Conferences - International Conference By Year


54th International Conference (2020)
54th International Conference Replays, Presentations, and Podcasts

Panel Session 1: Sustaining the business racing and sports in the midst of a global pandemic and economic uncertainty

Outline: In this session, a global panel of racing and sports executives will share the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to date on the horse racing industry. The speakers will also discuss the ongoing challenges presented by conducting racing behind closed doors, social distancing measures and restricted movement of jockeys and other racing participants. The session seeks to explore how racing can maintain business continuity, as much as practicable, and ensure that the sport of racing retains relevance against the backdrop of a challenging global economic outlook. Participants from outside racing included on the panel will draw parallels to their business as well.







Moderator: Rishi Persad

Panelists: Shannon Bishop Arvin, Keeneland Association, Andrew Harding, The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Olivier Delloye, France Galop; Stephen Cook, IMG; William Derby, York Racecourse

Keynote Address: Peter Giorgio, US Sports Leader at Deloitte and co-author of Deloitte's Games without fans: How sports organizations can thrive now, and in the long term

Alan Switzer, Director in the Sports Business Group

Outline: Pete and Alan will discuss the findings from Deloitte's research and experience into the impact of COVID-19 on the sports sector, including the practical steps that sports organizations can take to adapt to the "new normal", opportunities arising from the challenging circumstances and how that advice can be tailored to horseracing organizations.


Biography: Peter Giorgio, "a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, leads Deloitte's US Sports practice, serving multiple sports clients including the United States Golf Association, NBA, United States Tennis Association, and United States Olympic Committee. His main areas of focus are strategic growth, customer acquisition, digital transformation, innovation, organization transformation, new business operations and implementation, and cross-unit integration. Pete joined Deloitte after spending time with multiple IT strategy and development consulting firms. Prior to that, he served in the United States Air Force, achieving the rank of Captain. Pete earned a B.A. in Computer Science from Amherst College where he was a four-year varsity basketball player, three-year starter, and still holds the single game rebounding record" (Deloitte 2020).

Alan Switzer is a director in the Sports Business Group, Deloitte's global centre of excellence in sport business. Alan has worked extensively in horseracing for over 15 years including producing multiple Economic Impact studies on racing – notably in respective of British and Irish racing.

Publications: Co-author of Deloitte's 2020 report Games without fans: How sports organizations can thrive now, and in the long term & co-author of the April 2020 report Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on telecommunications, media, and entertainment organizations: Sports subsector


Panel Session 2: Adapting the broadcast, production, and media experience to a COVID-19 racing and sporting landscape

Overview: COVID-19 has rewritten the rules of spectator sports, so racing jurisdictions must adapt to this new landscape or risk fans disengaging with the sport. With many spectator sports barred, racing is in the fortunate position of being able to continue behind closed doors in some places. This session seeks to address how racing jurisdictions can maintain fan engagement when mass gatherings are banned and address changes to media consumption preferences due to COVID, including demand for content, and how racing and other sports are interacting differently with audiences through various media platforms







Moderator: Rishi Persad

Panelists: Francesca Cumani, ITV; Jason Richardson, Channel 7 & Racing.com; Katherine Ford, Equidia; Rob Hyland, NBC Sports; Shigeru Suzuki, Japan Racing Association

Panel Session 3: Participating and working in racing during a global pandemic

Overview: Leading trainers and jockeys talk through their experience participating in racing during a pandemic, commenting on challenges for staffing, and how they are meeting the needs of their owners. In addition, they'll offer commentary and feedback to racing administrators on concerns they have going forward.





Moderator: Rishi Persad

Panelists: Charlie Appleby, Trainer, Chris Waller, Trainer, Ger Lyons, Hollie Doyle, Jockey, Trainer, Zac Purton, Jockey


Panel Session 4: Preparing for and sustaining racing post-COVID 19

Overview: Despite the significant challenges facing the sport of horse racing during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's paramount that racing authorities continue to proactively address other pressing issues to ensure racing's sustainability over the longer term. There is a need for racing to increase its focus on digitalization, and digital connectivity in general. In addition, racing must focus on having robust crisis management and business continuity planning in place, recognizing that there will certainly be another crisis after COVID-19. This session will also center on the importance of strong government engagement and relationships. These are required for the sport to be successful into the future, and as we have learned, it is critical to ensure that strong relationships with government can be activated when a crisis emerges. Panelists will also touch upon the breeding industry, including how this sector affects and underpins the end racing and betting product.






Session 1

Moderator: Rishi Persad

Panelists: Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, The Hong Kong Jockey Club; Annamarie Phelps, BHA; Victoria Carter – NZTR, New Zealand

Session 2

Moderator: Rishi Persad

Panelists: Brian Kavanagh, Horse Racing Ireland; Drew Fleming, Breeders' Cup, Ltd Horacio Esposito, OSAF.