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10 THE BIG PICTURE - Qatar 2022 - Bosnia join the elite


- Soccerex African Forum


In the first of a series of in-depth conversations with senior football executives over a coffee, we meet Bruce Bundrant, the commercial director of AS Monaco, to discover the business heartbeat behind perhaps the fastest-growing club in world football.


English Premier League football has become the only foreign property guaranteed to drive subscriptions in most television markets around the world. As pay-TV and digital platforms proliferate globally, it is a formula that has resulted in yet another billion-dollar hike in the competition’s international rights haul. SoccerexPro takes a detailed look at how and where the league is making its money.


A Uefa partner for over 20 years, Lucernebased Team Marketing works exclusively for Europe’s governing body on the commercial development of the Champions League and Europa League. Chief executive Jamie Graham talks SoccerexPro through the process of selling for the most prestigious competitions in club football.



Stefano Della Villa has introduced a pioneering approach to injury rehabilitation in recent years, with some startling results, after founding Isokinetic Medical Group. Now, he hopes to take what he has learned beyond his homeland of Italy and into the international game.


The launch of Hoy Park Sports Development Centre, a high-performance training hub in Durban, is the latest strand of South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup legacy efforts. SoccerexPro finds out more.


The New York Cosmos were the undisputed star attraction of the original North American Soccer League but when the competition folded, the team fell dormant for over 30 years. Now they are back and, as new chairman Seamus O’Brien explains, they are thinking internationally and working carefully towards a more sustainable future.

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In its efforts to build an experienced sales force who could take football to new followers in the US, Major League Soccer created its National Sales Center in 2010. Bryant Pfeiffer, the league’s vice president of club services, talks to SoccerexPro about an academy which is now drawing admirers across the sport.


Mexican football entered a new era in the summer of 2012 with the launch of Liga MX, an independent top flight. With its second season now underway, president Decio de Maria reveals how the league hopes to become a commercial force which can benefit the whole game.


- Continent-by-continent news and insights - Signings: the biggest football investments


Traffic Sports’ Jochen Lösch on what to expect from Brazil 2014.




ere is the scenario. Football awaits an emotional homecoming. Questions are being asked of the legacy of a recent tournament with an unfamiliar host. Up ahead, after a French interlude, will come more exotic excursions, and all the while the world’s major clubs press on with new commercial plans. The year, incidentally, is 1995, and the Soccerex project has just launched. As the years go by, it grows easier to forget those challenges that are overcome. No one knew then that  

   off an inglorious recent past at Euro 96 and move into a different era. No one knew, either, that when the razzmatazz of USA 94 faded, the shrewdly nurtured Major League Soccer and a whole footballing culture would be left. When the Premier League and Champions League launched in the same season just over two decades ago there were plenty who could see the game would change, but few who guessed just how profound that change would be. None of these things were inevitable, and the problems football faces today

will be worked, not wished, away. The threat of a schism between the club and international game is real. A sport enjoyed by so many is still too often run in the interests of too few. Football should not let the chance pass to build a future in developing countries. It must not lose step with social change as it heads to new lands. It surely – surely – cannot build legacies through cruel exploitation. There is always room for optimism. The football world is bigger and smaller than it was 18 years ago – big enough for bold talk of 40-team World        fans in Djibouti and Dortmund fans in Hoxton Square. Where now there is an industry, there has long since been a community. The Soccerex forums, like this year’s Global Convention at the reborn Maracanã, are a chance to bring both together to share ideas and information that are as vital now as they have ever been. SoccerexPro is now a part of that discussion. We at SportsPro are very pleased to join with our new partners at the world’s premier football event company to create this publication. We aim to be here each quarter, in print and digital form, to bring insight and comment

and to meet with those who matter: covering the business of football for the football business. Who knows where it might take us?

Eoin Connolly Editor

SoccerexPro magazine is a joint venture between Soccerex and SportsPro Media. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF David Cushnan EDITOR Eoin Connolly ART DIRECTOR Daniel Brown CONTRIBUTORS James Emmett, Michael Long, Ian McPherson BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Bobby Hare BUSINESS OPERATIONS MANAGER YĂŠwandĂŠ ArulĂŠba

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SportsPro Media Ltd 5 Prescot Street, London E1 8PA, UK Tel: +44 (0) 207 549 3250 Email: Web: (SportsPro Media Ltd is part of the Henley Media Group Ltd

Soccerex Power Road Studios 114 Power Road London W4 5PY UK Tel: +44 (0) 208 742 7100

NOTICE: SoccerexPro magazine is published quarterly. Printed in the EU. EDITORIAL COPYRIGHT: The contents of this magazine, both words and statistics, are strictly copyright and the intellectual property of SoccerexPro. Copying or reproduction may only be carried out with written permission of the publishers, which will normally not be withheld on payment of a fee. Article reprints: Most articles published in SoccerexPro magazine are available as reprints by prior arrangement from the publishers. Normal minimum print run for reprints is 400 copies, although larger and smaller runs are possible. Please contact us at:

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QATAR 2022


ifa’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar came under renewed scrutiny as calls to reschedule the tournament away from June and July intensified. Uefa president Michel Platini (1), who voted to stage the tournament in the Gulf state in his capacity as a Fifa executive committee member, has been a long-term supporter of a move to cooler months. However, the Frenchman’s motivations were also questioned when Fifa president Sepp Blatter (right) said in September there had been “direct political influence” behind European support for the Qatari bid. An inquiry into the 2018 and 2022 bidding process is currently being led by Fifa ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia. Further controversy erupted in October when The Guardian newspaper produced a damning report on the exploitation by Qatari contractors of migrant workers, who face deadly conditions in building key infrastructure. The “appalled” organising committee secretary general Hassan Al Tawadi (2) insisted workers would be protected when the construction of competition venues begins (3). News of the rights abuses drew protests from the UNIA union outside Fifa House in Zurich (4). Fifa has delayed a decision over the scheduling of the 2022 World Cup until after next year’s tournament in Brazil.


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osnia-Herzegovina booked their place at the Fifa World Cup finals for the first time on 15th October as the qualifiers for next year’s tournament in Brazil reached their climax. VfB Stuttgart striker Vedad Ibisevic scored a 68th-minute winner at the Darius and Girenas Stadium in Kaunas (1) to secure a 1-0 win over Lithuania, sparking wild scenes of celebration in the ground (2) and on the streets of Sarajevo. The Bosnians had set up a historic night with a 4-1 win over Liechtenstein in their final home game at the Stadium Bilino Polje in Zenica (3). They edged out Greece at the top of Uefa Group G on goal difference. Bosnia-Herzegovina’s qualification comes less than two decades after the former Yugoslav republic was ravaged by civil war and genocide. The country’s progress was further marked in September by the opening of a national training centre in Zenica (4), built with the help of the Uefa HatTrick programme.


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he Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa played host to the Soccerex African Forum on 1st and 2nd October. Over 850 delegates from 43 countries joined leading executives, politicians, and esteemed former players for

discussions of the issues affecting the world’s game on the continent. The event was opened by South African deputy minister for sport and recreation Gert Oosthuizen and saw the first public address by Danny Jordaan as president of the South Africa Football

CHAN 2014 local organising committee chief executive Mvuzo Mbebe

CAF secretary general Hicham El Amrani

New SAFA president Danny Jordaan

Delegates gather in the networking cafe

Soccerex’s Duncan Revie (centre) makes a presentation to Danny Jordaan as Mbalula looks on 14 |

Association (SAFA). Jordaan, the former chief executive of the Fifa World Cup 2010 local organising committee, told the conference that it was time for South African football to “stop accepting mediocrity” and move forward.

South Africa’s Gert Oosthuizen

Ex-South Africa and Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe meets the press

Ghana FA president Kwesi Nyantakyi

SAFA Development Agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Robin Petersen

Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the sports minister of Nigeria, speaks to the Soccerex audience

SuperSportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Stanley Matthews

South African sports minister Fikile Mbalula

Former Liverpool and England hero John Barnes addresses a panel SOCCEREXPRO | 15

AS MONACO: BACK WITH THE HIGH ROLLERS In the ďŹ rst of a series of in-depth conversations with senior football executives over a coffee, David Cushnan meets Bruce Bundrant, the commercial director of AS Monaco, to discover the business heartbeat behind perhaps the fastest-growing club in world football.


Bruce Bundrant has been the commercial director of French club AS Monaco since November 2012 16 |

here arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t many sports teams growing on AS Monacoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current trajectory. Back in Ligue 1 this season, the club has been propelled by a Russian-fuelled spending spree into what is likely to become a battle for the title with Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain. The riches and prestige of the Uefa Champions League loom. The catalyst for it all was the acquisition of a majority stake in the club â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 33 per cent remains in the hands of the Principality of       by Dmitry Rybolovlev in December 2011. A cardiologist who made a fortune reputed to be around US$7 billion through investment company Ukralkali, Rybolovlev arrived at a time when AS Monaco were languishing in Ligue 2, relegated from the top tier at the end of the 2010/11 season, just seven years after memorably reaching the Champions League      

       by the progress since. Duly promoted last season, the club embarked on a Rybolovlev-sanctioned summer of spending, with FC Portoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s James Rodriguez and JoĂŁo Moutinho arriving for a combined â&#x201A;Ź70 million and Radamel Falcao prised from Atletico Madrid for â&#x201A;Ź60 million, and the early signs are the new squad will mount a serious title challenge. As they rejoin the elite, however, AS Monacoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advantageous tax status has come under fresh scrutiny, with the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) insistent that clubs competing in the French league must be registered in France for tax purposes to ensure a fair            club are focusing on building a new commercial        

American Bruce Bundrant, a former executive at Major League Soccer and latterly Liverpool FC, was hired in November 2012 to run the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commercial department. In AS Monaco, a team with a small fanbase who have traditionally


  !"### %   Louis II home, he has taken on what he describes as a unique football business challenge. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an obvious ďŹ rst question, Bruce â&#x20AC;&#x201C; why AS Monaco?




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Attendances at Monacoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Stade Louis II have historically been modest but Bundrant believes hospitality revenues will be more important to the club

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One criticism thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been levelled at the club is the fact that it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have and hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been able to build a large fanbase. Monaco is a great location in terms of glamour and as a destination; is it a great location for a football club?

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Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s less reliance on it in a business sense, but just from a brand point of view is it at all a problem, as you try and sell the club to sponsors, if the stadium is not full regularly?

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the new owner like? How hands-on is he?

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AS Monacoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expensively assembled new side are in serious title contention in Ligue 1 in their ďŹ rst season back after relegation to the second tier

Given that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve worked in the juggernaut that is the Premier League, what are your impressions of the way Ligue 1 is marketed and commercialised within France and internationally?

I think the French league is just now realising that they can internationalise the league, especially with what us and Paris are doing. The conversation weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re having with the league is that they realise they can really go out and internationalise themselves and take advantage of the international presence of these two clubs. In the past they havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really done that. There hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really been a big international team in France â&#x20AC;&#x201C; maybe Marseille at one time. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only two international clubs now, Paris and Monaco, so you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really fault them for not internationalising the league. I think theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a bit behind but now theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve realised theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re catching up pretty quickly. Even when I came on board, I brought with me experience of the relationship between the league and the clubs in the Premier League and I would say to LFP, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;At the Premier League they did this and this and this,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interesting, maybe weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll take a look at that.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; This is a big change in 22 |

French football and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a really exciting time. Is there anything a league like the Premier League could learn from the way the league is run in France, or the way the clubs are run?

I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s anything the Premier League could do differently. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing alright. The only thing is the Premier League is getting pretty expensive for the average supporter and in France itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not like this before â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you can get a â&#x201A;Ź10 or â&#x201A;Ź15 ticket, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty inexpensive. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just hoping you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t price the average man out of the Premier League. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been in the role for a year, world domination is looming, but within the next 12 months what are the key objectives in the AS Monaco commercial department?

`     "O!  been assembled this past few months â&#x20AC;&#x201C; June 1st was basically the start of the business, with players coming in and `  $ !  \  of credit has to go to the owner, the technical side of the business, Claudio Ranieri, for bringing in certain types of

players. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty impressive and the product is only going to get better. Right now, me and my staff need to get out in the world and tell as many people as possible about our product and our sponsorship offer. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re bringing on board more sales staff to tell people who we are and what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to accomplish. From a matchday perspective, if the hospitality renovation project gets the green light itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to completely change our VIP offering and upgrade it. From a merchandise and licensing standpoint, we have a lot of supporters around the world we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have before so people from Colombia, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina and the US     &| stores. We really need to maximise that  "`  *  France, obviously, the UK, US, Colombia and Italy â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Falcaoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the number one athlete in Colombia and we have James RodrĂ­guez as well. We have the French captain, Ă&#x2030;ric Abidal, we have JoĂŁo 7   

  a lot of international fans and we need to take advantage of that â&#x20AC;&#x201C; international sponsorship sales, merchandising, licensing. So thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a busy year ahead.




LEAGUE LEADERS English Premier League football has become the only foreign property guaranteed to drive subscriptions in most television markets around the world. As pay-TV and digital platforms proliferate globally, it is a formula that has resulted in yet another billion-dollar hike in the competitionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s international rights haul. James Emmett takes a detailed look at how and where the league is making its money.


nglandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Premier League is truly a commercial behemoth. Having sold its latest threeyear batch of domestic rights for just over UKÂŁ3 billion last June, it added at least another UKÂŁ2.2 billion in the round of international rights sales that was completed this year. No other sports property in the world can dream of attracting such sums outside its own borders. Speaking to SportsPro magazine at the completion of its own round of international rights sales at the turn of last year â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a process believed to have garnered between â&#x201A;Ź240 million and â&#x201A;Ź300 million â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Bundesligaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jorg Daubitzer, who runs the German leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commercial subsidiary DFL Sports Enterprises, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not new that they jump from one record to another. If you look what they are doing over the years, especially on the investor side, how they handle their partners, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only strongly driven by economic, economic and economic success.â&#x20AC;? Although it might have been said with

Richard Scudamore leads Premier League sales 24 |

the suggestion of a sneer, Daubitzerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assessment holds true. Premier League international rights fees have grown by more than 1,000 per cent in a little over ten years. A decade ago they were  Â&#x201A;Â&#x2022;X%% \  even now would be enviable for most major European leagues. In 2010 they were worth UKÂŁ1.4 billion. Figures are  $&    since rights outside the UK are sold in either US dollars or euros, subject    |    "{ 

 according to sources the Premier League made just under US$3.5 billion for its international rights for the three-year cycle from 2013/14 to 2015/16. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s before the quickly growing global clip rights have been accounted for. The selling process, led by league chief executive Richard Scudamore and director of international broadcast and media operations Paul Molnar, has remained more or less the same for the past four cycles. Bids are invited territory by territory, normally contested by both broadcasters and agencies, and if the        second round. In the wake of the Murphy case last year, which gave legal validation to the process of using foreign satellite decoders within the UK, the league did look to protect the value of its domestic rights in this cycle by clawing back some English-language elements from its European packages and limiting the number of Saturday matches; by all accounts, there were far more lawyer hours billed this time around.   

 > League sold a package of more than three years, with Super Sports Media Group in China committing

to a rumoured US$120 million outlay for the right to sublicense games to regional Chinese networks for the next six years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think the Premier League is probably the best property in the world to sell pay-TV subscriptions with at the moment,â&#x20AC;? says Andrea Radrizzani, group chief executive of the MP & Silva agency. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are others, but this is the only one that can give you nine months every year in terms of content and with the biggest brand possible. For every media sports agency the Premier League represents a kind of dream and a big target because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably the most important football league internationally, the most attractive football league, and often the most expensive.â&#x20AC;? Pitch International, AMI, Saran Media and IMG all bought packages to sell on in the latest cycle but Radrizzaniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agency became the Premier Leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s single biggest client, committing to pay the league almost half a billion dollars for rights in 49 different territories. The largest package to go to MP & Silva was one that incorporated 23 countries across the Middle East. Having failed to attract offers in the same US$350 million ballpark that it received from Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) in the last cycle, the Premier League went with a bid of some US$315 million from the agency in January. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To be honest, we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be in a position to win in a competitive market like the Middle East,â&#x20AC;? reveals Radrizzani, whose team spent almost six months attempting to sell the rights on to one of the big broadcasting beasts of the Middle East. Eventually a deal was struck with Qatarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Al Jazeera, with which MP & Silva has a host of

MP & Silva group chief executive Andrea Radrizzani and Al Jazeera Sport president Nasser Al KhelaiďŹ have agreed partnerships in a number of markets

other partnerships, leaving ADMC to cry foul about the level of the fee. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I cannot    

&   & Â&#x153; says Radrizzani. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The negotiations with everyone took a really long time and we  * "R   

  that a market like the Middle East could not stay without the Premier League. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make much money but it was safe in the end; we packaged with other rights and we had the opportunity to intensify our relationship with an existing partner like Al Jazeera for the next few years.â&#x20AC;? Another strand to the MP & Silva/ Al Jazeera partnership will play out over the coming years in Indonesia, where the agency took what Radrizzani describes as a necessarily entrepreneurial outlook, paying more than double the previous rights fee for a package it will use to launch a BeIN Sport platform in the region. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We understood that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s often very &    >J  rights in a country where you are a current rights holder because if you think with a normal rationale you never

put the necessary money to win the rights,â&#x20AC;? he says of a process that saw IMG trump MP & Silva for the rights in Vietnam and Japan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Indonesia, for example, we paid 2.5 times the previous price. To win the Premier League you need to be brave, have an entrepreneurial instinct and not just base your bid on operational numbers, because otherwise ! &   "$  wants this league.â&#x20AC;? The Premier League is fond of attributing its vast fee increases to market forces, but the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;correctâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market forces for such growth depend on a perfect storm of conditions: the size of the particular market, the competitiveness in the particular market, and the wider economic conditions working on the particular market all need to be pointing in the right direction. Huge increases in Thailand, India, Malaysia and across South America can be attributed to such preferable environments. Likewise it is on account of this formula that the rights in France, which escaped the worst of the European economic crisis and has a very competitive pay-TV market,

garnered around â&#x201A;Ź160 million, while the rights in Germany, a much stronger economy but a TV market bereft of competition, are likely to have fetched 

  &  " Giant uplifts can also be achieved when a key player in a particular market decides to make a key play â&#x20AC;&#x201C; witness SkyNetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s breakthrough deal in Myanmar, and on a larger scale NBCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision to go big on the Premier League as the US enters the era of the dedicated sports network. The Premier League will go through this process again from the end of 2015 and into 2016. At some point, one would imagine, the bubble must burst. But, according to Radrizzani, that wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be happening in the next cycle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure that three years ago everyone thought the Premier League could not grow further, and it happened again and it changed the market,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I suspect it will grow again. The digital industry and the pay-TV industry are growing and I suspect that the only property that will be able to drive subscriptions will be the Premier League.â&#x20AC;? SOCCEREXPRO | 25

The Americas

US$24m Canada

US$255m USA



US$45m Brazil


S America (excluding Brazil), Mexico, Dominican Republic

26 |

As expected, competition for the US rights to the Premier League was intense. A joint bid from incumbent broadcaster Fox and sub-licensee ESPN was joined by strong plays from new Al Jazeeraowned channel BeIN Sport and from NBC which sent the process into a second round. Ultimately NBC prevailed with a bid of around US$255 million, some three times more than was paid by Fox in the previous cycle. If the rights were undervalued before, they are now in line with the growing popularity of the league in the US. NBC, having spent heavily on nationwide promotion, is unlikely to be sublicensing the rights as Fox had done previously. The broadcaster will look to maximise both the English-language and Spanish-language rights across its networks. Further north, Canadian broadcasters Sportsnet and TSN both renewed, though TSN bought direct &  &   sublicensed 50 games per season from Sportsnet in the last cycle. The pair will split the 380 games per season down the middle and are believed to have paid US$24 million for the package, 60 per cent more than the previous cycle. Status quo was maintained in the Caribbean as SportsMax renewed at roughly the same rate as last time, while there were more increases further south. Fox Sports marked its entry to the Brazilian market by taking a slice of the rights alongside incumbent broadcaster ESPN Brasil. The fee of around US$45 million, according to ESPN Brasil general manager German Hartenstein, would have been reached even without the involvement of Fox. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The market is bigger,â&#x20AC;? he told SportsPro. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everybody knows that there is more money in this market. Without Fox, the price increases would be the same because there are strong players other than them. It was natural. I am curious to see what will happen in the next few years on that.â&#x20AC;? Latin America as a whole was worth around US$33 million in the last cycle, but new deals for the entire region excluding Brazil with a pair of Grupo Televisa-owned broadcasters â&#x20AC;&#x201C; DirecTV PanAmericana and Sky Mexico â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are believed to be worth some US$80 million.



US$24m Russia

â&#x201A;Ź30m Netherlands

â&#x201A;Ź24m Belgium



â&#x201A;Ź160m France

â&#x201A;Ź6.5m Portugal


US$60m Poland

US$8m Slovakia



Ukraine â&#x201A;Ź10.5m

Czech Rep


â&#x201A;Ź36m Italy



Baltics, Caucasus, and Central Asia


US$24m Bulgaria




US$25m Turkey

â&#x201A;Ź8m Malta


South Africa, Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa EMEA O       be signed in the latest rights cycle was by Modern Times Group (MTG) for Sweden and Denmark. Broadcaster competition in Scandinavia as a whole saw rights fees rocket in the previous process and MTG, which had previously bought its rights from the Medge agency, was more or less alone in its reluctance to cede English-language rights back to the Premier League. To protect the value of its domestic rights the league needed to get a deal done in the region early, and hammered it out directly with incumbent MTG in May 2012 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a full month before the UK packages were sold. MTG went on to renew deals for other territories in Scandinavia, as well as for its Nova channel in Bulgaria, and completed its collection with the purchase of a Baltic

package â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from Turkish agency Saran Media. Saran also renewed its deal in its native Turkey for an estimated US$25 million, selling on to broadcaster Digiturk. The fragility of the European economy meant the league had to take a couple of fee decreases. IMG took the Spanish rights for around â&#x201A;Ź10 million after a much higher deal with little known agency Multi Media Sports Group fell through, Greek rights fell only marginally to around â&#x201A;Ź25 million as OTE replaced rival pay-TV platform Nova, while in Italy, the London-based Pitch International agency took its only package for some â&#x201A;Ź36 million, bringing MP & Silva on board to offer a full suite of rights to Foxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new channel in the country. An option remains for Sky Italia, the previous broadcaster, to come in for the rights again after two years.

US$315m Middle East

There was a small uplift in Portugal,   R ! '  club channel came in for the rights, taking them away from underpaying incumbent Sport TV. Sensing the rise of a similarly unconventional broadcast model in the Netherlands, MP & Silva ensured a rise in that territory, paying an estimated â&#x201A;Ź30 million before playing incumbent broadcaster Sport1 off against the Eredivisieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part News Corp-owned in-house channel, which eventually prevailed. South African-based broadcaster SuperSport was able to renew its deal for large swathes of Africa. Like MTG, it was offered the chance to negotiate early almost as a token of gratitude for having bailed the Premier League out in the previous cycle, when Nigerian broadcaster HiTV was unable to provide bank guarantees. SOCCEREXPRO | 27


US$50m S.Korea


US$47m Japan

US$190m Hong Kong

US$145m India





US$310m Thailand, Cambodia, Laos

US$2m Philippines and Taiwan

US$240m Malaysia

Asia and Oceania

US$270m Singapore

Huge increases in Asia were largely responsible for the Premier Leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s international triple-digit growth three years ago. The market, taken as a whole, has steadied somewhat, but there were still one or two monumental uplifts. Thailand was overwhelmingly the standout territory. The previous agreement in the country had garnered around US$38 million but even with a  *   broadcasters made bids, the eightfold increase to around US$310 million was unexpected. Cable Thai Holdings saw off rival operators TrueVisions, GMM Grammy, RS and Channel 7, which joined Malaysian operator Cubic Associates on its offer. There was growth in Malaysia as well with Astro Malaysia Holdings, whose relationship with the league began in 1997, retaining its rights for some US$240 million. Having surged in the last cycle, Hong Kong and Singapore plateaued: PCCWâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Now TV platform replaced i-Cable in British expat haven Hong Kong for a slightly reduced fee of around US$190 million, while SingTelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mio Stadium renewed in Singapore for roughly the same US$270 million fee it paid last time. The MP & Silva agency has made its name as an Asian specialist but found itself ousted from two key territories it held in the last cycle via very competitive bidding from IMG. The Japanese rights went for around US$10 million more than last time, with IMG then selling them on to incumbent broadcaster J 28 |

US$94m Indonesia

US$0.5m PaciďŹ c Islands

US$48m Australia


New Zealand Sports, while in Vietnam the fee rose from around US$9 million to some US$34 million this time. Scared off by the heat in Japan and Vietnam, MP & Silva was then able to concentrate its budget on Indonesia, paying around US$94 million, more than double what the territory was worth last time. Those rights will not be sold on, but used for the launch of an MP & Silva-managed BeIN Sport platform in the region. In South Korea SBS-ESPN retained the rights with a marginal uplift in fee, largely     |    "V  market Myanmar is now opening up, with local broadcaster SkyNet willing to pay

some US$39 million for its package. It was   $ && on a standalone basis in the country. There was another substantial rise in India, with the now 100 per cent News Corp-owned ESPN Star retaining its rights with a bid of some US$145 million â&#x20AC;&#x201C; US$100 million more than last time and US$20 million more than its rival MSM bid. Australian rights held steady, with Fox Sports retaining, while MP & Silva drummed up surprise competition in New Zealand, where Sky NZ was ousted for an innovative proposition from Coliseum and free-to-air broadcaster TVNZ.

TEAM PLAYERS A Uefa partner for over 20 years, Lucerne-based Team Marketing works exclusively for Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governing body on the commercial development of the Champions League and Europa League. Chief executive Jamie Graham talks Eoin Connolly through the process of selling for the most prestigious competitions in club football.

First of all, could you introduce Team Marketing and explain what the organisation is about, how itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s structured and so on.

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Team Marketing chief executive Jamie Graham at Stamford Bridge in London on 10th October

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The 2013 Uefa Champions League ďŹ nal: the tournamentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commercial model has always been built on exclusivity and tightly controlled branding


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Who do you view as being the major competitors in your space for those sponsors?

Is there a deliberate strategy not to mimic what the Champions League does in terms of the sponsorship model? Or will the two move closer together?



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THE RECOVERY PLANNERS Stefano Della Villa has introduced a pioneering approach to injury rehabilitation in recent years, with some startling results, after founding Isokinetic Medical Group. Now, as he explains to Michael Long, he hopes to take what he has learned beyond his homeland of Italy and into the international game.


ach year, injured athletes cost professional sports teams across the globe billions of dollars in salary. It is a depressing reality of an industry in which wages, at least in many mainstream team sports, are now astronomical and yet injuries are a frustrating fact of life. According to a study conducted by, Premier League clubs

&& & XY"Y[   injuriesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; each during the 2012/13 season, equating to an average of 940 days per team lost to injury. In a time when the  &  '|&

$ player in England is estimated at around UKÂŁ30,000 a week, it goes without


 &   injuries is considerable. Faced with such a dire situation clubs have two options: to prevent injuries

  $* correct preventative measures, or, short of that, to ensure a speedy recovery. The latter of these solutions is the raison dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ĂŞtre of sports medicine and injury rehabilitation specialists like Bolognabased Isokinetic Medical Group. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Accelerating rehabilitation is important, because if you can save a few weeks you can save a lot of money,â&#x20AC;? says Stefano Della Villa, the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s founder and president. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This, in my opinion, should be the top strategy, the priority, of the teams in all different sports in the future. Now, because the salaries are so big, you cannot afford to pay a patient during lost days.â&#x20AC;? Founded by Della Villa in 1987, Isokinetic now operates seven world class sports injury rehabilitation centres,

34 |

with six in Italy and one in London. It has developed a unique approach to ensure full recovery is achieved as quickly as possible. Unlike more traditional practices, the group creates bespoke rehabilitation programmes focused on the patient, not just the injury, in order to ensure the individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;whole journey from diagnosis through to treatment and  ! 


$   aim of minimising recovery time. This model, Della Villa explains, relies on a â&#x20AC;&#x153;horizontal approachâ&#x20AC;? in which a single case manager oversees each patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s treatment â&#x20AC;&#x153;like an orchestral conductorâ&#x20AC;?, ensuring active and frequent communication between the many areas of expertise involved. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Why does our system work?â&#x20AC;? asks the genial Italian. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because we are well organised.â&#x20AC;? Della Villa is speaking at Isokineticâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bologna headquarters, a state of the art complex of gyms, consultation suites, hydrotherapy facilities, and synthetic pitches set in typically Italian surrounds amid perfectly combed vineyards speckled with terracotta farmhouses. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no magic in our system, we are simply organised,â&#x20AC;? he adds, â&#x20AC;&#x153;which means we put together the doctors, the physiotherapists, the trainers, the medical


 and so the patient can save time because there is a team and facility that helps him to recover from the very beginning to the very end. This is the key.â&#x20AC;? To quantify the value of his groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s service, and how its experience of treating serious and lengthy injuries

comfortably eclipses that of the average professional club, Della Villa points to the example of Fabrizio Tencone, the &   &     Juventus and the director of Isokineticâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s O   "    * as a pitchside doctor for Juventus, Tencone attended more than 400 consecutive matches â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a record at the time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but not until he joined Isokinetic did he really get to know that most dreaded of football injuries, the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). â&#x20AC;&#x153;During this long experience [with =  ÂĽ$&   ACL patients,â&#x20AC;? Della Villa explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Then he started working with us and each year he has 150 or 200 ACL reconstructions. In terms of experience, where would you [as a patient] want to go? Where you have one, maybe two cases a year, or one or two hundred cases a year? â&#x20AC;&#x153;In my opinion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and this is only my opinion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; teams should have a medical department for the very short-term injuries, up to one month, because up to one month it is perfect to do everything inside your facility. But if the injury is a long-term injury prognosis, it is much better to go, not to us, but to people like us, because there is the expertise and there is the team and the facility to get the result. And the result is to save time, and if you save time, you save money.â&#x20AC;? Della Villaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most famous ACL case was that of football icon Roberto Baggio, a little over 11 years ago. At 35, Baggioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s career was undoubtedly on the wane but he was nevertheless a nailed-on certainty to travel with the Italian squad

to the 2002 Fifa World Cup in Korea and Japan. Then, while playing for Brescia in a Serie A match 135 days prior to the start of the showpiece tournament, Baggio sustained a complete tear of his left ACL, an injury that usually takes six months to heal. Within four days he underwent reconstruction surgery and eight days later began a progressive rehabilitation programme at a rate of two sessions a   *   

  every Saturday morning. Meanwhile,   &     as Isokinetic doctors, physicians and trainers raced against time to get Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s star man back to full health. Remarkably, Baggio returned to competitive action just 77 days after surgery, playing a full 90 minutes 13 days later. Eight months post-surgery, he had participated in 62 Serie A matches, scoring 26 times, and had received no further treatment for his knee. Baggioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s record-breaking case may well have been an anomaly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; several &      

  to injury and a strong determination to return to competitive action, are likely to have sped up his recovery process \$   

'  vindication of Isokineticâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s approach. If time is money, as Della Villa says, it pays to be organised. For Mike Davison, though, there is more to it than money. Bringing a more industry-focused viewpoint to the discussion, the managing director of Isokinetic London believes the group, and sports medicine in general, must always be thinking laterally. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a responsibility as an industry to allow the fans, the owners, the other stakeholders to do their jobs properly,â&#x20AC;? he explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Football is an entertainment industry and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s consumed by the public; the public ultimately contribute to the funding of the game. TV rights obviously have a huge impact in that but as a stakeholder, they should be allowed the right to access, or have the availability of, the best players. We shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a system where young players get injured when they are 16 or 17 and are lost from the game. What weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to do is to avoid wastage in the system, to try and 

&  &   expertise perspective. There is a social cost to this, a cost to the future.â&#x20AC;?

In 2002, aged 35, Roberto Baggio recovered from an ACL tear after a 77-day Isokinetic programme SOCCEREXPRO | 35

Educating the industry


sokinetic has been organising educational courses and conferences through its Education & Research Department since 1992. The idea to start them arose after considerable interest, from within Italy and overseas, in the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s novel approach to injury rehabilitation, and what began as a collection of around 20 courses across Italy has now grown into an annual gathering of the leading minds in international sports medicine. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had a lot of questions from our colleagues about our approach,â&#x20AC;? explains Della Villa, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and then we started to get a lot of people coming [to Bologna] just to see the clinic. But in these visits it was impossible for us to explain our philosophy, our approach, because we were busy with the patients. So we decided to organise the courses in order to describe our approach. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very important to have the possibility to

share this experience with others.â&#x20AC;? This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s summit, the 22nd annual International Conference on Sports Rehabilitation and Traumatology, took place over three days in London. The cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre hosting around 1,500 delegates before a satellite congress with a speciďŹ c focus on football, Football Medicine Strategies for Muscle & Tendon Injuries, took place at Wembley Stadium on the ďŹ nal day. Next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s event is due to be held next March in Milanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s MiCo congress centre. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In my opinion, knowledge and sharing knowledge is part of our DNA,â&#x20AC;? Della Villa adds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The conference is not something that we do to increase the business; it is part of us. The power of the culture of sharing experiences is inside every single doctor. We like to speak about our patients. All of the doctors of the world would like to increase the quality of their

services. So we try to do this.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of our goals is to teach our method, our approach to all the practitioners in the world, to bring this like a positive virus in the world. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exactly what happened in Italy. In Italy when we started, there was just us. Now in Italy there are many clinics. So I think that the information and development of our group will not be under our brand, but it will be in the big market of health. For the president of the company this is not very good because it will create competitors, but in terms of service for the world, it is much better.â&#x20AC;? Adds Davison: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have to make a contribution to education. A lot of people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand yet what the words â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sports medicineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; mean, let alone the words â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;football medicineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, let alone rehabilitation. So thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an element of providing the right kind of communication.â&#x20AC;?

From Bologna to the world

American with the creativity of an Italian.â&#x20AC;? Returning to Italy, Della Villa brought Dillinghamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s model back to Europe and  $     R   1987. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was the only doctor, the only physiotherapist, the only receptionist, the only osteopath,â&#x20AC;? he recalls of those early days. Three years later, at the age of 30, Della Villa relocated his clinic to the site of Isokineticâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s present headquarters just outside Bologna, adjacent to the training home of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Serie A team, FC Bologna.

Over the course of the next two decades, as word of mouth spread and patient after patient came and went through the clinicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doors with overwhelmingly positive results, the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s network grew markedly.    & |  R   was completed in 2004, putting it amongst the largest and most innovative rehabilitation centres in Europe. By 2008, a further six centres had been

 B    including Rome, Verona, Rimini, Turin

Isokinetic Medical Group, which takes its name from a type of resistance training that is one of the fastest ways to increase muscle strength, originated when the young Stefano Della Villa was studying at the University of Bologna in the mid1980s. Opting to leave his homeland to embark on a period of overseas study, he travelled to San Francisco to shadow Professor Mike Dillingham, then the chief of the sports medicine programme at Stanford University and the team physician of the San Francisco 49ers NFL team. Della Villa recalls how Dillingham introduced him to an entirely new methodology, a way of treating injuries that was at that time unheard of in Europe. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Overall I learned how to manage the injury, in terms of organisation,â&#x20AC;? he says of his time in the US. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I was there I could really understand the power of organisation; when you have the right people in the right space altogether that work as a team, you can have the result. Now Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m trying to take that approach, to put together the pragmatism of an 36 |

Stefano Della Villa founded Isokinetic, which now operates seven health centres globally, in 1987


TOTAL COVERAGE education special report & the 10 next

November 2013

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Isokinetic Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mike Davison talks to Dr Pierpaolo Zunarelli and president Stefano Della Villa

and two in Milan. Fifa Medical Centre of Excellence status followed in 2009, opening up further opportunities to spread the Isokinetic message far and wide, and the dream now, says Della Villa, is to internationalise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We decided to start something in Europe,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and we decided to start in London because for us London is really the door for the world.â&#x20AC;? With a temporary injury rehabilitation centre in central London and a soon-toopen permanent home round the corner in Harley Street, a road famed for its large number of private specialists in medicine and surgery, Isokinetic hopes to 38 |

shake up the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existing rehabilitation offering. Although headed up by two Englishmen â&#x20AC;&#x201C; managing director Mike Davison and medical director Bryan English, the former doctor at Chelsea FC â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the so-called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;pop-upâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; centre, which opened near Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oxford Street in late 2012, retains Isokineticâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s distinctly Italian feel. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to break the mould of medical-led rehabilitation and focus on managing sports injuries,â&#x20AC;? says Davison, speaking alongside Della Villa in July. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What I think the general population in the UK know is that the ministry of defence is a world class facility for

rehabilitation. The model that is applied in the military is very similar to the one that we follow, and the success of the model is not necessarily its sophistication or continued innovation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s part of what happens â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the organisation of it and the consistency of what you do. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For me with some experience already in the world of sports medicine, physiotherapy, outpatient muscularskeletal services, both to the elite sporting environment and the general population, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very narrow-minded, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very institutionalised view of what happens when you have an injury. Normally what happens when you have an injury in the UK is you go from one queue to another queue to another queue and communication is   

 &  your recovery. When we use the word â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;rehabilitationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the UK most people think about physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is absolutely a part of what we do, and a very important component of what we do, but what we are providing is a process of recovery.â&#x20AC;? # *      target in terms of the number of centres Isokinetic plans to open in the UK, Davison says the ambition, at least for now, is to educate the market; â&#x20AC;&#x153;to apply the learnings and experience of 26 yearsâ&#x20AC;? providing the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s acclaimed service in Italy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is not a business plan that talks about opening      years,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but what we do know is that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve actually started to become an international company, not just a company with international ambition.â&#x20AC;? It is now 26 years since Della Villa

    R   although the company is now actively    & 

*  has not strayed far from its roots. At its core it remains a close-knit business, one that welcomes and treats every patient, professional or amateur, equally and with almost familial warmth. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a story,â&#x20AC;? Della Villa smiles. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The story is a story of patients, a story of people, and a story of knowledge. At the very beginning many young doctors and young physiotherapists, athletic trainers, asked to join me and to start this adventure, and most of them are still working with me in the different clinics.â&#x20AC;?

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE The launch of Hoy Park Sports Development Centre, a highperformance training hub in Durban, is the latest strand of South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2010 Fifa World Cup legacy efforts, as Michael Long discovers.


lans for a multi-million dollar Sports Development Centre in Durban, South Africa were unveiled at the 2013 Soccerex African Forum in early October. The state of the art facility, known as The Hoy Park Sports Development Centre, is set to become a hub for the future development of South African football   ' 

 centre for visiting international teams from around the world. Situated two miles from the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durbanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s host venue for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the centre will boast several full-size grass and  &

$     tennis courts, on-site accommodation and medical facilities, as well as incorporating an international standard football    &  *#& " Created as part of South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2010 Fifa World Cup legacy commitments, the academyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long-term objective will be to supply young talent into South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soccer system while offering a platform for players to further their careers internationally. As part of that goal, each year, students from the academy will be given the chance to test their skills against some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best young players as a Hoy Park Under 19s Select XI, six international teams and a South African under-19s national side participate in the newly created Durban Under 19â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s International Football Tournament.

40 |

Scheduled for completion in 2014, the project is being run by the KwaZuluNatal Province, the City of Durban and IEC in Sports International Events & Communications AB with the backing of the South African Football Association (SAFA). Representatives from those bodies will present plans for the development to the international soccer community during this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Soccerex Global Convention in Rio de Janeiro, providing suppliers from across the globe with the chance to learn about the many commercial opportunities the centre is offering. Prior to the presentation SoccerexPro caught up with David Broomhall, the head of logistics and operations for IEC International Football Events, to discuss the Hoy Park development and the wider impact it is set to have on the future of South African sport. How did you come to be involved in the Hoy Park project?

My involvement with IEC in Sports is the development of new sporting properties for the company, so that we own the rights to these events from the start. Within South Africa itself, my history is the organisation and management of pre-season, post-season and European mid-winter break tournaments, matches and tours for the leading football clubs &   "O 

  when going to the city of Durban and the KwaZulu Natal province was in fact

what has become the Durban Under 19s International Football tournament. That was the driver for it. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been working on this project now for about two years with a guy called Carlos Catalino. Carlos is South African but of Portuguese descent. He lives in Johannesburg and has been running football development centres for youth there whilst looking for an avenue to enlarge these on to a national level for South Africa. Carlos came to me with the prospect of a youth sports development centre and we then approached the government in the city of Durban and the province of KwaZulu Natal with a proposal, and basically itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taken off from there.

Plans for the Hoy Park Sports Development Centre are unveiled at Soccerex Africa in the presence of Danny Jordaan (centre), the new SAFA president

What is the current state of Hoy Park and how exactly do you plan to develop it?

Hoy Park is an existing piece of land given over to sport and recreation already. On it there are existing football pitches and tennis courts and SAFAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s municipality of eThekwini headquarters. What weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking to do is refurbish it from the ground up, dig out everything that is there and relay the pitches. Not only are we planning to have the best natural grass pitches, but also the best synthetic pitches. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have three fullsize, latest standard synthetic pitches and ''     we may go to four of those. What that will allow us to do, as well as catering

for both South African and international football teams, is open them to the general public. Through the building side of the development centre, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a full gymnasium, a hotel, and a medical and rehabilitation centre there as well. Teams and individuals, not only in football but in rugby, cricket, athletics, etc, will be able to come and utilise the facility for rehabilitation from injury as well as utilise the accommodation block and be able to stay there. That, again, is offering back into South African sport nationally. We will be able to offer all of South African sport a purpose-built venue that they can utilise when theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in Durban.

What is the timeframe for completion?

We hope by the end of October, into the beginning of November, to have the agreements in place and then look to have the groundbreaking ceremony in the middle of November. The project will then take ten months to build. 70 million South African rand (approximately US$7.16 million) has been allocated for the project. How is that being funded?

That is [the cost of] the build and the redevelopment of Hoy Park. That will come from the city, from the province and also from sponsorship and commercial partners as well. We are actively in the market at the moment in terms of seeking SOCCEREXPRO | 41

terms of being able to present the under-19s and Hoy Park on a national and international scale it was great for us. Obviously having Danny there â&#x20AC;&#x201C; heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d only been elected as president of SAFA three days before â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and to have the endorsement of the national minister of sport for South Africa, it gave us a great & &    $  announce both Hoy Park and the under19s tournament. As for the reaction so far, we havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t         !    ! going to work with on the installation of both the grass pitches and the synthetic pitches. But already from within South Africa, and also now from around the world, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had enquiries on those because people have followed the announcement. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s given really an international shop window, basically, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to help us and the development drive forward on an international basis. How will the sports tourism element of the development, which aims to promote Durban and the KwaZulu Natal Province as a world class sporting destination, beneďŹ t the local region?

Based in Durban, the Hoy Park Sports Development Centre will feature on-site medical facilities and accommodation, as well as several full-size football pitches, when it opens its doors next year

sponsorship and commercial partners and the reaction to it has been tremendous so far, because obviously what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking to do here is develop for the country a state of the art centre that goes across not just football but all sports.

input through Danny [Jordaan], the new president, offers a whole different ball game. Having their endorsement and input into it will enable Hoy Park to become SAFAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s regional development centre as well.

How will the involvement of the South African Football Association (SAFA) beneďŹ t the project?

How beneďŹ cial was your attendance and the announcement at the Soccerex African Forum?

They are going to become a partner in the project, so this has now taken on a new dimension as far as South African football is concerned. Obviously SAFAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

I think that, as far as our attendance there went, it was invaluable. This is going to be a huge development opportunity for the country, but in

42 |

What we were looking at with the academy element of the development centre is the fact that we can then invite leading international clubs to come to South Africa basically as a one-stop shop in Durban where they can, out of season, use the development centre and its facilities for all of their training and development within those periods. The city of Durban will then look to have those teams play matches there as part of their training schedule. From IECâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perspective, we will then aim to capitalise on those matches by selling on the international television rights, so it becomes a win-win: the clubs get a purpose-built facility in the city of Durban â&#x20AC;&#x201C; where the temperature, if you know, ranges from 23 degrees to 29 degrees and throughout the year the weather conditions are perfect for team training â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the city then gets, by building the facility along with IEC, the international publicity as being a world sporting hub. That will then drive sports      $ $ *  the city and province.

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RETURNING TO THE COSMOS The New York Cosmos were the undisputed star attraction of the original North American Soccer League but when the competition folded, the team fell dormant for over 30 years. Now they are back and, as new chairman Seamus Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien tells Ian McPherson, they are thinking internationally and working carefully towards a more sustainable future.


he biggest challenge for us was not stopping and watching him play,â&#x20AC;? recalled former New York Cosmos captain Werner Roth of the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s early training sessions after the arrival of Brazilian superstar PelĂŠ in 1975. The gulf in class between the three-time Fifa World Cup winner and his new teammates was hardly surprising. The disparity between North American football and traditionally dominant nations throughout Europe and South America

at the time was sizeable, while the North American Soccer League (NASL), which launched in 1968, had struggled to make any notable impression on American football, baseball and basketballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stranglehold on the US sports market. However, with the former Santos star on their books â&#x20AC;&#x201C; along with later high    2  

 Alberto and Franz Beckenbauer, among others â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the Cosmos were a different animal, dominating the NASL and

attracting attention the world over. Such was the star-studded teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s celebrity that in 1976 the Cosmos, who were founded by brothers Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun along with Steve Ross of Warner Communications, traded their shabby Downing Stadium for Major League Baseballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (MLB) Yankee Stadium to accommodate their bulging fanbase. 12 months later they moved again, this time into the sparkling new 80,000-capacity 2  { = "

Mick Jagger (centre) joins PelĂŠ (second left) and New York Cosmos co-founder Ahmet Ertegun (right) after a North American Soccer League game at Giants Stadium in 1977 44 |

Media frenzies, enormous television audiences and unprecedented crowds ensued â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the 77,691 fans that attended the Cosmosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; game with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1977 is still a national record â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as the world-renowned team lit the fuse of a US football boom. That boom, for the Cosmos and the NASL at least, proved short-lived. â&#x20AC;&#x153;PelĂŠ isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t playing on Saturday and the last thing in anybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind is ¢%%% 2  Â&#x201E; ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to happen,â&#x20AC;? admits the New York Cosmosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; current chairman Seamus Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien during an interview at J  ! =  O  " The founder and executive chairman of Singapore-based sports marketing /  2 ¨/2Š heads up an ownership group that assumed control of the Cosmos in November 2011, and says the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s illustrious history is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;double-edged swordâ&#x20AC;? today. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t going to happen for a couple of years if Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m lucky,â&#x20AC;? he adds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So rebasing everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expectations has been our biggest challenge because thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fantasy land.â&#x20AC;? The Cosmos still regularly call on the likes of PelĂŠ, now the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s honorary president, and Carlos Alberto for press conferences and corporate events. â&#x20AC;&#x153;On the one hand you wish you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have it but on the other you know that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an integral part of the experience, the value, the brand,â&#x20AC;? admits Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Am I glad weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got it? Sure, heck yeah. Does it cause us problems? It causes us problems in managing expectations.â&#x20AC;? Having taken control of the team, Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien and the Cosmosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; new ownership  \     & /2 shareholders and representatives from Saudi Arabia-based sports marketing agency Sela Sport and backed by further investment from French media giant Lagardère â&#x20AC;&#x201C; went about instilling changes to streamline operations. Following the somewhat calamitous tenure of former chairman and chief executive Paul Kemsley â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the outspoken British businessman who stepped down from the board in October 2011 after his extravagant plans failed to materialise â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a considerable amount of effort was required to ensure the club was on sure footing. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve stripped it back to scratch, literally,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve kept    &  "

New York Cosmos chairman Seamus Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien with the Emirates Airlines vice chairman Nabil Sultan

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve stripped it back to scratch, literally. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve kept two people in the ofďŹ ce and started again.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not going to talk about names, but we had to go in and we went back to base camp. We re-evaluated every deal that they got into and decided to keep them or extricate ourselves from them,  & =   March [of 2012]. So by April we kind of had a clean deck, and we then set about saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Where do we want to go with this?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; It took about 90 days to get in and restructure.â&#x20AC;? One of the principal decisions the new owners made was to re-enter the NASL, now US footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second division, rather than seek a place in Major League Soccer (MLS). The NASL was rebooted in 2009 and is currently an eight-team league split into distinct spring and fall championships, with the two winners facing off in a championship game for the Soccer Bowl trophy in November.

Three franchises are set to enter the league next season with two more, from = *

`* B  2015 to push the number of teams to 13. There were, of course, a host of reasons for the Cosmos to sidestep MLS in 2013, including the increasingly |  & $ the leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s operators. The formation of New York City FC â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a new MLS franchise, co-owned by MLBâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s New York Yankees and Premier League side Manchester City, which is expected to begin playing in 2015 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; was almost certainly chief among them, even if it was only announced in May. According to Forbes, City and the Yankees paid a US$100 million expansion fee to become the 20th MLS franchise, around US$60 million more than Montreal Impact paid to enter in 2012. SOCCEREXPRO | 45

However, playing in the second tier        the NASLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decentralised business model gives the Cosmos a lot of commercial leg-room. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to be part of the global soccer economy and we think we can achieve that,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When we looked at the various opportunities, it pretty soon became clear that we would struggle to do that, the game we wanted to play, in the MLS structure. But we took a look at the other structure, which is a decentralised model as against MLS which is a very centralised model, and we felt in the business that we wanted to be able to structure around the team, we wanted the freedom to do that.â&#x20AC;? MLS holds a substantial portion of its teamsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; commercial rights centrally and, through its marketing arm Soccer United Marketing (SUM), has struck several long-term league-wide agreements, including national broadcast contracts with ESPN and NBC Sports as well as a * #  !  &  athletic sponsor and product supplier, which runs until 2018. On the other hand, the NASL allows teams to retain the vast majority of their commercial rights, affording them the freedom to

Proposals for a new 25,000-seater home for the New York Cosmos are currently being considered by the New York state government 46 |

pursue sponsorship and broadcast deals on an individual basis. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[In the NASL] youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all members of a league but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re independent businesses,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien explains, â&#x20AC;&#x153;whereas in the other model youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re one business collectively. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all fair and well, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very American model, and my view is that it works in sports that are predominately North American, where youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re living in a controlled environment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At the end of the day, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impossible to play the world game and think any one market works in isolation from everywhere else â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a complete fantasy.â&#x20AC;? As a result of the NASLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decentralised model, the Cosmos have brokered a number of lucrative commercial agreements, including a broadcast deal with US sports network One World Sports (OWS). The One Media Corpowned channel, which will broadcast all of the Cosmosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; home games in 2013, has    * /2 holds multiple contracts with the agency for rights to golf and football properties throughout Asia. OWS has subsequently signed a distribution agreement with SportsNet

New York (SNY), the TV home of the New York Mets MLB franchise and the National Football Leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (NFL) New ~ *= &    X%} while digital rights company Perform has come on board to build a club channel. In addition, the Cosmos have entered a partnership with Nike after its sale of previous kit supplier Umbro, and have signed a front-of-shirt sponsorship deal with Dubai-based airline Emirates. The latter deal spans an initial three-year term, sees Emirates become a founding partner of the club and includes the option for naming rights to the Cosmosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; proposed new 25,000-capacity stadium near Belmont Park racecourse on the border of Queens and Long Island. The stadium plans, which have been met with protests by some local residents, include nine restaurants, a 175room hotel and 250,000 square feet of shopping space. At the time of writing, the proposal is being considered by the New York state government. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We think our proposition is pretty robust,â&#x20AC;? says Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We think, economically, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a better outcome for the state than what we believe are three other retail options. Nobody else has

WSG: Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sports marketing hub orld Sport Group (WSG) is Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest sports marketing, media and event management ďŹ rm, with over 150 staff in eight ofďŹ ces throughout Asia-PaciďŹ c and the Middle East. The Singapore-headquartered ďŹ rm has an exclusive marketing partnership in place with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), is a major stakeholder in Asian golf and serves as the exclusive global media partner of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in cricket. The ďŹ rm was founded by Seamus Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien, now executive chairman, as Asia Sport Group in 1992. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have a management philosophy of


senior guys always working yourself out of a job,â&#x20AC;? says Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien, speaking in June. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the only way you grow a company. Senior management have got to have head space to develop new opportunities. But our core business is as robust as it has ever been.â&#x20AC;? That philosophy seems to be paying dividends, as WSG has become a member of the group contracted by the Singapore Sports Council to design, build, ďŹ nance and operate the Singapore Sports Hub. The city-stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new sports and entertainment centre is due to open in April. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think the stadium business in Asia is going to move and obviously

weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a position on Sports Hub in Singapore, which is great,â&#x20AC;? Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be a stepping stone to other things. You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get many of those in a lifetime â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a big, big infrastructure spend.â&#x20AC;? Despite expanding into â&#x20AC;&#x153;the stadium businessâ&#x20AC;?, WSGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s core property is, and will continue to be, soccer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Football is going to be the number one sport [in Asia] as it is in Europe,â&#x20AC;? adds Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m happy to say, in my lifetime, I think America will be the biggest soccer market in the world. Football, with the exception of the sub-continent, is obviously the biggest sport in the region from east to west.â&#x20AC;?

  $ Â&#x201E; !      have gone public with our plans. The others, we believe, are big retailers or shopping malls. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our view is if the state wants to ensure the long-term viability of Belmont, building a world class sports facility adjacent to it will ultimately lead to the redevelopment of Belmont itself, in line with the redevelopment of all the major racetracks over here [in the UK]    "&  $  shopping mall, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably signing its death warrant, in our view.â&#x20AC;? Bucking the trend of many US

stadium projects, the Cosmosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; scheme is entirely privately funded â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a factor which `!R$  $  $!  chances of receiving state go-ahead, as   '  $" â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all privately funded, debt and equity         Â&#x153;  "ÂĄ &  stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perspective we think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a pretty good offer. Ultimately youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to have your own stadium because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a key part of your economics. You can rent somebody elseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stadium but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always better if you own it yourself. At some point we will have our own home.â&#x20AC;?

Though the success of the Cosmosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Belmont Park project is an integral piece in their immediate future, Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien admits that New York is a very congested market â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;our biggest competition in New York is not Red Bulls or Man City { ~ *Â&#x201E;!     that already exist in more established, mature sportsâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and points to the Asian markets in which he has spent 30 years plying his trade as central to his vision for the team. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I fully intend to play to that knowledge base,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can expect us over the course of the next few years to have players on the roster that will play to that opportunity.â&#x20AC;?  ]ÂĄ/ = * on the roster this year [Satoru Kashiwase] and fully expect there to be other players from that neck of the woods down the track. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no different to why Manchester United will sign somebody, or Arsenal, or anybody else.â&#x20AC;? Though Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Brien says his ownership group are not expecting an overnight success, and have budgeted on selling B %%% *  *  season, he remains adamant of his ultimate goal for the team. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For us this is  'B $ *   of North American soccer,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think we can get there â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have started if we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think we could â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but you only get there by doing this right. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to build it.â&#x20AC;?

The reborn New York Cosmos take on Leyton Orient in a friendly at Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Brisbane Road in July


THE TRAINING PITCH In its efforts to build an experienced sales force who could take football to new followers in the US, Major League Soccer created its National Sales Center in 2010. Bryant Pfeiffer, the leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vice president of club services, talks to Michael Long about an academy which is now drawing admirers across the sport.


he economic downturn may have made the challenge of selling tickets to sporting events that bit harder in recent years but Major League Soccer (MLS) has found a unique way of tackling the problem head on. Three and a half years ago the league took the innovative step of establishing the MLS National Sales Center (NSC), a central sales-training academy based in Blaine, Minnesota that would support its member clubs through the recession-induced slump whilst cultivating a highly trained workforce of ticket sales professionals. Bryant Pfeiffer, the vice president of club services at MLS who heads up an in-house consultant group that advises all 19 teams across the league on areas such as ticket sales, premium seating, advertising and marketing, is the brains behind the operation. Speaking in September, he explains how the NSC came into existence in July 2010. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the things we noticed a couple of years ago that was pretty prevalent across all of our clubs is the inexperience of our sales force,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and while we still try to grow the game in the US we noticed that 85 per cent of our salespeople across the league had under three years of sales experience, and on top of that we noticed that 46 per cent of our league-wide sales force had under a year of experience. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So as weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been given the mandate from our commissioner to build a soccer nation and to grow into one of the top leagues in the world over a period of time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; our mission is by 2022 to be one of the top three leagues in the world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we felt there was an opportunity at the macro level to invest in kind of a palate-development initiative to help our salespeople across the league get

48 |

Bryant Pfeiffer, the MLS vice president of club services, has overseen the development of the NSC

stronger and help our sales management across the league with recruiting, training and building stronger sales cultures. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how the National Sales Center was born.â&#x20AC;? The NSC is situated on the campus of the National Sports Center, North Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest amateur sports complex that boasts some 52 football pitches, eight rinks for ice hockey, a velodrome, an

18-hole golf course, and is the home of North American Soccer League (NASL) team Minnesota United. Immersing its students from the get-go, it provides dormitories and cafeterias on site to create a round-the-clock collegiate vibe. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They actually live a hundred feet &  & &  plan,â&#x20AC;? says Pfeiffer, who spent 14 years overseeing sales and marketing for the

Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team before joining MLS. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very similar to a university setting.â&#x20AC;?     graduates with bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degrees, the NSC is all about appealing to young     &  engaging them. Its recruitment process, for example, requires candidates to submit a rĂŠsumĂŠ and a two-minute â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;elevator pitchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the form of a video answering two simple questions: why soccer and why sales? â&#x20AC;&#x153;You learn a lot from people in two minutes,â&#x20AC;? Pfeiffer says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do they have some sales instincts? Do they have some personality? Are they creative at all? Do they even answer the questions? Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quite a bit you can pick up from these videos. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s almost like trying out for a reality TV show.â&#x20AC;? Fully funded by the league and headed up by two full-time directors, the NSC enrols students four times a year, with between 15 and 20 applicants from all over the world selected for each intensive â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sessionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of up to four months. Once accepted, those individuals embark on a 200-hour classroom curriculum that teaches them the basics of selling tickets in a variety of situations such as over the phone or face to face. Additionally, in what Pfeiffer calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;a fully decked-out call facility that looks like a regular sports team sales

& Â&#x153;      *   real leads provided by MLS clubs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beautiful,â&#x20AC;? adds Pfeiffer, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is that we are giving them real-world experience and facing real life Major League Soccer objections and doing it in a safe environment where we can record every single conversation, review those conversations and give them instant feedback so that they develop good habits early.â&#x20AC;? Complementing those more traditional forms of sales training, novel teaching    $*  &  politics are a key part of the programme. One aspect of the course sees staff from Brave New Workshop, a theatre and comedy club in downtown Minneapolis, work with trainees to develop their sales

* $     improvisational techniques used by actors. Says Pfeiffer: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are so many correlations between sales and improv: thinking quick on your feet, deferring judgment, going in open-minded,

Based in Blaine, Minnesota, the MLS NSC works to create an effective sales force for the league

thinking big, working with a partner to elevate a scene. We have a lot of young people go through this programme. If weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re able to do some things that put them in uncomfortable situations, like improv, and they can get comfortable being uncomfortable, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to make it a lot easier when they get hired by the team to go into an environment where they know nobody, pick up the phone and have heavy goals on them.â&#x20AC;? That line of thinking underpins the NSCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s methodology and is the reason why Pfeiffer refers to the programme as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a test lab for sales cultureâ&#x20AC;?; a place where new techniques are tried and tested before potentially being rolled out league-wide. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our two directors are constantly trying new motivational techniques, new ways to run a contest, new ways to facilitate a meeting with a group or a one-on-one individual meeting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all kinds of fun things,â&#x20AC;? Pfeiffer explains. ÂĄ&  * &  *  and drives the meter we bottle it up and we package it and share it with all of our teams across the league, all of our management. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s another layer of support that we believe we are providing to all of our sales leadership and making them stronger by things weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re discovering here in the test lab.â&#x20AC;?

While the real-world selling portion of the programme serves the additional purpose of generating revenue for the league and its clubs, Pfeiffer explains that the primary focus is on preparing students for long-term success and, ultimately, creating a fervent talent pool for the teams to select from. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This has been a big asset for all of our clubs across the league because we have this bullpen of salespeople ready at any given time,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the things that we learned three years ago was that there is so much pressure on some of our sales leadership to manufacture their next sell-out, that a lot of times if an open spot became available on their sales team they werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t able to start recruiting until that spot came open and it might take them 20 to }% Y%    "O&  thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just lost revenue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So now we have this programme available to them at a national level so that they can pluck a well-trained, eager future all-star out of the programme that they can plug in place immediately and they can make an impact, instead of hiring someone locally and having it take six to eight months for that person to build their   "Â&#x153; By shortening the learning curve associated with a new hire, Pfeiffer says SOCCEREXPRO | 49

the NSC and its alumni have exceeded all expectations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our research indicates that trainees who have come through the programme are out-producing those local hires who were hired at the same time by clubs,â&#x20AC;? he reveals. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also seeing that trainees coming out of the programme are staying with clubs longer, which probably isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t too big a surprise because it really takes a special person to say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hey, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll move to Minnesota for a non-guaranteed opportunity to learn how to sell and then I might be going anywhere in North America.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; It shows that these people have a lot of desire to be in professional soccer and to help build a soccer nation.â&#x20AC;? As for the graduation process, Pfeiffer explains that the NSC employs a complex ranking system to judge whether a trainee is ready to interview for a sales role at an MLS team. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Primarily theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re measured on sales performance when theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re selling for the teams,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but we also have different points that they can earn based on their scores from their evaluations on a weekly basis. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a ranking for leadership qualities that they exhibit during the programme; we have a ranking where we actually have the peers rank each other. We look at their call numbers, so from an effort standpoint, and we kind of put all that together and have a ratio of how

The MLS NSC blends innovative training strategies with real-world sales experience for students

we weight those different factors then produce a ranking. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The top two or three ranked performers overall are generally made eligible to have interviews each month.â&#x20AC;? While a job is not guaranteed at the end of a session, around 110 trainees have already been placed with different MLS clubs since the scheme began in 2010. It is a level of success that has driven Pfeiffer to seek ways of applying the NSCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s model to other areas of the MLS club business. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We think there are opportunities to replicate this in the sponsorship area,

Around 110 NSC trainees have been placed with MLS clubs since the scheme was launched in 2010 50 |

premium seating, digital sales,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve actually done some training where we have brought some of our   &     the basics of sales, so we think non    $&   introduction to sales philosophy.â&#x20AC;? Sports organisations across the US, operating both within and outside football, have already taken a keen interest in the NSC and national attention is now translating into worldwide recognition. Last year the programme won the Sponsorship, Sales & Marketing Award at the Stadium Business Awards in Italy, while Pfeiffer has spent many months travelling to sports conferences and events across the globe with the aim of spreading the NSC word and educating the wider sports industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not aware of anything in the world that is like it, especially in professional sports,â&#x20AC;? he says of the programme. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been approached by quite a few people, not only leagues and teams in the US but also abroad, to help either build something similar or to potentially assist them with training their people. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So I could see, down the road, there could be variations where we actually put on some boot camps in the UK or maybe offer some of our friends at different football clubs in the UK the opportunity to send some of their management to spend some time with us in the US, and we could teach them how to train. I think there are all kinds of opportunities.â&#x20AC;?

AT THE CENTRE OF THINGS Mexican football entered a new era in the summer of 2012 with the launch of Liga MX, an independent top ďŹ&#x201A;ight. With its second season now underway, president Decio de Maria tells Eoin Connolly how the league hopes to become a commercial force which can beneďŹ t the whole game.


ith the US emerging to the north and some of the gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aristocratic mainstays to the south, Mexico can sometimes seem like footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s forgotten force. Though they   & )    this time around the national team have    & $ &  of Fifa World Cups, reaching the

    &   tournaments, and shocked Brazil to win Olympic gold at London 2012. League football in Mexico is also abundant and well established, with its club teams long pre-eminent in Central America. Yet as far as those running the national game were concerned, it had not been living up to its enormous potential in a country of over 115 million people. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our league was old â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 40, 50 years old,â&#x20AC;? says Liga MX president Decio De Maria, speaking in October. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But being inside of the womb of the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) was something that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put a lot of the focus on the development of the league.â&#x20AC;? Liga MX is Mexican footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attempt to address that issue. In the summer of 2012, the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top division formally broke away from the rest of the game as top clubs sought to take hold of their own commercial destiny. ÂĄ/  & &  * comparison analysis of the world, the best leagues are structured more or less like the Premier League, so in that sense we had to do that movement,â&#x20AC;? explains De Maria. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Secondly, in Mexico the league was part of the federation and in the end federations are more focused on national 52 |

Decio De Maria, the president of Mexicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Liga MX, pictured in London on Thursday 10th October

teams than developing leagues, so we achieved a moment in which the structure of our national teams was successful and it was time to do this movement to construct a type of Premier League.â&#x20AC;?    &  | $ * & V7V&   time but De Maria, who spent almost nine years as general secretary of the federation before heading up the league, insists the two parties will not be working at cross-purposes. Quite the opposite, & ]   & &&|


&   & $ 7  City, he says they are now free to grow the two halves of the sport according to their own strengths. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Right now, I think we are a case study for people who like to study soccer,â&#x20AC;? he adds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The way football is structured in Mexico is different â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not to say unique, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s different â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as compared to Europe, England or Italy or Spain. We  ! &  B  walk a parallel road.â&#x20AC;? The divisions below Liga MX remain in the hands of the FMF, leaving the elite competition to concentrate on its own targets. Central to De Mariaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vision for the future is a better experience for match-going Mexican fans, with the league aiming to encourage all clubs to convert their home grounds to all-seater facilities in the medium term. That proposal ties into the administratorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; ambitions for league-wide attendances to climb above an average of 50 per cent over â&#x20AC;&#x153;a period of three to four yearsâ&#x20AC;?. De Maria claims television audiences have already exceeded the   &  " Social campaigning efforts have also been stepped up, with six programmes run throughout the year in support of various initiatives. In October, for example, matches are played with a pink football to raise awareness of breast cancer, with an orange ball used in March as part of a campaign to encourage exercise and combat obesity among Mexican youngsters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Soccer is owned by the fans and we develop a lot of programmes in terms of social responsibility to allow soccer to give society important messages and actions,â&#x20AC;? says De Maria. The league achieved one vital   $B =   completed a worldwide naming rights

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being inside of the womb of the federation didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put a lot of the focus on the development of the league.â&#x20AC;? deal with BBVA Bancomer, reportedly worth around US$30 million. â&#x20AC;&#x153;BBVA Bancomer is one of the two most important banks in Mexico,â&#x20AC;? says De Maria, â&#x20AC;&#x153;with a very old history in Mexico, and for them it was important, as they did in Spain where they sponsor the Spanish league, to have a presence in the Mexican market through the Liga MX. For them it was very important to be part of that development. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We structured a deal for three years plus two for this partnership for the naming of the league, and so far it has been a very good relationship with very good results, and we hope to be with them for a long period of time.â&#x20AC;? Though the league can sell in a range of categories the bulk of sponsorship rights have remained with the teams in the restructure. Unusually, so too have broadcast rights, with Liga MX eschewing the chance to centralise sales and persevering with the model which has sustained the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clubs thus far. TV Azteca, Televisa, Fox Sports, Sky and ESPN carve up coverage of J7ÂŞ  $  is a system that has the support of De Maria, who believes â&#x20AC;&#x153;itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fair enough in order to give retribution to teams in terms of their performanceâ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And yes, there are teams that can get more money than others but until now thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not been the case,â&#x20AC;? he adds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are people who would like to have a change because thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the way the global markets are doing it. There are broadcasters who would like to have the right to be part of that market. But right now, the Mexican market has been growing with that framework and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t foresee any changes in the short run.â&#x20AC;? While it may not have taken control of television rights, Liga MX is now in a position where it can manage the process of internationalising the brand of the  "O *    

enough, is that of Mexicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s massive neighbour to the north. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very important for your readers to know that we share the biggest border in the world with the US,â&#x20AC;? notes De Maria, drily. The US and Mexico are the giants of the Concacaf confederation and theirs is a strong relationship, albeit one â&#x20AC;&#x153;based

Â&#x153;"` between the two national teams is one that neither dare lose. Club sides have developed a similarly healthy enmity through the short-lived Superliga and the Concacaf Champions League as 7B J  ¨7JŠ   Mexicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shadow. De Maria has a strong professional relationship with United States Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, with whom he shared a stage at Leaders, and a burgeoning partnership with MLS commissioner Don Garber. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a market, together, of almost half a billion people,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In Mexico we are 110 million, in the US they are close to 400 million. So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a huge market where soccer is growing. You can live in the US and watch all the Mexican games from      ÂŤ >{ Deportes and ESPN 2]. The Copa MX is televised 100 per cent in the US market. So we have a very close relationship and there are players from MLS that come and play in Mexico, Mexican players are starting to play in MLS, a lot of bi-national players are playing in MLS and in Mexico and also in the national team for the US.â&#x20AC;? That approach to the US is formalised in the Liga MX sponsorship strategy. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have partners right now, league partners in the US like Coors beer, and we are expanding that,â&#x20AC;? reveals De Maria. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We  $B     in Mexico and six partners in the US, plus the naming of the league which is worldwide. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our commercial model that we are working on right now.â&#x20AC;? That said, the US is by no means the only market that De Maria has SOCCEREXPRO | 53

Liga MX: an introduction


ince the creation of the breakaway Liga MX in 2012, the top division of Mexican soccer has featured 18 clubs. There are two championships each season: the apertura from August to December and the clausura from January to May. Teams play each other once in each championship, with the

top eight advancing to the play-off stage – the liguilla. The two finalists in the clausura qualify for North and Central America’s Concacaf Champions League. The top three teams in the apertura competition qualify for the Copa Libertadores, run by South America’s Comnebol federation, provided they are not already participating in the


Concacaf Champions League. One team is relegated from the top flight each year, based on a table of points average from league-stage games played over the previous three seasons. They are replaced by the champions of the second-tier Ascenso MX, which is still operated by the Mexican Football Federation (FMF).


Stadium (Capacity)

Club América

One of Mexico's biggest clubs and the most successful team in Concacaf competitions.


Azteca, Mexico City (105,000)

Club de Fútbol Atlante Club Atlas

Popular in pre-war Mexico, Atlante moved from the capital to Cancún in 2007. Winners of only one Mexican title, Atlas are best known for a technical style of play and a tradition of producing young players. Playing their first season in Liga MX after the relocation of San Luis in the summer of 2013. Eight-time champions and the first Mexican team to reach the Copa Libertadores final. A national powerhouse who exclusively field Mexican players, Chivas contest El Super Clasico with Club América. Hugely successful in the 20th century, León returned to Liga MX in 2012 after a decade in the second tier.


Andrés Quintana Roo, Cancún (20,000) Jalisco, Guadalajara (56,713)

Chiapas Fútbol Club Cruz Azul Futbol Club, A.C. Club Deportivo Guadalajara Club León

Club de Fútbol Monterrey Club Atlético Monarcas Morelia Pachuca Club de Fútbol Club de Fútbol Puebla Querétaro Fútbol Club Club Santos Laguna Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente Deportivo Toluca Fútbol Club Tigres de la UANL

Pumas de la UNAM Club Deportivo Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz

1916 2002 1927

Victor Manuel Reyna, Tuxtla Gutiérrez (27,500) Azul, Mexico City (35,161)


Omnilife, Zapopan (49,850)


León, León (30,000)

Enjoying a golden era after three straight Concacaf Champions League titles and moving to a new 50,000-seater stadium in 2014. Mexican champions just once in their history, Morelia were the last team to win the short-lived Superliga with US clubs. League founder members and only team anywhere to win a club title outside their own confederation: the 2006 Copa Sudamericana. The city of Puebla waited 40 years for its team to become professional, then just one more for a major trophy: the 1945 Copa Mexico. An original invitee to Mexico's second division, but refounded this year in a complex attempt to escape relegation back there. Among the most popular clubs in Mexican soccer, despite being among the newer arrivals. The latest attempt to establish a top side in Tijuana has enjoyed significant early success.

1945 1924

Tecnológico, Monterrey (38,622) Morelos, Morelia (35,000)


Hidalgo, Pachuca (35,000)


Cuauhtémoc, Puebla (42,648)


Caliente, Tijuana (21,000)

Resurgent in recent years, Toluca have won the league and cup ten times apiece. The official team of Nuevo León's UANL have been relegated just once since their top-flight debut in 1974.


Nemesio Díez, Toluca (27,000) Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza (42,000)

The seven-time champions grew from an amateur university team and take their colours from Indiana's University of Notre Dame. Reformed this year after the relocation of La Piedad, Veracruz have a rivalry with Puebla dating back to their amateur days.


1950/2013 Corregidora, Querétaro (33,277) 1983 Corona, Torreón (30,000)


Olimpico Universitario, Mexico City (53,000) 1943/2013 Luis de la Fuente, Veracruz (26,148)

*Disqualified from play-offs due to relegation. Rejoined Liga MX when owner bought Jaguares de Chiapas. ^As San Luis; moved to Chiapas at the end of the 2012/13 season to replace Jaguares.

54 |

2012 Apertura

2013 Clausura

Key sponsors






Grupo Televisa




Alejandro Burillo Azcárraga











Carlos Hugo López Chargoy Cooperativa La Cruz Azul



TV Azteca/ESPN

Grupo Omnilife



Fox Sports

Grupo Pachuca



TV Azteca/Sky




TV Azteca/Sky

Grupo Salinas



TV Azteca/Sky

Grupo Pachuca




Rafael Moreno Valle Rosas



TV Azteca/Sky

Grupo Delfines




Orlegi Deportes



Nike, Coca-Cola, Powerade, Bimbo, Corona, Banamex, Interjet, Nutrilite, Total Kappa, Corona, Rivera Masa, Volaris, ADO, Pegaso Nike, Corona, Coca-Cola, Gatorade, Javer Casas, Volaris Pirma, Soriana, Corona, City Club, OCC, Gatorade, Domino's, E-Pura Umbro, Coca-Cola, Powerade, Tecate, Telcel, Scotiabank Adidas, Bimbo, Tecate, Scotiabank, Omnilife, Pepsi, Samsung Pirma, Telcel, Corona, Coca-Cola, Cementos Fortaleza, Primera Plus, Office Depot, Providencia Cobertores Nike, Bimbo, Coca-Cola, Carta Blanca, Telcel, BBVA Bancomer Joma, Bridgestone, Autovias, Movistar, Dportenis, Coca-Cola, Elektra, Corona Nike, Cementos Fortaleza, Telcel, Mobil Super, Office Depot, Pepsi, ADO Pirma, Volkswagen, Corona, Coca-Cola, Telcel, Estrella Roja, Elektra, Perea Perea, Soccer Academy Pirma, Orsan, Oceanografia, Libertad, Casa Inn, Tecate, Coca-Cola, AND Puma, Soriana, Corona, Lala, Penoles, Pepsi, Banamex, Holcim Nike, Caliente, Tecate, Volaris, Calimax, Boing, Telcel, Casas Geo, ABC, Carl's Jr

TV Azteca/ESPN

Grupo Caliente




Valentín Díez Morodo



TV Azteca/Sky

Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León






Under Armour, Banamex, Aero Mexico, Coca-Cola, Movistar, Corona Extra Adidas, Cemex Monterrey Extra, CocaCola, Home Depot, Carta Blanca, Bokados, Telcel Puma, Banamex, Aero Mexico, Telcel, ICA, Roshfrans, Coca-Cola, Infinitum Kappa, Winpot Casino, Aero Mexico, Tecate, Boing, ADO

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Fidel Kuri Grajales


NB: Newly promoted La Piedad moved to Veracruz at the end of the 2012/13 season. The existing Veracruz team were bought by the owners of Ascenso MX side Atletico San Luis.


his sights on. With Mexican clubs permitted to compete in South American confederation Conmebolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Copa Libertadores as well as the Concacaf Champions League, he believes the international progress of Liga MX will $ $   && " â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think the US is a very important market because of the region but we want to go everywhere,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I mean, for the Fifa Club World Cup we have been at almost all the events and we have to win that tournament once. We are working towards that. This year, in December, another Mexican team is going to be representing Concacaf. So we want to be in that market, and we want to develop the European market, and we are present in the South American market because we play Libertadores and at the national team level we play Copa America, too. So no, we want to spread out, basically, through all the markets, either on TV or through the participation of Mexican teams.â&#x20AC;? Of course, such ambition means that Liga MX will be assessed by the standards of its competitors across the globe. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are always watching and studying different cases,â&#x20AC;? says De Maria. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is always something to learn from everybody. We are not closed to that â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we are very open to understanding that. What you call, here in Europe, Financial Fair Play, we are trying to do the Mexicantype Financial Fair Play, which I think is a sound policy. We always want to learn.â&#x20AC;? There are some respects in which the practices of the Liga MX would $ & $&|  European observers. The merry-go-round that followed the end of the 2012/13 season is a neat illustration. Responding    $!  2  @  and QuerĂŠtaro FC owner Amado Omar ~($  & =   de Chiapas, effectively buying back a place in the top league. San Luis then moved    *=  !    prompted second-tier Atletico San Luis to buy Veracruz. La Piedad, newly promoted to Liga MX, subsequently relocated to $ O$   < B

Â&#x2021;  (" Such confusion met with a painstakingly diplomatic response from De Maria at the time, as he suggested that while the moves could be â&#x20AC;&#x153;interpreted as a lack of respectâ&#x20AC;? for the competition, they were also evidence of ÂĄ       56 |

Mexicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two biggest clubs, AmĂŠrica and Chivas, play a friendly match in Las Vegas in July 2013

soccer in different marketsâ&#x20AC;?. Nevertheless, Liga MX did make

        regulations in the summer. The most pertinent revision was one prohibiting the ownership by one party of more than one club, with those currently owning more     & interests. It was a decision which some in the Mexican media saw as a challenge      country â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Carlos Slim and his Telmex corporation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but one which was still widely welcomed for the effect it would have on competition in the long run. For his part, De Maria is clearly proud of the way in which the league conducts its affairs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Among the leagues in the world, if  * &   we would be in the top ten,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have some rules that will allow us to      to continue with that policy of having     keep maintaining the competition on those terms and not having disparities. Yes, we have problems. There are teams with problems, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not as bad as you can see here in Europe in many countries.â&#x20AC;? Moreover, De Maria believes Liga MX  

&    $    the Mexican game. Tellingly, where the repatriation of top stars has become part of the success story of South American leagues like the BrasileirĂŁo, De Maria still

 B $ & 7   $  $  produce players like Manchester United


 enough to grace elite competitions overseas. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We, as a league, make sure that the

revenues for the naming rights are equally divided between the 18 teams, and by rule of the league that money has to be invested in youth,â&#x20AC;? he explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So by law, we have to play every weekend with the under-20s and under-17s at the same time as the top team, and we have organised another league at 13 and 15 years old. So we invest a lot in youth and one of the challenges is exporting players. Every year we start exporting more and more players and we need to export these guys in order to expand the knowledge of the Mexican team.â&#x20AC;? De Maria sets the export of â&#x20AC;&#x153;two or    Â&#x153; B  $ leagues as a primary goal for Liga MX in the years ahead. ÂĄ/ * $ years at least one or two times champions of the Club World Cup,â&#x20AC;? he adds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We would like to establish an international competition for youth in Mexico. We are starting that, inviting under-17 and under-13 teams from the rest of the world to Mexico to improve the competition for our young people and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to grow that and do it better.â&#x20AC;? A softly spoken man he may be, but De Maria intends to make the voice of Liga MX heard around the world. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We as a Mexican league have to compare ourselves with the best leagues in South America and, basically, with the leagues in Europe,â&#x20AC;? he insists, â&#x20AC;&#x153;so our goal is to grow to the standards of the Premier League or the Spanish league or the Bundesliga. In that sense, we have to       * start building the steps needed to achieve 

 $B  "Â&#x153;


Poland fans bring noise and colour to London’s Wembley Stadium as they await kick-off against England in October’s crucial World Cup qualifier SOCCEREXPRO | 57


Real Madrid set for stadium upgrade and sponsor Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has suggested that the club will begin the search for a major stadium sponsor once renovations to the Santiago BernabĂŠu are completed. The La Liga giants were poised to select from four proposals, submitted by architects, at the end of October, with Perez telling Spanish television programme Punto Pelota: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are working on a sponsor. We are on with it.â&#x20AC;? Speculation has predictably focused in on Emirates, the 32-time Spanish championsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; current shirt sponsor. The Dubai-based airline signed '      in May, reputedly worth â&#x201A;Ź25 million annually. Upgrade work at the BernabĂŠu, which originally opened in 1947, could cost up to â&#x201A;Ź400 million, with Perez keen      spectator â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it currently holds 85,454 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is under cover inside.

Euro 2016: on track for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Le Rendez-Vousâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; European footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governing body Uefa     &    2016, which will be played in France, are on track after its latest meeting with local organisers. The steering committee presented to Uefa in Marseille midway  `  $  &  tournament slogan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Le RendezVousâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Three stadiums to be used for the tournament have already been completed, with two more, in Marseille 58 |

and Saint-Etienne, due for completion in 2014. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a remarkable atmosphere of cooperation between the French government, the FFF and Uefa under the guidance of Jacques Lambert, the Euro 2016 SAS president,â&#x20AC;? noted Uefa president Michel Platini (below), who attended the meeting. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In France, things always go well. The Stade VĂŠlodrome      $   marvellous roof, which I have rarely seen in other stadiums. Bravo to the city of Marseille. The stadium will be     "Â&#x153;

French clubs decide to strike over tax In a protest at the French governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

' [ ! !  football clubs decided in October to

 *&     1972. The action, through the French professional clubsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; union UCPF, was scheduled to take place on the weekend of 29th November to 2nd December, affecting league games in the top two divisions. Franceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s government is pushing    

 of 75 per cent on those earning a salary of over â&#x201A;Ź1 million per annum, with companies rather than individuals liable. O

 &&  start of the season, with French league

&     $  $ registered in France so as not to gain a  "{    AS Monaco, owned by Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, do not currently  $$V    they are registered in the principality, a state of affairs which was still subject to dispute at the end of October.

MIDDLE EAST top-tier Qatar Stars League (QSL). â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are hopeful that Qatargasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; support for the competition will go a long way in taking Qatarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football to new heights,â&#x20AC;? said Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al Thana, the &   & ÂŹ ÂĄ   as the country is getting ready to host the World Cup in 2022.â&#x20AC;?

New Qatari second-tier bags title sponsor The Qatar Football Association (QFA) has agreed a three-year deal with Qatargas, which will see the company sponsor Qatarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second tier. The division, new for the 2013/14 season, will be known as the Qatargas League. The QFA will use the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s logo in all of its advertising. The Qatari second tier is an amalgamation of the former reserve and second leagues and will comprise 18 teams. At the end of the season the top two teams will be promoted to the

Players warned as UAE hosts Under-17 World Cup The 15th edition of the Fifa Under-17 World Cup began in the United Arab Emirates on 17th October. The 23-day, 52-match tournament was due to feature    

  & 2 &  !  emirates. Venezuela and Morocco were   '¢/  Cup, while Russia, Croatia, Panama and

 ($* ) &   second time. Matches were scheduled for Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, Fujairah, Dubai and Al Ain. Before the tournament, players from all 24 countries were briefed by Fifa on the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;dangers of match-manipulationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have seen a sharp increase in wagers placed on youth tournaments and the Fifa Under-17 /        of interest,â&#x20AC;? said Nicholas Raudenski, V&!    & "ÂĄV  all the major online betting operators offered odds on the games two years ago 7   &   tournament will be broadcast in more than 100 countries.â&#x20AC;?

Saudi Arabia to emerge as global football market? The emergence of Saudi Arabia as a major global football market looks set to continue, with Octoberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s announcement that sponsorship agency PHAR has launched Multisports Saudi Arabia seen as the latest step. The Saudi arm of the company will combine international       "  >J  &   Yasser Al-Moshel was among the attendees at the announcement, which followed Septemberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s acquisition of  '  $&Â  by HRH Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The 47-year-old â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who is the grandson of the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz â&#x20AC;&#x201C; has become co-chairman of Blades Leisure Ltd, the holding company for the League One club, alongside   Â&#x201A;7 $"



Tokyo 2020 to utilise World Cup venues Four Japanese stadiums which hosted 2002 Fifa World Cup games will host the 2020 Olympic soccer tournament, following Tokyoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s victory over Madrid and Istanbul in September. Tokyoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bid    &      to be a formality, proposed games to be held at the International Stadium in Yokohama, which staged the World Cup $ R(2 years ago, Saitama Stadium, the Sapporo Dome, and Miyagi Stadium in the town of Rifu. At around 500 miles away,    $&  2  venue from central Tokyo, where the majority of sports will take place.

A-League blasts off with records O   &  #'J  season in October saw record crowds and television audiences. Some 100,998

60 |

&    week one, including a sell-out crowd of 45,202 for the derby between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the second-largest single-game crowd in the nine-year history of the league. On television, a record average audience of 358,000 watched the Sydney versus Newcastle game, which was broadcast by both free-to-air SBS and subscription

 V   "ÂĄ<      OÂ&#x2021;   '     

 fantastic football; the Hyundai A-League is back with a bang,â&#x20AC;? said Damien de Bohun, the head of the league.

Liverpool build global footprint with academies Liverpool FC have unveiled plans for a  

'$    which will feature an array of facilities. It $$ 2 

of the country, and is the result of a new   2 Â&#x201A; $ "O aim, a Liverpool statement said, is to be a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;market-leading development centre for young playersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The facilities at the Academy will provide our coaches from Liverpool with the perfect environment to develop young players here in China,â&#x20AC;? said Liverpoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s head of soccer schools Dan White. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is part of a long-term strategy we have for Liverpool Football  $ !  about being able to deliver a real impact on the game here â&#x20AC;&#x201C; through not just the development of young players but also that of the local coaches we will train.â&#x20AC;? `  $J

  their coaching academy in the Indian city of Pune will open in January. The LFC International Football Academy DSK is part of a joint venture with Indian team DSK Shivajians.


Former Senegal coach Metsu passes away Bruno Metsu (above), the French manager best known for leading Senegal to a memorable victory over France in the opening game of the 2002 Fifa World Cup, died in October. He was 59 and had been suffering from cancer. Metsu was in charge of Senegal from 2000, taking the  & ) ' =Â&#x2020; Â&#x201A; X%%X"

2  and the United Arab Emirates as well as several club teams in the Middle East. Before embarking on his international management career, Metsu played for and then managed Lille. â&#x20AC;&#x153;An important personality from French football has left Â&#x153; { J2  &  the French Football Federation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He gave the impression of a man able to convince others that French football had values.â&#x20AC;?

Morocco gears up for Fifa Club World Cup V&   ' technology will be used during Decemberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifa Club World Cup, which  $ 7  &   time. It will be the third Fifa-sanctioned event to utilise the technology, following last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club World Cup in Japan and Juneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Confederations Cup in Brazil. Preparations for the tournament, which is being staged in the Middle East for the third time after the United Arab Emirates

hosted in 2009 and 2010, are on course. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re convinced that the Moroccans will prove to be marvellous hosts,â&#x20AC;? said Mohamed Raouraoua (below), the chairman of Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s organising committee for the event, speaking at Octoberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s draw ceremony. Uefa Champions League winners Bayern Munich and AtlĂŠtico Mineiro, the defending Copa Libertadores champions, will be amongst the teams in the tournament, which is scheduled to $ ^@ $"2  $ held in Marrakech and Agadir.

Puma terminates SAFA commercial contract The South African Football Association (SAFA) was left reeling in October after two key commercial partners, Absa and Puma, terminated sponsorship agreements    &  '   swirling around the national team. The Puma contract, signed in 2011, was not    X%+$     manufacturer opted to end its deal â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;with immediate effectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; partly due to the results of Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s December investigation, which uncovered evidence that four South Africa    X%% and partly due to what Puma described as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;inappropriate responses from within the football organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s investigation

    2  Thailand, Bulgaria and Colombia, which were played during the build-up to South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hosting of the 2010 World Cup, $" SOCCEREXPRO | 61


NBC boosted by strong Premier League start NBCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ratings for the Premier League were 93 per cent better than ESPNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equivalent coverage last season,      $ opening weeks of the broadcasterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s three-year, US$250 million deal as a success. Some 12 million people have    {R   jump on last year. Septemberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s earlyseason clash between Everton and Chelsea was watched by an average audience of 917,000. The coverage, presented from NBC Sports headquarters in Connecticut by former BBC and ESPN reporter Rebecca Lowe, has been widely praised. Unlike UK broadcasters Sky Sports and BT, NBC and other international partners are permitted to show all 380 games per season live, with NBC introducing multiple live streams into its broadcasts. One insider suggested the network had also spent up to US$10 million promoting its coverage across America prior to the start of the season.

Mexico looking for US World Cup share? 7   *  Â  States to bid for the 2026 Fifa World Cup, according to the head of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

62 |

top-tier Liga MX. Decio de MarĂ­a, speaking in October, told US Soccer   2 7    should be included in any future US bid &  "7  

 the World Cup in 1986, with the United States staging the event 12 years later. Â 2 !      a US bid for the 2022 competition was beaten convincingly by Qatar, despite winning plaudits along the way. That election, which also involved Japan, Korea and Australia, is still provoking  )   2   maintained that there will be no decision on any future US campaign until the conclusion of the debate over when Qatar will stage the 2022 tournament. He has also suggested that the bidding process will have to be changed before the US considers another bid.

Orlando set to be next MLS team location ` 

*  $ Major League Soccer (MLS) team   &`  &    '&  

& & &  

'    stadium in the city. The US$20 million investment, which will be funded       $$' stamped midway through October. Final negotiations are now underway between

7J &  ` ' tier club founded in 2010 and owned by Britons Phil Rawlins and John Bonner, as well as Brazilian entrepreneur Flavio Augusto da Silva. Construction on the US$84 million stadium, which could seat up to 20,000 fans, should begin early $ $X% the year pencilled in for a debut. The

    $   hurdle in Orlando getting a franchise, part of MLSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s publicly stated goal of  XY $X%X%"

SOUTH AMERICA /  '   &   " Brazilian cities were hit by protests during the Confederations Cup.

Sports minister Rebelo to stay on for 2014 World Cup Aldo Rebelo (above), Brazilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s minister of sport and a man seen as one of the *   !   &  yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifa World Cup, will remain in his position, despite announcing his departure to run for governor in SĂŁo Paulo. The about-turn came after the intervention of Dilma Rousseff, Brazilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s president. After her meeting with Rebelo, it was agreed that he will retain his current role until at least the end of the World Cup. Despite good progress in recent months and the successful organisation of the Confederations Cup in June, Rebelo has


        &   "

& X    $ =  have still to be completed. There is also a $$     public funds have been used to develop

Romario attacks World Cup public spending Former Brazil striker Romario (below), one of the stars of the World Cupwinning team of 1994, has redoubled his criticism of Fifa and his countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

 & ! /  " wide-ranging interview with the New York

Times in October, Romario, now pursuing a career in politics, said Fifa was â&#x20AC;&#x153;robbing the Brazilian peopleâ&#x20AC;?. He added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fifa got what it came for: money. Things like transportation that affect the public after the tournament is over? They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care about what is going to be left behind.â&#x20AC;? Citing poor healthcare and education facilities, Romario said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you spend 30 per cent less on the stadiums, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be able to improve the other things that actually matter.â&#x20AC;?

Argentine FA opt for Belo Horizonte base The Argentine Football Association (AFA) has agreed a deal to base itself in R  ( & ! V&/  Cup. Argentina, among the favourites to win the tournament, will use AtlĂŠtico Mineiroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s training facility, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Cidade do 2 !"O   XYY%%% )  metres and includes a 20-suite hotel " X%*  &  60,000-capacity MineirĂŁo Stadium, which 

 /   "ÂĄ  2    

  the fact that a world class team such as Argentina will use the facilities is clear recognition of this,â&#x20AC;? said Camillo Fraga, municipal secretary for the 2014 World Cup. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We know that AtlĂŠtico Mineiro Football Club and the people of Belo Horizonte will create a second home for the Argentinian players and delegates.â&#x20AC;? O#V# &   & 2 Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Olympic team in choosing Belo Hoizonte as its base. Earlier in October, O2R  $  itself in the city ahead of the Rio 2016 ` 2 "


SIGNINGS A selection of the major deals agreed by the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading clubs, players and competitions in the past three months. For daily updates visit or follow @SportsPro on Twitter.

Moratti sells Inter Milan to Indonesian tycoon

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti (above) reached an agreement to sell the Serie A club to a group of investors led by Indonesian media and entertainment tycoon Erick Thohir in October. After several months of negotiations,   $ B  shareholder Internazionale Holding S.r.l, a company wholly owned by Moratti, had signed a binding agreement whereby International Sports Capital (ISC) would become the controlling shareholder of Inter with a 70 per cent stake. /   $ formally announced, early reports suggested the deal is worth up to â&#x201A;Ź350 million (US$475 million). ISC is indirectly owned by Erick Thohir, the 43-year-old founder and chairman of Mahaka Group, as well as 64 |

Indonesian businessmen Rosan Roeslani  B " â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think Inter history is going to be enriched by a new season thanks to our new international partners who, I am sure, will contribute to a continued string of successes,â&#x20AC;? Moratti said in a statement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The new partnersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; enthusiasm and pragmatism are certainly a guarantee for the future.â&#x20AC;? Thohirâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existing interests in sport include co-ownership of the DC United 7B J  ¨7JŠ&   and the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team. He also served as vice president of the Indonesian Olympic Committee and as the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chef de mission for the 2012 Olympic Games. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Today is a truly special day in my life,â&#x20AC;? Thohir said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am an entrepreneur, but   &       lover. I cannot wait to put our passion and international experience at the service of this fantastic club and its supporters.â&#x20AC;? While he and his family are stepping   B    &  Moratti will continue to work with ISC in order to run the club, although it is unclear whether he will stay on as president under the new ownership. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My family and I will continue to live this marvellous story together with Erick, Rosan and Handy, granting our unchanged devotion and fondness that bond us to the club and to the Inter supporters,â&#x20AC;? added Moratti, who has has been in charge of Inter since 1995. J*O $ <   B  have prior interests in sport. Roeslani is a minority stakeholder in DC United   O   B   

 involved in the 2011 takeover of the 76ers. Inter Milan won a total of 23 trophies in 58 years under the Moratti family, two thirds of the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entire haul since their founding in 1908. The club claim to have 20 million supporters in Europe and an estimated 160 million worldwide.

Adidas strikes huge kit deal with Juventus Serie A champions Juventus have announced they will switch from Nike to Adidas from the 2015/16 season in a â&#x201A;Ź139.5 million (US$192.5 million) deal. OO '$   $  news in a brief statement in late October. Adidas will be the technical sponsor of Juventus for an initial six-year period. The statement added that the upfront fee â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;does not include the value of Adidas products that will be annually supplied to the club or the programme of performance-related incentives and bonuses available to the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The Italian side also revealed that

Adidas will â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;manage all Juventusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; licensing and merchandising activities for     & Â&#x20AC;^   !   $

$ from additional royalty payments upon exceeding a sales threshold. Earlier in the month, Juventus announced a three-year sponsorship agreement with Samsung. The South Korean tech behemoth will furnish Juventus Stadium and the training ground with a range of state of the art technology including televisions, plasma screens and a huge 16-screen ultra-HD video wall. Students at the Juventus College, the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s youth academy, will be supplied with tablets, notebooks and interactive whiteboards, while Juventusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; medical team will also receive the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest apparatus.

MP & Silva lands Italian Fifa World Cup rights Fifa has appointed MP & Silva to distribute the Italian media rights to the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cups. The agency becomes the global governing bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exclusive sales representative in the territory and will distribute the rights to all 64 live matches and ceremonies of the 2018 event in Russia and the following edition in Qatar four years later. The package also includes highlights and extended coverage from the two tournaments, plus the Fifa Confederations Cups in 2017 and 2021. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are extremely honoured with this long-term relationship with Fifa as very few companies worldwide have the privilege of being selected by Fifa as their sales representative for the Fifa World Cup,â&#x20AC;? said MP & Silva president Riccardo Silva. The latest deal builds on MP & Silvaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s existing relationship with Fifa. The agency is already marketing the media rights to next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup in Vietnam and Oceania. Niclas Ericson, Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s TV director, ]ÂĄ7>Z  B $ in leading the distribution of international football content in Europe and other world regions and they are clearly the best partner we could select to distribute the media rights for the Fifa World Cups of 2018 and 2022 in Italy. We are excited with the prospect of reaching out to a new generation of Italian football fans.â&#x20AC;?

Bundesliga to double rights fees with Fox deal @VJ       arm of Germanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bundesliga, has signed a multi-territory deal with Fox. The agreement will see Fox broadcast the Bundesliga on its various channels throughout the Americas, large parts of Asia, and the European markets of Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. The European elements of the deal run for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons, bringing European rights cycles in line with the Bundesligaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s domestic cycle at its completion. The American and Asian elements of  &   &  the 2015/16 season. Fox will effectively replace ESPN as R  $    

J America, and will show the league in the US on its new 24-hour sports network. In an interview at the Sportel sports broadcast market in Monaco, where the deal was announced in October, @VJ     &   JĂśrg Daubitzer (below) highlighted the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam as key strategic territories included within the package. From the 2015/16 season onwards, Fox will be the exclusive broadcaster of the Bundesliga across 38 per cent of the available markets. Daubitzer insisted that the deal keeps @VJ       double the annual international rights fees received by the Bundesliga from around â&#x201A;Ź70 million in the current cycle to nearer â&#x201A;Ź150 million in the next. Given some of the key markets included in the Fox deal, it is likely that this agreement will account for a hefty bulk of that target.

Chelsea time it right with Swiss deal >J   V signed a four-year sponsorship deal with Swiss watch brand Rotary. #   $!  $ & * Rotary gains prominent branding around Stamford Bridge. Additionally, as part

&   V*J¨$ Š    ambassador for the brand for the duration of this season. To highlight the new partnership,  *    partnered with a watch brand, Rotary will produce two special edition Chelseathemed watches. They will be available on a dedicated website, set to launch soon.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is an extremely exciting sponsorship for Rotary and one that we are very proud of,â&#x20AC;? said the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief executive Victoria Campbell. ÂĄJ*  B   ' standing heritage and operates on the world stage. Our partnership represents a   $     that we share many common values. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are committed to growing our brand awareness overseas, particularly in south-east Asia, and Chelsea was our     &$  region is huge.â&#x20AC;? Ron Gourlay, Chelseaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief executive, added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have never partnered with a watch company until now but believe < &     similar outlook and goals.â&#x20AC;? SOCCEREXPRO | 65

Manchester United renew Unicef partnership >J    7   United have renewed their partnership with Unicef, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s organisation. The agreement extends a 13-year association and will see the Red Devils commit UKÂŁ1 million to fund the charityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s child protection work over the next three years, with UKÂŁ500,000 to be invested in Vietnam. Unitedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s partnership with Unicef is the longest-running deal of its sort in sport and has raised UKÂŁ3 million to support children worldwide. The clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most recent fundraising event was the Unicef Gala dinner on 21st November. Manchester United manager David Moyes (above) said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Manchester United is very proud of United for Unicef and the many young lives it has helped in the last 13 years. The team and I are therefore delighted to support the renewal of this incredible partnership and highlight Unicef â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vital child protection work.â&#x20AC;? David Bull, the executive director of Unicef UK, added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are immensely proud of our long-standing partnership with Manchester United and the continued commitment from the club and its fans to improving the lives of vulnerable children across the world. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unicef relies entirely on voluntary donations and partnerships like United for Unicef, and we are delighted that Manchester United has renewed this partnership for a further three years, helping us make a lasting difference to the lives of many more children.â&#x20AC;? 66 |

Snack food giant announces US football deal Mondelez has agreed a three-year deal that * $  &   *  &  both the US menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national  & 7B J   ¨7JŠ  $  #" The food conglomerate has also struck one-year individual marketing   7J  @  (below) and Omar Gonzalez, and a three-year deal with Olympic gold medallist Alex Morgan, who plays for the Portland Thorns in the National / !  J ¨{/JŠ" â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m excited to partner with the makers of these great snack brands, who like me are passionate about spreading the love for soccer to fans across North America,â&#x20AC;? said recent Seattle Sounders signing Dempsey. The deals, which all run from 2014, will make Mondelez the recipientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; exclusive sponsor in each of their four snack categories: cookie, cracker, candy and gum. Stephen Chriss, the senior director of consumer engagement and marketing services for North America at Mondelez International, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is so much more than a business deal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the start of a movement to help our great brands

connect soccer, community and snacking in a way that makes consumers stand up and cheer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re so excited to have the opportunity to partner with these great      B  Â  love for the sport is about to reach a fever pitch.â&#x20AC;? Mondelez, the owner of popular brands including Oreo and Chips Ahoy, will have the exclusive use of US Soccer branding on its packaging and hopes to use cardboard cut-outs of the sponsored players to bolster shop displays. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to win in-store â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where the rubber hits the road for brands like ours,â&#x20AC;? added Chriss. The team deals will cover all forms of media, retail marketing, PR and social media. Mondelez will doubtless want to use the football stars to promote its product range on Facebook, where it has 34.4 million friends. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are looking forward to our new   7 (  &  snacks of US Soccer,â&#x20AC;? said US Soccer president Sunil Gulati. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With a large number of name brand products, we are excited to work with Mondelez to expand our reach to consumers at the international, national and grassroots level.â&#x20AC;?

Scolari and Marcos seal pre-World Cup endorsement deals

R(   J ( Felipe Scolari (above) has agreed to help promote Peugeot vehicles in the lead-up to next summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifa World Cup. The former Palmeiras, Portugal and Chelsea manager led Brazil to victory in Juneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Confederations Cup. The Peugeot deal allows the French car manufacturer to use his image in advertising campaigns over the coming months. The 64-year old, who returned to manage Brazil last year after ending his    /   X%%X also has deals in place with Nike, with whom he signed earlier this year, and brewer AmBev. Meanwhile, former Brazil national team goalkeeper Marcos has signed a deal to endorse Banco Renner over the next two years. J* ! >   the deal has been brokered by Marcosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; agency Docidi Sports. Marcos, now 40, was a member of Brazilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup-winning team in 2002. He spent his entire club career at Brazilian side Palmeiras before retiring in 2011.

AC Milan renew with Adidas until 2023 Italian giants AC Milan have extended their long-standing kit supply agreement with Adidas. The new deal, announced on 9th October at the Serie A clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Milanello training facility, will see the German brand continue to supply all technical apparel to the Rossoneri until 2023. Adidas has supplied Milanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kit since 1998. The current deal was due to run until the end of the 2016/17 season. Financial terms of the latest agreement were not released but the previous deal was thought to be worth some â&#x201A;Ź20 million (US$27 million) a year, making it the largest kit contract in Italian football. Milan are one of a number of big European names in Adidasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; extensive football portfolio, which also includes the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. The brand now has all four of those teams tied down until at least 2020. Meanwhile, the Italian national team have reached a three-year sponsorship agreement with Simmenthal. The canned meat producer has a rich history in sports sponsorship, having previously supported the Giro dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Italia cycling race and Milan basketball team. This latest agreement will include the 2014 Fifa /  &  )   `  $"

US star Alex Morgan lands another endorsement American star Alex Morgan (below)    >(   Healthcare to become a brand ambassador for lip balm ChapStick.

The 24-year-old forward, who won `  J  X%X  member of the US womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national $   *!   pitchperson for more than a decade and will appear in a US-wide TV and print advertising campaign. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I always have ChapStick with me, whether Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m training or hanging out with my friends, so partnering with  *   & Â&#x153;  Morgan, who plays her club football for the Portland Thorns in the National / !  J ¨{/JŠ" J  { $  campaign featuring Morgan will include a new TV ad and a series of print ads and digital videos developed by New Yorkbased agency The Burns Group. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The goal of our campaign is to open consumerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes to overall lip health in fun and interesting ways, like sharing lip tidbits on TV and social media to our 3.8 million Facebook fans,â&#x20AC;? said Farrell Simon, ChapStickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s senior brand manager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As an avid ChapStick user, Alex Morgan embodies the voice of our consumer and the balance of health, beauty and fun, making her the perfect       care for our lips.â&#x20AC;? Ranked by SportsPro magazine as the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 27th most marketable athlete back in May, Morgan has a personal sponsorship portfolio that includes several blue-chip brands, such as Nike, Panasonic, Coca-Cola and AT&T. SOCCEREXPRO | 67

IMG, Reliance and Star launch Indian Super League

IMG Worldwide, Reliance Industries and Star India have teamed up to launch  J  &

$ competition designed to popularise the game in one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most populous countries. Much anticipated, the formal announcement of the league was made in an IMG statement midway through `  $" '        

    begin in September 2014. Initial plans involved a January start, but the launch has been delayed for logistical reasons O72'< B  venture, created in March 2010, has been supplemented by Star India for the Super J  B " Star India, the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest TV network, will hold the broadcast and sponsorship rights to a tournament which IMG said had the ultimate aim of offering Indian football â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;greater global exposureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and which would â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;eventually help India qualify for the 2026 World Cupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Reports suggested Star India has agreed to pay RS2,000 crore, or some US$324.7 million, for a one-third stake in the Indian  J      for ten years. IMGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statement did not,   

  " 68 |

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Football, with its largely untapped potential in the country, has the opportunity to grow to an unrivalled commercial success quite unlike any other sport,â&#x20AC;? said Nita Ambani, the chairperson of IMG-Reliance and wife of Reliance chairman Mukesh. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We hope the growing football footprint will pave the way for the nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sporting renaissance.â&#x20AC;? O  & $  B  came in December 2010 when IMGReliance agreed a 15-year, US$155 million deal with the All India Football Federation to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;radically restructure, overhaul, improve, popularise and promoteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; football in India. Plans for an  J $ works ever since. Mike Dolan (left), the chairman and chief executive of IMG, said: ÂĄO J  &  international football stars combined with good football facilities, rivalry between Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest cities and the roar of a billion passionate fans. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It envisions creating new football powerhouses in this part of the world, which will rise to global prominence as the country and the sport further develop.â&#x20AC;? According to reports in India, the  J      any players contracted to clubs in the 'J !   '| division which was founded in 2007. However, international stars said to include Dwight Yorke, Robert Pires and Hernan Crespo have agreed to take  J  &  Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel and former France captain Marcel Desailly have been slated for involvement as team managers. Uday Shankar, Star Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief        &  the announcement. He said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;India is hungry for its second sport. Combining top-notch infrastructure with our expertise in sports production, our attempt is to bring an unparalleled football experience to our viewers. For far too long, the Indian sports fan has quietly waited for this revolution on the cusp of which we

 "`  $B    short of creating a movement around football in India. We want to put India on the global map.â&#x20AC;?

Four clubs in pre-World Cup Simpsons tie-up Russian club Zenit St Petersburg have   O  Century Fox to take part in a special campaign around its animated comedy The Simpsons. The 2012 Russian Football Championship winners will be one of four clubs, along with Spainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s FC Barcelona, Argentinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Boca Juniors and Brazilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world club champions Corinthians, to participate in the promotion of a commemorative Fifa World Cup episode of the evergreen series airing in March 2014. Characters from the show will be depicted in Zenit St Petersburg kit in   $ $  [   cooperation of its kindâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The Simpsons is the longest-running sitcom in American TV history, winning 28 Emmy awards since it debuted in December 1989. Over the years it has included several references to football and football players, with Brazilian legend Ronaldo making a guest vocal appearance on the show and Real Madridâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cristiano Ronaldo featuring alongside Homer Simpson (below) in Nikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Write The Futureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; advertising campaign ahead of World Cup 2010. In next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s special episode, Homer Simpson will become a referee at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

MP & Silva contracted to sell SPFL early The Scottish Professional Football J ¨>VJŠ      agency MP & Silva as its international development partner for the 2013/14 season in October. MP & Silva had already been appointed as the leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overseas partner in a deal which will run for nine years from the 2014/15 season, but this latest announcement will see the two parties B &    &   " As international development partner, the agency will act as the licensee for the $     >VJ   the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. 7>Z!       a deal with Chinese online TV provider PPTV to broadcast the league in China, a deal which covers 55 matches this season.

>VJ &  {@    said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are delighted to announce that we will be working with MP & Silva one season earlier than planned, in the key territories of the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, including important territories such as China, Japan, South Korea. This will extend the coverage of Scottish football around the world, as   $

  42 clubs in the league.â&#x20AC;? MP & Silva group chief executive Andrea Radrizzani added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are very excited and proud to work on this long-term partnership with the Scottish > &


$J   share our strategic expertise to elevate the  !      in Asia and in the Middle East. As media advisors, we look forward to developing a

   >VJ! $  on our leadership in sports content and our ability to leverage on our robust network to      & >VJ"Â&#x153; O>VJ 

    $  the league is still on the lookout for a title sponsor.

Panasonic teams up with PSG Japanese technology giant Panasonic has entered into a partnership with French champions Paris Saint Germain. The agreement will see Panasonic  J@     technology throughout the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iconic Parc des Princes stadium. The company intends to host a series of events to demonstrate its cutting-edge products to PSG fans, and will receive in-game advertising opportunities while featuring in the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s social media campaigns. Tatsuro Miyata, assistant general manager of Panasonic France, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This partnership is a great opportunity for both parties. Panasonic, present on the market     $ partner of this fantastic side that boasts players from all over the world, on a national, European and global stage. The international popularity of the club is a fabulous window for our brand.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are very happy to have signed this partnership with such an innovative and prestigious international brand that gives sport, and football in particular, all its nobility and emotion,â&#x20AC;? added JeanClaude Blanc, Paris Saint-Germainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s director general. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Together at the Parc des Princes and everywhere around the world, we will share some amazing moments with our supporters.â&#x20AC;? The Qatari-owned club add Panasonic to a list of recently announced sponsors. In September Hublot signed a three $ >2!  &  timekeeper and watch, and Nivea Men became the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skincare brand of choice. PSGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arch-rivals Marseille, meanwhile, will retain sponsorship from Intersport for the 2014/15 season after the sporting goods retailer took up its option to remain the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main partner. The latest renewal ensures that the Intersport logo will remain on Marseilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shirt for all games.

ESPN Brasil lands domestic TV rights package ESPN Brasil has acquired the domestic TV rights to highlights of the Campeonato Brasileiro, Brazilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top football league. The Brazilian arm of US sports network ESPN has taken a package of rights from the leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s broadcast 2 $

"O   &  the agreement were not released. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This acquisition is within our

 $&  '  ]B  $   big events,â&#x20AC;? said ESPN Brasil general manager German Hartenstein. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With this new content we have further

 B    increasingly in football.â&#x20AC;? In September, meanwhile, Fox Sports Brasil agreed a sub-licensing deal with Globo for broadcast rights to next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifa World Cup. Fox, which launched in Brazil last year, is set to open up a new channel in the region, Fox Sports 2, in anticipation of the World Cup early next year.

The sub-licensing agreement will see Globo entitled to Fox-owned broadcast    J$   " Guilherme Valentini, Foxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vice president of marketing for the region,    World Cup package would allow Fox to sell 12,000 more ad spaces next year. Globo, which has long held the rights to Brazil 2014, tied up the longR(  V&! B  international tournaments in February last year. It will broadcast the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and has the ability to arrange sub-licensing deals with other media companies. SOCCEREXPRO | 69




ews from Brazil over the last couple of months could probably have a discouraging effect on tourists considering visiting the country. Stadia not ready, airports a disaster, hotels asking exorbitant prices, and a million protesters against the Fifa World Cup creating a hostile environment for visitors. True? Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s have a look at the protests R(!    "O  protested against what exactly? I personally do not know a single Brazilian who is against the World Cup. On the contrary. I hardly know a Brazilian who is not excited about the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest event coming to his country. I also do not know a single Brazilian who is against the construction of new stadia. Hardly any football-minded country in the world has a bigger need for new stadia than Brazil, whether it has a World Cup to stage next year or not. The protests were not against the new stadia, nor were they, in principle, about the public money spent for them. Even children in Brazil knew from the beginning that public money would be needed to help build the stadia, despite some politicians and CBF

&    " The protests addressed something different: a political class which overspends taxpayersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; money for stadium projects in order to misappropriate a considerable share of the public funds for self-serving purposes. The Brazilian people are simply fed up with the self-service mentality shown by the individuals who make up the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parliament, the 39 federal ministries â&#x20AC;&#x201C;    &  $ for harbours, and for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;strategic issuesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and by the 70,000 municipal secretaries. The big issue was and still is corruption, not the World Cup. It is not really about the public money which was invested into stadia instead of primary schools and hospitals. It is about the taxpayersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; money which goes into beach mansions and 70 |

imported luxury cars for politicians and their minions, instead of primary schools, hospitals and stadia. This is why we went to the streets â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and I say â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; because I went as well. And you cannot blame the people for using the stage which the Fifa Confederations Cup provided them. At the end of the day, protesters want attention. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s simply the point of protesting. So what does this mean for the World Cup? Do visitors need to worry? The answer is a clear â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;noâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Again, the protests, should they happen next year as well, are not against the World Cup, and certainly not against visitors to Brazil. Having visited over 50 countries myself, and having lived in Brazil for the  }  &R(  are among the most hospitable and friendliest people Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever met. They will do everything to make visitors feel happy. In Brazil, everyone is welcome, whether he or she is black, white, yellow, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, tall, short, big, skinny, gay, lesbian, straight or wearing an Argentina shirt. How many countries can say that about themselves? You might not be able to speak the same language, but your Brazilian counterpart will make himself understandable through gesticulation if necessary. He will at least try everything he can to help you, which isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t something you can say for every country on this planet.    &  $  a reasonably priced hotel room in Rio? Yes, maybe. Is there a risk of queuing 90 minutes at SĂŁo Paulo airport immigration? Yes, the risk is real. Will I  $ $3   $ to the stadium? You might have to wait a little. Might I have no fun in Brazil? No, this won´t happen. No chance. Logistics may not work as smoothly as in Germany or the States, but this will be more than compensated for

by the adventure that will be witnessing a World Cup in football-crazy Brazil. It will be a once in a lifetime experience. The atmosphere will be fantastic, both in the stadia â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which, by the way, will not only be ready, but will also be great â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and in the streets. The country will virtually breathe football next summer and the event will be transformed into the most amazing occasion ever in the process. 2.3 million  *)    &"   24 hours speak for themselves. Besides, visiting Brazil provides a unique chance to experience a beautiful country with spectacular scenery (much more than just beaches) and vibrating cities, and most notably the chance to meet the very best that Brazil has to offer: the Brazilians.

Jochen LĂśsch is president of international  

 & %    

    '     *#  

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SoccerexPro Issue 01  

First Edition of Soccerex Pro Magazine

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