The Judging Panel

The winners of TheStadiumBusiness Awards are decided each year by our specially-appointed independent panel of expert judges.

Please note: The 2014 judging panel will be announced in a few weeks.

The judging panel for our 2013 prize giving was comprised as follows:

Chairman and CEO, The Aspire Group

Dr. Bernie Mullin is Chairman and CEO of The Aspire Group, a leading global management and marketing consulting business that partners with its clients in implementing “Next-Practices” to produce winning brands, revenue enhancement and strong sales and service cultures. With clients located in seven countries located on four continents, and representing best-in-class leagues, teams and brands, The Aspire Group provides a distinct competitive advantage in maximizing organizational and marketing effectiveness, growing sales and building an avid and sustainable fan base.

An internationally-acclaimed management and marketing consultant and speaker, who literally ‘wrote the book’ on “Sport Marketing”, Bernie has over 30 years of experience as a chief executive or senior director in iconic and highly visible sport and entertainment organizations.

Dr. Mullin was formerly the CEO Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Atlanta Thrashers (NHL) and Philips Arena; SVP- Marketing and Team Business at the NBA; SVP Business at MLB’s Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates; Vice Chancellor of Athletics at the University of Denver (NCAA); and Business School / Sport Management faculty member at the University of Massachusetts.

Chief Executive, Lancashire County Cricket Club

Daniel Gidney joined Lancashire County Cricket Club as Chief Executive in November 2012. In August 2013, when an international Ashes Test match arrives back at Emirates Old Trafford for the first time since 2005, Daniel will be a rare breed of venue leader that will have overseen international football, rugby and cricket.

After building a career in entertainment, venue management and large scale facilities, Daniel established his reputation in stadium management and non-matchday revenue generation during his six years at the Ricoh Arena. He moved the business from £3.2m loss to in excess of £3 million ebitda and repaid over £6m of senior debt.

The Ricoh Arena has won multiple awards with Daniel securing both the Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup to the venue and to the region. Prioritising the customer journey and developing multiple revenue streams from varying markets has been the focus creating a £10m + turnover business for non-match day conferencing and events, a European market leader in its field.

Chief Operating Officer (International), Live Nation Entertainment

Paul Latham joined Apollo Leisure on his 24th birthday on 24th September 1984, in the role of Assistant Theatre Manager at the Apollo Theatre Oxford. Through acquisition and growth, Apollo Leisure became the leading UK venue owner/ operators and Paul played a major role in the development of the same. When Apollo Leisure was sold in 1999 to SFX as a venue operator and marketer par excellence, Paul became the Vice President of Operations responsible for Sheffield Arena, Cardiff International Arena, The Point Dublin, Hammersmith and Manchester Apollo.

During his career Paul has event managed and operated three Eurovision Song Concerts, MTV Music Awards, three Royal Variety Performances, the World Premiere of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance and Artist and Royal security at Live Aid.

Promoted to President of Live Nation’s UK operation in 2003 and most recently to International Chief Operating Officer in 2009, Paul is responsible for the most prolific and prosperous live entertainment company outside the US. He controls venues, festival and event promotions and creation, marketing partnerships, ticketing and security services. Live Nation Entertainment has over 20 venues in its portfolio across Europe.

General Manager, Rugby League World Cup 2013

Sally Bolton is the General Manager of Rugby League World Cup 2013, leading the team delivering the Tournament as well as sitting on the Board of RLWC2013 Ltd.

Sally assumed this role having been an integral part of the Rugby Football League’s team that won the rights to stage the Tournament. Prior to this Sally was the RFL’s Director of Projects and Planning leading on strategic planning and major projects. This is Sally’s second stint working for the RFL, having been part of the RFL’s staff during the World Cup in 1995.

Before re-joining the RFL, Sally held a number of other roles in sports administration at club and Governing Body level including a period as Chief Executive of Wigan RLFC and Orrell RUFC. In addition, Sally has worked in the highly regarded sports consulting group at Deloitte and more recently ran her own sports consulting business just prior to re-joining the RFL as Events Director in 2007.

CEO, Sporting Club

Recognized as one of the most progressive, forward-thinking leaders in sports today, Robb Heineman is the CEO of Sporting Club, the parent organization of Sporting Kansas City, and one of the club’s five principal owners. Heineman also serves as Managing Partner of Sporting Innovations, a technology company focused on innovation in sports and entertainment. After taking over as the organization’s CEO in 2006, Heineman worked with several local municipalities around the Kansas City metropolitan area to get a soccer-specific stadium built for Sporting Kansas City.

In January of 2010 the Kansas Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the plan for the 18,467-seat LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, an 18-24 field youth soccer complex and new offices for Cerner Corporation. The project drew nationwide acclaim, and was ranked the 8th-largest economic development deal in North America for 2010 by corporate real estate magazine, Site Selection. Since then, Heineman has been instrumental in creating partnerships with worldwide leaders in a wide range of sectors. The spring of 2011 saw Sporting Club announce historical partnerships with the likes of LIVESTRONG, Cisco and Google, enabling LIVESTRONG Sporting Park to serve as a living lab for sports and entertainment technology.

Heineman has been at the forefront of the creation of Sporting Club’s groundbreaking membership model, a revolutionary concept that has changed the way fans interact with professional sports organizations in the US.

CEO, Donbass Arena

Alexander Atamanenko is CEO of Donbass Arena Ltd. A certified Stadium Director, and a graduate of the Academic Centre of Management, Business and Law at the International Academy of Sciences, Mr. Atamanenko has worked in a managerial capacity since 1997. From 2003, he fulfilled a number of major venue management projects, before being named Operations Director at Stadion Shakhtyor Ltd in February 2008; overseeing the construction of the new stadium.

After the opening of the Donbass Arena – with the spectacular “Grand Show” on 29th of August 2009 – Alexander became Chief Executive Officer of Donbass Arena Ltd.

In 2011 Mr. Atamanenko was involved as programme manager of the celebration events dedicated to FC Shakhtar’s 75th Anniversary, including the celebration Ceremony held at Donbass Arena, on 14 May 2011. The Ceremony won the award for Best Celebratory Event at the Eventia Awards in London. In 2011 Mr. Atamanenko was distinguished with the ‘For Performance & Merit’ medal by President of Ukraine.

In 2010, Atamanenko served as head of the project team during preparation to EURO 2012, and also became a member of the ESSMA (European Stadium & Safety Management Association) Board of Advisors.


David Campbell has been a CEO for the last 20 years in sports, entertainment and media businesses.

Most recently he was a Director of Formula One Group, where he was globally responsible for advertising, sponsorship, and hospitality. He remains a shareholder in Formula One.

Prior to this David spent 6 years as President & CEO of AEG Europe, where most prominently he led the transformation London’s Millennium Dome into The O2. The Sunday Times said: “David Campbell is the most exotic and unexpected player of all. He runs the biggest venue in the world, he books the biggest acts, he is Mr Live Showbiz and he is just, well, this bloke. Not showbizzy.”

Previously David was founding CEO of Visit London; Vice Chairman of Ministry of Sound; and founding CEO of Virgin Radio and then Group CEO of Ginger Media Group. He started out in marketing and general management in the US with General Mills and Pepsi before moving to Virgin in 1986.

CEO, TheStadiumBusiness / Xperiology

Ian Nuttall is a leading global sports and entertainment facility consultant, specialising in the feasibility, planning, design, operations and management of all venue types – from stadiums and arenas, through to convention centres and concert halls.

Ian began his career in the sports events sector over two decades ago, hosting corporate hospitality at F1 Grand Prix motor racing events across Europe. After an award-winning career in business journalism, he founded the industry’s respected Stadia magazine in 1999 (and, in 2001, its sister title Auditoria) to fill the ‘knowledge gap’ in the global sports and entertainment facility sector. In 2005, Ian partnered with industry colleagues to establish the Event & Venue Management Institute – which provides the only fully-accredited Stadium Management training programme in the world.

In addition to his ongoing commitments as a sports business writer and international conference speaker, Ian provides highly-valued, specialist consultancy to the sports and entertainment venue sector. Utilising his unrivalled network of industry contacts and specialists he delivers strategic results on any consulting assignment.


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