Register for Free Here for this Virtual Event

The Clio Sports & Bleacher Report: The New Sports Marketing Playbook, a virtual B2B thought leadership event and Specialty Award presentations. Leading sports marketers will examine best practices in fan engagement, storytelling, and creative marketing. Check out our list of panels and speakers, and the soon to be released 2020 Clio Sports Specialty Award winners.

Registration is free and is available to individuals and groups. You must register to reserve your place and receive an access link.

© 2020 Clio Awards, LLC

SAVE THE DATE
October 28th & 29th

Learn more about Clio Sports

PANELS

Rise of UGC
How players led engagement with fans during the Coronavirus and how they will continue to do so in the future.

Panelists
Nate Houghteling (Moderator), Co-Founder & Executive Producer, Portal A


Doug Bernstein, GM, House of Highlights
Will Yoder, Sports Partnerships at Instagram
Caroline Kutler, Athlete Content Partnerships, YouTube


Playing at the Highest Level 

How brands & rights holders champion creativity and technology to develop immersive experiences that improve the fan experience and drive brand loyalty.

Sponsored by 

Panelists
John Shea (Moderator), President, Marketing & Events, Octagon
Ronalee Zarate-Bayani, Chief Marketing Officer, LA Rams
Margi Brown, VP Sports Marketing + Media, SoFi
Shawn Bryant, Managing Director, Intel Sports
Mark Jeffery, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Aquimo

Future Proof Sports Marketing
How sports marketers can improve their game, working with agencies, brands and other partners to foster better collaboration to produce better creative work. This session looks at approaches to streamlining the creative process, learning new skillsets and building teams and cultures to create the great work of the next decade.

Panelists
Tim Nudd (Moderator), Editor in Chief, Muse by Clio/Clio Awards
Ben Williams, Global Chief Experience Officer, R/GA
Ed Romaine, Chief Marketing Officer, Bleacher Report
Matt Coleman, Marketing Director, State Farm

The Future of Storytelling in Sports
Compelling storylines are a hallmark of sports. The same should be true of sports marketing. How effective sports brands and their partners approach storytelling for the modern era, crafting content at the speed of culture in a variety of mediums, channels and platforms to active fandom in their audiences.

Panelists
Tim Nudd (Moderator), Editor in Chief, Muse by Clio/Clio Awards
Gary Vaynerchuk, Chief Executive Officer, VaynerMedia
Monica Rustgi, Vice President, Marketing, Budweiser
Kate Jhaveri, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, NBA
Steve Stoute, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, UnitedMasters and Translation

Women in Sports
The role of sports marketers in fostering greater promotion, visibility, and representation of women's sports and challenging others to have a significant impact.

Sponsored by

Panelists
Arielle Chambers (Moderator), On-Air Personality, HighlightHER at Bleacher Report
Keia Clarke, Chief Executive Officer, NY Liberty
Michael Robichaud, SVP Global Sponsorships, Mastercard
Shizuka Suzuki, Assistant Vice President - Sponsorship & Experiential, AT&T

Race and Accountability
A conversation about what the BLM movement in 2020 is teaching businesses about creating space for people of color to have a voice at every level— from the c-suite to the production crew— and how it will have a powerful impact on the shape of creative marketing and sports culture.

Panelists
Taylor Rooks (Moderator), On-Air Personality, Bleacher Report
Kim Davis, Sr. EVP of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs at NHL
Keith Cartwright, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Cartwright
Jamil Northcutt, Vice President, Player Engagement, MLS

Athlete Spotlight

Partnered with

Panelists
Lance ThomasNBA Player, Founder of SlangMagic Fishing and Trust Your Work Foundation
Stephanie Martin, Board President, Athlete x Impact

SPEAKERS

Doug Bernstein
GM, House of Highlights

Doug Bernstein serves as the General Manager of House of Highlights. He was selected as a finalist in the 2019 Digiday Video Awards for Video Executive of the Year.

Since his management of House of Highlights, the leading youth-focused social voice in
sports, the brand has grown to reach more than 25 million cross-platform followers and
become one of the most followed sports publisher on Instagram with 17.1 million
followers (adding over 350,000 followers per month) and on TikTok with 4.2 million
followers, where the brand averages 9 million views per day. Among those followers
include some of the biggest names in youth culture including LeBron James, Kevin Hart,
and Drake.

Margi Brown
VP Sports Marketing + Media, SoFi

A 20+ year veteran of the industry, Margi Brown is currently Vice-President, Sports Marketing + Media at SoFi. Bringing media buying in-house, she historically delivered the only ever pre-bought Super Bowl over-time ad at an unprecedented amount.

Most recently, Margi was directly responsible for negotiating the largest stadium naming
rights deal in history -- SoFi Stadium, home to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles
Chargers. The naming rights included separate deals for the Hollywood Park District and Performance Venue, as well.

Margi joined SoFi from the agency world, spending time at Ogilvy Los Angeles, where
she worked on accounts such as Cisco Systems, Motorola, Kraft, and Mattel.

PanelsSpeakersRegister

Keia Clarke
Chief Executive Officer, NY Liberty


Keia Clarke is entering her first season as Chief Executive Officer of the New York Liberty, where she will lead and manage all business aspects of the Liberty organization, including strategic planning, revenue, P&L and operations. Additionally, Clarke works with stakeholders on key elements of team business, including growing the fan base, maximizing sales and fan engagement, and improving business performance. 

Prior to becoming CEO, Clarke was Chief Operating Officer of the team for two seasons where she managed the business and P&L for the team, including strategic planning, budgeting and day-to-day team business operations.

As CEO, Clarke oversees all business-related operations for the Liberty, including the management of the team’s partnership deal with its official regional TV partner, YES Network. In 2019, Clarke led negotiations to ink a first-of-a-kind deal with YES, as there had never been a WNBA game on the network prior to the 2019 season.

Kim Davis
Sr. EVP of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs, NHL

Kimberly Davis is a trailblazer and change agent, positively disrupting the financial industry and wide world of sports over her illustrious 30+ year career. Well-regarded as a resilient and visionary leader, Davis brings change to life through sound strategic planning and strong organizational development. 

She is an inspirational storyteller, an architect of coalitions and a culture builder, with a style that empowers others and a belief that successful business contributes to healthy, vibrant communities. Driven by both data and a passion for progress, she has consistently provided structure and glidepaths for organizations to realize their potential for sustainable business growth. 

Currently, as Senior Executive Vice President of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs at the National Hockey League – the premier professional ice hockey league in the world – Davis has set the League on a new course to attract, retain and develop fans, with a specific focus on multi-cultural audiences.

Nate Houghteling (Moderator)
Co-Founder & Executive Producer, Portal A


Nate Houghteling is Co-founder and Executive Producer at Portal A, an award-winning digital studio that creates Branded and Original entertainment for a new generation. Houghteling oversees Portal A's push into Original content, including its development team and digital content partnerships with talent like Stephen Curry, Odell Beckham, and Carmelo Anthony. Before Portal A, Nate worked at News Corporation in New York.

Portal A is an independently owned, award-winning digital studio with a team of 50 based in its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Portal A works with top global brands such as Clorox, YouTube, Amazon, Google, Lyft, and Lenovo and develops original series and films for streaming networks. Portal A's work has been viewed over 1 billion times and was named Digiday’s Best Video Agency in 2019 and Content Agency in 2018.

Nate grew up in Oakland, CA, and is an alumnus of Harvard University.

Tim Nudd (Moderator)
Editor in Chief, Muse by Clio/Clio Awards

Tim Nudd has covered creativity in business as a journalist for more than 20 years.

Since 2018 he has been editor in chief of the Clio Awards, leading all content initiatives for the venerable awards company. He is the founding editor of Muse by Clio, the premier site for original stories and guest essays exploring the best in creativity from the advertising world and beyond.

Prior to Clio, he was creative editor at Adweek for eight years. He lives outside Portland, Maine.

Ed Romaine
Chief Marketing Officer, Bleacher Report

Ed Romaine joined Bleacher Report in 2018 and is currently overseeing all of the company's marketing efforts in order to build on investments and grow the preeminent sports culture brand. He oversees the experience, brand, and design teams to consistently bring to life initiatives emanating from B/R’s content, operations, sales, and other key business groups.

Under his leadership, B/R has become the #1 partner for sponsored content in the sports market, and the #1 partner by engagements in all of digital video. B/R has owned engagement with the brand’s authenticity and ability to create content that resonates with its millennial and Gen Z audience. The company’s loud voice in the sports media world provides the best user experience with both curation and original content creation.

He lives in New York City with his husband and is a consistent mediator for his family, who has dueling sports allegiances of Boston and Philly.

Taylor Rooks (Moderator)
On-Air Personality, Bleacher Report

Taylor Rooks is host of "Take It There with Taylor Rooks". The show, which debuted in April 2019 on Bleacher Report, captures the news and conversations from the world of sports culture. It is Bleacher Report’s first ever show built around an individual talent and showcases Taylor’s unique ability to connect with athletes, musicians, and other celebrity influencers on a deeper level.

Taylor also appears regularly on other Turner Sports properties, such as TNT and NBA TV. Prior to Bleacher Report, Taylor served as the reporter and anchor for SportsNet New York (SNY), and hosted her own podcast, TimeOut with Taylor Rooks. Before that, Taylor worked as a host, reporter, and correspondent for the Big Ten Network and worked as a sideline reporter for CBS Sports Network.

At just 19 years old, Taylor appeared on CBS Sports Network, reporting on the WBB Pre-NIT Championship.

Monica Rustgi
Vice President, Marketing, Budweiser

Monica Rustgi is currently the Vice President of Marketing for Budweiser. During her time on Budweiser, the brand has seen restored and sustained brand health and trends for the first time in 10 years. During her time Budweiser’s creative work, which includes the last three Super Bowl campaigns, collectively has been awarded a total of ten (10) Cannes Lions, six (6) Clios Sports awards, and nine (9) Clio awards.

All such work has landed Monica on Ad Age’s “40 under 40” as well as being deemed by Ad Week as one of the “30 Most Powerful Women in Sports.” Prior to working at Budweiser, Monica held a career in the music industry both as a recording artist and producer, signed to Grammy Award winning producer Cory Rooney.

She has also written and produced for Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull during her time in the music industry. From there she attended MIT Sloan School of Management where she earned her MBA.

John Shea (Moderator)
President, Marketing & Events, Octagon

John Shea, President of Octagon Marketing and Events, oversees Octagon’s marketing practice across the Americas including partnerships, events and experiential marketing, strategy, content and creative offerings. The industry veteran leads a team of more than 400 working to help the agency’s clients find the next right move across the sports landscape.

In his 20+ years at Octagon, Shea has built the agency’s business through a client-first approach and developed a broad range of sports marketing and consulting expertise. John brings a unique understanding of how to help brands connect with consumers through sports and entertainment and has collaborated with all of the major sports leagues and properties in the Americas.

His reputation for objective, facts-based management of his people and his clients’ programs have resulted in client partnerships that span decades including Mastercard, BMW, Allstate, Bank of America, Cisco and others. In recent years, Shea’s team has added Delta Air Lines, Taco Bell and Harman/JBL to its client roster.

Gary Vaynerchuk
Chief Executive Officer, VaynerMedia


Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur and the Chairman of VaynerX, a modern day communications parent company, as well as the CEO and Co-Founder of VaynerMedia, a full-service digital agency servicing Fortune 500 clients across the company’s 4 locations.

Gary is also one of the most sought after public speakers alive today. He is a venture capitalist,5-time New York Times bestselling author and an early investor in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo and Uber. Gary has been named to both Crain's and Fortune's 40 Under 40 lists.

Gary is currently the subject of DailyVee an online documentary series highlighting what it’s like to be a CEO and public figure in today’s digital world. He is also the host of #AskGaryVee, a business and advice Q&A show online.

He is the Co-Founder of VaynerSports, a full service athlete representation agency with more than 20 clients with his brother AJ.

Gary also appears with Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and Will.i.am on Apple’s first original series “Planet of the Apps” out now.

Ben Williams
Global Chief Experience Officer

As Global Chief Experience Officer, Ben Williams is one of R/GA's global creative leads. Working with teams of creative directors, visual & experience designers, experience strategists, and writers, Ben helps to oversee the agency's creative output and building of a culture of innovation that delivers world-class concept development, design, and execution.

During his time at R/GA, he has played a vital role for a number of key Nike and Jordan projects, leading projects such as A/R Jordan, Apple Watch Nike+, Nike+ Running, Nike+ Member Services, and Nike+ FuelBand.

With over 20 years of experience, Ben has worked as a creative lead at AKQA and Publicis in New York, spent time at agencies both large and small in his native Australia, and founded his own highly regarded studio. During that time, he's collaborated with brands from Citibank, Smirnoff, Sprite, and Calvin Klein, to Ford, Toyota, Subaru, Kraft, Yellow Pages, Quiksilver, and Sneaker Freaker Magazine. Ben’s work has been recognized at Cannes, The Clios, The One Show, and The Webbys, and has appeared in a number of global publications.

Will Yoder
Sports Partnerships, Instagram

Will Yoder oversees strategy and initiatives for Instagram Sports Partnerships' league and team partners, as well as the group's go-to-market strategy for Instagram Shopping. Over the past three and a half years he has worked closely with hundreds of partners in the sports industry to help them better understand how to be successful on Instagram's rapidly evolving platform of over 400 million sports fans, while also partnering strategically with them on amplifying their presence around major global sports moments.

Since joining Instagram in 2016, Yoder helped manage the go-to-market strategy for major product rollouts such as Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, IGTV, Camera A/R and Instagram Shopping, each of which scaled from zero to hundreds of millions of users since their launch. Yoder also oversaw the platform's global initiatives around the 2018 World Cup which registered over 1 billion interactions and was the largest event ever measured event on Instagram.

Born in Arlington, VA, Yoder graded from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in Journalism focusing on digital engagement and innovation. He currently resides in the New York City area with his wife, Colleen, and his two sons Bobby and Jack.

Ronalee Zarate-Bayani
Chief Marketing Officer, LA Rams

Ronalee Zarate-Bayani is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Los Angeles Rams. In this role, she is responsible for defining and building the Rams brand, serving as a key member in shaping the experiences and value proposition of the new 300-acre Los Angeles Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park, and creating a modern LA entertainment experience for the next generation of fans.

Prior to joining the Rams, Ronalee was Head of Global Integrated Marketing Communications and Digital Advancement for the Hershey Company. In that role, she focused on establishing modern marketing excellence, ensured Hershey’s portfolio of brands had compelling consumer experiences, and built enhanced digital capabilities.

Ronalee is passionate about building brands, especially through modern digital experiences, and has over 15 years of marketing experience across a variety of industries. Throughout her career, she focused on growing brands and cultivating winning teams both as an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur in global companies around the world, including Japan, South Africa, and the Philippines.

Ronalee holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Kate Jhaveri
EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, NBA


Kate Jhaveri was appointed Chief Marketing Officer of the NBA in August 2019. In her role, Jhaveri is responsible for leading the global marketing operations for the NBA, NBA G League and NBA 2K League, including the development of innovative marketing campaigns and brand messaging across all platforms to connect with fans and grow the game of basketball around the world. Additionally, she oversees the consumer insights and analytics departments to enhance the NBA’s consumer data strategy and implement new marketing programs.

Previously, Jhaveri served as CMO of Twitch, where she established the platform as the leader in live interactive content. Leading Twitch’s brand strategy, Jhaveri oversaw a global team of 90 employees and was responsible for growing, engaging and retaining the brand’s core audiences of more than 15 million daily active viewers and more than three million unique content creators each month.

Originally from Baltimore, Jhaveri is married and has two children.

Steve Stoute
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, UnitedMasters and Translation


Steve Stoute is an advertising entrepreneur and music industry innovator. Stoute serves as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of UnitedMasters and Translation. With funding from Alphabet, Andreessen Horowitz and 21st Century Fox, the companies are converging music, technology and storytelling in a way that has never been done before.

UnitedMasters is a technology and data driven artist services company that provides musicians tools to maximize their potential while remaining independent from traditional record labels. Translation Agency is a creative agency that connects the world’s most famous brands to culture through sports and entertainment.

Prior to founding Translation in 2004, Stoute was a music industry executive at Sony Music and Interscope Geffen A&M. He produced albums for Mariah Carey and Nas, led the production efforts for Gwen Stefani and Enrique Iglesias, and executive produced the Academy Award–winning “8 Mile” film and soundtrack.

Keith Cartwright
Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Cartwright

Keith Cartwright is the founder of Cartwright, a new model marketing agency that is built to navigate and guide brands to build authentic connections with consumers. Keith is a highly recognized creative executive Keith who is a co-founder of SATURDAY MORNING and former ECD at 72& Sunny and Butler Shine Stern & Partners. In 2016 Keith was named by Adweek as one of the 50 top Creatives and by Campaign Magazine as top 10 Most Influential People in Advertising. 

Keith was previously the CCO and Founder of Union Made Creative garnering awards and attention throughout its client roster, including Nike, GE, and Lego.

As co-founder of SATURDAY MORNING, Keith has helped lead the group’s award winning ‘The Look,’ an initiative created with Procter & Gamble to raise awareness of racial bias and  Cannes award winning “Peace Brief’s” a line of underwear designed to bring understanding between the police and the community they serve.

Keith is on the board of the One Club and has been recognized by every major awards organization in his field.

Michael Robichaud
SVP Global Sponsorships, Mastercard

Michael Robichaud joined Mastercard in 2008 and is currently the SVP, Global Sponsorships. He is responsible for the development and execution of Mastercard’s overall sponsorship strategy.  Some of Mastercard's main sports platforms include Major League Baseball, the PGA Tour, Australian Open tennis, the Rugby World Cups, and the UEFA Champions League.

During his tenure, Michael has led an expansion of the portfolio into entertainment partnerships such as the Grammy Awards, and have included relationships with Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Camila Cabello and the Jonas Brothers.  Mastercard has also created a first of its kind partnership with Riot Games and the League of Legends.

Prior to joining Mastercard, Michael spent 9 years working at Nextel, holding a number of positions that included managing new product development and national promotions.  Beginning in 2001, he created the first sponsorships program.  Over time, the group managed partnerships with MLB, the NHL, the NFL, and Nextel’s entry into the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

Matt Coleman
Marketing Director, State Farm

Matthew Coleman’s State Farm® career spans over 25 years. He began as a Fire claims representative and later worked as a Catastrophe Services trainer. He soon transitioned to the marketing department taking on a number of leadership roles including assistant marketing manager, marketing manager, State Farm Bank® director and marketing strategy director. Currently, Matthew is the Property & Casualty marketing director responsible for driving Auto and Fire product line acquisition.

Matthew holds a B.S. from Florida A&M University, an MBA from the University of Illinois and a chartered life underwriter (CLU) designation. He enjoys working out and enjoying new experiences with his wife (Kelly), daughters (Erin and Leah) and toy poodle (Kobe).

Shawn Bryant
Managing Director, Intel Sports

Shawn J. Bryant leads Intel Sports operations in New York City. He directs product strategy, product planning and roadmap delivery for the group and leads or co-leads Intel’s global partnerships with professional sports leagues, sports federations, broadcast networks and other members of the sports and entertainment ecosystem. 

Through partnerships with leading sports leagues, teams and brands, Intel Sports is pushing the boundaries of virtual reality, volumetric video and personalization technologies that will transform the fan experience. Intel True VR is a leader in live event virtual reality, offering the most immersive experience beyond the stadium. Intel is a VR partner of NBA, NFL, Olympics, MLB, the NCAA and the PGA. True VR has also been seen on NESN, Turner and other major networks.

Prior to joining Intel, Shawn led business development for ANC. He has also held roles as a senior executive within the affiliated sales and marketing group at Disney/ ESPN Media Networks, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Harlem Globetrotters, the CEO of Game Face Ventures, a premier sports and marketing firm focused on developing integrated marketing solutions for businesses nationwide, and a senior marketing executive with the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Arielle Chambers (Moderator)
On-Air Personality, HighlightHER at Bleacher Report

Arielle Chambers is a multi-media journalist, model, and host living in New York City. She is currently the lead social media producer and voice for HighlightHER, Bleacher Report's female-focused sports vertical. With an education from both the University of Oxford (UK) and North Carolina State University (NC), Chambers excels in writing. She served as the Web Content and Social Media Editor of fashion and culture magazine, The Nu Journal. Blending writing and passion for women's basketball, Chambers also contributes editorially to High Post Hoops.

Chambers is a reporter for the WNBA and NCAA women's basketball. She has covered multiple WNBA All-Star games, NCAA Women's Final Fours, ACC Women's Basketball Tournaments, and for the 2019 WNBA Draft, Chambers was chosen to be the WNBA digital news host and delivered #WNBANews. She also has experience in hosting and was the Connecticut Sun's back-up in-arena host for the 2018 season.

With a mission advocating for women's equity and empowerment, Chambers utilizes her sports background paired with principles of teamwork to empower women, dive into what it means to be empowered, and discuss the value of execution, based on knowing one's self-worth.


Jamil Northcutt
Vice President, Player Engagement, MLS

Dr. Jamil Northcutt is Major League Soccer’s Vice President of Player Engagement where he is responsible for spearheading and executing the strategy for development and engagement during the player lifecycle. From rookie development to ongoing player trainings, career transition services, and retired player support, Northcutt’s team oversees developing the best practices and strategy for assisting players in adjusting to life on the field, while challenging them to prepare for their career after retirement.

Prior to joining MLS, Northcutt held numerous roles in professional and collegiate athletics, including roles at the NCAA, National Football League, Cleveland Browns, University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), Kansas City Chiefs, and Southeastern Conference.

Dr. Northcutt played football at Ole Miss, where he earned the Chucky Mullins Courage Award, helped the Rebels to four bowl games and was selected to the 2003 AFCA and SEC Good Works teams. 

Northcutt has three degrees from Ole Miss – his bachelor's degree in exercise science, his master's in higher education and administration, and his doctorate in higher education. Northcutt also completed an executive education certification program at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark Jeffery
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Aquimo

Mark Jeffery is the Founder and CEO of Aquimo. He is also the author of Data-Driven Marketing which was awarded the best book of the year by the American Marketing Association. Prior to Aquimo Mark was a Clinical Associate Professor at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management where he taught executive and MBA classes in marketing and technology management. He is the author of the 30+ Aquimo patent assets and holds a Ph.D. from Drexel University and an MBA from Northwestern.

Partners & Sponsors

Sponsors

Stephanie Martin
Board President, Athlete x Impact

Stephanie Martin brings 20+ years of brand strategy, sports marketing and global communications experience to her role as Board President of Athlete x Impact. A nonprofit organization, Athlete x Impact helps to educate, enable and inspire professional, Olympic and Paralympic athletes to realize the full impact they could have off the field of play.

A frequent speaker, panelist and moderator on brand strategy, Stephanie is an adjunct professor in brand and communications for the University of San Francisco's Sports Management Masters program; a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator practitioner, and the co-author of the book Big Game, Bigger Impact: How the Bay Area Redefined the Super Bowl and the Lessons Learned that Can Apply to Any Business, which chronicles the hosting of Super Bowl 50.

A student athlete at Tufts University on the school’s national championship-winning sailing team, Stephanie graduated with a B.A. in English, and received her M.A. in Communication Management from the University of Southern California.

Lance Thomas
NBA Player, Founder of SlangMagic Fishing and Trust Your Work Foundation

Lance is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and American professional basketball player who most recently played for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born in Brooklyn New York and raised in New Jersey, Lance played college basketball for the Duke University Blue Devils men's basketball team. Thomas helped Duke win the 2010 NCAA championship, their fourth since 1991.Thomas was named to the 2009–10 ACC All-Defensive Team for 2010 and finished his college basketball career ranked 10th on Duke's all-time list in offensive rebounds (255).

In 2011, Thomas was a member of the US national team that won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games. A year later, Thomas was added to the 2012 USA Men's Select Team roster that trained against the 2012 USA Basketball Men's National Team during its July 6–12 training camp in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Due to his talent, hard work and leadership skills, Thomas has had a successful basketball career. Most notable, he was named the New York Knicks captain for the 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 seasons.In addition to his basketball accolades, Thomas is an entrepreneur and philanthropist.

In 2017 Thomas founded Slangmagic. Thomas was introduced to the sport of fishing by his best friend Kenjuan Nichols while attending Duke University. Since then, his love of fishing has grown from ponds and lakes, to the salt water of the Gulf of Mexico. He has been an avid angler for over 10 years, moving into the offshore circuit five years ago. He is also one of the youngest pro-athletes on record to obtain his OUPV and Master 100 Gross Ton Sea Captain's license. Lance has cast a wide net, morphing his natural-born competitiveness into an ambitious team of skilled offshore fishermen and a unique fishing brand comprised of clothing, gear, charity events and young ambassadors to create: Slangmagic.

“Trust Your Work. I’ve learned and honed my skills under some of the best captains that fish in the Gulf of Mexico. I really take the time to study and pay attention to every lesson taught. I am ready for some big wins with the Slangmagic."

Shizuka Suzuki
Assistant Vice President - Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing, AT&T

Shiz is known as a tenacious, results-driven leader who has a consistent track record of leading teams and building the AT&T brand while pushing the envelope of innovation.

She currently leads the Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing team at AT&T Communications, which includes industry-leading partnerships across numerous sports and entertainment verticals. Shiz and her team bring fans closer to their passion for sports, entertainment and communities through on-site activations and social-digital engagements that elevate moments for fans with leagues like the NBA (including WNBA and NBA 2K leagues), U.S. Soccer and the NCAA; to events like the Tribeca Film Festival, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the AT&T Byron Nelson, College Football Playoffs and NCAA Final Four; to teams, players and venues including AT&T Stadium and the Dallas Cowboys, Cloud9, F1 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, LeBron James, Jordan Spieth and Alex Morgan; and other programs like AT&T Presents: Untold Stories for underrepresented filmmakers, and esports events with ESL and DreamHack.

Shiz holds a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from UCLA and an MBA from Pepperdine University.  She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband Peter, and rescue dog, Bella. In her spare time, she enjoys wine tasting, international cuisines and traveling.

Supporting Partners