Could a Silicon Valley mentality boost the Northern Powerhouse?

The SP.IN launch event, proudly sponsored by HT&E, highlighted key routes to promote the Northern Powerhouse globally.

Hosted at the National Football Museum the scene was perfectly set for the high profile panellists SP.IN (Sports Influencers) had brought together to discuss the role that sport can play in boosting the Northern Powerhouse.

The event marked the launch of SP.IN, a not-for-profit outfit developed by Luisa d’Aprano and Piers Martin with the aim of bringing together Sports Influencers from across the North of England.




Panelists included Mike Phelan (former assistant manager at Manchester United), Brendan Flood (Burnley FC), Chris Brindley (GreaterSport), Ed Cox (IPPR North), Sarah Collins (BBC) and Marcello Fabiano (Social Chain)



Key discussion points included the use of young talent, and how it will be a key factor in promoting the Northern Powerhouse to a global audience.

Burnley Football Club Director Brendan Flood also touched on how a Silicon Valley mentality could boost northern sport,

“How you create that culture here is to send a few people out there and see what works well. We’ve got the tent pegs here, the big football clubs and the facilities, but there are gaps – other sports and international governing bodies, for example. Let’s start there and do the research.”


All panelists seemed to agree that a key factor to strengthen the Northern Powerhouse would be to submit a joint bid for the Commonwealth Games between either Liverpool and Manchester, or perhaps from the whole Northern Powerhouse as a region. Which opened up a whole new debate as to what really is ‘the Northern Powerhouse’, and is there such a thing as ‘too north’?

After the event, it was announced that Manchester would not submit a sole bid for the commonwealth games, showing that the idea goes beyond SP.IN.

At HT&E we are proud to have been supporting the project from the beginning. We congratulate Luisa and Piers and we’re excited to see what the next event will have in store.