processes in sales and services, led him to the conclusion that he would spend the next 10 years of his professional life devoted to its growth. With the creation of ReKTGlobal, Dave and his partners have created multiple business segments, which service the various stakeholder of the esports ecosystem. In January 2018, ReKT was named as the Agency of Record for State Farm, a top 30 North American marketer.
As a sports and entertainment marketing and media specialist, Dave has spearheaded the creation of multiple advertising platforms in the place-based, streaming media and sports advertising space. Bialek is credited with building two groundbreaking initiatives in collegiate sports. First, he led a sales team to create an advertising network on field goal nets in over 60 NCAA schools. “The Field Goal Net Program” remains Allstate’s tent-pole sports platform after 12 years. Second, he invented the “Basket Profile” position on NCAA and NBA basket stanchions, which is widely considered to be the most impactful signage position in all of sports. State Farm was the program’s initial and primary sponsor and remains as such today. For this latest pursuit, Dave became the recipient of the prestigious Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award in April 2009.
Prior to RektGlobal, Dave served as Partner at The Legacy Agency (TLA) Sales and Founder and CEO of Skylark Marketing. Skylark merged with TLA Worldwide in September 2014, creating a corporate sales division to complement TLA’s existing talent marketing and representation businesses.
Dave previously served as Director and President of ANC Sports Marketing where he built the marketing group into a leader in team and venue media sales and marketing. While at ANC, the business increased from $15MM in top line revenue to $65MM within a 7-year span. Along with creation of the Profile Basket sign, ANC ideated and developed a digital sign for advertising that is placed at the rear of the basket stanchion, which dramatically expanded the inventory of the NBA league and teams. ANC was sold in 2009 to Palladium Equity Partners for $25M and then again in 2013 to an investor group including a principal of Providence Equity.
Previously, Bialek served as Senior Vice President of sales and marketing for Van Wagner, where, for over four years, he led the sales effort for Dorna USA's in-game advertising networks and managed the Sports Group’s Media and Sponsorship Sales services.
In the late 1990’s, Dave founded and led sales for an Internet radio platform, eYada.com, which raised $25MM in institutional capital. He has also served as director of sales for The Golf Channel and The Marquee Group, which was acquired by SFX Sports.
World Showdown of Esports Commissioner
Today, Bishop is responsible for the continued growth of the series while managing current and new developer partnerships. He also oversees new, large-scale business opportunities and transactions to accelerate the company’s white-label production growth.
Previously, Bishop was Chief Executive Officer at Thunder Gaming, the largest esports gaming and production center in the West Coast with a total property size of 150,000 square feet. Over the course of his career, Bishop has served as an Enterprise Media Director with Level 3 Communications, AT&T and Time Warner Inc. In addition, he served as a Director of Content for BidChat, a cutting edge two-way live broadcasting platform for social influencers.
In 2017, Bishop also launched “4Cast,” the first of its kind esports and gaming show to deliver unique esports and gaming news and information in an entertaining and engaging format that appeals to all gamers and fans. He is also an Executive Producer for the film "Huntsville” and is most recognized from his recent work on ABC’s “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise.”
Bishop also serves on several boards and participates in community organizations such as the Western Regional Diversity Council, where he works to advance and sustain an inclusive environment for gaming enthusiasts. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business from California State University, Northridge.
Senior Vice President, Brand Partnerships
ESL North America
Moderator: ESPORTS FOR BRAND AND SPORTS MARKETERS 2.0Paul Brewer is SVP, Brand Partnerships at ESL North America. ESL is the world’s largest esports company. In this role, Brewer is responsible for driving sponsorships of ESL’s global assets with both endemic and non-endemic brands and properties.
Prior to ESL, Brewer most recently served as Turner’s Director of Sales Development and Marketing, where he worked with blue chip brands across Turner Broadcasting’s digital properties including, Bleacher Report, NBA, NCAA, PGA and NASCAR.
Brewer joined Turner in 2010 from Samsung Electronics, where he served as Senior Marketing and Operations Manager for Samsung’s World Cyber Games. During his time at Samsung, Brewer oversaw operations and partnerships for the U.S. branch and worked closely with partners from major global brands, including Samsung Electronics and Microsoft Xbox.
Before Samsung, Brewer started his career at ESPN in their Special Events Marketing department.
Brewer holds a Master’s Degree in Sports Business from New York University.
Esports & Gaming Host
Character Select Agency
National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE)
Moderator: COLLEGIATE ESPORTS WORKSHOPMichael currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). NACE is a nonprofit membership association organized by and on behalf of member institutions and is the only governing body of college esports in North America. NACE’s members are developing the structure and tools needed to advance collegiate esports in the varsity space. Areas of collaboration include: Eligibility, Path to Graduation, Competition & Scholarships, IP Rights, and Program Implementation. NACE currently has 151 varsity esports programs as members, accounting for nearly all (91%) varsity programs across North America. Michael and his work with NACE has been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, ESPN, Forbes, Fortune, NBC, SBJ and many others.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Head of Integrated Marketing
Moderator: ESPORTS INSIGHTS FOR NON-ENDEMIC BRANDS Moderator: HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR BRAND’S FIRST YEAR IN ESPORTSCharlie is currently Head of Media & Comms Planning at The Hershey Company where he is leading Hershey’s transformation to a Data-Driven, People-Based approach to media. In this role, he oversees all paid media across Hershey’s iconic portfolio of brands such as Reese’s, Hershey’s, Kit Kat, Ice Breakers, Twizzlers and many more.
Charlie brings a marketer’s perspective to his role leading media after spending 12 years at Procter & Gamble where he had the privilege to touch many iconic brands such as Pantene, Herbal Essences, Old Spice, Gillette, Secret, Safeguard and Camay.
While his career has primarily been based in the US, Charlie has worked in over 25 different countries with a particular emphasis on China, Russia, Egypt & Pakistan. While with P&G he spent 2.5 years based in Geneva, Switzerland covering Central & Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Charlie is a graduate of Purdue University in Chemical Engineering and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He currently lives just outside of Hershey, PA with his wife and four kids.
VP of Esports
Wizards of the Coast
She was a key member of the foundation of Wizards of the Coast Esports initiative and currently serves as Vice President. As VP, Elaine leads development, operations and broadcast of our competitive play programs across games, platforms and geographies.
During her time at Wizards of the Coast, Elaine has also served on the board of directors for the Safe Crossings Foundation and currently is the President of the Board of Directors for the Child’s Play Charity.
Wizards of the Coast is a premier developer and publisher of strategy and role-playing games with a core mission to bring people together through their shared love of games.
Shareholder Tyson Entertainment Group
leader with 20+ years of executive experience building successful companies, platforms and products at the intersection of entertainment and technology. In addition, Garrett has worked at the most prestigious talent representation firms in the entertainment industry including United
Talent Agency, Creative Artists Agency and the Collective Management Group.
At United Talent Agency, Garrett drafted the business plan and formed the New Ventures Department, which expanded the agency into digital media, corporate representation and music. Garrett was also involved in the packaging of some of the most successful entertainment projects of the era including “The Sopranos”, “Six Feet Under”, the film “The Sixth Sense” as well as the digital animated series for Eminem called “Slim Shady”. Previously, Garrett was in the Motion Picture Talent Department at Creative Artists Agency and was privy to numerous feature film projects from inception to go picture. At the Collective Management Group, he oversaw the company’s music festival operations and was part of the Lollapalooza team (including WME and C3 Presents) that expanded the festival from Chicago (USA) to Sao Paulo (Brazil), Santiago (Chile) and Berlin (Germany). Currently, Garrett is an Instructor at UCLAx teaching the course Entertainment Project Management.
Cloud9 Esports, Inc.
Moderator: WOMEN OF ESPORTS BASHEunice Chen is an advisor for North America’s premier esports organization, Cloud9 Esports. She is an esports pioneer who built Cloud9’s business development and marketing verticals and cultivated some of the largest partnerships in early esports over the last 4.5 years. Previously, Eunice headed up event strategy at Riot Games where she created and brought to life League of Legends live events, including the 2013 World Finals at Staples Center, a watershed moment for esports. Eunice also created HeroesHype, an esports production company that runs amateur and community tournaments alongside official Blizzard Entertainment Heroes of the Storm events and more. Throughout her career, Eunice has shown herself to be both a visionary and a builder, leaving her fingerprints across the esports industry by creating long-lasting programs, events and partnerships.
And if you’ve ever heard the now-ubiquitous sound of thundersticks at live esports event, you have Eunice Chen to thank for that too.
And if you’ve ever heard the now-ubiquitous sound of thundersticks a live esports event, you have Eunice to thank for that too.
Senior Director of Gaming & Esports
Moderator: ESPORTS FOR BRAND AND SPORTS MARKETERS 2.0A scientist initially by education and trade, Jason mastered the art of leveraging an analytical approach to break down complex marketing challenges by applying right-brain logic and left-brain creativity to drive experiential marketing results. For the past ten years, this unusual cocktail has helped him forge meaningful partnerships and create memorable brand experiences across a range of brands, most recently in his capacity as a Senior Director and Head of Gaming & Esports at RedPeg, where he works with endemic and non-endemic brands such as Amazon, GEICO, AT&T, Square Enix, and Warner Bros., helping them navigate and activate in this dynamic but ever-changing landscape. Jason will share trends that shape current conversation on how endemic brands can rise above the noise and differentiate themselves from the competition, and how non-endemic brands can define a relevant strategy and position in the space.
Marketing/Business Unit Director - Old El Paso & Totino's Pizza Rolls
Moderator: ESPORTS INSIGHTS FOR NON-ENDEMIC BRANDSJustin Conzemius is the Marketing Director/Business Unit Director for Old El Paso and Totino’s, two brands within the General Mills portfolio. Through his current role, he is dedicated to expanding Totino’s involvement with gaming and esports, while positioning the brand as best-in-class within the industry. Most recently, Justin spearheaded the Totino’s partnership with 100 Thieves and Twitch, including multiple content activations and a new documentary series, 02100. He also led the brand’s involvement with Fortnite, including the development of a 9,000 square foot gaming house complete with six bedrooms for the team to live and train in.
Justin joined General Mills in 2001, and previously ran the Fruit Snacks division in which he further positioned the brands to reach the teen target, breaking growth and earning the highest company distinction, the Champions Award. Additionally, he has worked within both the Salty Snacks portfolio and Running Kid Yogurt portfolio, where he led Go-GURT and the successful, Slurp Till It’s Flat campaign.
Justin is a proud dad of two boys, Cade (15) and Drew (13), who are both big time gamers and esports enthusiasts.
Chief Digital Officer
Joe Gibbs Racing
Moderator: STATE OF THE UNION: ENASCAR HEAT PRO LEAGUEBryan Cook (aka Boris) is the Chief Digital Officer for the Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Team and co-head of their Gibbs Gaming eSports Team. Currently in his 15th year in the industry, he oversees content strategy and digital transformation for Gibbs. Additionally, he’s been an avid sim-racer for over 25 years.
Lisa Cosmas Hanson
Founder and Managing Partner
Bassem [Bear] Dahdouh
Esports Tournament Director, Player & Streamer
Moderator: SPOTLIGHT: FIGHTING GAME COMMUNITYBassem [Bear] Dahdouh has been involved in competitive gaming for nearly his entire life, starting at the grassroots level at an early age in the Middle East where he learned about fighting games at the arcade and helped organize tournaments for his friends. Over the last five-plus years, Bear has been at the forefront of the competitive esports events industry, organizing everything from local 20-person tournaments in Las Vegas to the world-renowned Evolution Championship Series (EVO), where he served as Tournament Director, featuring a pool of more than 10,000 competitors. Bear gained invaluable experience across a variety of games and genres, including Fortnite, PUBG, Hearthstone, League of Legends and Overwatch, while working for the esports platform smash.gg. He has also made a name for himself in the fighting game community as Tournament Director for Genesis (largest Super Smash Bros. winter major), EVO (largest fighting game tournament in the world), CEO (Community Effort Orlando), COMBO BREAKER, DreamHack, GameTyrant, and a number of other regional and national esports events.
Director of Business Development, Founding Team
Head of Twitch Esports
UCI Esports and Commissioner at North American Scholastic Esports Federation
Moderator: COLLEGIATE ESPORTS WORKSHOPMark led the effort to create the award-winning esports program at UCI. Working closely with student leaders, administrators, faculty, and industry partners, Mark built a business plan that is both cost-neutral to the university and that broadly approaches the world of esports through the five pillars of Competition, Research, Community, Entertainment, and Careers. Mark was selected to serve as the inaugural commissioner for the North American Scholastic Esports Federation, helping connect learning to student interests.
In June 2018, UCI’s League of Legends team won the College League of Legends Championship. In October 2018, UCI’s esports program was awarded “Most Outstanding Collegiate Program” by the esports industry at the Tempest Awards. While at UCI, Mark has helped UCI break six Guinness world records. Mark has a B.S. in psychobiology from UCLA and a MBA from Cal State Fullerton's Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.
Founder & CEO
Gamer World News Entertainment
Vice President, esports
Moderator: BEST BETS ON THE FUTURE OF ESPORTSJennifer Dill is the Senior Director of Global Business Operations, esports, for Turner Sports. Having held this position since March 2016, Dill oversees all of the day-to-day business operations for ELEAGUE – the premium esports content and live tournament brand from Turner and IMG.
In the three years since ELEAGUE’s launch, Dill has coordinated the internal and external resource needs to build and foster the expansion of the brand’s premium content initiatives and live events, including global syndication and distrbution, financial management, production, legal, marketing, digital products, sales and partnerships, research, and talent.
Dill has more than a decade of experience in media planning and strategy, helping partners understand audiences and fandom to determine the most effective methods of promoting their products.
Prior to joining the Turner Sports division, Dill served as Associate Media Director, Turner Media Group. She has worked across Turner’s portfolio of linear and digital networks and apps, including CNN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network and Turner Sports, and supported an array of top-tier cable networks including A+E, History Channel and Discovery.
Dill graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s degree in strategic communication, and holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business.
Founder and CEO
Moderator: CONGRESS OF TEAM CEO’SAndy Dinh is the Founder and CEO of TSM, the elite gaming platform comprised of championship esports teams, world-class influencers, and gaming technology tools.
Dinh, also known by his gaming handle “Reginald,” is one of the most recognized and influential figures in esports today. He began playing League of Legends at the young age of 16, and quickly rose through the ranks to become the number one ranked player in the world. In addition to his superior gameplay, Dinh was one of the first players to be a true influencer, creating content focused on gaming strategy and building his first League of Legends -focused site Solomid. In 2013, Dinh retired from professional play to focus on growing TSM.
Under Dinh’s visionary leadership, TSM has been the team of firsts. For more than a decade, the organization has fielded some of the most talented and successful professional esports teams in North America, competing across multiple titles such as League of Legends™, Fortnite™, Super Smash Brothers™ and Rocket League®. In addition to its elite players, TSM has the largest most engaged fan base in esports with nearly 80 million followers across multiple social platforms, and a network of gaming websites and statistic platforms that boasts over 180 million page views a month.
In another first, Andy’s desire to build a robust platform that touches multiple areas in the world of gaming paved the way for the creation of solid long-term relationships with blue chip brands such as Lenovo, Chipotle, Geico, Logitech, Dr Pepper, HTC, Hasbro and others. Recently, Andy lead the organization’s Series A fundraising efforts, securing capital from premiere investors such as Yahoo! Founder Jerry Yang, A-list VC Bessemer Ventures Partners, Co-Founder of Baidu, Eric Xu, and future NBA Hall of Famer Steph Curry.
In 2017, Andy was named to Forbes prestigious “30 Under 30” list.
He lives in Los Angeles.
NBA 2K League
Moderator: STATE OF THE UNION: NBA 2K LEAGUEAs Managing Director of the NBA 2K League, Brendan Donohue is responsible for overseeing the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league. Donohue, a sports industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in team and league operations, manages a league that features 21 teams – all affiliated with NBA teams – in its second season.
Prior to assuming his current role in April 2017, Donohue served as Senior Vice President of the NBA’s industry-renowned Team Marketing & Business Operations (TMBO) department, where he led the strategic planning and management for all teams across the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League, helping them innovate in sales, marketing, digital and analytical areas of their business. He was instrumental in several of TMBO’s accomplishments, including assisting with ownership transitions in Sacramento, Philadelphia, Detroit and Memphis. His responsibilities also included leading team business discussions at WNBA and NBA G League Board of Governors meetings and presenting at frequent workshops, including assisting NBA team presidents on best practices in marketing, ticket sales and sponsorship sales.
Before joining the NBA league office in 2009, Donohue spent five years as Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service with the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena. During his career in Atlanta, Donohue led five consecutive seasons of revenue growth, including ranking first in the NBA in ticket revenue growth during the 2008-09 season. He also previously held positions with the then-New Orleans Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment.
Donohue earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College in 1996. He resides in Fairfield, Conn., with his wife Patty, daughter Mandy and son Carter.
Associate Creative Director
Moderator: ESPORTS FOR BRAND AND SPORTS MARKETERS 2.0As an Associate Creative Director at Mosaic, Scott connects passion with profession, as he combines his life-long love for gaming with award winning brand strategy and creative execution. In his tenure with Mosaic, he has lead numerous cross-discipline campaigns with leading endemic & non-endemic brands like Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, AT&T, Chrysler, Walmart, Brand USA, and more – bringing his unique expertise and insight into the world of esports and technology to every brief he encounters.
Chief Commercial Officer
Super League Gaming
a social environment that fosters positive communication, good sportsmanship and teamwork. Matt oversees the company’s revenue, marketing, content, community, live event and business development activities.
Previously, Matt served as the Head of Digital Operations and Marketing Solutions for WME-IMG (now Endeavor), where he was responsible for digital and social media growth across the company’s live event properties, digital strategy consulting for the agency’s brand clients, and managing direct-to-consumer OTT businesses. His initial foray into esports included assisting with the formation of ELEAGUE, a joint venture between Endeavor and Turner.
Prior to joining Endeavor, Matt was the CEO/Founder or on the executive team of multiple early stage digital media companies, after having been an entertainment industry executive responsible for helping to build Marvel Comics film and television business and launch Marvel.com.
Matt grew up outside of New York City, graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Politics and moved to Los Angeles when he was hired by Marvel. He lives in Santa Monica with his wife and two children and is actively involved in several charitable organizations.
Director, Business Development
Bandai Namco Entertainment America
Moderator: SPOTLIGHT: FIGHTING GAME COMMUNITYKarim Farghaly heads the Business Development team at Bandai Namco Entertainment America. His responsibilities include overseeing Third Party Publishing and Studio relations on PC, Console, Mobile as well as esports and new technologies/platforms. Before Bandai Namco, Karim has held multiple executive positions at Interplay, Aspyr and Empire Interactive both in the US and Europe and headed indie studio Scarab Entertainment from 2009 to 2015.
Commissioner of Call of Duty Esports
Moderator: STATE OF THE UNION: CALL OF DUTYJohanna Faries serves as Head of Call of Duty Esports for Activision Blizzard, Inc., overseeing league and business operations, product development, and corporate strategy for Call of Duty’s presence across the global esports landscape. Faries is a sports industry veteran, who joined the company’s leadership team in 2018 after 12 years at the National Football League in New York City.
While at the NFL, Faries held a number of leadership roles across marketing, league initiative strategy, fan and business development, partnerships, and consumer products. As Vice President of Club Business Development at the National Football League, Faries interfaced closely with NFL team owners and presidents to bolster their local revenue and brand goals year-round, and played a key role in launching the NFL’s first-of-its-kind ticketing network.
Prior to that, Faries led the NFL’s efforts to amplify its reach, relevance, and popularity with key fan segments as Vice President of Marketing & Fan Development, where her charter included growing the NFL’s fan base in the near and long term, via proprietary assets, global partnerships, brand and content marketing, and tentpole events, including the creation of the NFL’s MyCauseMyCleats initiative and the record-setting elevation of the NFL Draft. In her last year at the company, Faries spearheaded the development of the league’s Social Justice Initiative, working closely with owners, players, and third party organizations to establish a new foundation for collaboration and impactful service to communities nationwide. Earlier on in her tenure, she served as Director of Consumer Products – managing the NFL’s primary apparel and e-commerce partnerships both on-field and off, including Nike, New Era, Under Armour, and Fanatics – and also held roles in the Sponsorship & Sales and Consumer Products Business Development divisions.
Throughout her career, Faries has held executive positions in a broad range of diversity and inclusion and career development and mentorship programs, and continues to do so as a senior leader advisor to Activision’s African-American, Black & Friends Employee Network.
A graduate of Harvard University, Faries served as President of the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College – the college’s largest multicultural student organization. In 2003, she was a recipient of a Senior Leadership Award for being a “face of excellence at Harvard”. Faries grew up a multi-sport athlete in Potomac, Maryland, has lived abroad in both Israel and the Dominican Republic, and is also a professional singer-songwriter. She resides with her husband and two sons in Palos Verdes Estates, CA.
N3rd Street Gamers
He founded the company while serving as founder & CEO of Jarvus Innovations, a software engineering firm positioned to reinvest profits into a portfolio of incubated startups.
An avid gamer and Division 1 athlete, Fazio’s love for all things competitive inspired him to launch NSG to bring amateur gamers the same opportunities that traditional sports athletes enjoy.
Fazio is determined to increase accessibility to the esports industry by increasing the amount of in-person competitions, and operating them on high-quality equipment at affordable prices.
“Anyone can walk outside and kick a soccer ball around, but to participate in esports is expensive and inaccessible to a major swath of our society. We are here to fix that.”
Fazio ultimately wants to provide anyone in the US with the opportunity to compete in any esport of their choice free of charge.
Cloud9 Esports, Inc.
Before becoming a member of Cloud9’s executive team, Dan served as Chief Strategy Officer for FunPlus, which he joined after having invested in that company’s first funding round. Dan founded Signia Venture Partners, where he focused on early stage game ecosystem investing. Prior to Signia, he held a number of roles in the game industry, including CEO of Wild Needle (sold to Zynga), US General Manager at social game company Playfish (sold to EA), served as a member of the advisory board at the Game Developers Conference, and as Creative Director on the You Don’t Know Jack series of games at independent developer Jellyvision (now Jackbox Games.)
Dan began his career as a roast beef sandwich and frozen custard server at Anderson’s in Buffalo, New York.
SVP, Lifestyle Marketing & Branded Entertainment
Sr. Director, Esports Product & Operations
Moderator: ESPORTS TALENT - THE FUTURE OF CASTINGSteve Flisler is the Sr Director, Esports Product & Operations at Twitch. With over fifteen years of live broadcast experience, Steve is responsible for the recently launched Twitch Rivals program, a new competitive live tournament series for Twitch streamers. Steve’s goal is to bring entertainment and high value production and operations to Twitch Rivals streamers and game publisher partners. Prior to Twitch, Steve spent over a decade at NBCUniversal overseeing production across sports, entertainment and news winning two Emmy Awards.
United States Esports Association (USEA)
Ed’s primary responsibility is to oversee the development of State Farm’s marketing strategy, creative, media and sponsorship efforts, for all of State Farm’s Property & Casualty product lines and customer segments. Over the years, Edward was named an “Online Media All-Star” by Mediapost, one of the “21 Most Intriguing People in Media” by min online, was named one of CableFAX’s “Sweet 16”, and most recently was inducted in the Marketing, Advertising, and Media “Leaders & Legends” by Media Village. In addition, in 2016, State Farm was honored as the “Sports Sponsor of the Year” by Sport Business Journal.
While at State Farm, Edward has overseen partnerships with the NBA, Disney/Pixar, ESPN, Riot Games, Major League Baseball, Telemundo, and Apple. He has expanded State Farm’s media efforts in traditional, online, and new media, through innovative thinking while achieving business goals.
Before coming to State Farm, Edward was Partner/Media Director for the Gold Consulting Group in Los Angeles, CA. Additionally, his previous experience includes Senior Vice President/Media Director at Kalis & Savage Worldwide Partners in Los Angeles, Vice President/Sales & Business Development for Executive Sports International, and Vice President/Associate Media Director at DDB Needham Chicago.
Edward is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, and lives in Bloomington, IL, with his wife Lynne and two boys, Montgomery (13) and Henry (12).
Cross Counter TV
Moderator: SPOTLIGHT: FIGHTING GAME COMMUNITYRyan is a professional Street Fighter player turned entrepreneur who has been in the Fighting Game Community (FGC) for almost two decades. Ryan began his FGC career playing Street Fighter, joining the EVO fighting game tournament since the second year of its inception. Ryan made a name for himself as Gootecks, and began competing professionally in (Add year). Ryan has had the opportunity to compete in various tournaments around the world, such as (Tournament name) and (Other Tournament name), becoming a prominent member of the FGC and becoming well-known around the world. In 2010, Ryan, along with (name) founded Cross Counter TV, a media channel dedicated to providing fighting game content and supporting FGC members looking to hone their craft. He co-hosts the Official Esports Show, and has been seen on ESPN and Twitch.tv. Ryan led the widely successful Excellent Adventures of Gootecks and Mike Ross, a web series dedicated to fighting games that spans 200 episodes. Ryan is deeply passionate about growing the FGC, and has authored two books on improving as a fighter, as well as providing coaching to members of the FGC. Ryan can also be seen as the face of Pogchamp, one of the first global emotes adopted by Twitch.tv
My name is Christopher Haas and I have been a caster for the Gears of War Pro Circuit for the past few years. I have also started my own organization for running online Gears of War tournaments called the Gears Community Series. I am currently a Partnership Manager for Matcherino which is a website that provides crowd funding for gaming tournaments and events.
SVP, Global Digital
Moderator: WOMEN OF ESPORTS BASHToto Haba is currently the SVP of Global Digital at Benefit Cosmetics, a subsidiary of LVMH. He leads a team that is responsible for e-Commerce, Digital Instore, Social, Advertising, and Influencer marketing in over 40 countries. Toto’s background is in advertising and e-commerce. He has guest lectured at the New School – Parsons school of Fashion Marketing and has earned numerous awards during his career, more recently being named as one of the top 21 most influential people in Beauty Digital by WWD magazine (Feb, 2017)
Chairman and CEO
Super League Gaming
In her current role as CEO and Chairman of Super League Gaming, Ann drives the vision of giving competitive gamers entirely new ways to enjoy the games they love through the formation of the leading platform for amateur eSports. Super League’s 16-city North America league along with compelling online experiences, rich content and membership programs is a unifying lifestyle destination for local, competitive gaming.
From 2009 through 2014, Ann served as CEO of Project Frog, a venture-backed firm whose mission is to democratize healthy, inspired buildings that are better, faster, greener, and more affordable than traditional alternatives. From 1998 through 2008, Ann served in a variety of senior executive positions with BP plc, including most notably Senior Vice President, Global Brand Marketing & Innovation from 2005 to 2008 overseeing the entire brand portfolio of B2C and B2B brands including BP, Arco, am/pm and Aral. Prior to that, she ran the Global Liquefied Gas Business Unit with $3B in annual revenue and over 3,000 employees worldwide.
Throughout her career, Ann has garnered industry recognition, including “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” by Goldman Sachs, “Top 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs” by Fortune, “100 Most Creative People” by Fast Company, “40 under 40” by Advertising Age along with integrated marketing campaigns that won Grand Clios and Cannes Lions.
Ann earned a BA in Economics from DePauw University and a MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management along with executive education at Cambridge, Harvard and Stanford Universities. Having spent a significant part of her career abroad in China and the UK she holds a dual US/UK citizenship, but is a proud Midwesterner at heart.
Allied Esports’ flagship location, Esports Arena Las Vegas at the Luxor Hotel and Casino, opened in March 2018 to rave reviews and shortly after hosted one of the industry’s most anticipated events of the year – Ninja Vegas ’18 – starring streaming sensation Tyler “Ninja” Blevins. The groundbreaking event set a new record on Twitch with over 660,000 concurrent viewers and totaled 2.4 million unique viewers over seven hours. The arena has also hosted the League of Legends All-Star event and the Capcom Cup, and is home to the original series PlayTime with KittyPlays, the first live esports variety show.
The state-of-the-art Esports Arena Las Vegas, featuring a multilevel modular design with a two-story LED video wall and a world-class production facility, is a daily-use entertainment center and a ready-to-go championship destination and content studio for publishers, leagues, tournaments and high-stakes matchups in a setting designed to deliver an unparalleled live fan experience.
Prior to co-founding Allied Esports, Jud was a Vice President at Ourgame International, a leading online card and board game developer based in China. In 2006, Jud founded consulting and trading company Big Turn International in Beijing, serving as Managing Director until 2015, and worked with clients throughout Asia across the Sports and Entertainment, Gaming, Television, Apparel and Media industries.
Prior to moving to China in 2006, Jud worked in sales and partnership development for NYC Marketing, an office created by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where he developed and executed marketing programs with official city partners and events, including Snapple Beverage Group and the 2005 CMA Awards. Prior to NYC Marketing, Jud worked in the Corporate and Community Relations division of the New York Yankees’ front office.
Co-Founder of Hi-Rez Studios
Todd submitted his first computer game to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as part of his college application, since writing games was more fun than writing essays. After obtaining his BS in Computer Science from the same university, Todd entered the software engineering industry, eventually managing product development at NCR, Radiant Systems, and BlueCube Software.
In 2005 he left FinTech for the games industry when he co-founded Hi-Rez Studios. Hi-Rez' titles include the mythology themed, action MOBA SMITE and the fantasy team-based shooter Paladins, both played as competitive esports. In 2019 more than $4,000,000 will be earned by the best professional Smite and Paladins players around the globe, and between Hi-Rez Studios and Skillshot Todd works with partners to advance the development and production of new and existing esports.
Event Marketer magazine
Senior Vice President of Strategy
Chief Brand Officer, North America
Moderator: GENERAL MILLS KEYNOTEBrad Hiranaga is the Chief Brand Officer for North America at General Mills, the manufacturer of Cheerios, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Annie’s, and many other iconic food brands.
In this role, he leads the Brand Experience organization for North America, which provides the strategic expertise, capabilities and positive agitation to build modern brands, drive a growth mindset, and inspire innovative, bold, frame-breaking, marketing. The Brand Experience organization includes Brand Strategy, Experience Orchestration, Creative, Content, Design, Production, Media, Communications, Brand Public Relations, Social, Experiential, Partnerships, Promotions, Events, Licensing, Marketing Excellence, Shopper Marketing and eCommerce.
Brad was previously the Business Director of the Pizza & Tacos Business Unit in the Meals Division, which included the Totino’s and Old El Paso brands. He developed this business unit to focus on delivering holistic experiences for consumers and innovating with new ways to build teams and brands.
Since joining General Mills in 2004, Brad has stewarded iconic brands such as Pillsbury, Hamburger Helper and Betty Crocker, and held roles in Convenience and Food Service. Brad also led a Digital Marketing & Innovation team that focused on how to build brands in a rapidly evolving digital world.
Brad earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Leadership, Finance and Economics from the University of Puget Sound and his Masters of Business Administration from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.
Founder and Principal
Co-op Mode Communications
Louis J Timchak III
Vice President, Sales
Bent Pixels, LLC
Trade Commissioner for Games & Esports
Consulate General of Finland LA
Johnson’s meteoric rise to greatness was borne of sheer determination and hard work. He grew up in incredibly adverse circumstances, being raised by his hearing-impaired mother and an abusive stepfather. However, he never let his circumstances get the better of him. Johnson became a highly-successful athlete in high school, competing in several sports on the way to a second-place finish at the Washington state wrestling championships.
This success on the mats led him to try his hand at mixed martial arts in 2007, and resulted in one of the most incredible careers ever seen in the cage. Though he enjoyed great returns at bantamweight, a move to flyweight in 2012 saw Johnson really come into his own. He tore through several tough contenders on the way to capturing the UFC Flyweight World Championship, defending it an amazing 11 times to etch his name into history. Besides being an accomplished martial artist, Johnson is also one of the world’s top gaming streamers.
Director of Gaming and eSports, OMEN
Johnson has more than 15 years’ experience with gaming and entertainment companies, creating disruptive consumer-facing technology products and services that are used by millions of consumers. Prior to HP, Judy was director
of product management for Sony’s PlayStation Network stores worldwide. She was also director of product for Bottle Rocket’s media and entertainment solutions.
Talent & Influencer Marketing Manager
Moderator: WOMEN OF ESPORTS BASHAmanda’s journey in gaming started on the publishing side in 2015 in Community Management. Formerly at Red Bull and Razer, Amanda joined Gen.G in May as the Talent Marketing Manager where she leads all new influencer initiatives involving the development of the organization’s content creators. She strives to create unique collaborations, build lasting partnerships, and empower content creators to level up their brand.
Esports Integration (A Horizon AVL Company)
Moderator: COLLEGIATE ESPORTS WORKSHOPJoshua serves as the Chief Executive Officer of eSports integration and Horizon AVL System Integration. Joshua designs large venue and arena systems, video broadcast studios, and projection / LED wall video displays with precision and expertise. His vast experiences span 15 years in the industry. Some of Joshua’s notable work was mentioned or featured in:
ProSound News Magazine, Front of House Magazine (FOH), and Worship AVL Magazine.
Joshua leads Horizon AVL System Integration with industry rewards and recognition such as earning Contractor of the Year and Commercial Top Partner with Presonus; the completion of Temple University’s Broadcast & News set with an integrated direct view LED wall, featured in PLSN Magazine; and set designs for manufacturers at NAMM.
Joshua is part of the 40 under 40 industry influencers for Commercial Integrator for his role in esports for education. He was also recognized by NSCA as business partner of the year for his differentiating strategies for esports in the audio visual industry.
Joshua is the education ambassador for Acer America and the esports program. He was featured in an education piece in USA Today as he leads the charge with esports and the development of the industry.
Joshua’s industry experiences include working with a notable theme park, attending Infocomm and Blizzcon... to have a good time.
In Joshua’s spare time, he enjoys building and restoring MAME arcade consoles with his son.
Josh spent a considerable amount of time trying to convince his wife and daughter that other games exist besides Super Mario Kart and Pacman.
Favorite Game: Secret of Mana
Head of Americas Marketing
Emily and her team collaborate closely with HP’s regional leadership as well as Print and Personal Systems business units to develop innovative and impactful marketing strategies covering brand and product marketing, communications, research, and events.
Prior to her current role, Emily was Regional Head of Marketing Services and Personal Systems Marketing in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) based in Singapore, and before this role, Vice President of Marketing for HP’s LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions Worldwide.
A respected strategist, Emily has specialized in technology marketing since 1996. Before joining HP in 2011, Emily was Director of Global Agency Relations at LinkedIn, and formerly, Senior Vice President and Group Account Director at McCann Worldgroup responsible for HP’s Personal Systems business. In addition to HP, Emily led the iShares United States business and the North America portion of the Cathay Pacific Airlines business for McCann.
During her 30-year marketing career, Emily has held roles at Publicis & Hal Riney, Grey San Francisco, Dell, Poppe Tyson/Bozell Advertising, Falcon Cable TV and Iberia Airlines of Spain.
Emily is the recipient of a number of industry and business awards, most recently including the 2019 Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “100 Women of Influence.” She holds a degree in international relations from Pitzer College, part of the Claremont Colleges. Fluent in Spanish and French, she studied at the University of Paris, Sorbonne, and I.E.P. while pursuing her undergraduate degree.
She resides in San Francisco with her husband and their two daughters.
Moderator: BEST BETS ON THE FUTURE OF ESPORTSWayne Kimmel is a sports tech venture capitalist, entrepreneur and author of Six Degrees of Wayne Kimmel.
He is the Managing Partner of SeventySix Capital, the venture capital company he founded in 1999, and invests in startup consumer facing tech companies in the sports tech, sports betting, and esports industries. Among the Fortune 500 companies that have acquired his portfolio companies are Aramark, Intel, IBM, Walgreens and Yahoo! His partners at SeventySix Capital are Jon Powell and Ryan Howard, MLB legend and World Series Champion.
Wayne and his team recently launched the SeventySix Capital Athlete Venture Group, which allows professional athletes to invest, learn, and work directly with top sports tech startups and entrepreneurs. The firm aims to bridge the gap between athletes, entrepreneurs, and investors by creating opportunities for athletes to become tech investors and for entrepreneurs to access the financial and social capital that professional athletes have to offer. Athlete Venture Group members include Ryan Howard, DeMarco Murray, Ralph Sampson and Brian Westbrook. SeventySix Capital also has a partnership with Rubicon Talent, a sports marketing and talent agency based in New York City.
Wayne has been named a Top Innovator by Philadelphia Magazine and is on the Philadelphia Business Journal's Power 100 list.
He is on the Board of Einstein Healthcare Network and was on the Board of Jewish Federations of North America, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
Wayne is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and the Delaware Law School. He is passionate about sports and working to make the world a better place.
Chief Creative Officer
Over the years, Kevin has created and hosted programming for brands including IGN, Blizzard Entertainment, SiriusXM, Coca-Cola, and NBC and hosted at trade events like E3, PAX, SXSW, San Diego Comic Con, and Dreamhack. While at ReKT, Kevin has helped to develop content and branding strategies with clients like State Farm, Madison Square Garden Networks, NBC Sports, and FindYourGrind. He also oversees content for their pro esports team, Rogue.
Kevin is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science and Technology and lives in New York City with his wife, Kathryn.
FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner
Founder and CEO
As founder of one of the first companies in mobile influencer marketing (InstaBrand/Open Influence - to this day one of the largest influencer marketing companies), LaHaye has been recognized as a pioneer, and his many accolades include Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Inc.’s 30 Under 30, Inc. 5,000 fastest growing companies in America, as well as three Digital Key campaign of the year awards for Bacardi (2018), San Pellegrino (2017), and Fiat (2016).
A lifelong fan of all types of games and esports, LaHaye revels in the fact that the passions of gaming enthusiasts’ are now more mainstream and in the spotlight. He is committed to go above and beyond to help build a strongly sustainable ecosystem for esports and its audiences.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Moderator: CONGRESS OF TEAM CEO’SJason Lake is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Complexity Gaming, one of America’s longest standing and most successful esports organizations, which is now owned by Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and John Goff. In his role, Lake leads the Complexity management team, overseeing Complexity’s esports teams, various brand partnerships, and strategic direction of the organization.
Lake is considered one of the founding fathers of American esports, having established Complexity in 2003 and having served as an advisor to North American gaming leagues for over 15 years.
Prior to entering the esports scene, Lake was the Founder and Lead Attorney at Lake & Shafritz, LLC, a real estate law firm based in Atlanta.
Lake holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Iowa State University and a Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law.
Nicole LaPointe Jameson
Chief Executive Officer
Bringing a new lens of growth opportunity and management to the esports space, Nicole boasts past experience in private equity investment and portfolio company operations, and enjoys drawing from her quantitative background to mold calculated and holistic decisions on business operations, valuation, viability, and strategic opportunities. She brings deep operating experience in distressed asset turnarounds across multiple verticals, and carries over that playbook of excellence and growth to esports.
Skilled in data visualization, financial modeling, as well as directing business operations, she most recently worked as Chief of Staff for National Flood Services, focusing on large reputable and financially impactful strategic initiatives, as well as managing the business analyst team.
She is a graduate of Columbia University with a BA in Statistics and Mathematics with a specialization in Data Mining.
She is also a board member of Tanvas, a Chicago-based haptic technology company, as well as a board member of the Chicago Alumni Association at Columbia University.
She loves all things in relation to AR/VR, predictive analytics, esports, and gaming, and integrating those passions into economic opportunity.
Vice President, Xfinity Brand Partnerships
Moderator: ESPORTS INSIGHTS FOR NON-ENDEMIC BRANDSAs executive director of Partnership Marketing for Xfinity, Matt Lederer leads the development of strategies to leverage Comcast’s numerous partnerships to enhance and promote the Xfinity brand. He is charged with forging new partnerships across sports, music, eSports and entertainment properties and maximizing Comcast’s national and regional sponsorship investments.
Matt spearheaded some of the company’s largest sports partnerships to date including the entitlement sponsorship of the new NASCAR Xfinity Series and the official entertainment sponsor of NASCAR, which went into effect in 2015. Most recently, he lead Comcast’s efforts into eGaming by securing official Xfinity brand sponsorships with ESL, the world’s largest esports company, and Evil Geniuses (EG), the most successful esports organization. In addition, Matt lead Comcast partnership of the Taylor Swift 1989 World Tour and is currently leading the brand’s partnership of the the Katy Perry Witness the Tour.
Matt has more than 15 years of experience in sports and brand marketing for FORTUNE 500 brands including Nextel and Sprint. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York at Geneseo College and resides in the Philadelphia area with his wife and two children.
United Talent Agency
Lee served as the Head of Partnerships for the esports companies Press X and Everyday Influencers before UTA acquired the agencies in 2018. Previously, Lee worked at AEG as Director of Digital for the Global Partnerships division, where he was responsible for driving agency growth and sponsorship opportunities through digital channels.
Earlier in his career, Lee worked as the Director of Digital Strategy and Sponsorships for Insomniac Events/Live Nation Entertainment, where he spearheaded the Electric Daisy Carnival’s global live stream and facilitated partnerships with brands such as Uber, Smirnoff, Anheuser-Busch, InBev and Red Bull. He also played an instrumental role in helping the agency launch the first-ever Snapchat Live Story. He began his career at OMD Worldwide, where he managed media buying strategy for brands such as Call of Duty, Levi Strauss & Co. and CBS, among others.
Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
VP, Marketing & Partnerships
Host of Fanalytics Podcast
Professor of Marketing and Faculty Director of the Marketing Analytics Center at Emory University
The Fanalytics Podcast presents deep dives into topics in sports marketing and sports analytics. The podcast starts from the notion that fandom is what drives sports business decision making. Whether the goal is to improve on-field performance or to improve the customer experience, growing a fan base is at the heart of sports business. Professor Lewis’ academic research and industry experience provides the intellectual foundation of the podcast. Professor Lewis partnered with multiple professional sports franchises on marketing and player drafting analytics. Professor Lewis is especially known for his analyses of professional and collegiate fan bases and brands. Other topics of interest include competitive balance (league design), player drafting analytics, esports, star power effects and mascots.
Sr. Director, Global Sponsorship Sales
Esports Ad Bureau
Stuart has a long roster of successes finding and creating new market and revenue opportunities for media companies leveraging new technology capabilities, products and services.
His innovation experience includes content production, acquisition, distribution and monetization across television, broadband and mobile platforms. He has provided senior leadership across the media and entertainment industry with leading technology, content and distribution companies.
Stuart created Media Bridges LLC in 1996 with the explicit mission of helping content, distribution and technology companies extend and enhance their revenue and customer acquisition efforts across emerging technology opportunities.
He earned his Masters degree in the Management of Technology from Polytechnic University NYU School of Engineering, his Bachelors degree from the University at Albany and is a member of the Directors Guild of America.
Metarama Gaming + Music Festival
In 1989, at age 22, Mr. London founded Aspen Apparel, a private-labelknit manufacturer. Within three years, Aspen Apparel was designing, manufacturing, and shipping for private label customers such as Fila, Disney, Gap, Calvin Klein, and Nike. Mr. London sold Aspen Apparel in 2000.
Founder of Wu-Wear Label:
While expanding the private label side of the business, Mr. London negotiated and bought the license to Wu-Wear, one of the first hip-hop “Urban Street wear” brands. Mr. London became President of Wu Wear, Inc., and saw sales swiftly growing from $0 to $50 Million within three years. Mr. London oversaw all aspects of the Wu-Wear brand, including design, manufacturing, and licensing.
Founder and Director of Development, Zoo York
While serving as President of Wu-Wear, Mr. London also founded and directed the development of another well-known brand, Zoo York. Zoo York was one of the first Skateboard brands to emerge from New York City. A horizontal integration between the clothing brand and Zoo York was created, which supported and enhanced the business operations.
Founder of BP Clothing, LLC
In 2003, Mr. London was presented with the opportunity to purchase the Baby Phat License from Aris Industries. Mr. London, together with Steven Feiner formed BP Clothing, LLC, to acquire the Baby Phat license. Mr. London took on the role of developing the company’s international business development, an area where the company saw tremendous growth opportunities.
Mr. London subsequently orchestrated the sale of BP Clothing LLC for $160 million dollars to the Los Angeles based private equity firm Oaktree Partners. Mr. London stayed on to help run the company until 2013 to ensure the company transitions smoothly into the new ownership without losing value.
Mr. London’s esports & brand Investment Portfolio
WTR MLN WTR
WTR MLN WTR is a natural watermelon beverage and Mr. London has been actively involved in building the brand for this project while also serving as a board member for the company. Mr. London has been supporting the creation, promotion, and growth of WTR MLN WTR as a well-recognized brand. Other responsibilities including the creation of a sustainable growth strategy, active monitoring of the strategic road markers, and ensuring proactive response to volatile market dynamics.
Game Co, Inc.
Game Co. is a company that is attempting to attract the millennial generation towards the casino by creating next generation video games and gambling machines. Also serving as an advisor to the company, Mr. London is one of the investors to have helped raised funds over $3.25 Million, The company developed an algorithm to make a game of skill pay out like a game of chance, sparking a hot new trend in the e-sports sector. This investment highlights Mr. London’s futuristic vision and tremendous foresight.
Millennial E-Sports Arena
Millennial E-sports located in Downtown Arena in Las Vegas. The arena is created to attract professional gamers and e-sports enthusiast by hosting large-scale gaming events. This innovative new idea is in an attempt to reinvent the traditional gambling principles and applying them to the gaming industry. This investment has been very successful since the arena launched this February. When the arena is not used for professional tournaments, access is provided to thepublic interested in using high-speed internet.
Believing in the future of e-sports, Mr. London has also invested in an e-sports team with a global presence and immense recognition in five games CS:GO, Overwatch, Call of Duty, H1Z1, and Vainglory. Formed only over a year ago in May 2016, the teams have gone far and won the European Overwatch LAN tournament to secure the title of the ‘Best Team in the World’. This is a contemporary and safe investment considering the last Halo tournament held in the Millennial E-Sports arena had a payout of $50,000.
Director Of Business Development
Director, Team Marketing & Business Operations
Moderator: STATE OF THE UNION: NBA 2K LEAGUEManny Lorras is Director, Team Marketing & Business Operations at the National Basketball Association, interfacing regularly with NBA 2K League teams, serving as an internal consulting resource for teams providing assistance on all areas of business operations including marketing, sponsorship development, team operations and social and digital media strategy.
Lorras began his career at Madison Square Garden working with the New York Knicks & New York Rangers in team operations, ticket sales & fan development. Manny spent more than 6 years at the National Hockey League managing many of the League’s largest partnerships including entitlement brands such as GEICO, Honda, MillerCoors & McDonald’s.
More recently, while at William Morris Endeavor | IMG, Lorras led Anheuser-Busch’s strategy and account management of emerging properties, most prominently esports. He oversaw the development of Bud Light’s first ever marketing platform in esports, Bud Light All-Stars which featured now famed gaming influencer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins.
Vice President of Partnerships
Prior to working on team partnerships, Chris spent 2 years at Endeavor Global Marketing leading T-Mobile's entry into esports. During Chris' time working on T-Mobile, his team worked partnerships with the Overwatch League, Twitch, E3, TSM, Cloud9 and more.
Prior to working in esports, Chris worked on partnerships with properties including the UFC, NHL, DreamWorks, MLB, and NFL. On the brand side, Chris has supported PepsiCo, Campbells, Sirius, York and more on their sponsorships
Chris graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in Sport Management and credits his success to strong relationship building and passion for gaming.
Race Team Alliance
Moderator: STATE OF THE UNION: ENASCAR HEAT PRO LEAGUEJonathan Marshall is the Executive Director of the Race Team Alliance, a position that he assumed in June of 2018. Prior to that, Jonathan served as the Chief Operating Office of the World Surf League (WSL) having joined the WSL as its General Counsel in 2013. In addition to his legal background, Jonathan has a wide range of experience in the fields of media and entertainment production, distribution, financing and licensing, media sales, mergers and acquisitions and corporate transactions. At WSL Jonathan had as his direct reports media, digital, production and legal.
Prior to joining WSL, Jonathan was SVP, Business Development & Strategy at USA TODAY Sports Media Group, where he oversaw the operations for USA TODAY High School Sports, sports digital properties and sports analytics. Prior to that, Jonathan was President of Television for Metro Traffic at Westwood One. He began his professional career with the law firm, Shearman & Sterling before moving to work in the entertainment practice at Loeb & Loeb, LLP. Jonathan has been a member of the California State Bar since 1988. Jonathan is a graduate of the Tulane Law School and the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.
Chief Executive Officer
ESL North America
Prior to ESL, Martinez-Rea served as Chief Operating Officer at Violet Grey, a venture-backed luxury beauty content and commerce company based in Los Angeles, where she oversaw the company’s growth, as well as business initiatives and the development of the company’s fulfillment, e-commerce systems and retail operations.
Before joining Violet Grey, Martinez-Rea was a Vice President of Change Management for Yahoo!’s Global Products organization, responsible for leading the cross-functional change efforts to improve engineering quality and overall organizational effectiveness for a 6,000-person global division. Previous roles at Yahoo! include Senior Director of Strategy and Business Management, Global Products, and Senior Director of Strategy and Business Operations and Chief of Staff to EVP Yahoo! North America. She also acted as the executive sponsor for the Southern California chapter of Women in Technology.
Formerly, Martinez-Rea was the Vice President of Operations at United Online Inc., a publicly traded internet services provider, responsible for business and sales operations for multiple brands including NetZero, Juno, Classmates, Photosite, and UOL Web services.
Martinez-Rea was recognized by Sports Business Journal as a 2018 Game Changer. She also serves on the board of Young & Healthy, a non-profit dedicated to providing healthcare to underserved children. She holds dual undergraduate degrees in English Literature and Gender Studies from the University of Southern California.
Director of Product Management, AV and Infrastructure
Executive Director, Esports
Moderator: COLLEGIATE ESPORTS WORKSHOPKurt Melcher is the Executive Director of Esports at Intersport, a Chicago-based Marketing and Media Solutions Company. Previously an athletic administrator for 15 years, Melcher recognizes the core educational elements involved in traditional sports and believes the same hold true for esports. Through his efforts and vision, Robert Morris University became the first university to recognize esports as part of the athletic department and offer athletic scholarships to gamers, helping to legitimize the world of collegiate esports. Most recently, Melcher and Intersport’s Esports Group was contracted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to further its exploration of the collegiate esports landscape.
A prominent esports evangelist, Mr. Melcher has been featured in a number of prominent news sources including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time Magazine, ESPN, NPR, HBO Real Sports and in the documentary film All Work All Play.
Founder and CEO
The Kinetic Group
Under Pressure Productions
Moderator: WOMEN OF ESPORTS BASH Moderator: TOP OF THE MORNING: EXECUTIVES TAKE ON THE HEADLINESMichele Morrow is a professional broadcast host, notorious video gamer, producer and actress. As the co-creator, executive producer and lead actress of YouTube Red Original, "Good Game", Morrow took her experiences in esports and turned it into a scripted comedy with Dan Harmon's Starburns Industries. She has appeared as host for several of the biggest esports tournaments to be broadcast on national television (ESPN2, Eleague / TBS), as well as news coverage for Bleacher Report, Blizzcon, 2K Games, Playstation, and more. She’s had a multitude of shows that range in genre from gaming and geek, to mainstream Hollywood. Morrow founded Under Pressure Productions in 2017.
Founder Women of Esports, Director of Content
Moderator: WOMEN OF ESPORTS BASHSaira Mueller is a former music and esports journalist. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor of leading industry news site Dot Esports. She is now the Director of Content for global esports organization Gen.G. In September 2018, Saira founded Women of Esports, a nonprofit that provides support and resources for women working in the industry and to those pursuing a career in esports. This includes a mentorship program, which has over 100 mentors and mentees in the first class.
United Talent Agency
Moderator: THE ESPORTS BUBBLE: MYTH OR THREAT?Travis Mynard is an agent at UTA in the esports department, bringing extensive international expertise in managing esports leagues and consulting professional athletes. His focus is on creating new opportunities for world-ranked athletes and building partnerships between talent and global brands.
Previously from Riot Games, he spent six years working with Riot’s North America League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) and the company’s international League of Legends Esports leagues, where he led the global player management team.
Playing a pivotal role in bringing League of Legends events to over a dozen countries, he has worked with some of world’s most notable League of Legends athletes.
Esports Stadium Arlington
After working with brands such as the Houston Outlaws and OpTic Gaming to build out their live events verticals, Jonathon now serves as President of Esports Venues LLC, a company that focuses on the design, development and sustainability of esports dedicated venues and infrastructure.
President, Co-Founder and Co-Owner
After earning his MBA and working in economic development for the County of Allegheny, O’Connor went on to coach Team Liquid. He helped them recruit the world’s biggest Counter-Strike stars, qualify for two major world finals, and took them from the team ranked 25th world-wide to the 4th. James parlayed this success into obtaining an equity position with the Detroit Renegades where he helped NBA player Jonas Jerebko acquire the team and carve out their spot in the industry. He is currently a board member of the Pennsylvania Esports Coalition and is working closely with local government to bring esports tourism to Pittsburgh.
Outside of esports, O’Connor is a USMC veteran who served in Iraq. Upon returning home, he has helped build various organizations that help veterans transition into civilian life, applying their experience in the armed forces to serve their communities.
He is now the president and co-owner of the Pittsburgh Knights. Founded in 2017, the Knights are the official esports team of Pittsburgh. In December 2018, six-time Super Bowl winners, the Pittsburgh Steelers, invested into and partnered with the Knights, making headlines in both the traditional sport and esports scenes. In 2019, the Knights brought on another strategic partner with Pittsburgh roots - multi-platinum recording artist Wiz Khalifa. With this group, O’Connor is committed to making the Knights one of the most esteemed teams in esports.
Gregory A. O’Dell
As president and CEO, Mr. O’Dell oversees Events DC’s three lines of business: Conventions and Meetings, Sports and Entertainment, and Special Events. His primary responsibilities include oversight of the creation and promotion of hospitality, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities that generate economic and community benefits for the residents and businesses of District of Columbia. He also manages Events DC’s development portfolio that include a new multipurpose entertainment and sports arena on the campus of St. Elizabeths East in Congress Heights, the redevelopment of the RFK Stadium/Armory campus, a comprehensive streetscaping project around the 9-block exterior of the Convention Center and the redevelopment of the Carnegie Library inclusive of a primary tenant lease for Apple’s global flagship store.
As the convention and sports authority for the District, Events DC was created in 2009 through the merger of two former, independent quasi-governmental agencies – the Washington Convention Center Authority and the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission. Mr. O’Dell has the unique experience of having led both organizations as part of his public service in the District of Columbia.
Prior to the merger, Mr. O’Dell served as chief executive officer and general manager of the Washington Convention Center Authority, where he was responsible for the operations of the 2.3-million-square-foot Convention Center, an award-winning facility that sees approximately one million visitors each year and has generated almost $5 billion in direct delegate spending since opening in 2003. Mr. O’Dell was also responsible for the Authority’s development efforts, having led negotiations with the selected private developer and provided oversight throughout the project lifecycle of a $520 million public-private partnership for the 1,175-room, 37-suite Marriott Marquis Washington, DC hotel. The Marriott Marquis, with a pedestrian connector to the Convention Center, broke ground in November 2010 and opened in May 2014.
Before joining the Washington Convention Center Authority, Mr. O’Dell was the president and chief executive officer of the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission, where he led the project team that completed the $611 million, 41,546-seat and Silver LEED-certified Nationals Park. During his tenure at the Commission, Mr. O’Dell was also responsible for the operations and maintenance of the RFK stadium and campus, inclusive of hosting various events including Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer play, marketing and sales activities, and the contract and services management related to the hosting of events at RFK. Before heading up the Commission, he was the chief development officer for the Government of the District of Columbia, where he was responsible for stimulating and promoting economic development within the District.
Preceding his move to District government, Mr. O’Dell worked for the former management and IT consulting firm BearingPoint (formerly KPMG Consulting). While there, Mr. O’Dell advanced to senior manager and practice lead for Construction Advisory Services, responsible for construction and development services to both public and private clients. After leaving BearingPoint, he served as a principal and owner of the Clemens Consulting Group, where he continued to provide consulting services to clients throughout the lifecycle of their development projects.
A resident of Ward 2, Mr. O’Dell is Chair-Elect of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and Vice President of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC). He also serves on the boards of the Washington, DC Economic Partnership; DC Surface Transit, Inc.; the Downtown DC Business Improvement District; the PCMA Education Foundation; Destination DC; Children’s National Medical Center (Washington, DC); and the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District. He received a bachelor’s degree with double major in finance and government from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina."
Moderator: CONGRESS OF TEAM CEO’SBefore his new appointment as CEO of Gen.G, Chris Park served most recently as Executive Vice President, Product & Marketing for Major League Baseball. There he managed digital product development, marketing, and international business development for MLB. Chris has worked for Facebook and McKinsey & Co., and clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, both magna cum laude. Chris serves on the Board of Directors for the Family Caregiver Alliance. He lives in New York with his wife Michelle Jang and their dog Russell.
Partner, Managing Director
Moderator: COLLEGIATE ESPORTS WORKSHOPJohn is the Co-Founder & Partner of Player 2, an esports marketing and strategy firm that helps brands reach young consumers. Player 2’s has helped Barclays, Mattel, Stubhub, Amazon Appstore, J.P. Morgan Chase, the San Francisco Giants, the Fiesta Bowl and others develop esports and gaming strategies to reach key objectives for their respective businesses.
Prior to his esports venture, John spent more than eight years leading marketing services, digital media, and broadcasting at the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). In addition to his USOC experience, Pierce spent ten years building major consumer brands at the Walt Disney Company, the Miami Marlins, and the Arizona Coyotes where he served as Chief Marketing Officer.
He earned his undergraduate degree in Business from Florida State University and his MBA from Pepperdine University.
John currently teaches “The Business of Esports” at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, the first course of its kind in the United States.
Managing Director, Esports
She has built her career with Nielsen, consulting with key players in the gaming and esports industries, bringing insights and actionability to their strategy around fan engagement, sponsorship, and new product launches. With her expertise, endemic gaming companies, brands, broadcasters, and more have successfully entered and excelled in the fast-paced gaming marketplace.
Nicole led Nielsen’s jump into the rapidly expanding global esports market, coordinating experts and products across the well-established Nielsen Games and Nielsen Sports verticals to form the new Nielsen Esports division. Under her leadership, Nielsen has developed a tailored practice area for clients looking to understand the fans, sponsorship opportunities, and future trends in the ever-evolving esports space.
Human Resources Director
N3rd Street Gamers
Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico
Veteran Esports & Gaming Host
Character Select Agency
Moderator: ESPORTS TALENT - THE FUTURE OF CASTINGRachel "Seltzer" Quirico entered esports as a competitive gamer in 2006 and made the pivot to on-camera presenting in 2008. She has emceed tournaments and international championships for StarCraft 2, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Overwatch and more. Quirico regularly hosts Twitch's official event coverage at E3, PAX and Comic-Con. She has been featured in campaigns for Pokémon GO, TBS, Amazon, Bud Light and John Frieda.
Director of Technology
Former Senior Manager, Business Operations
Moderator: COLLEGIATE ESPORTS WORKSHOPAs an esports business operations manager at Blizzard Entertainment, Adam Rosen co-leads Blizzard’s collegiate esports efforts. He develops the company’s competitive portfolio through production and monetization strategies, cross-franchise collaboration, and other esports-focused business initiatives.
After Adam co-founded Tespa with his twin brother, Tyler, while studying Aerospace Engineering at UT Austin, they joined Blizzard to bring their esports knowledge into play. Since then, Adam has contributed to numerous esports programs, including BlizzCon, Fireside Gatherings, and the Heroes of the Dorm collegiate tournament.
He’s interested in technology, start-ups, hiking, and gaming.
VP Product & Content
Rosenblatt’s career has taken place at the epicenter of the video game industry, where over the last decade, he has executed on hundreds of initiatives for industry leading brands such as Red Bull, Newegg, Samsung, Ubisoft and Twitch, as well as Fortune 500 companies including Intel, DirecTV and Activision Blizzard.
Prior to ESL, Rosenblatt was a founding employee and junior partner at ESS Agency, a premier North American video game and technology agency acquired by Turtle Entertainment GmbH in 2014.
Rossetti earned his BA in Business Management from Wittenberg University and is a continuing member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Rossetti has been involved with the Make A Wish Foundation of Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky since 2011 and serves on their Regional Advisory Board.
Senior Associate Commissioner, Sport Administration and Championships
BIG EAST Conference
Moderator: COLLEGIATE ESPORTS WORKSHOPChris Schneider joined the staff of the BIG EAST Conference in September, 2013. As the Senior Associate Commissioner for Sport Administration and Championships, he provides oversight of 20 conference sports and 16 championship events. Schneider also serves as a liaison to the conference’s Health and Safety Working Group. As a member of the New Business Initiatives Working Group, he is involved in the BIG EAST Esports initiative.
In addition to his work at the IG EAST Conference Office, Schneider is a member of the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel and the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship Committee.
Prior to joining the BIG EAST Conference, Schneider was the Senior Associate Athletic Director at Ohio State where he provided oversight of 10 teams. In this role, he was responsible for budgeting, scheduling, staff evaluation, facility operations, development, compliance and academic support for each program.
From 2001 to 2006, Schneider was Assistant Director of Championships for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). During this time, he was responsible for championships in Division I Men’s Soccer, National Collegiate Men’s and Women’s Water Polo, National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball, National Collegiate Men’s Gymnastics, Division III Men’s Tennis and Division III Men’s Ice Hockey. He also served as the secondary liaison for Division I Women’s Volleyball.
Schneider is a 1997 graduate of Bowling Green State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education, Sport Management. He received his Master of Arts, Sport Management from Ohio State in 1999.
Immortals Gaming Club
Prior to joining IGC, Segal served as COO for the Arizona Coyotes (NHL), where he led the club to its highest ever single-season ticket sales and total revenue. He was also Special Assistant to the CEO of the Anaheim Ducks (NHL) and led the launch of the San Diego Gulls, the Ducks’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, where he served as the Gulls’ first President of Business Operations. Following their inaugural season, the Gulls were awarded the AHL President's Award for Business Excellence. Segal previously worked at McKinsey & Company, Lehman Brothers, and CCMP Capital Advisors. He earned a J.D. and an MBA from Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and a B.A. with Distinction from the University of Virginia. He is a licensed attorney and member of the New York State Bar Association and serves on the Advisory Board of the LA Sports & Entertainment Commission and the International Olympic Committee’s Esports Liaison Group.
Head of Revenue Operations & Sponsorships
Moderator: 10 WAYS TO ACTIVATE YOUR ESPORTS SPONSORSHIPJordan Sherman serves as the Head of Revenue Operations & Sponsorship for Gen. G eSports. In this role, Jordan is focused on incorporating brands into Gen.G's universal eSports portfolio and help bridge the gap between three key markets: North America, Korea and China.
Jordan has nearly a decade of corporate partnership experience in the sports industry most recently as the Director of Corporate Partnerships for the LA Clippers. Prior to the move to LA, Jordan spent eight years in New York the majority of which he served as an Account Executive for Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) working on the league's official partnerships with a focus in digital, social and streaming media. Jordan began his career as an intern working for Arnold Palmer Enterprises at IMG.
Jordan is a graduate from the University of Michigan where he received a B.B.A. from the Stephen Ross School of Business In his free time, Jordan enjoys playing basketball & ice hockey, travelling, spending time with friends & family. He also serves as an advisor for Team 4G44 eSports.
Head of College, Riot Scholastic Association of America
Moderator: COLLEGIATE ESPORTS WORKSHOPMichael Sherman leads college for RSAA and is responsible for the company efforts in the collegiate business development space, including partnerships with the Big Ten Network, State Farm, Yahoo, and UC Irvine.
Over the last year, he has focused on growing the number of schools that support varsity level League of Legends, taking it from one in 2014 to more than 80 in 2018. He grew up in Houston Texas and is a proud alumni of University of Texas at Dallas.
Moderator: STATE OF THE UNION: ENASCAR HEAT PRO LEAGUEA media, technology and marketing executive with over fifteen years of experience in sports media strategy, senior team management and digital product/business development; as well as twenty years overall working in sports & entertainment media. Successfully managed the build, launch and strategic direction of four new media businesses for Raycom Sports/Raycom Media, the Atlantic Coast Conference, NASCAR and Motorsport Network.
Christie St. Martin
Director of Gaming
IMC: An Experience Studio
General Manager – Esports
Director of Esports
Moderator: RULING THE TRENCHES THROUGH EXPERIENTIAL ACTIVATION Moderator: WOMEN OF ESPORTS BASHTatiana Tacca is leading the esports and gaming practice for Momentum Worldwide, delivering consultation, strategic approaches and sponsorship & experiential activation for brands and clients. She is an esports and gaming industry expert with over 8 years in the space, managing sponsorship across multiple brand categories including telecom, payment, CPG, airlines, spirits and more. She has worked on and executed deals with multiple esports properties including Activision Blizzard, Twitch, Riot Games, TSM and Cloud9. Before that, she led the marketing strategy and game launches/updates of over 20 mobile licensed game titles with Marvel, Disney/Pixar, Microsoft, Lucasfilm, Fox, NFL, NBA, MLB and more.
Zorine has worked in the esports and gaming industries for over 9 years, with leadership roles at Yahoo and CBS Interactive. As the managing editor at Yahoo Esports, she established the news desk and led the editorial team. Yahoo Esports quickly established itself as one of the top esports publications in the esports industry. Prior to joining Yahoo Esports, Zorine was an editor at GameSpot, one of the leading video game publications in the world, owned by CBS Interactive.
Director of Global Partnerships & Sales
Moderator: AUDIENCE + DATA = POWERAs Director of Global Partnerships for Activision Blizzard Esports, Anthony is responsible for creating global brand partnerships across the entire Activision Blizzard portfolio, including The Overwatch League and Call of Duty League. Before joining ABE, Anthony served 10 years at the NFL driving ad sales revenue on behalf of NFL Network, NFL.com & NFL Mobile. Before joining the NFL, Anthony held various sales and marketing roles at ESPN.
Owner / Founder
Character Select Agency
Moderator: ESPORTS TALENT - THE FUTURE OF CASTINGSince 2010, Andrew Tomlinson has managed talent in the esports space, beginning with Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico and Korean professional Starcraft 2 players, and expanding to a roster of more than 50 top talent including Alex "Goldenboy" Mendez, Sue "Smix" Lee, Alex "Machine" Richardson, and Twitch's own Anna Prosser and Marcus "djWHEAT" Graham. His company, Character Select, books on-camera esports and gaming talent throughout the year at events around the globe.
Vice President of Partnerships and Business Development
EVP Commercial Partnerships
Cloud9 Esports, Inc.
Previous to joining Cloud9, Jordan assisted companies in the entertainment, automotive, hospitality, and fashion industries expand their brand reach globally. Jordan earned a BA in Economics from the University of Southern California.
Senior Marketing Director, Doritos Brand
Frito-Lay North America
Under her direction and guidance, the Doritos marketing team also executed Doritos Bowl, the brand’s first large-scale activation in esports in conjunction with Twitch and Activision. Vesper and her team built on Doritos rich history in gaming, executing the Doritos Bowl program with four of the biggest personalities in gaming, Ninja, Shroud, Dr Lupo and CourageJD. These mega streamers captained four teams that were drafted, trained, and scrimmed for months culminating in a battle royale winner take all event at TwitchCon 2018 playing the new Call of Duty Blackout. The standing-room only event was a smash hit, watched by 60 million people and earning 831 million earned media impressions and 500 million social media impressions.
She has also led several recent breakthrough marketing initiatives, including: the launch of Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho and the #NowitsHot Super Bowl campaign featuring Chance the Rapper & the Backstreet Boys that garnered national attention for the brand.
Prior to her role on the Doritos brand, Leslie led the innovation agenda across all core brands and drove the launch of successful products including Doritos Blaze. Before that, she managed shopper marketing activation for the Pepsi & Tostitos brands across key retailer customers. Her first role at Frito-Lay North America was leading the innovation pipeline for the Foodservice team where she managed the launch of Cheetos Popcorn.
Prior to joining Frito-Lay North America, she gained CPG experience at both Dr Pepper Snapple Group and General Mills, working across brand and innovation roles. Outside of work, she and her husband stay busy wrangling their two children and she enjoys traveling, cooking and running.
Global Director – Head of Sports, Esports and Entertainment
The Gillette Company / P&G
Moderator: MAKING THE MOVE FROM TRADITIONAL SPORTS INTO ESPORTS WITH GILLETTE Moderator: P&G GILLETTE FIRESIDE CHATGreg Via has been the Global Head of Sports and Entertainment Marketing, The Gillette Company since 2007. He is responsible for the Gillette’s involvement in the global sports market place. Currently he manages the global partnership with FC Barcelona and Gillette’s football players, including Neymar Jr, Thomas Müller and Antoine Griezmann.
He is also a member of the team that launched Gillette into Esports, with partnerships with ESL, Twitch, TSM and Boston Uprising.
Greg also works with the Gillette North American leadership to leverage Gillette’s involvement with the NFL, Gillette Stadium and eSports. He is also a member of the P&G Olympic core team that works to activate P&G and its family of brands on a Global Olympic platform.
Formerly, Greg was the Vice President, Alliance and Licensing at New Era Cap. Prior, he was the Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Sponsorship, Motorola and the Director of Worldwide Sports Marketing, Gatorade.
He was the track coach at LSU and the University of Tennessee. Greg is a native of Clifton Forge, Virginia and a graduate of Bridgewater College and the University of Tennessee. He resides in Boston with his wife Vicki.
Founder & CEO
Moderator: THE ESPORTS BUBBLE: MYTH OR THREAT?Johannes Waldstein is the Founder and CEO of FanAI, the leading audience monetization platform. FanAI increases franchise and sponsorship revenues by analyzing in-depth audience data that enables brands to gain a fuller picture of their esports target audience. The platform is used by top teams and leagues including Cloud9, OpTic Gaming, Overwatch League’s LA Valiant, NY Excelsior, and Cav’s Legion GC - the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA2K League team. Being a big data expert and a lifelong fan of competitive sports and esports, FanAI is the culmination of twin passions for Johannes. A serial entrepreneur, he founded four other startups rooted in data, mobile payments, and sports tech. As a Product Manager at dunnhumby, the world’s largest Loyalty Data Sciences company, Johannes helped build data platforms providing insight from some of the world’s largest retail chains including Tesco, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Macy’s to global brands and agencies.
Co-Founder / CEO
Damage: The Esports Agency
Moderator: 10 WAYS TO ACTIVATE YOUR ESPORTS SPONSORSHIPWard is Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Damage: The Esports Agency, headquartered in Los Angeles, which assists brands on navigating the gaming space.
Ward’s strength is 25 years’ experience working with Fortune 1000 brands. He was instrumental in securing anchor client, Intel, for which Damage is the Global Gaming & Esports agency of record, handling Intel’s full-funnel esports strategy, creative and video content production that serve to maximize Intel’s portfolio of esports investments and sponsorships.
Prior to Damage, Ward was Co-Founder/CEO of two agencies overseeing marketing strategy for game publishers, Ubisoft and Square Enix.
Moderator: ESPORTS AND SOCIAL GOOD CAUSESZach Wigal is the founder of Gamers Outreach, a nonprofit organization that provides recreation to children in hospitals through the power of video games and the gaming community. To date, an estimated 1.2 million patients benefit from Gamers Outreach programs in nearly 200 healthcare facilities across the United States. Additionally, the organization hosts one of the largest LAN parties in North America - Gamers for Giving - which brings together esports enthusiasts in support of hospitalized families. Wigal was recently recognized as a 2019 CNN Hero, and named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for his work in the games for health space.
Senior Manager, Consumer Innovation
Moderator: STATE OF THE UNION: ENASCAR HEAT PRO LEAGUEBranden Williams is the Senior Manager of Consumer Innovation at NASCAR, tasked with overseeing all esports operations as well as emerging technology initiatives for the league. Prior to his current role, Branden spent seven years building and managing Social Media strategies for NASCAR, Feld Entertainment and FOX Sports.
Ketchum Sports & Entertainment
He comes from a PR background in sports with experience in the NFL and collegiate athletics. Patrick worked on the communications staff for the Washington Redskins from 2001-07, serving as Director from 2004-2007. In that role, he oversaw all aspects of media relations, primarily for football in addition to corporate/organization communications.
He began his career in sports communications on the college Sports Information Department (SID) level, working with the football and basketball teams at East Carolina and Cincinnati. Patrick has also staffed a number of high profile events, including seven Super Bowls, NBA All-Star Games, five Final Fours, PGA TOUR events, college Bowl games, National Championship games and conference championships.
Patrick has also developed a reputation as one of the top sports social media experts, speaking on such panels at events such as SXSW, Blogs with Balls, SEME, Social Media Club and Blogworld. He has also been recognized as one of the top sports communications professionals on Twitter. He is a sneakerhead, owning several pairs of Jordan’s, Air Max’s, Chuck Taylor’s and was married in Vans classics.
He lives in Silver Spring, MD with his wife Alexis and two children, Reese and Max.
Global Head of Gaming and AR/VR, Content and Partnerships
Moderator: YOUTUBE GAMING KEYNOTERyan oversees two businesses at YouTube, both the Gaming business and the growing Virtual Reality business. As the Global Head of Gaming Content, Ryan leads a team from around the world to manage global Gaming Publisher partnerships, Top Gaming Creators, live streamers, Esports teams and Esports Leagues. In addition to his Gaming role, Ryan leads the Global VR business overseeing global strategy, VR first companies, content and operations work, budget development, and cross-functional work.
Ryan joined YouTube in 2014 to create the Gaming vertical, and has since lead Gaming at YouTube to be the biggest Gaming content platform in the world, and has also done the same for the Virtual Reality video business on YouTube.
Previously, Ryan worked in senior roles with major gaming industry companies, including Vice President of Programming with Major League Gaming and Head of Live and eSports at Machinima. As a prominent Esports personality, Ryan is known for his strategic contributions in growing the Esports scene while in his former roles.
Ryan was honored to be named in Forbes “30 Under 30” List in the Games category for Top Young Designers, Executives and Players. Ryan is also a New York Times Best Selling Author with his work on “OpTic Gaming: The Making of eSports Champions”.
Frito-Lay North America
Moderator: INSIDE THE SMASH HIT ‘DORITOS BOWL’ CAMPAIGNChris Yemma is a seasoned communications professional and currently brand comms director at Frito-Lay North America. He oversees marcom strategy for the multitude of billion-dollar-plus snack brands, the likes of Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos and many more, helping them unlock their societal purpose and ultimately break through in culture.
Yemma has led several recent impactful marketing initiatives, including: the launch of Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho and the #NowitsHot Super Bowl campaign featuring Chance the Rapper & the Backstreet Boys that garnered national attention for the brand. Under his counsel, the Doritos marketing team also executed Doritos Bowl, the brand’s first large-scale activation in esports in conjunction with Twitch and Activision. Yemma has led many breakthrough Frito-Lay campaigns in his current role, including the iconic Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl”; Tostitos’ PR Week Campaign of the Year “Party Safe,” which raised awareness about drinking and driving after NFL games; and Lay’s’ legendary crowdsourced campaign “Do Us A Flavor.”
Prior to his role at FLNA, Yemma was a vice president at global communications agency Ketchum, where he counseled many top-tier clients including Mattel, StubHub, Oakley, Samsung, Toms Shoes and many more.
In addition to traditional brand comms, Yemma has a passion for purposeful brand marketing, and sports-focused initiatives, both traditional and gaming & esports. His background includes being a journalism major from San Diego State University and a sports reporter in his early years prior to jumping to the “dark side.” His personal passions include embracing the craziness of being a new father, golf, snowboarding, and fitting into a new suburban lifestyle.
Tuesday | September 10
WOMEN OF ESPORTS BASH
COLLEGIATE ESPORTS WORKSHOP
With the NCAA out of the collegiate esports picture, this annual gathering is poised to become the most important ever, as the leading faces discuss the future of collegiate esports, discussing and debating its growth and governance as the industry moves forward. In addition, we will hear from university officials in the trenches in a high-level discussion about the value of esports and gaming on campus, from communities to curriculums. Attendees will walk away with insider knowledge into the structures, new research into the sport, opportunities within the university system and guidance into the future of collegiate esports.
1:45 - 2:10pm
Keynote Address: Learnings from Implementing a Conference-Wide Esports Program
Chris Schneider, Sr. Associate Commissioner, Sport Administration and Championships; Big East Conference
2:10 - 2:40pm
Panel: National Perspectives- Implementing Esports Programs
Michael Sherman, Head of College; Riot Scholastic Association of America
Mark “Garvey” Candella, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Twitch
Neil Duffy, Chief Commercial Officer, Collegiate Starleague / World Gaming
2:40 - 3:10pm
The Future of Governance in Collegiate Esports
Kurt Melcher, Executive Director, Esports; Intersport
3:10 - 3:40pm
Panel: Local Perspectives- Implementing Esports Programs
Michael Brooks, Executive Director; National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE)
Adam Rosen, Former Senior Manager, Business Operations; Blizzard Entertainment
Joshua Kell, Chief Executive Officer; Esports Integration
ESPORTS FOR BRAND AND SPORTS MARKETERS 2.0: HOW TO ACTIVATE THE WORLD’S FASTEST-GROWING EVENT PLATFORM
BUILDING A BETTER MAP: EMERGING MARKETS, VENUES AND COMMUNITIES FOR ESPORTS
YOUTUBE GAMING KEYNOTE
ESPORTS PLAYBOOK FOR PUBLISHERS: USING ESPORTS TO INCREASE IN-GAME ENGAGEMENT AND PURCHASING
SOLD OUT: HYPERX ESPORTS ARENA BACKSTAGE TOUR WITH HARMAN AND ESPORTS INTEGRATION
SUPER LEAGUE GAMING TOURNAMENT AT TOPGOLF IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL
XBOX GAME STUDIOS’ GEARS OF WAR, GEARS 5, LAUNCH SHOWCASE MATCH TO SUPPORT GAMERS OUTREACH
Shift your EBS experience into overdrive! Xbox Game Studios will launch their highly anticipated Gears of War, Gears 5, in an epic showcase match to support Gamers Outreach. Be there live at the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas as Ghost takes on Reciprocity in the launch showcase. Open to all EBS attendees at no additional cost, but you must add this on to your registration here. Attendee badges are required for admittance.