European SportsTech Awards

The first sports-tech award for startups and disrupting technologies hosted by #Spielmacher at the 2018 Spielmacher Conference!  

We are clustering the sports ecosystem into 3 segments

Activity and Performance

Wearables and Tech

Sponsoring & Digital Media

Esports, Marketing, Content

Fans and Services

Ticketing, Merch, Tourism

The European SportsTech Awards – #ESTA18

The European SportsTech Award is the world’s preeminent sports tech competition for the football industry. We are bringing together disruptive startups who are really changing the industry. For startups we are offering a price money can not buy: top-notch exposure! 

Our Jury 2018

Our Jury combines deep industry knowledge and vast sport business network.

Dirk Schluenz

Dirk Schluenz

Managing Owner, DAVNIS Sport 

  • Dirk Schluenz is the managing owner of DAVNIS Sports, an international sports marketing agency based in Tel Aviv focussing on sponsorship, media rights and sports tech innovations. DAVNIS Sports has, among others, intermediated the first Chinese sponsorship in the entire German Bundesliga of consumer electronics giant „Hisense“ at FC Schalke 04 and the digital printing technology main-sponsorship between US technology firm „Hewlett Packard“ and Maccabi Tel Aviv FC. 
    Before founding DAVNIS Sports, Dirk was working in several leading management roles within global sports-marketing agency Lagardère Sports & Entertainment, among them as Head of Project consulting Siemens mobile around their pan-European sponsorship portfolio including Real Madrid CF, FC Bayern Munich and Paris St. Germain, as VP International Football in Switzerland and lastly as CEO of Lagardère Sports & Entertainment Israel. 
    Already since 2013 DAVNIS Sports is working closely with the start-up ecosystem in the sports and media tech sector, consulting start-ups with product management concepts and market entry strategies utilizing its international high-level contact network and has accompanied Israeli AI start-up „vBrand“ till their acquisition by research giant Nielsen in 2017. Dirk has been studying in Harvard Business School, Boston and has been an advisory board member of several start-ups, a member of a jury in various sports tech events like the „Leeds United Demo Day“, serves as a mentor at the „leAD Sports Tech Accelerator“ and a jury member at sports tech competitions at leading international sports conventions. 
Thomas H. Rudy

Thomas H. Rudy

Owner & Founder, WhiteRock

  • Thomas H. Rudy is the Co-Founder of WhiteRock, an advisory firm working on M&A transactions and capital raises in the sports & entertainment sectors. Prior to founding WhiteRock, Rudy worked at Park Lane as Vice President and played a key role across both sports team and sports-related business deals. With a background in sports investment banking and principal investing, Rudy’s broad knowledge base delivers a great deal of value to clients.
    Also the Founder of investment fund Capital R Investments, he has appeared as a financial expert on Deutsches Anleger Fernsehen (DAF), N-TV, N24, Der Aktionär TV, and Inside Wirtschaft in Germany, in addition to appearances on U.S., Chinese, and Korean television programs at the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Furthermore, since March of 2015, Rudy is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of New York-based venture capital fund Elevate Innovation Partners that focuses on early stage investments in fintech and enterprise software companies.
    Rudy’s career in sports investment banking started at Citigroup in New York, where he worked as an Analyst for the firm’s Sports Advisory Group. In this role, he worked with NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, and European football team owners to buy and sell franchises as well as finance the expansion of their enterprises. In 2008, he left Citi to start Capital R Investments, a hedge fund and venture capital firm with locations in New York, Florida, and Germany.
    He is actively involved in the community on the local and international level through his work with the Rotary Club of Wall Street, of which he is the Co-Founder and former President, and Columbia University’s Alumni Representative Committee in Germany, on which he serves as Chairman of the Board. After his Abitur in Germany, Rudy graduated from the College at Columbia University in New York City in 2006 with a B.A. in Economics
Dirk Ifsen

Dirk Ifsen

Managing Director, Perform DE

  • In 2014 Dirk Ifsen has been promoted to the role as Managing Director Germany from his previous position at Perform as Managing Director for Opta’s German operations, which he held from 2010. During this time, Dirk has overseen the continued growth of the brand in the country, as well as being responsible for the successful cooperation with Sky and with DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga, as well as a large proportion of Bundesliga clubs and several major media companies. As well as Germany, Dirk will also assume responsibility for Perform’s activity in Austria and Switzerland.

    Dirk brings extensive experience to his new role, having held senior management positions at a number of major media companies for 15 years prior to his time with Opta and Perform. He joined Opta from Kabel Deutschland GmbH, where he held the position of Head of E-Commerce, having joined in 2009 from his previous role at, where he was Director of Product Marketing & Merchandising, responsible for the German, French, Italian and UK markets. Dirk has also held senior roles at, orange digital GmbH and AME Aigner Media & Entertainment GmbH.

Andreas Heyden

Andreas Heyden

CEO, DFL Digital Sports

  • Since June 2015, Andreas Heyden is serving as CEO of the DFL digital sports GmbH being responsible for digital platforms & production and distribution of national and international media content. Before Andreas was the Managing Director of maxdome GmbH since July 1st, 2013. Previously, Andreas was COO as part the management of ProSiebenSat.1 Game GmbH from December 2011 on. Before this Andreas was a managing director of the startup sevenload, where his responsibilities included cooperation with content and distribution partners as well as internationalization of the portal. Before joining sevenload, Heyden was head of the innovation and production unit at RTL Interactive, where he established new internet business models in the games industry and other segments. Heyden began his career at Metronet AG in 1996, where he worked in the Subscriber Marketing Department. In 1997, Heyden became an key account manager for I-D Media AG. Following his professional work in Singapore in 1999, he began working with Microsoft GmbH as part of the Product Marketing team for


On The Road to Hamburg

  • 01.05.2018 - 30.06.2018

    Application Phase

    Our application form is officially open! Do you have a startup or an idea that is creating huge impact for the sports industry? Don’t waste time and prepare you application for the first European SportsTech Awards. It will only take you 5 Minutes. 

  • 01.07.2018 - 15.07.2018


    We are closing our application and the pre-selections starts! Our jury chooses 5 startups who will pitch at our event in August.

  • 09.08.2018

    European SportsTech Awards @Spielmacher'18

    Startups that made it through to the final round, will pitch at our main event! Our format ist quite simple: 5 minutes pitch, 2 minutes for Q&A! 

Do you really want to miss this opportunity? 

Top Notch Exposure

Top Notch Exposure

You are presenting in front of over 600 top executives, well-known investors and great leaders from the European football ecosystem. This is definitely a one time shot!

Become The First Champ

Become The First Champ

We are planning to expand the award within the upcoming years. But you will be our all time number one! 

Win 2 VIP-Tickets for 2019

Win 2 VIP-Tickets for 2019

As our 2018 champion you will be invited to the Spielmacher’19 event! You will become one of our exclusive speakers telling us more about your success story on stage.

Apply today… 

…and be part of Europes newest sport tech event