Event

2021 5 TO WATCH: CANADA'S SPORTS BUSINESS AWARDS

Hosted by TSN's Lindsay Hamilton, the 2021 5 to Watch: Canada's Sports Business Awards were held virtually but were no less exciting than past years' shows! On November 18, 2021, we held an engaging round table discussion on trends over the past 10 years and what's on the horizon for the next 10, and celebrated with, and heard from, the winners as they received their awards.

Check out some press about this year's event

Scholarship

To mark the 10th anniversary of 5 to Watch, and in recognition of the resilience of our students, we are honoured to launch the “10k for 5 to Watch’s 10th Anniversary” Fundraising Campaign. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to fund entrance scholarships for incoming GBC Sport and Event Marketing students from underrepresented communities, including, but not limited to: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour), women, 2SLGBTQIA+, newcomers to Canada, and people with disabilities.

Please show your support by donating to this campaign. 100% of your donation will directly go to support the scholarship. Help us to ensure that the next decade of sports business leaders are as diverse and inclusive as the community that George Brown College stands for.

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Event Schedule - November 18, 2021

5 to Watch Sports Business Round Table

"Looking back 10 years and Looking forward to the next 10 years."

Looking at the last 10 years changes and new trends have had a major impact on sports - Social media, e-sports, legalized gambling, NFT’s and even cryptocurrency. These are just some of the many recent trends that have changed the game, but what’s next? Find out as the panel members discuss the last 10 years and look towards the next 10, at this year’s Annual 5 to Watch Awards on November 18th. Panel discussion begins at 6:30. p.m.

Get to know our panelists!

Mark Harrison, moderator, 5 to Watch panel

Mark Harrison - Moderator

President & CEO at the T1 Agency

Learn more about Mark

Mark wants to change to world for the better. And with over 30 years of experience-driven sponsorship and marketing expertise, he has learned how strategically thoughtful storytelling can engage, influence, and motivate audiences in immeasurable ways.

A lifelong volunteer and entrepreneur, Mark is a passionate believer in purpose, be that brand purpose or encouraging people to be purposeful in everything that they do. Twenty-seven years ago, these beliefs lead Mark to create an award-winning marketing agency, The T1 Agency, and a global sponsorship conference, SponsorshipX.

More recently, Mark founded The MH3 Group, a group of ventures that span from advertising and sponsorship marketing to integrated communications and education, with each MH3 Group company sharing a collective consciousness that focuses on empowering people, promoting social equity, and reimagining a world where entrepreneurial passion and purpose comes to life.

Miranda Ayim, panelist, 5 to Watch

Miranda Ayim

3x Olympian, Team Canada Flag Bearer & Motivational Speaker

Learn more about Miranda

Miranda Ayim is a 3-time Olympian with Team Canada and spent over a decade playing with the senior women’s national team and professionally in Europe. She is passionate about helping people reach their potential in all areas of their life by intentionally developing their emotional agility, high-level habits and mindfulness. She navigates the high-performance sphere with a collaborative and values-based perspective and has a keen interest in team dynamics and community.

Reflecting on George Eliot’s quote, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been,” Miranda motivates herself and others to reach for continued growth and improvement. Miranda holds a degree in Public Relations and Psychology from Pepperdine University and is a Certified Wellness Coach.

Shannon Hosford, 5 to Watch panelist

Shannon Hosford

Chief Marketing Officer at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Learn more about Shannon

As a marketer and advertiser, Shannon’s talents are comprehensive and wide-reaching. At Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Shannon combines her passion for advertising and sports with a creative mindset. Shannon leads a team of designers, producers, marketers and writers to share compelling stories with fans designed to build powerful brands. Shannon is driven to showcase her teams’ work through her portfolio that includes branding, integrated marketing, advertising, social media, strategic planning, communications and design.

Shannon is viewed by her team as a woman of influence. Most recently, Shannon was recognized as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women – Top 100 at the Women’s Executive Network’s annual Leadership Summit and Awards Gala. On the same day, Shannon was included in Toronto Life’s 2019 most Influential Torontonians. Shannon was also honoured with the Gold Medal Award by the Association of Canadian Advertisers, which recognizes an individual who has contributed and advanced the advertising practice in Canada, in September 2019.

To put it in sports terms, Shannon’s tireless energy, enthusiasm and drive have been huge assets in the growth of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s brands. Shannon is someone who believes in making great things happen, and no matter what project she takes on, she always tackles it head-on.

Prior to her appointment as Chief Marketing Officer, she held a senior leadership role in Global Partnerships. Hosford is an ambassador and as part of her volunteerism with Habitat for Humanity and Free The Children has participated in many philanthropic initiatives including missions to Kenya, New Orleans and Jamaica.

Tyler Mazereeuw, co-chair of 5 to Watch Selection Committee

Tyler Mazereeuw

Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer at Canadian Football League

Learn more about Tyler

Tyler Mazereeuw is the Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer at the Canadian Football League. He brings with him to the CFL over 20 years of industry experience in sports and entertainment. His portfolio of executive responsibilities includes global partnerships, licensing, broadcast, brand, digital, and content.

Mike Mirtl, panelist, 2021 5 to Watch

Mike Mirtl

Founder & CEO at BetRegal

Learn more about Mike

Mike is the Director and co-founder of Regal Group Limited DBA BetRegal. Mike attended Ryerson University in Toronto where he studied Business and Marketing. Mike was recruited by several schools in Canada and the United States but chose to continue his education and hockey journey in Canada. Mike signed a professional players contract after his second year of studies and travelled to Europe in pursuit of his lifelong aspiration, in Austria's top professional league. A career-ending injury led to a return to Canada and a new path.

Mike entered the Financial Services Industry after hanging up his skates and obtained certification to work in the banking and investment fields. For 15 years that followed, Mike worked with Canada's largest banks and Investment Firms in roles that included Investment Advisor, Contact Center Management, Credit Granting Manager and Account Manager. The time spanned across CIBC, BMO Nesbitt Burns, RBC Action Direct and RBC Royal Direct.

Mike left the safety and security of a stable and rewarding banking life to chase a new adventure in Costa Rica. Mike had been headhunted by a former colleague that had long before entered the offshore gaming sector. The opportunity was to lead in the evolution of an emerging industry and deliver a technically advanced and professionally designed infrastructure.

After a short indoctrination, it became clear that Mike's best efforts would be in developing solutions that incorporated the needs of an entire industry and addressed vast inefficiencies. Mike created a data center and incorporated requirements of gaming operators to include ISP's and bandwidth, phone and data hardware/software solutions, software development, and full contact center outsourced services.

As business scaled, Mike built a team of talented developers dedicated to a path towards greater automation, intelligence and efficiencies. Our team also includes experts in financial trading, and we have implemented our proprietary trading tools to manage our vast sports betting offerings and substantial volumes. Mike's intimate knowledge of top sports betting technologies and platform providers led to the launch of BetRegal aimed at delivering a superior gaming experience to the North American marketplace.

Outside of the office, you can find Mike travelling to his cottage in Northern Ontario, playing golf and sharing time with his wife.

Alyson Walker, co-chair of 5 to Watch Selection Committee

Alyson Walker

Chief Commercial Officer at OverActive Media

Learn more about Alyson

Alyson Walker is the Chief Commercial Officer at OverActive Media, a global esports company focused on building winning franchises and creating unrivalled fan experiences. Alyson is responsible for driving business and audience growth through Global Partnerships, Marketing, Content, PR & Events as well as managing the Corporate Services functions at OAM, including Finance, HR, IT and facilities management. Alyson has extensive experience in the sports & entertainment industries and a proven track record for success and leadership as demonstrated in her previous roles.

Alyson was the Vice President of Brand Partnerships & Client Strategy at Bell Media focused on developing content and data solutions for advertisers across Canada’s leading media properties and platforms. Previous to Bell Media, she led the network & broadcast teams at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC. Prior to working in professional sport, she enjoyed immersing herself in Canadian amateur sport at the Canadian Olympic Committee leading sponsorship sales and service, merchandise licensing and commercial rights management. Alyson was part of the team that brought the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games to Canadians in her role leading digital sales and brand partnerships with Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium.

Alyson holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and a BSc from McGill University. She is a proud WISE (Women in Sport and Events) Toronto board member, a member of the Ryerson MBA in Sport Business Advisory Board, a selection committee member with the Sponsorship Marketing Awards, the Honorary Co-Chair of the 2020 5 to Watch Awards and a ReachUp board member - a non-profit organization focused on using sport to build confidence and inspire healthy lifestyles in Indigenous children and youth. Alyson is a passionate mentor with a number of organizations including The Future Sport Lab, the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada and GEM (Girls E-Mentorship).

2018 Highlights

2017 Highlights

2016 Highlights