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JULY 25 - 27, 2024

"Attend SponsorshipX Whistler 2024 as we invite you to explore 'The Future of Brand Champions.' Attendees will learn how to build, energize, and transform brands while discovering the power of sponsorship marketing and community building to drive brand success.

This event equips brand leaders with the inspiration and information they need to align their portfolios with their businesses' evolving needs effectively."

Mark Harrison, SponsorshipX Founder 

What Happens At SPX Whistler?

July 25th - Registration and Welcome

Upon arriving in the vibrant atmosphere of Whistler, BC, attendees will immediately feel the buzz of anticipation. The opening day of SponsorshipX Whistler 2024, themed "The Future of Brand Champions," will offer an early arrival opportunity to soak in the scenic beauty of Whistler. The registration process will be our first of many introductions, setting a welcoming tone for the event. ​ Participants will then join the welcome reception, a perfect platform for mingling, savouring exquisite food and drink, and making new acquaintances. This gathering of marketers, brand champions, and innovators will spark conversations filled with insights and opportunities for forging new connections. ​ The evening will escalate with an exclusive visit to a Crankworx World Tour event, where attendees will be seated in the "Champions' section." The thrilling bike stunts and enthusiastic crowd will epitomize the spirit of the conference: dynamic, exhilarating, and forward-thinking.

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July 26th - A Day of Learning and Adventure

Follwing a networking breakfast. the first half of the day will feature a selection of C-suite speaking sessions. Industry leaders and brand champions will share their experiences and strategies, offering invaluable insights on sustainable brand building and engaging younger demographics. ​ In the afternoon, the Peak 2 Peak sessions will provide a unique setting for more intimate discussions and networking, all taking place in the sky-high gondolas of Whistler. The stunning views will add an unforgettable backdrop to these insightful conversations. The day will conclude with dinner at the summit, at the renowned Umbrella Bar, where breathtaking views will accompany the evening's reflections.

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July 27th - Immersion and Celebration

The final day will kick off with an energetic bike ride, embodying the spirit of Crankworx and setting an active tone for the day. This activity will be refreshing, aligning with the conference's engaging ethos. ​​ Attendees will then embark on a tour of brand activations, exploring innovative campaigns that effectively engage Gen Z and Millennials, providing firsthand insight into successful marketing strategies. ​ Over lunch, the learning journey will continue with further discussions and stories from brand champions, offering lessons in triumphs and challenges. ​ The afternoon will climax with the Red Bull Joyride, an event synonymous with engagement and brand excitement, mirroring the principles discussed throughout the conference. As evening approaches, participants will gather for the final dinner to reflect and celebrate the knowledge and experiences gained. The closing remarks will encapsulate the essence of this transformative journey. ​ The conference will wrap up with an exploration of Whistler's nightlife, offering a fitting conclusion to a memorable event, leaving attendees inspired and ready to cultivate the future of brand champions in their respective fields.

Theme: The Future of Brand Champions

In 2024, SponsorshipX Whistler extends a unique invitation to immerse yourself in the evolving landscape of Brand Champions—individuals and entities that drive brand innovation, embody purpose, advocate for sustainability, and focus on financial success. Our reimagined theme, "Cultivating the Future of Brand Champions," offers a deep dive into these champions' transformative role in shaping brand identities and influencing consumer engagement.

At the heart of our conference, we will explore how Brand Champions are not just creating brands but are actively redefining them. Attendees will gain insights into successful strategies for nurturing Brand Champions who can authentically connect with diverse and discerning audiences. We will showcase inspiring case studies and the latest trends in champion-driven branding.

Moreover, the conference will empower participants to elevate existing brands by fostering Brand Champions. Discover how to inject your brand with purpose, sustainability, and authenticity, and learn how these champions can amplify your brand's voice through sponsorship marketing and robust community engagement.

Transformation through Brand Champions signifies progress in the marketing world. SponsorshipX Whistler 2024 will provide the knowledge and inspiration to cultivate these champions, ensuring your brand's relevance and resonance in a rapidly shifting landscape.

In an era where dynamic partnerships and community-centric marketing are essential, our conference will underscore the critical role of Brand Champions in leveraging sponsorships for growth. Attendees will better understand how to engage and empower these champions, utilizing their influence to forge strong community connections and drive brand success.

Understanding the journey and impact of Brand Champions is crucial for those in the sponsorship realm. This conference will offer vital insights into the evolving role of these champions, enabling sponsorship sellers to more effectively align their offerings with brand objectives, creating mutually beneficial partnerships.

Join us at SponsorshipX Whistler 2024 for a journey into the future, where cultivating Brand Champions is at the forefront of brand success, sponsorship marketing, and community engagement, charting a new course in the dynamic world of marketing and consumer connection.

Session Types

Session Types

C-Suite Keynotes

These sessions delivered by changemakers, c-level executives, and collaborators take place on the main stage with a life-size screen in a theatre-style room. Expect big thinking and big ideas to be explored in new and engaging ways.​

Talk Show

Talk Show sessions feature 1:1 interviews, debates, panels, and reports from around the world hosted by a diverse range of moderators and facilitators. These sessions are designed to be a collaborative and interactive experience for everyone. ​


This is your chance to roll up your sleeves and do a deep dive on a particular subject or topic. In small, intimate groups, these sessions are curated to provide the professional development you need to help advance your career. ​


1:00 PM - 3:30 PM


– Hilton Whistler

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Welcome Dinner

- Crankworx Tower

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Crankworx Pump Track

Pro Finals


9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Networking Breakfast & C-Suite Keynotes

- Maury Young Arts Centre

12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Box Lunch & Peak 2 Peak Gondola Sessions

- Whistler Village Gondola

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Mountain Hike

- Whistler Mountain

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Après Cocktails

– Umbrella Bar

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Mountain Top Summer Feast 
– Roundhouse Lodge


9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Breakfast & Classroom


- Black's Pub

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

C-Suite Keynotes & Talk Show Sessions

- Maury Young Arts Centre

4:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Red Bull Joyride

- Boneyard VIP

8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Dinner Party

Schedule Highlights

SPX Whistler Speakers


Championing Collaboration: The Symbiotic Relationship of Brands, Properties, and Athletes
Darren Kinnaird, Managing Parner, Crankworx
When brands, properties, and athletes collaborate seamlessly, they can craft compelling narratives that resonate deeply with audiences, drive meaningful engagement, and ultimately propel the entire sports ecosystem to unprecedented levels of success. Join Darren Kinnaird, Managing Partner at Crankworx, for an enlightening session that delves into the symbiotic relationship between properties, brands, and athletes. In this session, Darren will explore how equipping athletes with tools and support to become brand champions enhances engagement and fosters collaboration where all parties thrive. Gain insights into the vital importance of demonstrating a commitment to athlete well-being, and acquire effective strategies for overcoming challenges to ensure a supportive and flourishing environment for all stakeholders involved. This session offers valuable perspectives on forging robust relationships between properties, athletes, and brands, emphasizing the importance of equipping athletes and partners with the tools to succeed, promoting collaboration, and prioritizing athlete well-being.
July 25 | 5pm - 7pm Welcome Dinner @ Crankworx Tower

We Are The Champions
Mark Harrison, Founder, SponsorshipX
SponsorshipX Founder Mark Harrison will energize your SPX Whistler 2024 experience and The Future of Brand Champions discussions with his opening keynote. Mark promises you an opportunity to examine your DNA as a brand champion through a sharp lens and introspective focus. Prepare to be challenged, inspired, and awakened as he sets the stage for two days of conversations, experiences, networking, and development that will impact your personal and professional brands.


July 26 | 9am - 12pm Sessions @ Maury Young Arts Centre

Crafting a Legacy Through Legendary Events
Zaileen Janmohamed, President/CEO, Bay Area Host Committee (BAHC)The Bay Area Host Committee (BAHC) was established in 2022 with a clear mission: to unite the Bay Area through sport by building pride, connecting communities, and reenergizing the entire region. Supported by the area's leading figures and professional sports teams—including Bay FC, the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco 49ers, the San Francisco Giants, the San Jose Earthquakes, the San Jose Sharks, and a new WNBA team - the BAHC aims to showcase the best of the Bay, celebrating the region's diversity, innovation, and passionate fanbase. Join Zaileen Janmohamed, President/CEO of BAHC, to discover how the Bay Area is gearing up to host some of the world’s most prestigious sporting events: the NBA All-Star Game in 2025, NFL Super Bowl LX in 2026, and the FIFA World Cup in 2026. Learn about the BAHC's collaboration with strategic partners, including leagues, teams, sports legends, and corporations to engage local and global fan communities. Delve into the lifecycle of the fan experience, tailored for each event to create unparalleled moments from start to finish. Don't miss this chance to discover how the BAHC is crafting a legacy both locally and globally, by bringing legendary events to the region.


July 26 | 9am - 12pm Sessions @ Maury Young Arts Centre

Championing Change for a Better Tomorrow 
Johanne Brousseau, Director, Donations, Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing, Desjardins Financial Group
Kristina Koprivica, VP, Corporate Marketing & Strategy, Kruger Products
Jennifer Scott, Vice President, Community & Social Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps FC


In today's socially conscious world, consumers are increasingly looking to support companies that align with their values and make a positive impact. Join Johanne Brousseau, Director, Donations, Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing, Desjardins Financial Group, Jennifer Scott, Vice President, Community & Social Impact, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and Kristina Koprivica, VP, Corporate Marketing & Strategy, Kruger Products for an inspiring session as we delve into the strategies and initiatives of brands championing change for a better tomorrow. In this session, we'll explore how forward-thinking brands are leveraging their influence and resources to drive positive social and environmental impact. From sustainability initiatives to youth support programs to empowering women and girls through sport, our panel of experts will share their insights, experiences, and best practices for creating meaningful change. Whether you're a brand leader, marketer, or sustainability advocate, this session offers valuable lessons and inspiration for making a difference in the world. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from industry leaders who are leading the charge toward a brighter future.

July 26 | 9am - 12pm Sessions @ Maury Young Arts Centre

Disrupting Entertainment: Transforming Live Events and Reimagining Engagement
Tom Pistore, President, Oak View Group Canada
Megan MacKay, Director, Partnership Development, Oak View Group Canada

Oak View Group (OVG) is making significant strides in disrupting the sports and entertainment industry. With a forward-thinking approach and a focus on innovation, OVG is challenging conventional models and reshaping the landscape of live events. Join Tom Pistore, President and Megan MacKay, Director, Partnership Development at Oak View Group Canada to explore one of OVG’s latest endeavours: constructing Canada’s only music-and-events-first venue (formerly FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario).  Discover how OVG is not only transforming a venue but also a city and an industry. Gain insights into disruptive strategies to enhance fan engagement through immersive and unforgettable experiences. Learn how strategic partnerships are revolutionizing the curation, promotion, and enjoyment of live events, creating unprecedented opportunities to foster advocacy among artists, fans, and communities. Don't miss this chance to explore how to disrupt the status quo, transform your next initiative, and reimagine audience engagement.

July 26 | 9am - 12pm Sessions @ Maury Young Arts Centre

The Restorative Movement: Creating Brand Champions through Sustainability
Derrick Emsley, Co-Founder & CEO tentree 
With a focus on doing good things for the planet, businesses can not only drive positive change but also cultivate stronger connections with their customers and communities. Join us for an inspiring session with Derrick Emsley, Co-Founder and CEO of tentree and veritree, as he delves into the transformative power of the "Restorative Movement" and its pivotal role in shaping the future of business. Discover why transitioning from a "Sustainable Mindset" of doing less harm to a "Restorative Mindset" of doing more good is not just a trend, but a necessity for brands in today's landscape. Derrick will showcase the businesses he has built around this philosophy, emphasizing the power of partnerships in achieving remarkable milestones. Learn how tentree has planted 100 million trees to date, with a goal of planting 1 billion trees by the end of the decade. Explore the concept of creating brand champions through sustainability and its potential to drive positive ROI. Leave the session with a strong understanding of how sustainability can be a powerful tool for connecting with customers, fostering brand advocacy, and raising awareness for your company.

July 26 | 9am - 12pm Sessions @ Maury Young Arts Centre

Unlocking Brand Advocacy: Leveraging Events to Forge Lasting Connections
Heather Odendaal, Founder & CEO, WNORTH
In an era where consumers crave experiences, events have emerged as powerful platforms for brands to connect with their audience on a deeper level. Join Heather Odendaal, Founder & Chief Events Officer, Bluebird Strategy and Founder & CEO, WNORTH for a storytelling session that explores the pivotal role events play in brand building, examining strategies for leveraging these experiences to cultivate brand advocacy. From the importance of partnerships to creating memorable experiences, discover how brands can harness the energy of events to foster enduring connections with consumers.

July 26 | 1pm - 3pm | Peak to Peak Gondola Sessions

Empowering Dreams: A Human-Centred Journey
Johanne Brousseau, Director, Donations, Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing, Desjardins Financial Group
Join us for an enlightening storytelling session focused on adopting a human-centred approach to business, led by Johanne Brousseau, Donations, Sponsorships & Experiential Marketing Director Desjardins. As Canada's largest cooperative financial group and the sixth-largest globally, Desjardins is committed to community development and prioritizes a human-centred approach to helping individuals achieve their dreams. Gain valuable insights, learn about impactful partnerships, and extract best practices from Johanne as she shares her personal journey and strategies for building brand advocacy through enhancing the lives of individuals and communities. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain actionable insights and inspiration on empowering people to realize their dreams from one of Canada's leading financial institutions.

July 26 | 1pm - 3pm | Peak to Peak Gondola Sessions

Trust Matters: Navigating the Path to Positive Change
James Temple, Chief Sustainability Officer, PwC Canada
Earning and fostering trust has become increasingly vital and challenging. In today's competitive landscape, organizations must consistently deliver results amidst heightened competition and the looming threat of disruption, all while meeting rising societal expectations. Trust lies at the heart of PwC's mission and global strategy. Join James Temple, Chief Sustainability Officer at PwC Canada, for an engaging Peak 2 Peak storytelling session delving into the critical currency of trust within organizations. Discover the significance of cultivating and embracing trust within your organizational framework. Gain insights into establishing trust and authenticity to build brand advocacy. Learn methods for measuring trust and uncover what you need to start doing today to initiate positive change for the future.

July 26 | 1pm - 3pm | Peak to Peak Gondola Sessions

Empowering the Next Generation: A Brand Ambassador's Guide to Positive Impact
Sandy Ward, Founding Member, Indigenous Women Outdoors
Have you ever wondered how to use your platform to inspire others, make a difference, and leave a lasting legacy? Join Sandy Ward, Founding Member of Indigenous Women Outdoors, for an inspiring storytelling session on her mission to create a safe and welcoming space for Indigenous women and youth to experience the outdoors and deepen their cultural connection to the land. In this captivating session, Sandy, a proud member of the Líl̓wat Nation, will share her remarkable journey. Learn how Sandy's passion for the outdoors and commitment to cultural preservation led her to create meaningful programs and foster connections with Indigenous women and youth. Hear how partners such as Arc'teryx, Telus and evo have supported Sandy's journey from athlete to brand ambassador and producer. Take advantage of this opportunity to hear Sandy's inspiring story and the programs she leads to support the next generation through outdoor activities.

July 26 | 1pm - 3pm | Peak to Peak Gondola Sessions

Breakfast With Brand Champions
Jacquie Sestito, Director, Brand Marketing, RBC
Shelly Walia, Director of Marketing & PR, Sony Interactive Entertainment
John Pierce, Managing Partner, Player 2
Ryan Hughes, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Client Success, Humanity

Looking for fresh approaches to boosting brand advocacy? By leveraging the power of partnerships, brands can build deeper connections with their audiences. Join Jacquie Sestito, Director, Brand Marketing, RBC, Shelly Walia, Director of Marketing & PR, Sony Interactive Entertainment, John Pierce, Managing Partner, Player 2, and Ryan Hughes, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Client Success, Humanity, for an interactive session to discover the power of partnerships in driving brand advocacy. Hear innovative strategies, participate in meaningful discussions, ask questions, and shape the discourse on effective strategies and exceptional partnerships. Don't miss the opportunity to gain inspiration and practical insights for enhancing brand advocacy through innovative approaches to sponsorship marketing.

July 27 | 9am - 11pm Sessions @ Black's Pub

People Power: The Key to Brand Champions
Andrew Greenlaw, CIBC
Brand champions can emerge from various sources, including employees, consumers, customers, and partners. These individuals are united by their deep affinity for a brand, driving them to actively promote its products or services to others. Whether they have experienced exceptional customer service, resonate with the brand's values, or love the products, brand champions play a crucial role in advocating for and enhancing the brand's reputation. Join Andrew Greenlaw, Vice President of Sponsorship, Community & Brand at CIBC, for an insightful Q&A session on the power of people in brand advocacy. Gain valuable insights from Andrew as he discusses the key figures who embody brand champions for CIBC, sharing personal anecdotes that showcase the impact of clients, partners, employees, and the community in championing the CIBC brand. Discover how athletes like Connor Bedard and Connor McDavid have grown up with CIBC actively championing on its behalf. Leave with practical insights into the significant role that individual advocates play in championing a brand.

July 27 | 9am - 11pm Sessions @ Black's Pub

Building Community One Individual at a Time
Eliot Jackson, Chairman/Co-Founder, Grow Cycling Foundation
Wearing many hats, Eliot Jackson exemplifies the role of a brand champion. With years of experience in community building, he has made a name for himself as a professional mountain biker and is celebrated for his downhill achievements. Beyond his racing career, Eliot is a brand ambassador and influencer, actively promoting the sport, collaborating with brands, and supporting mountain biking initiatives. He also co-founded the Grow Cycling Foundation, which promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion within the cycling industry. Join Eliot Jackson for an engaging session on championing brands and growing communities from the perspective of a pro athlete, influencer, and company founder. Gain insights into how he builds communities one individual at a time, engaging and inspiring new riders and offering mentorship to foster a more inclusive cycling culture. Learn how he collaborates with partners like Red Bull, Thule, and Santa Cruz to help these brands authentically reach their target communities. Take advantage of this opportunity to hear how Eliot Jackson's multifaceted contributions and tireless dedication continue to drive the growth and inclusivity of the mountain biking community, making him a true exemplar of a brand champion.

July 27 | 11am - 1pm Sessions @ Spruce Grove

Brand influence – Why is it Important, Who has it and How do Brands Build and Retain it
Steve Levy, Ipsos Canada
In a time marked by hyper-personalized news feeds and increasing political polarization, influential brands stand out as a unifying force around the world. These brand champions provide a sense of stability and common ground for employees, customers, and citizens alike. Join us for an enlightening keynote session with Steve Levy, COO of Ipsos Canada, who will discuss the latest results of the Most Influential Brands survey, which identifies seven key dimensions of brand influence. Steve will explore how leading brands excel in these areas, building trust, fostering engagement, demonstrating empathy, and leading with purpose through genuine interactions and socially responsible initiatives. Learn how investing in these dimensions will help your brand boost advocacy, cultivate influence and navigate the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

July 27 | 1:30pm - 3:30pm Sessions @ Maury Young Arts Centre

A Playbook for Cultivating Brand Champions
RJ Kraus, Head of Sponsorship Intelligence, KORE Software
Stefan Wyman, Head of Sports Marketing, Canyon Bicycles

Ready to revolutionize your sponsorship marketing strategy by using data and insights to cultivate athletes into brand champions? Join Stefan Wyman, Head of Sports Marketing, Canyon Bicycles and RJ Kraus, Head of Sponsorship Intelligence, KORE for an in-depth exploration of the Canyon playbook. This innovative session will feature Canyon’s four key steps to managing a portfolio of brand champions: identifying the right champions for your brand, activating your champions in the right way, justifying value, and making data-driven decisions. Leave this discussion with a more nuanced understanding of how to cultivate and manage brand champions using tools, data and insights to drive value. 

July 27 | 1:30pm - 3:30pm Sessions @ Maury Young Arts Centre

Maximizing Brand Loyalty: Trends, Insights and Strategic Approaches
Marco Biasiotto, Primaris REIT
Primaris REIT boasts a diverse portfolio of shopping centers and malls across Canada, catering to a wide array of shoppers and tenants. In an increasingly competitive retail landscape encompassing traditional brick-and-mortar establishments and the rapidly growing e-commerce realm, cultivating brand loyalty is paramount. Join Marco Biasiotto, Vice President of Retail & Digital Strategy at Primaris REIT, for an insightful session delving into effective strategies for fostering brand loyalty. Hear about the latest trends in the retail industry. Gain a deeper understanding of the customer journey, both inside and outside the mall and discover key touchpoints to enhance customer experiences and nurture loyalty. Unlock the potential of leveraging customer data, insights, and learnings to craft personalized experiences tailored to resonate with your audience and bolster loyalty. Delve into successful strategies for forging partnerships and orchestrating activations that have substantially enhanced customer engagement. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable knowledge on how to take your brand loyalty strategies to the next level in today's competitive environment.

July 27 | 1:30pm - 3:30pm Sessions @ Maury Young Arts Centre

Defying Behemoths: Innovative Engagement Strategies
Rachel MacAdam, VP Marketing, SkipTheDishes
In industries that are highly functional and transactional, where brand affinity and emotional connection are often lacking, consumer loyalty becomes a significant challenge. Join Rachel MacAdam, VP Marketing at SkipTheDishes, for an informative keynote session on how Skip is taking a radically different approach to building and delivering lasting loyalty with its consumers. Moving beyond deep-vouchering and discounting that have plagued the industry for nearly a decade, SkipTheDishes is standing tall against global behemoths by focusing on non-traditional consumer engagement strategies. Learn how SkipTheDishes connects with customers’ passion points and forms strategic sponsorships with brands that share its values and resonate with its audience. Explore how this winning combination enables SkipTheDishes to build strong brand affinity and differentiation while staying true to its core identity. Don’t miss this session to uncover the innovative strategies that drive engagement and elevate SkipTheDishes in a highly competitive market.

July 27 | 1:30pm - 3:30pm Sessions @ Maury Young Arts Centre

Uniting Hearts Through the Power of Sports
Scott Moore, CEO Invictus Games Vancouver/Whistler 2025
The Invictus Games is a biennial multinational adaptive sporting competition that aims to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country. In February 2025, more than 500 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans from over 20 nations, including competitors from Team Canada, will be warmly welcomed to Vancouver and Whistler to compete in a wide range of sports. Join Scott Moore, CEO of Invictus Games Vancouver/Whistler 2025, for an inspirational session on uniting hearts through the transformative power of sports. Listen to uplifting stories of champions who found solace and strength through participation in the Invictus Games. Explore the power of emotional connections in nurturing loyalty and deepening human bonds, and gain insights into how to cultivate them effectively. Discover the remarkable collaborations sparked by shared values around the Invictus Games. Seize this exceptional opportunity to grasp the intricacies of forging emotional connections and uniting hearts through the unconquered human spirit.

July 27 | 1:30pm - 3:30pm Sessions @ Maury Young Arts Centre