Cannes, France — Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mack Hollins, a Special Olympics ambassador, joined the Stagwell Sport Beach "Sports Diplomacy: How to Play the Risk and Opportunity" panel in June at Cannes Lions Sport Beach with Jennifer Halloran, CMO of Mass Mutual, and John Gerzema.
Stagwell is a marketing network with over 13,000 people and 70+ agencies. It's the first sports-based activation in Cannes Lion's history. The venue featured 23 sports, including several playing fields, housed recording studios, video game lounges, and more. Sport Beach hosted over 5,300 people in four days, and 15,000 flew in for the festival.
Hollins and his panel discussed what they thought about how media and networking are changing. Each person presented their point of view and explained the risks and opportunities. They spoke on many topics, including how politics and sports are colliding and whether it's creating a risk or opportunity.
"I think it is more of an opportunity. As an athlete, I think you build a following, and you become a role model for kids and adults, and you have a responsibility to speak up or hold a stance," says Hollins.
With over 20 panels like this, athletes attending could market themselves firsthand to potential sponsors and major brands by creating an everlasting connection with a company.
Throughout the week, Hollins was among the many athletes to be interviewed by outlets, participate in referring games, share their knowledge on their sports, and try other sports they usually don't play.
All other attendees participated in various sports activities, including golf, pickleball, flag football, running, basketball, and yoga.
A spokeswoman for Stagwell confirmed that Stagwell will be looking to bring back Sport Beach to Cannes next year. She also mentioned adding additional sports, such as soccer, to the space next year.