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September 29, 2021


Limited Seats Available

The Crossover

The $1B Esports industry is deeply influencing fan engagement and represents the quintessential crossover of sports with culture and entertainment.

Learn how Gen-Z and Gen Alpha's fandom no longer exists in traditional silos and how competitive gaming will continue to force the entire sports x entertainment ecosystem to think progressively and authentically when engaging their fans—both as an audience and consumers.

Drive the Conversation


This unique, two-day conference on May 12-13, 2021 will be split into two tracks: the first day (Essentials for Practitioners) designed for mid-level practitioners eager to close their knowledge gap on sports betting basics, and the second day (Essentials for Executives) designed for executives seeking thought leadership, benchmarks, and best practices. Attendees may opt-in to and attend one or both tracks depending on their level of interest and existing expertise.


11:50AM - 12:00PM ET

Opening Words

12:05PM - 1:00PM ET

Sports Betting 101 & Refresher on Terms


  • Overview of basic betting terms
  • History of sports betting in the United States as compared to UK
  • Size of the industry and importance of the opportunity right now
  • How sports betting will impact your day job

Format: Workshop/Seminar

1:05PM - 2:00PM ET

Betting Basics Answered: There Are No Stupid Questions


  • Two experts will answer questions mid-level professionals may be too embarrassed to ask their boss or admit they don’t understand

Format: AMA (Ask Me Anything)

2:05PM - 3:30PM ET

Case Studies in Content Creation


  • Examples of content strategies working well for teams, leagues, operators, media companies and more to engage fans through betting
  • Tips and tricks for creating and monetizing content
  • How to benchmark your betting content performance against the industry

Format: Presention and Panel Discussions

3:35PM - 4:30PM ET

Who’s Who and What’s What: Understanding the Current Partnership Landscape


  • Overview of sportsbook operators, data providers, and other company types
  • Which teams/properties have deals in place and which states are next to legalize
  • Insight in deals between operators & media companies + differences in structure

Format: Workshop/Seminar


11:50AM - 12:00PM ET

Opening Words

12:05PM - 1:00PM ET

Keynote Interview


  • Industry outlook
  • The the next generations of fans
  • The Athlete's role

Format: Fireside Chat

1:05PM - 2:00PM ET

Betting’s Biggest Risk? Build Your Team for a New Era in Sports


  • Where to find talent when there are few with experience beyond the past 3 years
  • Working with content and marketing teams to ensure staff is knowledgeable and capable of executing activations in your sports betting agreements
  • Diversity & inclusion challenges in the combined gaming + sports spaces

Format: Panel Discussion

2:05PM - 3:00PM ET

Case Studies in Revenue Strategy


  • Examples of revenue strategies working well for teams, leagues, operators, media companies and more to engage fans through betting
  • Tips and tricks for monetizing content and forging revenue-minded partnerships

Format: Presentations

3:00PM - 4:15PM ET

Gen Z Bets Like No Generation Before


  • With the legalization of sports gambling nationwide well underway and total spend on sports gambling seeing explosive growth, generational patterns amongst sports bettors have presented themselves within this budding industry.

Format: Discusions + AMA


11:40AM - 11:45AM

Opening Remarks

11:45AM - 12:15PM

How Esports Is Redefining Endemic Sports Fandom

Very few could have predicted just how much crossover can be found between esports and endemic sports. These similarities can be found in sponsorship and revenue models, brand activations, digital marketing strategies—and even among fans. On the other hand, esports has also redefined the way that younger consumers build relationships with sports leagues, changed the way fans view athletes, and altered how content is consumed.

As gaming grows, so does its power to engage a new generation: gaming may not need sports, but sports might just need esports. Hear from leaders who have helped define esports and gaming strategy at both esports teams/leagues and at some of North America's most prominent endemic sports properties as they share how your organization should think about the crossover power of esports x sports.

  • Grant Paranjape, Washington Justice
  • Claire Kaido, OS NYC
  • Sam Asfahani, The Mercury Group
  • Heather Garozzo, Team Dignitas
12:20PM - 12:50PM

WWE: In the Ring with Gaming

There’s so much hype around gaming today that it’s easy to see why marketers are chomping at the bit to get involved. But doing so without the right strategy and partnerships can cause brands, and entertainment properties alike, to not resonate properly with the gaming community.

Entertainment giant WWE’s foray into gaming started a number of years ago, and since then, the company has cultivated a crossover community of passionate gamers and wrestling fans through strategic partnerships and award-winning gaming content. Hear from AJ Styles, WWE Superstar and avid gamer, in this session moderated by Kazeem Famuyide on how WWE has created crossover amongst fans to evolve its gaming vertical. Styles will give us insight into his passion for gaming and how brands can leverage partnerships to stay engaged with fans.

  • AJ Styles, WWE Superstar & Gamer
  • Kazeem Famuyide, The SpringHill Company
12:55 PM - 1:25PM

State of the Business: Women in Esports

Half of the world’s gamers are reportedly now women, but representation across all roles in the esports industry is sorely lacking. In the list of top earning players in history, there is not a single woman in the top 300. As the industry continues to grow, opportunities for women have never been more widespread. But what are the barriers to entry? And how can we break through them?

Hear from experts in their fields, Morgan Ashurst, Laurie "Lyloun" Lagier, and Guilia Zecchini as they discuss their work, experiences, and what the industry needs to do to attract more talented women. This session is moderated by Kirsty Endfield.

  • Giulia Zechhini, FACEIT
  • Laurie Lagier, Team Vitality
  • Morgan Ashurst, British Esports Association
  • Kirsty Endfield, Swipe Right PR
01:30PM - 02:00PM

Creating Community Through Increased Brand Engagement and Investment in Esports & Games
presented with Esports Ad Bureau (EAB)

Rival represents the kind of emerging company that adheres to the leadership, best practices and excellence standards in the gaming space that the largest platform technology companies are modeling. A lot of that comes from the leadership Paul Brewer brings to the space, as an accomplished and seasoned sports, games and esports executive.

The discussion with Paul and Yvette will be focused on the convergence of Sports and Gaming and how both RIVAL and Verizon work within these two pillars of entertainment. The discussion will dive into Rival’s efforts with professional sports properties to further fan engagement opportunities and how brands can benefit from this. We will also hear firsthand how Verizon thinks about the complementary and overlapping nature of traditional sports fans and gamers and the strategic efforts made with their partners to be best in class across these mediums. The goal of this session, beyond the obvious benefit of showcasing the successes of Verizon and Rival is to demonstrate for other emerging and aspiring companies what they need to do and bring to the discussion with leading companies like Verizon.

  • Paul Brewer, Rival
  • Yvette Martinez-Rea, Verizon
  • Stuart Lipson, EAB
02:05PM - 02:35PM

How Esports Organizations Are Building Partnerships & Communities Through Social Impact

Esports continues to grow in popularity around the world. The industry has seen an increased interest from women, younger audiences, and individuals new to the sport. Wim Stocks, industry leader and current Commercial & Partnerships Lead at Belong Gaming is joined by Rebeca Brock Dixon, Ryan Johnson, and Rebecca Longawa to discuss how organizations are increasing accessibility within the sport to reach broader audiences.

  • Rebecca Longawa, Happy Warrior
  • Rebecca Brock Dixon, the*gameHERS
  • Ryan Johnson, Cxmmunity
  • Wim Stocks, Belong Gaming
02:40PM - 03:10PM

Engaging New Audiences by Leveraging Traditional Sports and Media Properties
presented with Esports Ad Bureau (EAB)

Sports, Games, Esports – this session will focus on how major media companies can leverage their investments in traditional sports and media rights to engage new fans and viewers through their audiences’ interest in games and esports. WarnerMedia is a leader in creating new media properties and opportunities within and beyond traditional sports and entertainment, integrating activations across multiple platforms and managing those properties in scalable, sustainable and creative ways.

  • Jennifer Dill, B/R Gaming
  • Mike Goldman, B/R Gaming
  • Stuart Lipson, EAB
03:15PM - 03:45PM

Leading the Way: How Twitch Is Extending Its Leadership in Esports Streaming & Content Presentation
presented with Esports Ad Bureau (EAB)

This session will take an in-depth look at the features and functionality that has enabled Twitch and their content and brand partners to engage with their audiences in unprecedented and meaningful ways.

Twitch is widely acknowledged as the leader in enabling content presentation and engaged conversations with their audience across cultural touchpoints (including sports, music, fashion) that build on their games and esports-related content and competitions and have extended those capabilities as a vehicle for athletes, personalities, musicians, and other artists and brands to connect with their own audiences in their own unique way.

  • Nathan Lindberg, Twitch
  • Stuart Lipson, EAB

Meet Our Speakers

Kazeem Famuyide (1)

Kazeem Famuyide

Creative Executive

The SpringHill Company

Yvette Martinez-Rae Headshot-1

Yvette Martinez-Rea

VP, Sponsorships and Partnerships


LLagier (1)

Laurie "Lyloun" Lagier

Head Coach, Rainbow Six team + Ex-Pro Gamer

Team Vitality

Screen Shot 2021-09-29 at 9.08.01 AM

AJ Styles

WWE Superstar

& Gamer


Grant Paranjape

VP, Esports Business

Washington Justice


Jennifer Dill


Giulia Zecchini

Commercial Strategy Lead



Ryan Johnson




Paul Brewer

Chief Revenue Officer



Nathan Lindberg

RVP - East, Twitch Properties



Morgan Ashurst

Head of Marketing

British Esports Association

Screen Shot 2021-09-21 at 9.28.35 AM

Mike Goldman

East Coast Sales Director, eSports,

B/R Gaming (WarnerMedia)

RLongawa (1)

Rebecca Longawa

Founder & President

Happy Warrior


Stuart Lipson

Executive Director

EAB (Esports Ad Bureau)


Kirsty Endfield

Founder & Director

Swipe Right PR

WStocks (1)

Wim Stocks

SVP, Partnerships & Commercial

Belong Gaming

RDixon (1)

Rebecca Brock-Dixon

CEO & Co-Founder



Claire Kaido

General Manager


sam asfahani

Sam Asfahani

heather garozzo

Heather Garozzo

VP, Talent

Team Dignitas


Past Speakers


Liz Loza

Fantasy Football Analyst

Yahoo Sports


Michael Daly


Sara Slane


Slane Advisory


Aubrey Levy

VP, Content & Marketing



Ishwara Glassman Chrein

Head of Sports Partnerships

Verizon Media


Doug Kezirian

Host, The Daily Wager




The $1B esports industry is deeply influencing fan engagement and represents the quintessential crossover of sports with culture and entertainment. Learn how Gen-Z and Gen Alpha's fandom no longer exists in traditional silos.

September 29, 2021 (Virtual)


Hashtag Sports® is the leading platform for media and marketing professionals and the next generation of creative talent across the converging sports and entertainment industries.

From unparalleled experiences like our annual conference and the Hashtag Sports Awards presented with Budweiser to inspirational digital content and mission-driven initiatives, Hashtag Sports is the benchmark for fan engagement and the go-to resource for the development of a new sports and entertainment ecosystem powered by digital media, content, culture, purpose, and technology.