We are thrilled to announce stadium business leaders who will make up our international Judging Panel for the 2018 edition of TheStadiumBusiness Awards.
Months of deliberation has secured a superb lineup of the industry’s key figures, a fitting panel to consider, discuss and decide our 2018 Winners.
Proudly introducing our 2018 Judges
Robin’s career within the stadia industry began in 1996 at St James’ Park with Newcastle United – one of the host venues of Euro 96 tournament. He was heavily involved in the development of the new stands at St James’ Park, which opened in 2000.
Robin joined Celtic FC as Stadium General Manager in 2002 and was responsible for the opening of the Lennoxtown training facility in 2007, a facility he continues to oversee. In his role, he formed part of the team who were successful for their bid to host the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 with the opening ceremony held at Celtic Park. Prior to the ceremony, Robin was responsible for the purchase and development of the public realm area, which included the creation of the ‘Celtic Way’.
In 2016, Celtic Park became the first stadium in the UK to have Rail Seating installed, a project Robin had worked on for almost 10 years. This year (2018) further development brought the installation of a full hostile vehicle mitigation system to improve fan safety at Celtic Park.
Umut Kutlu is the Chief Marketing Officer of Besiktas JK, the oldest sports club of Turkey, with responsibility of generating commercial revenues by managing marketing and sponsorship organisation, premium seats sales, new stadium commercial operations, new business development operations and Club’s global evolution project. He joined the club in 2013, as the youngest executive and spearheaded club’s corporate and commercial transformation and new stadium’s construction operations. Besides he also teaches Sports Management classes at Istanbul Bilgi University. Prior to joining Besiktas JK, he worked in brand management, loyalty management, digital management, mobile commerce and mobile marketing, marketing communications and project management at several companies in telecommunications and media industries. He was perceived as one of the world’s top 7 mar&com leaders by Leaders Under 40 Awards at 2017.
Charlene Nyantekyi – General Manager Club Wembley joins the FA from a stint at Formula E where she lead the charge delivering the electric street racing series premium events across the globe. Charlene has joined the team as they navigate through a period of investment back into the Club Wembley facilities ensuring that propositions move forward in keeping with the ever evolving premium experience industry.
Prior to her position at Formula e, Charlene spent 4 years with AEG Europe as Hospitality Director providing strategic plans, proposals and fulfilment for their European Live tours ranging from Justin Bieber, Alicia Keys to Bon Jovi and The Who. Charlene was also integral for the concept and delivery of the Barclaycard presents BST Hyde Park summer concerts which now in their 6th year and have become a staple of London’s summer festival calendar. Arsenal Football Club is where her story began, working her way into a full time position, eventually becoming a key member of the team taking the Arsenal Hospitality proposition from Highbury to Emirates Stadium over a 13 year tenure which concluded having reached the position of Premium Memberships Manager.
Roser Queraltó is Euroleague Basketball’s Chief Business Officer. She studied Hotel Management at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Master in Management at ESADE.
Ms. Queraltó joined Euroleague Basketball at its founding in 2000, and during 17 years in one of Europe’s most important sports institutions has gone from CEO Office Director to Institutional Relations Director to Chief Business Officer. She now manages three fundamental areas of the company.
In Business Development, she heads negotiations for games between NBA and EuroLeague teams and for TV contracts and games played in China, a new market for European basketball.
In Events, she leads all assessment, planning and execution for one of Europe’s most important sports events, the Final Four.
In Marketing, she supervises all matters related to Branding, Partnership and Ticketing.
Additionally, Ms. Queraltó serves on the Board of Directors of Euroleague Ventures, Euroleague Basketball’s groundbreaking joint venture with IMG.
Ron VanDeVeen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of MetLife Stadium. Prior to being named President and CEO in April 2016, VanDeVeen held the title of Senior Vice President of Events and Guest Experiences, where he oversaw all aspects of event booking and marketing and was responsible for creating, developing, and managing customer service and security event staff to fulfill the guests’ experience.
VanDeVeen has spent the last two decades championing for and bringing the world’s largest events to the New Jersey/New York area. MetLife Stadium has hosted the world’s biggest events including Super Bowl XLVIII, WrestleMania 29, CONCACAF Gold Cup, international soccer, and major concerts by U2, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, AC/DC and Taylor Swift, amongst others. MetLife Stadium has ranked as the No. 1 Highest Grossing Stadium in the world for non-NFL events the last six years (2012-2017).
VanDeVeen spent 19 years at the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority (NJSEA) involved in all facets of the organization including Stadium Operations, Bookings, College Athletics and Corporate Sales. He was Vice President and General Manager for Giants Stadium and the IZOD Center before joining the New Meadowlands Stadium Company, LLC in March of 2009.
Kevin Warren is Chief Operating Officer of the Minnesota Vikings and in 2017 enters his 19th NFL season and 13th with the Vikings. Warren is the highest-ranking African-American executive working on the business side for a team in the NFL and the first African-American COO in NFL history. Warren earned his bachelor’s in business administration from Grand Canyon University, his MBA from Arizona State University, and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Law. Warren places a priority on civic leadership, serves on several boards and has been recognized for his leadership in both business and charitable communities.
Ian’s working life began in Sports Hospitality Events Management (including Formula One, horse racing and Wimbledon), before pursuing an award-winning career in B2B magazine publishing. He has co-launched and edited numerous business titles, ranging from energy and industrial processes through to airport design and Intelligent Transportation Systems. He has also founded many of the sports sector’s most respected publications and news sources. In addition to his ongoing commitments as a sports business writer and speaker, Ian provides highly-valued, specialist consultancy to the sports and entertainment sectors. Xperiology also owns and organises the industry’s much-respected Ticketing Business Forum and publishes TheStadiumBusiness.com and TheTicketingBusiness.com news channels.
Who’s in the running? See all the 2018 Finalists here
What are people saying?
I had a great time and more importantly I learned a great deal. The networking alone was worth the trip but when you add the ability to come back and improve your business…well then you have a real winner
Ron Velazquez Vice President, Ticket Operations, Cleveland Cavaliers
Probably the best place to be on the planet to discuss this exciting industry that we all work in
Paul Sergeant Director, PMY Group
Your conferences are well run, well thought out, and well executed. I’ve been to many, and really appreciate the way you handle yourself. Well done.
Bart Wiley Chief Operating Officer, Seattle Sounders
it is an honour and an amazing opportunity for us being part of such an excellent group of professionals from the industry!
András Katona Head of Marketing, Liberty Stadium
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, which isn’t a phrase normally associated with doing events, but it was really good and we have a lot of excellent contacts to follow up on.