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WATCH: WFS LIVE DAY 2 – TAKEAWAYS AND HIGHLIGHTS

WATCH: WFS LIVE DAY 2 – TAKEAWAYS AND HIGHLIGHTS 598 335 WFS Live

Day 2 of our second edition of WFS Live saw leaders from across the industry discuss how sport’s properties need to rethink both competitions and business models in order to adapt to new technology and consumer’s changing habits.

In the day’s closing panel, the Chairman and Founder of Aser Ventures, Andrea Radrizzani, and the CEO of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, Scott O’Neil, agreed that the current distribution model is not matching the demand and the opportunity that technology gives to reach community, to reach niche, to reach a bigger audience, to reach people at different prices and different power consumptions.

 

“SOCIAL MEDIA IS GOOD, BUT ACTIONS ARE MORE IMPORTANT”
Lisa Zimouche – Freestyle footballer

“Authenticity is important, being genuine. If you support something, if you want to speak about a social issue, it has to be authentic because people will feel it. And action is very important. Being on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is important, having a platform to speak is important, but action to me means more than just words. Social media is good, but action is even more important.”

“THERE IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY TO INCREASE THE MONEY FANS SPEND ON MATCH-DAY”
Maheta Molango – Principal, 3MS Consulting

“I think there is a huge opportunity in Europe in terms of increasing the amount of money fans spend on match-day. There is a huge gap between what fans spend here in Europe and what they do in the US. For me, the starting point is that if I want them to spend more money, I need to know much more about them. The digital, today, allows you to know who they are, the preferences they have, how they behave.”

“FC BARCELONA GENERATES MORE THAN 120 TERAS OF ESSENTIAL VIDEO CONTENT EVERY YEAR”
Imanol Eguskiza – Innovation Manager, FC Barcelona

“FC Barcelona is generating more than 120 Teras of essential video data every year. For the last four years, Pixellot has been supplying us with top level technology enabling us not only to centralize and manage all the video content, avoiding any loss of such a huge amount of data, but also automatically triggering 16 unattended recording camera systems that we have deployed in all our fields. These systems are capturing every day all the games from the first football team to the youngest academy teams and the various sport sections.”

“NEARLY 40% OF GEN Z’S SAY THEY ARE INFLUENCED BY SOCIAL MEDIA IN THEIR PURCHASES”
Justin Toman – Head of Sports Marketing, PepsiCo

“Nearly 40% of Gen Z’s are influenced by social media in their purchases, that’s what’s truly driving the decisions and the eyeballs of these consumers. We are pivoting all our marketing initiatives to make sure we are accounting for that and really making that a focal point. Any campaign or any platform we do we start planning them by saying ‘how is this going to be consumed digitally? How can we bring consumers and fans closer to this great event that not everybody can come to, but how can we reach millions of people by giving them digital content?”

“SPONSORS ARE ASKING FOR VALUES”
Ramón Alarcón – CBO, Real Betis

“You can buy advertising wherever you want, but in an institution like Real Betis, with a lot of engagement and a lot of loyalty, we have to generate engagement with some values that create a link between us and the community… Some years ago, sponsors were asking for digital assets, but now they are asking for values, to create a story.”

“THE FUTURE OF BROADCASTING WILL BE FUELED BY LIVE GAMBLING”
Juan Carlos Rodríguez – President of Sports, Univision

“Data will be the core engine of growth in the future. If you take into account the capability to personalize the broadcast, plus the zero-latency of the 5G, plus the data generated by companies like Driblab and by the audience, you can create a new business that is live gambling during the games. The future of the growth broadcasting and the value of rights and players will be fueled by this new revenue stream.”

“INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL IS THE REAL WEAKNESS OF THE CURRENT CALENDAR”
Peter Hutton – Director, Sports Partnerships, Facebook

“One of the things that I find really frustrating with the football calendar at the moment is the interruption of the leagues’ season for the international weekend, which doesn’t feel meaningful… Putting all the International football together in the summer, as the World Cup does perfectly, is a great way of building a story, of having something that sponsors and broadcasters can get behind. The current model where you drop in a couple of games is the real weakness of the current calendar. I love international football, but it’s got to have context and a story, and it doesn’t feel like it has on international weekends.”

“WOMEN’S FOOTBALL WILL BE ONE OF THE BIGGEST SPORTS THAT THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN”
Luis Vicente – Group CEO, Eleven Sports

“Today you have a massive amount of young girls choosing football as their preferred sport, and one of the things they like is that it has a much more open environment than the men’s version of the game. That’s definitely a massive opportunity. Commercial partners, broadcasters, all the big weaponry that made the men’s game what it is, is very interested in supporting women’s football. If we have the right strategy, this will be one of the biggest sports that the world has ever seen in the years to come.”

“DATA AND CONTENT WILL LEAD US INTO THE NEXT DECADE”
Scott O’Neil – CEO, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment

“As we think about how we build for the future, we need to focus on data and content. Those are the two keys that will lead us into the next decade or so. You can add on a third leg of that stool, which is what we call ‘data seen direct-to-consumer’ and the capability to actually find new consumers. We as a sports industry, in particular the team space, we need to get a lot better, a lot quicker.”

“WE NEED TO REALLY DISRUPT THE DISTRIBUTION MODEL”
Andrea Radrizzani – Founder and Chairman, Aser Ventures

“I strongly believe that, on the sports side, distribution, at the moment with the traditional pay TV, is not matching the demand and the opportunity that technology gives to reach community, to reach niche, to reach a bigger audience, to reach people at different prices and different power consumptions. We need to redesign the distribution model that has been active and been around for 20 years, because now I think we are missing opportunities to create more various rights holders”.

Watch: WFS Live Day 1 – Takeaways and highlights

Watch: WFS Live Day 1 – Takeaways and highlights 573 314 WFS Live

WFS LIVE kicked off today with six insightful panel discussions that saw leaders from across the global sports industry reflect on how the different stakeholders can contribute to making football a more purpose driven sport and business. As Common Goal Founder Jürgen Griesbeck pointed out, the industry will necessarily need to shift “from a charity and giving back perspective on contribution to a DNA  perspective” in order to engage with modern fans, who according to different experts “vote with their values.”

“If you misalign with their values, whether it’s all the safety values for athletes that you’re not looking at or it’s social injustice that you’re not addressing or it’s gender inequality, there’s a whole list of things,” former olympic champion and CEO of Sports Innovation Lab Angela Ruggiero said, “there’s a misalignment and these fluid and more fickle fans may not buy your tickets or watch your content.”

“LET’S FACE IT: FOOTBALL DOESN’T HAVE A GOOD IMAGE”
Jacques-Henri Eyraud – CEO, Olympique Marseille

“Let’s face it: football doesn’t have a good image. Football is the universal sport, the number 1 source of entertainment across the world, but I don’t think we have a great image. We certainly need to improve it and that should be very high on the agenda, on our list of priorities and even more so after the lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“IT’S NOT HARSH TO SAY FOOTBALL HAS BEEN LIVING IN A BUBBLE”
Jürgen Griesbeck – Co-Founder, Common Goal

“It’s not too harsh to say that football has been living in a bubble, where it didn’t have to question itself too much because despite the financial crisis or the crisis in reputation of some of its institutions, it just has continued to grow year over year. Maybe now it’s the time for football to accept that it can play a leading role, and not just because it’s the right thing to do but because it is the smart thing to do, and move from a charity and giving back perspective on contribution to more of a DNA  perspective.”

“WOMEN ARE DRIVING SUCCES IN SPORTS”
Lisa Baird – Commissioner, NWSL

“I do think that legislation and quotas can play a role for countries that need to come a little quicker, but I also think that we should be equally talking about how women are driving success in sports. That’s happening now, we don’t have to say: ‘put us there because we are women’, but ‘put us there because we are successful’. That’s a new part of the conversation that I think we should all be incredibly proud of.”

“WOMEN’S FOOTBALL REPRESENTS ALL THE VALUES THAT FOOTBALL WAS INITIALLY MEANT TO BE” 
Ebrü Koksal – Chair, Women in Football

“Women’s football is like a blank white page. On one hand, men’s football can be extremely crowded in terms of the sponsor’s ability to activate the sponsorship rights and the message that they are giving, but women’s football still represents predominantly all the values that football was initially meant to be. It’s more about family values, more about competition and technical abilities on the pitch. That’s why brands like Barclays, Visa, Nike or Budweiser, who saw this significant opportunity, are benefiting from the first-comers advantage.”

“AS A PERSON WITH INTELECTUAL DISABILITY, I’VE BEEN ISOLATED ALL MY LIFE”
Loretta Claiborne – Chief Inspiration Officer; Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Special Olympics

“I was always told to shut up, we don’t want to hear from you. They used the “r” word, which is “retard”. We don’t use that anymore, we use intelectual disability because first of all we are people first. When I look back at my life and I think about today, this whole thing with Covid-19, being a person with intelectual disability, we’ve been isolated all our lives.”

“ATHLETES DON’T HAVE THE OBLIGATION TO SPEAK UP”
Arianna Criscione – Player, Paris Saint-Germain

“I don’t think any athlete has the obligation to speak up if that’s not what they believe or that’s not their platform or if they don’t know where their voice comes from. As an athlete, your obligation is to play your sport or to perform the way you want. Any person, if you have a platform that you want to use in order for social change because it’s something you truly believe in, then I think you should step up and speak, but I don’t think that just because you are an athlete you should step up.”

“CSR CAN NO LONGER BE A TICK BOX EXERCISE ON AN ANNUAL REPORT”
Charlotte Kirby – Vice President Global Strategic Relations, Sales Force

“CSR can no longer be a tick box exercise on an annual report. I’ve heard so many people say things like ‘you can’t just paint fences and call that giving back’, ‘you can’t just put your name on a football shirt and say that that is part of your philanthropic giving’. Society has moved on from that.”

“IF YOU MISALIGN WITH THE VALUES OF FLUID FANS, THEY MAY NOT BUY YOUR TICKETS”
Angela Ruggiero –
CEO of Sports Innovation Lab

“One key component of a fluid fan is that they vote with their values. If you misalign with their values, whether it’s all the safety values for athletes that you’re not looking at or it’s social injustice that you’re not addressing or it’s gender inequality, there’s a whole list of things. There’s a misalignment and these fluid and more fickle fans may not buy your tickets or watch your content.”

“WE NEED TO CHANGE THE IMAGE THAT ATHLETES ARE JUST ROBOTS”
Johan Djourou – Footballer, FC Nordsjælland

“This image that athletes are just robots and that they are there to win the points or the league but they don’t have feelings. That’s totally wrong because at the end of the day we play with our emotions. When we are on the pitch, we play with what we have in our guts and in our hearts, we give everything to try to win and to make the people that follow us happy, so we definitely have hearts and feelings.”

“COMMON GOAL GIVES ME A DEEPER MEANING OF WHAT BEING A FOOTBALL PLAYER IS”
Juan Mata – Footballer, Manchester United / Co-Founder, Common Goal

“I have been lucky enough to play for a number of years as a professional football player and win trophies and live incredible experiences thanks to football. But to be able to be a part of a movement which is trying to use the power of football as a social tool for change, I feel that it’s creating a legacy, that after we stop playing football we will feel proud that we started a way in which people can actually help. It gives me an incredible sense of pride, of hope and of passion for what I do on the pitch, but specially off the pitch.”

“PURPOSE MARKETING HAS THE POWER TO INSPIRE PEOPLE TO TAKE ACTION”
Dan Burrows – Senior Director, EMEA | Social & Community Impact, Nike

“It’s important that we recognise the role that purpose marketing or messaging has to inspire people to take actions. I think there is a really genuine role that purpose marketing can lead. I think that has to go hand in hand, as it goes at Nike, with direct investment into communities and it really being focused on impact and really looking to measure that impact as well.”

LIVENow x WFS Live

LIVENow to provide global on-demand broadcast of WFS Live

LIVENow to provide global on-demand broadcast of WFS Live 1920 1080 WFS Live

World Football Summit and LIVENow have joined forces to broadcast WFS Live sessions live to industry professionals around the world.

For the first time, viewers can gain on-demand live access to the 40+ conferences, keynotes, roundtables and Q/A sessions that will take place from November 23-27.

LIVENow is home to amazing live experiences and aims to entertain, engage and educate. Sports, concerts, workouts, stand-up comedy, inspirational speakers and more are broadcast to screens around the world.

And now, LIVENow will broadcast WFS Live, allowing viewers at home to watch inspiring keynotes, talks, panels and roundtable discussions from the comfort of home. The three packages include:

  • Full Access Pass at €19.99 – watch all sessions across the five-day programme, live
  • Day Pass at €9.99 – screen all sessions of any particular day as they happen
  • Panel Pass at €2.99 – view a particular session of interest in real time

Over 100 top-notch speakers from across the global industry will be taking the virtual stage to discuss and engage around the most pressing issues affecting the business of sports, from the financial effects and implications of the Covid-19 pandemic to the increasing role of professional athletes as social activists.

WFS Live‘s inaugural edition, in July 2020, gathered over 150+ speakers and 3,400+ attendees from over 120 countries, and this second edition is set to be even bigger.

During the inaugural WFS Live attendees made 10,000+ contacts, engaged in 10,000+ discussions and shared 22,000+ messages.

For more information and to book your spot at #WFSLive through LIVENow‘s platform, CLICK HERE.

Harder and Lewandowski

Lewandowski and Harder best players, German football wins big at WFSIA

Lewandowski and Harder best players, German football wins big at WFSIA 1194 896 WFS Live

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) is the big winner of the 2020 WFS Industry Awards, presented annually by World Football Summit; where Robert Lewandowski and Pernille Harder also became the inaugural Best Player winners.

The DFL claimed two categories: Best Executive presented by Nolan Partners, awarded to its CEO Christian Seifert, and Best Digital Platform presented by Seven League, awarded to the Bundesliga Match Facts powered by Amazon Web Services.

In addition, one of the Bundesliga’s most iconic players, Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski, outvoted his teammate Joshua Kimmich and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to win Best Male Player presented by As. Danish player Pernille Harder, runner-up in the women’s UEFA Champions League last year with Wolfsburg before joining Chelsea, was named Best Female Player ahead of Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyon) in second and Jenni Hermoso (Barcelona) in third.

As CEO of the DFL, Seifert led the Bundesliga’s successful restart, becoming the first elite football competition to return after the Covid-19 lockdown, setting the standards for many others to follow. 

Seifert beat Helsingor Chairman Jordan Gardner and Larry Freedman, President of Los Angeles FC, to become the fourth executive awarded with this prize after Gustavo Silikovich (former River Plate CEO), Giuseppe Marotta (former Juventus CEO) and Darren Eales (President of Atlanta United).

Spain’s LaLiga was also successful at this year’s awards, with Real Club Celta taking home the prize for the Best Internationalisation Strategy presented by Deloitte and Santander, the league’s main sponsor, being crowned the inaugural winner of the debuting Outstanding Innovation Initiative presented by N3XT Sports category.

The Spanish club, who saw off Mediapro Canada and Asia Pacific Events in the final three, achieved a significant growth in key markets over the past twelve months; boosting its fanbase in strategic areas such as Asia, South America or the United States. 

Santander, the bank of world football, was awarded for ‘Fieeld’, an initiative developed together with its partners LaLiga, CONMEBOL and UEFA to bring blind people closer to the full experience of watching a football match. 

Visa, who has marked its largest investment to date within the women’s game through continued support of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and a multi-year partnership with UEFA, claimed the award for Best Women’s Football Initiative presented by Women in Football, whilst Horizm – a world leading digital asset pricing platform for sports and entertainment – clinched Best Supplier presented by SportsTechX

Other winners saw Asociación Deportivo Cali (Colombia) take home the Best Club Commercial Initiative presented by McCann, the recently inaugurated Allegiant Stadium, the Las Vegas Raiders high-tech field of dreams named Best Venue presented by Mondo Stadia, and Dream a Dream winning the Football for Good presented by Common Goal category. 

The WFS StartCup by GSIC was won by Immersiv.io, a French startup aiming to reinvent fan engagement in sport through augmented reality. 

Awards will be handed virtually as part of WFS LIVE, the digital event that will bring the global football community together from November 23-27 to build the industry’s roadmap towards a brighter and more sustainable future for all stakeholders. The closing day will be devoted to honouring the winners, who will take the virtual stage for a 20-minute interview that will be streamed on the WFS LIVE platform.

Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary General

Fatma Samoura signs: FIFA Secretary General to close WFS Live

Fatma Samoura signs: FIFA Secretary General to close WFS Live 1200 650 WFS Live

World Football Summit is proud to announce that FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura has joined the line-up of speakers for the upcoming WFS Live digital event that will see football’s global stakeholders come together around the main issues affecting the industry from November 23-27. Samoura will be the guest speaker at the event’s closing session on Friday November 27 at 5.20pm (CET).

Samoura – recently inducted into the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame alongside trailblazing women such as Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Hillary Rodham Clinton – was appointed as FIFA’s first female and first African Secretary General in its 116-year history in 2016.

Prior to joining FIFA, Samoura spent 21 years working on high level United Nations (UN) programmes in Italy, the Republic of Djibouti, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Niger, Madagascar, Nigeria, Central America and Central West Asia. Throughout her diplomatic and humanitarian career, her leadership and vision has helped empower women and young people, change lives and protect the environment.

Samoura’s experience in complex development, socio-economics and security, as well as her humanitarian values, have made her a strategic figure in the exemplary set of reforms lead by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, playing a key role in promoting best governance practices, tackling any kind of discrimination and, ultimately, making football truly global.

Samoura will speak with sports broadcaster Carol Tshabalala about her path to FIFA, her work alongside its president Infantino to use football as a tool to bring about positive development, her commitment to championing diversity and much more.

This will be Samoura’s second time participating in a WFS event following the keynote address she delivered at WFS17 in Madrid, where she spoke about what she listed as FIFA’s top priorities: “Promoting development, gender equality and most importantly good governance”.

“We are delighted to have Fatma Samoura speaking at WFS Live. At World Football Summit we believe that for football to continue being the world’s most popular game all stakeholders must acknowledge the need to embed social purpose at the heart of the industry,” said World Football Summit director, Jan Alessie. “No one can provide a more valuable testimony than someone that has a proven record of promoting social development across the globe.”

Widely considered the most influential women in sport, Samoura leads a stellar line-up of speakers that includes key decision makers from across the industry such as NWSL Commissioner, Lisa Baird; football agents Jonathan Barnett and Mino Raiola; Google Head of Sports, Entertainment and Marketing, Kate Johnson; HBSE CEO Scott O’Neil; FIFA Council Member María Sol Muñoz; Founder and Chairman of Aser Ventures, Andrea Radrizzani; and LaLiga President Javier Tebas, to name a few.

WFSIA Best Male Player finalists

Robert Lewandowski and Pernille Harder top list of 2020 WFS Industry Awards finalists

Robert Lewandowski and Pernille Harder top list of 2020 WFS Industry Awards finalists 2560 1440 WFS Live

Footballers Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) and Pernille Harder (Chelsea FC), Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert, the Allegiant Stadium, Visa, Santander, Twitter and the Eredivisie are among the finalists for the 2020 WFS Industry Awards.

Presented annually by World Football Summit, WFSIA acknowledges and rewards the achievements of executives, managers, sponsors, agencies, media, NGOs and other professionals whose talent, passion and dedication help make football the world’s most popular sport.

Lewandowski, winner of the 2020 UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich, will face his team mate Joshua Kimmich and FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in a quest to win the first-ever Best Male Player presented by As.

For the Best Female Player award, Denmark’s Harder, runner-up in the women’s Champions League with Wolfsburg, will face France’s Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnaise) and Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso (FC Barcelona).

These categories were added this year to reward the efforts of professional footballers, the great protagonists of this sport together with the fans, across one of the most difficult years in the history of the game.

For the Outstanding Innovation Initiative presented by N3XT Sport, another category added this year, finalists are: SciSports and the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) for the eQuality Index; Banco Santander, LaLiga, Conmebol and UEFA, for Fieeld; and Lega Serie A for Virtual Coach.

Eredivisie CV, for the Eredivisie Shirt Festival, and the German Bundesliga, for Bundesliga Match Facts (powered by AWS), made it to the final in the Best Digital Platform presented by Seven League, the last category debuting this year. Their rival will be international OTT platform Eleven Sports.

Twitter, one of the world’s leading digital platforms also made it to the final of the WFS Industry Awards, but in the category of Best Venue presented by Mondo Stadia. The jury has highlighted the effort that the social media platform has done over the past months to provide a meeting point for football fans all over the world to share their passion for the game while access to physical venues was banned due to Covid-19. The Allegiant Stadium (Las Vegas, USA) and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (London, UK) are the other two finalists.

Winners of all categories will be announced on November 16 and awards will be handed virtually as part of WFS LIVE, the digital event that will bring the global football community together from November 23-27 to build the industry’s roadmap towards a brighter and more sustainable future for all stakeholders. The closing day of this event will be devoted to honouring the winners, who will take the virtual stage for a 20-minute interview that will be streamed on the WFS LIVE platform.

All the 2020 WFS Industry Awards finalists:

Best Male Player presented by As
– Joshua Kimmich  – Bayern Munich
– Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich
– Lionel Messi – FC Barcelona

Best Female Player presented by As
– Pernille Harder – Chelsea Football Club   
– Jennifer Hermoso – FC Barcelona
– Wendie Renard – Olympique Lyonnaise

Best Executive presented by Nolan Partners
– Larry Freedman – Los Angeles FC
– Jordan Gardner – FC Helsingør
– Christian Seifert – DFL

Best Venue presented by Mondo Stadia
– Allegiant Stadium
– Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
– Twitter

Best Club Commercial Initiative presented by McCann
– Asociación Deportivo Cali
– Club Deportivo Juan Grande Femenino
– Real Betis Balompié

Best Women’s Football Initiative presented by Women in Football
– Football Association Of Norway / Football For All In Vietnam Project
– Special Olympics,
– 16Over90 & Visa

Best Internationalisation Strategy presented by Deloitte
– Asia Pacific Events
– Mediapro Canada
– RC Celta

Outstanding Innovation Initiative presented by N3XT Sports
– Banco Santander & LaLiga, Conmebol and UEFA for Fieeld
– Lega Serie A for Virtual Coach
– SciSports & KNVB for eQuality Index

Best Digital Platform presented by Seven League
– DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
– Eleven Sports
– Eredivisie CV

Football for Good presented by Common Goal
– Diogenis MKO
– Dream a dream
– Indochina Starfish Foundation

Best Supplier presented by SportsTechX
– Horizm
– Live Penalty
– You First Sports – KNOT

WFS StartCup by GSIC
– Beyond Sport
– Idoven
– Immersive.io

Some of the football industry's finest will return to the WFS stage once more.

Football industry’s finest return at WFS Live for post-coronavirus panel

Football industry’s finest return at WFS Live for post-coronavirus panel 2416 1667 WFS Live

The second edition of WFS Live will see the return of one of our most popular panels as we get the band back together once more to bring some of the football industry’s finest to the stage: Ricardo Fort (Coca-Cola), Peter Hutton (Facebook), Ralf Reichert (ESL) and Luis Vicente (Eleven Sports).

The quartet will look at sport post-covid in a panel titled: Venturing into 2021 with confidence in what is sure to be a good humoured, insightful and unpredictable part of our WFS Live programme, although one thing is for certain; Fort will produce a bottle of Coca-Cola.

This will be the third time that these industry experts have come together in a virtual WFS space, with their debut appearance coming at our Talking Sport series in partnership with Eleven Sports back in May when the football industry was first coming to terms with coronavirus.

There, Vicente’s words proved prophetic when you see the English Premier League’s introduction of a pay-per-view broadcasting model.

He said: “I think the gaming industry models will be a massive influence for the traditional sports industry, because I really believe that micro-subscriptions will be key. Digital micro-transactions in pay-per-view will be essential and advertising will become more robust.”

Reichert also spoke on how gaming and eSports were big winners during that period as traditional sports leveraged the space with no live sport of their own to engage with.

“To grow 20% in this time in games is really shitty,” commented Reichert. “Most of these companies have grown 100-300%. Amateur tournaments have grown 5x compared to one year ago, while the viewership for eSports tournaments has grown 3x. Gaming is the big beneficiary of this.”

Both were back when WFS Live launched in July, as was Hutton whose insight into the world’s biggest social media platform was fascinating as he told us how Facebook is looking to make content more discoverable.

Hutton said: “I think it’s important that we make it easier and easier for people to find relevant content and you’ll see a huge area of curation coming into Facebook now, as well as a clear focus on how you get to the content you care about.”

Completing the lineup is Fort, who this year was named as one of our WFS Icon Speakers thanks to his mixture of good humour, ambush marketing and vast knowledge of sponsorship that he brings to the WFS stage. As evidenced by Fort’s assessment of the changing relationship between sponsors and content as a result of this global pandemic.

“The experience of watching football with empty venues is not the best but that content can be very helpful for brands to tell stories elsewhere” said Fort. “We have to use it in different, more creative ways, through digital platforms,.”

This group are must-watch, compulsive viewing so make sure you don’t miss out on their trilogy panel when we bring the band back together at day two of #WFSLive on Tuesday, 24 November.

WFSIA Best Male Player award nominees

WFSIA Best Player nominations: Lewandowski, Messi, Bronze and Harder make final 30

WFSIA Best Player nominations: Lewandowski, Messi, Bronze and Harder make final 30 2560 1440 WFS Live

Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, Lucy Bronze and Pernille Harder head the 30-strong list of World Football Summit Industry Awards (WFSIA) Best Player nominations released today.

The first ever WFSIA Best Male Player and Best Female Player awards – in partnership with leading Spanish news website AS – saw two 15 long-lists drawn up by some of Spain’s top journalists.

And now, fans will be able to vote for who of those final 30 names they think should take home the award on 16 November – a week ahead of WFS Liveby voting HERE on the AS website.

Final votes will be weighted by 25% of fan nominations and 75% of our jury – made up of football journalists from AS, El País and Cadena Ser.

Three finalists for each Best Player category will be unveiled on 11 November, and the winners revealed five days later.

The Best Player awards were added to this year’s WFSIA – which is already considering 80 vetted candidates from 31 countries all over the world across the other nine categories – in order to celebrate and reward the efforts of players who have helped bring entertainment back into our lives following the global coronavirus pandemic.

As World Football Summit director Jan Alessie put it when the Best Player awards were announced: “We believe that this is a good moment to add to our WFS Industry Awards a category that rewards the work of the players, who are together with the fans the great protagonists of this game and this business.”

Here are the 30 finalists in full:

BEST FEMALE PLAYER

WFSIA Best Female Player award nominees

Sarah Bouhaddi (Olympique Lyon), Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyon/Manchester City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash/West Ham), Debinha (North Carolina Courage), Christiane Endler (Paris Saint-Germain), Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg/Chelsea), Jenni Hermoso (FC Barcelona), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars/Chelsea), Dzsenifer Marozsán (Olympique Lyon), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal), Lena Oberdorf (Essen/Wolfsburg), Sandra Paños (FC Barcelona), Alexia Putellas (FC Barcelona), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyon), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)

BEST MALE PLAYER

WFSIA Best Player Award nominations

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Sadio Mané (Liverpool), Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Lucas Ocampos (Sevilla), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool)

Best Player awards.

Male and female Best Player categories added to WFS Industry Awards

Male and female Best Player categories added to WFS Industry Awards 2333 1313 WFS Live

To recognise the efforts of professional footballers across one of the most difficult years in the history of the game, World Football Summit and AS have teamed up to bring male and female Best Player awards to the 2020 WFS Industry Awards.

Following the initial halt to the global game by coronavirus, footballers the world over have been integral to the sport’s safe return that has brought entertainment back into people’s lives during an unprecedented past few months.

As a result, WFS and AS wish to reward and acknowledge some of those players that have brought smiles back on our faces with their incredible performances both on and off the pitch.

“The year 2020 has been a very hard one. We are experiencing an unprecedented global crisis and in this context it is clear that football is taking a back seat. But at the same time, the absence of football has allowed us to see to what extent this sport makes us happy and provides us with an escape route,” said World Football Summit director, Jan Alessie.

“That is why we believe that this is a good moment to add to our WFS Industry Awards a category that rewards the work of the players, who are together with the fans the great protagonists of this game and this business.”

Supporters from across the globe will have their say once our initial list of 30 candidates15 for the men’s award, and 15 for the women’s equivalent – is announced on Tuesday, 27 October.

Best Player awards.

Best Male and Female Player awards have now been added to the 2020 #WFSIA.

From there, fans will be able to vote for their favourite via the AS website, with votes weighted by 25% of fan nominations and 75% of our jury – made up of football journalists from leading Spanish media outlets AS, El País and Cadena Ser.

As announced by AS, the jury members are:

– Vicente Jiménez (AS director)
– Alfredo Relaño (AS honorary president)
– Santiago Segurola (AS columnist)
– María Jesús Luengo (AS editor-in-chief)
– José Sámano (El País sports editor-in-chief)
– Aritz Gabilondo (AS journalist)
– Alejandro Gómez (AS Mexico director)
– Axel Torres (AS columnist)
– Carmen Colino (AS verticles editor-in-chief)
– Dani Garrido (Cadena SER director)
– Mayca Jiménez (AS journalis)
– Manu Carreño (Cadena SER director)
– Sarah Castro (AS Colombia director )
– Aimara Garteizgoxeascoa Gil (AS journalist)
– Mario Brisso (AS Chile director)

Three finalists for each Best Player category will then be unveiled on 11 November, and the winners revealed five days later on 16 November.

“The return of football has been a stimulus for many people and this has been possible thanks, among other things, to the efforts of the players who have adapted to very difficult conditions to continue to feed the passion of the fans,” added Alessie.

“And to reward the best players we could not have a better partner than a reference for information and content such as Prisa News, which has the most prestigious experts and sports analysts in the country.”

This year’s #WFSIA will already consider 80 candidates from 31 different countries all over the world and will once again celebrate a football industry that is facing one of the trickiest periods in its history, including the newly-added Best Player gong.

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With just a week left to nominate yourself or someone else for the 2020 #WFSIA at the link in our bio, we think it's time to meet the jurors… ⁣ 👨‍💼 Best Executive presented by Nolan Partners⁣ 👨‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Lisa Baird (NWSL), Stefano Bertola (Juventus), Chad Biagini (Nolan Partners), Mike Tomon (Legends), Dionna Widder (Houston Dynamo)⁣ ⁣ 🚚 Best Supplier presented by @sportstechx⁣ 👨‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Matthew Cairns (Eleven Sports Media), Rohn Malhotra (SportsTechX), Philipp Rossner (Signa Sports United), Nathalie Sonne (leAD Sports), Petr Zhukov (Indigo Capital Partners)⁣ ⁣ 🙏 Football for good presented by @commongoalorg⁣ 👨‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Ana Arizabaleta (Fundación Selección Colombia), Tomasz Frankowski (European Parliament), Jürgen Griesbeck (Common Goal), Yianny Ioannou (Tackle Africa), Urs Kluser (UEFA Foundation for Children)⁣ ⁣ 🏟️ Best Venue presented by @mondostadia⁣ 👨‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Maddalena Cannarsa (Grimshaw) Sam Hughes (Mondo Stadia), Andy Simons (KSS), Marina Tranchitella (Sport Club Internacional), Jeroen van Iersel (Johan Cruyff ArenA)⁣ ⁣ 📈 Best Club Commercial Initiative presented by @mccann_mw⁣ 👨‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Alfredo Bustillo (CaixaBank), Carlos Cantó (SPSG Consulting), Pascual Martínez (McCANN), Pablo N. Ruiz (Racing Club), Benedikt Scholz (Borussia Dortmund)⁣ ⁣ 🏃‍♀️ Best Women’s Football Initiative presented by @womeninfootballofficial⁣ 👨‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Tom Corbett (Barclays), Mayi Cruz Blanco (Adecco), Ebru Köksal (Women in Football), Kerstin Lutz (TEAM), Hala Ousta (FIFA)⁣ ⁣ 🌍 Best Internationalisation Strategy presented by @deloitte⁣ 👨‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Jokin Aperribay (Real Sociedad), Rocio Fernandez-Rubies Aguirre (Amazon), Concha Iglesias (Deloitte), Carlos Ocaña (Real Madrid), Sergio Oslé Varona (Movistar +)⁣ ⁣ 📱 Best Digital Platform presented by @7league⁣ 👨‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Rob Harris (Associated Press), Jamie King (NFL), Fiona Staines (ECB), Russell Stopford (PSG), Amanda Vandervort (FIFPRO), François Westcombe (Seven League)⁣ ⁣ 🤖 Outstanding Innovation Initiative presented by N3xt Sports⁣ 👨‍⚖️👩‍⚖️ Aitor Jimenez Villar (Athletic Club Bilbao), Mathieu Lacome (PSG), Benjamin Stoll (FIFA), Susanne Timosci (DFL), Shane Whelan (British & Irish Lions), Mounir Zok (N3xt Sports)

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WFS Industry Awards

WFS Industry Awards to consider 80 candidates from 31 countries

WFS Industry Awards to consider 80 candidates from 31 countries 2560 1440 WFS Live

The deadline for 2020 WFS Industry Awards applications shut on 18 October, with candidates put forward from all over the world.

In total, we have vetted and approved 80 candidatures from 31 countries that have met the criteria of our nine #WFSIA categories.

Out of those 80 now under consideration, 31 per cent were put forward from corporate backgrounds, 26% from clubs23% were NGOs and foundations13% from leagues, and 7% were federations and institutions.

We will announce three finalists for each category on 12 November, with the winners joining our Hall of Fame revealed four days later on 16 November.

Our 2020 victors will then have the chance to be interviewed on our digital stage in a 20-minute session that will be part of the WFS Live Conference Programme.

Those interviews will take place virtually at WFS Live on Friday, 27 November.

This year saw four new categories added: Best Digital Platform and Outstanding Innovation Initiative, as well as our most recent additions that celebrate the performances of players since football’s return; Best Male Player and Best Female Player.

Our full WFS Industry Awards categories read as follows:

–      Best Executive presented by Nolan Partners
–      Best Supplier presented by SportstechX
–      Football for Good presented by Common Goal
–      Best Venue presented by Mondo Stadia
–      Best Club Commercial Initiative presented by McCann
–      Best Women’s Football Initiative presented by Women in Football Football
–      Best Internationalisation Strategy presented by Deloitte
–      Best Digital Platform presented by Seven League
–      Outstanding Innovation Initiative presented by N3XT Sports
–      Best Male Player presented by AS
–      Best Female Player presented by AS