After the legendary Alessandro Del Piero delighted the visitors of the Sunset Sports Media Festival on Thursday evening, this globally recognized Festival on the second day brought diverse lectures and gathered numerous Croatian and international stars from the world of sports, media and business who follow him. The panels were attended by Ivica Kostelić, Rong Chen, Nikola Stolnik, Fred Calderia, Guillem Balague, Željko Mavrović, Vladimir Miholjević, Ivan Bešlić, Branimir Karačić and many others who shared their experiences, news and predictions in their industries.

In her opening address, the director of TZG Zadar, Iva Bencun, thanked all the participants for coming and stated that they are very proud and honored to be able to host such great people in Zadar for the next few days. The mayor of Zadar Branko Dukić also addressed the visitors: „First of all, I want to thank our fellow citizen Mr. Pete Radovich and his team. This festival grows from year to year and is an excellent promotion for Zadar and Croatia.

Famous NBA player and Festival director Damjan Rudež pointed out that the Festival is aimed at connecting people, creating authentic experiences and positive vibes, and showing the best that Croatia has, including people, tourism, sports and startups. Rudež pointed out that this is a special day for him: „Today is particularly emotional because it marks exactly 31 years since the death of Dražen Petrović, the eternal inspiration of all of us in Croatia. Dražen’s spirit motivates us to work harder and better every day, to find motivation, even me; to build the Festival together with all of you and bring something fantastic to Croatia, something we can all be extremely proud of.

The lectures and insights of the speakers delighted the visitors.

The most prominent Croatian Olympian in alpine skiing, Ivica Kostelić, in a 1-on-1 conversation with Damjan Rudež, shared an inspiring story about his career as a top athlete and how it is transferred to his passion for sailing, where he continues to push his own limits with every adventure on the open sea. „My goal in sailing is not to compete or achieve top results, but to face all challenges and fears and find comfort in the midst of unpleasant conditions, where strength and endurance are tested at every step.“ said Ivica Kostelić.

The exciting Revving up: Fuel and Fire Hit the Stage panel brought the impact of automotive esports closer to potential investors, audiences and players. International experts, esports manager at Ferrari Rong Chen, head of Esports projects at the FIA Eric Stranne and founder and CEO of Good Game Global Nikola Stolnik presented the numerous opportunities that automotive esports bring to its stakeholders. TV reporter and author of the most interesting biographies in the world of football about Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Maradona, Guillem Balague, told the audience and journalist Fred Calderia what motivated him to write biographies of some of the most famous names in the world of football. Guillem started from humble beginnings but admitted that the effort paid off in his growth as a person and writer. At the panel The Playbook for success: Masterclass in Sports Leadership & Management, Director General of Media and Marketing of FIBA Frank Leenders spoke with the Director of the Institute for Leadership Development (LDI) in the Ministry of Sports, Dr. Mezna AlMarzooqi, Director of the Center for Sports and Business at Stockholm School of Economics Martin Carlsson-Walla, president of Sports HUB Romania and vice president of CEO Clubs Romania Virgil Stanescu and prominent professor at Bocconi University Dino Ruta. These experts from the world of sports, education and business agreed that success does not depend on pure talent and that education is essential for successful leadership and achieving better management to know how to properly combine heart and mind.

Sofascore: the story of a happy marriage between sport and technology

The last panel of the second day How much information do we need? More: Strategy Behind Sofascore’s Rise To Prominence brought together Sofascore co-founder Ivan Bešlić, Sofascore Marketing Vice President Branimir Karačić, Sportradar Sales Director Marin Ribać and CBS Sports Serie A TV analyst Marc Messina. Sofascore, a sports platform that provides live scores, statistics and information on sporting events around the world, started with a small team of enthusiasts and today counts more than 25 million monthly users. „We face challenges every day and are constantly working to improve our platform to provide the best user experience. Our growth has been gradual, and even now we are not fully aware of how popular we have become. The first idea was simple; finish college and move on. But over time we realized that we could achieve much more.“ said Ivan Bešlić, after which Branimir Karačić added that Sofascore stands out for its analytical approach, and they are aware that there is no universal recipe for success, and one of the goals is to expand even more significantly to challenging and competitive American market.

The evening is reserved for relaxation with the Sunset Boat Party and Sunset Garden Sip. The program is available via the link, and you can follow all the news on the Facebook and Instagram profiles of the Festival.