Leading investors remain confident: “Over the long run, sports is going to be a great investment”

Leading investors remain confident: “Over the long run, sports is going to be a great investment” 1236 575 WFS Live

All areas of the sports industry have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and this includes the investment in sporting businesses. While there may be disruption in the short term, several leading investors believe that the industry will continue to provide excellent opportunities over the long term.

This was the view of the three panellists who took part in the ‘Aftermath Of Investments In Sports’ discussion during WFS Live, Powered by Ronaldo. Taking part in that virtual round table were George Pyne, CEO and founder of Bruin Capital, Assia Grazioli-Venier, founding partner of Muse Capital and a Juventus board member, and Andrea Radrizzani, chairman and founder of Aser Ventures.

They concurred that the passion and emotion inherent in sports means that the industry will be in good health once the Covid-19 pandemic is over. “Over the long run, sports is going to be a great investment” Pyne stated. “Long term, there’s nothing like sports. Sports represent who you are and what you stand for and your values. So, there’s nothing like it. Sports brings people together during difficult times for positive outcomes. So, that’s an incredible outcome in a world that is going to be more fragmented from a media standpoint. Sports is one of the few things that you can invest behind that gets you big and passionate audiences.”

“Long term, there’s nothing like sports. Sports represent who you are and what you stand for and your values. So, there’s nothing like it.” – George Pyne, CEO & Founder – Bruin Capital

That said, Pyne did admit that the short-term outlook is less certain. He went on: “In the long term I think sports is a great play. In the short term it’ll be a little choppy, but in the short term it provides real opportunity. So, I think you’re going to see more and more people look to invest in the sports business for those reasons.”

Grazioli-Venier agreed that there is a lot to be positive about when looking a decade into the future. “I am long-term investor. I look seven to 10 years ahead. I’ve always done that since I was a child. I’m the opposite of living in the moment. For me, I look seven to 10 years ahead and I see teams becoming true lifestyle brands, not just communicating and engaging with the fans on the pitch, but working with them across the board in the other areas of their lives. That’s why I think you have to look at investment opportunities outside of the core sports space.”

Radrizzani, meanwhile, joked about how he’d never had so many people return his calls as he has experienced in recent months, expressing his optimism that there will be good opportunities in the sports industry for a long time to come.

This panel took place during the second day of WFS Live, which is running from Monday July 6th to Friday July 10th. It is still possible to buy a ticket here, with all net proceeds to be donated to Fundação Fenômenos and the Common Goal Covid-19 Response Fund.

Quotes from the ‘Aftermath Of Investments In Sports’:
  • George Pyne on what he looks for in an investment opportunity:

“You’re asking is the strategy good or is the jockey. We believe that you can have the best ideas, but without the right management you can’t go anywhere. To me, you’ve got to have the right management team and the strategy. You’d like to get both. But, if I had to pick between one and two then I’d rather back the people because, even if the people are going down the wrong road, eventually they’re going to find the right road. So, of the two, I believe in people over strategy, but I’d like to find good strategy and good people.”

  • Assia Grazioli-Venier, on the current capital flow:

“There is capital flowing around. It surprised me as well to be honest, because we all operated on the worst-case assumptions during the first three months of Covid and that’s how we prepare for the future. I think all of us on this panel are used to doing that. But, I was very very surprised at how much capital is flowing. It’s more important now than ever that, because it’s not as much capital, that the capital is value-add and that you really choose your partners wisely.”

  • Assia Grazioli-Venier on teams and franchises further embracing non-gameday revenue streams:

“I think teams have to start thinking again and not just on the pitch. They need to realise that they truly are a lifestyle brand. Ten years ago, or longer than that, if you said that teams were selling merchandise and selling mugs and pins then you would have said that was crazy. Now, it’s full speed ahead. It’s a strong source of revenue. So, there are still a lot of new opportunities that we can explore.”

  • Andrea Radrizzani, on the appetite for investment he has come across in the past few months:

“I’ve been trying to put together finance in football leagues for the last eight years and I was always very close, but with no luck to conclude any deal. But, the last four months, I think I’ve never seen [so many people] call me back from New York or London. We’re working on different opportunities. Overall, I think it’s a great chance for leagues to involve different management and more professional management and inject capital that can close a short period of need, but at the same time regenerate and invigorate and completely restructure the business case.”

Day 1 Highlights: Tebas, Sir Martin Sorrell, Desiree Bellia, Butragueño and more

Day 1 Highlights: Tebas, Sir Martin Sorrell, Desiree Bellia, Butragueño and more 1238 583 WFS Live

The first ever edition of WFS Live kicked off today with seven panels featuring top-notch leaders from properties such as LaLiga, FIFA or Real Madrid and companies such as S4 Capital or Eleven Sports. Speakers discussed deeply around the impact of Covid-19 on different areas of the sport and the industry such as European competitions, women’s football, media rights, the transfer market or player’s salaries. Here are some of the main highlights of Day 1:

Javier Tebas (LaLiga), on Covid-19 and the transfer market

“There will be some transfers, but those which each club can manage economically. But big signings paid in money, we’re not going to see that. One of 100 million euros is impossible. And those above 50 million euros, we’ll be able to count on the fingers of your hands and mine.”

Ornella D. Bellia (FIFA) on the lessons learned from Covid-19

“One of the lessons of Covid-19 is that more women leadership positions are needed to help deal with crisis situations. If you look at the countries with some of the best Covid-19 responses, they are countries lead by women. If you look at Germany, but also New Zealand, Iceland… These countries stood out for their prompt, efficient and effective response tu the crisis.”

Ebru Koksal (Women in Football) on the lack of support mechanisms for women in the industry

“I didn’t have a good support mechanism, I didn’t have a mentor, I didn’t have another women in the Board of Directors, I didn’t have anyone to got to, I was all alone. It’s so difficult to survive in that environment because everyone is trying to crush you. It’s very hard to survive unless you have the support mechanisms, but also equally important is having self awareness in your leadership journey.”

Magda Pozzo (Udinese & Watford), on women thriving in innovative areas of the business

“We need to do more as women, we need to create a movement, but I think it’s just a natural development of the business. I think we’re seeing a change with so many innovative areas of the business growing. Areas in which women are very good, so it’s going to come very natural. I’m very positive and very optimistic about that.”

Sir Martin Sorrell (S4 Capital) on the effects of Covid-19 on football

“In my view there are too many football clubs, they have to be consolidated. Players are probably over-remunerated, they will have to be remunerated in different ways. The leagues are going to have to be run more efficiently and professionally because the competition is going to be huge.”

Paul Barber (Brighton & Hove Albion) on Covid-19 being a wake-up call for the football industry

“One of the problems for some years is that clubs have been living beyond their means, they’ve been spending more money than they’ve been bringing in and relying on either player sales to get out of trouble at the end of each season or an uplift in TV or sponsorship income. I think that perhaps this is a wake-up call for all of us to manage our business more prudently that we’ve done in the past. We’re all guilty at some point of just stretching that little bit too far.”

Emilio Butragueño (Real Madrid) on the lessons learned from Covid-19

“The first lesson is that what seems imposible is possible, everything can change overnight. The second is our ability to overcome difficulties. We’ve been able to comeback and we should be very proud. The third lesson is that we have to be united. When we are united, we win. I think these are the three lessons of this period.”

Luigi de Laurentiis (SSC Bari) on the impact of Covid-19 on player salaries

“Salaries will probably be going down around 20-25 percent, which would help. I think overall if we’re talking about big players they will keep their value, but definitely in the shorter period we’re definitely going to see some minor numbers in that department. So yes, I think salaries and transfers will be affected for now.”

Javier Tebas: “Within three seasons, football will be back to what it was”

Javier Tebas: “Within three seasons, football will be back to what it was” 1349 639 WFS Live

The coronavirus pandemic has completely shaken up the football industry, with some leagues having to be cancelled and with others only returning without fans. LaLiga falls into the latter category, having returned on June 11th to complete the final 11 rounds of the campaign behind closed doors.

There have been significant financial losses for those involved in Spanish football, but LaLiga president Javier Tebas does not believe that there will be serious long-term effects from Covid-19, assuming a vaccine can be found and distributed. Speaking on the opening day of WFS Live, Powered by Ronaldo, Tebas mapped out a timeline for football’s gradual return to complete normality.

“I think it will depend on the autonomous communities,” he said when asked when we should expect fans back in Spanish stadiums by interviewer Alfredo Matilla of Diario AS. “We’ll see if it happens at the end of this season or at the start of next season. It’ll be something awkward and in percentages. I think 30% of the stadium’s capacity is the maximum that there will be. And it’ll be awkward because there will be a need to have people entering early and they’ll need to be told where to sit and at what hour they can go.”

Despite the inconveniences that will come with the matchday experience in times of Covid-19, Tebas still expects supporters will want to go. He said: “It will be more uncomfortable to go to matches. But, I think that many fans will go at this 30% level to see their team, even with this awkwardness. Until we have a vaccine that allows us to all go together without any problems.”

Once a vaccine is ready, Tebas is convinced that football can completely return to normal without lingering aftereffects from the crisis. On that, he told the WFS Live audience: “I think that football will return to what football was. Once we find a vaccine, maybe then it’ll take another year. But, it will go back to what it was, with fans in the stadiums, with the stadiums full, with the passion for football, with the same audiovisual broadcasts. The economic values will once again be where they were. It won’t change a lot. It’ll change what we’re doing right now, but we’ll return to what we were before and I have no doubt about that. There won’t be an economic shrinking within three years. I’m convinced that within three seasons, or maybe a little less in my opinion, that we’ll be back in the kind of situation that we had been in.

Despite his optimism for the long-term health of the football industry, Tebas does believe the 2020 summer transfer window will be quite different to those of previous years. The LaLiga president stated: “There will be some transfers, but those which each club can manage economically. But, big signings paid in money, we’re not going to see that. One of 100 million euros is impossible. And those above 50 million euros, we’ll be able to count on the fingers of your hands and mine.

Tebas spoke on the opening day of WFS Live, which is running from Monday July 6th to Friday July 10th. It is still possible to buy a ticket here, with all net proceeds to be donated to Fundação Fenômenos and the Common Goal Covid-19 Response Fund.

A selection of Tebas’ quotes from his WFS Live panel
  • On how LaLiga’s audiovisual rights are worth the same as before to broadcasters:

“I believe that the audiovisual value won’t be affected immediately. Everyone is saying there’s a need to reduce the fees and what is being earned, but in my opinion the audiovisual and entertainment sector is one of those that has come out reinforced from this crisis. If we look at Netflix or HBO, these companies have seen their subscriber numbers go up a lot. What can be affected is the money that consumers have, but in general I don’t see there being a major effect that can then affect us.”

  •  On the potential damage had the season been cancelled like in France:

“Only up to June 30th of the 2019/20 season, it would have to been something over 1,000 million euros or 1,100 million euros in losses, also counting what teams would have lost in the Champions League and everything. By no longer bringing in revenues, it would have generated a problem in terms of losses because we’re not a sector where the profit margins are very large.”

  • On the need for economic control measures to be maintained or perhaps made stricter:

“In Europe there has been an important debate that we’ve been involved in about UEFA’s economic control, where some big clubs wanted things to be laxer. We and the Bundesliga insisted that it can’t become laxer. Quite the opposite. There’s still a need to be more rigorous so that there isn’t a major difference between the revenues you bring in, which have gone down because of COVID, and the spending, especially that on wages and others you have in the club.

  •  On coronavirus’ effect on the European Super League project:

“What this league has shown us, especially for UEFA, is that strong national leagues together can organize the calendar. Together we’ve tried to ensure the audiovisual rights don’t lose value. We’ve realized that together we can do things a lot better. That UEFA and the big clubs should not go on their own. I think that has weakened the Super League project quite a lot because many clubs have realized that it was very important to maintain their national market and to save it during this situation.”

  • On whether he’d prefer Xavi or Neymar to return to Barcelona:

“For Messi to stay at Barcelona.”

WFS Live kicks off with 150+ speakers and 3,000 attendees

WFS Live kicks off with 150+ speakers and 3,000 attendees 1417 642 WFS Live

Over 150 top-notch speakers will be taking the virtual stage from today, July 6th, until Friday, July 10th, at the first ever edition of WFS Live, a global online event organised by World Football Summit and Ronaldo Nazário that will gather football’s major stakeholders to discuss the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, S4 Capital Executive Chairman Sir Martin Sorrell, LaLiga President Javier Tebas, Real Valladolid President Ronaldo Nazário, ASER Ventures Chairman Andrea Radrizzani, FIFA Referee’s Committee Chairman Pierluigi Collina, Secretrary of the Board of Directors of FC Barcelona Marta Plana, Spartan Race Founder Joe de Sena and football legends such as Vicente del Bosque, Iker Casillas, Didier Drogba, Kristine Lilly, Juan Sebastián Verón or David Villa are just a few of the names included in the stellar lineup.

This online event, in which attendees will be able to engage and interact with speakers through group discussions, live polls and one-on-one video-calls, will gather 450 clubs, leagues and federations, 800+ companies and 3,000 attendees from 120 different countries.

The Conference Porgramme includes all the major topics affecting the sports fraternity, but there will be a special focus on the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic across the different sectors of the industry as well as the opportunities that will arise in the aftermath of the crisis.

All net proceeds to be donated

Sir Martin Sorrell, Magda Pozzo (Udinese Calcio), Paul Barber (Brighton & Hove Albion), Emilio Butragueño (Real Madrid) or Juliano Belletti (FC Barcelona) will be other top speakers taking the stage on the first day.

Apart from kicking off a new beginning for football after the pause forced by Covid-19, WFS Live also aims to help fight the devastating effects that the pandemic has caused on vulnerable communities around the world. That’s why all net proceeds will be donated to Common Goal, charity platform founded by footballer Juan Mata and Fundação Fenômenos, founded by Ronaldo Nazário.

10 reasons why you can’t miss football’s biggest global gathering

10 reasons why you can’t miss football’s biggest global gathering 2048 1365 WFS Live

WFS Live is only a week away. The global online event that will gather top industry leaders across the globe to discuss the key issues affecting the sport and the business of football will kick off on Monday, July 6th with around 3,000 industry professionals tuning-in from their homes and offices all over the world.

If you’re still doubting whether or not to attend, here are 10 reasons that should help you make up your mind:

1. Hear from a unique speaker lineup featuring 100+ top industry leaders such as:

Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA
Sir Martin Sorrell, Executive Chairman of S4 Capital
– Javier Tebas, President of LaLiga
Ronaldo Nazario, President of Real Valladolid
Iker Casillas, World Champions (2010)
– Didier Drogba, Football Legend


2. Enjoy unmatchable interaction opportunities

Don’t just listen to the speakers, engage with them through:

  • Live questions
  • Polls
  • Group chats 

3. Participate in 30+ live panels covering the most relevant topics such as:

  • The aftermath of Covid-19
  • The future of sponsorships in sports
  • The growth of the women’s game
  • Stadium management in a post-pandemic world
  • Athletes becoming conscious activists
    And much more!

4. Globalise your network by accessing our list of attendees

Around 3,000 industry professionals from around the world will be participating at this truly global gathering.

5. Connect with 100+ global leading brands and properties such as:

6. Maximise your time using our AI-driven matchmaking software

Make sure you connect with your targeted stakeholders and arrange one-on-one meetings in advance.

7. Accelerate your business opportunities

Generate a full database of potential leads.

8. Boost your ROI

By cutting travel and accommodation costs.

9. Meet new brands and exciting startups at the WFS Live Virtual Expo Area

Academic institutions, federations, media, streaming platforms, techies and much more!

10. Help tackle the effects of Covid-19 on vulnerable communities

All net proceeds generated by WFS Live will be donated to Common Goal and Fundação Fenômenos.

WFS StartCup: These are the 16 startups pitching at WFS Live

WFS StartCup: These are the 16 startups pitching at WFS Live 2047 1039 WFS Live

World Football Summit and the Global Sports Innovation Center powered by Microsoft (GSIC) have announced the 16 startups selected by the WFS StartCup jury to participate at WFS Live powered by R9. These startups will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions to the global football industry in the online event that will gather 100+ top speakers and nearly 3,000 industry professionals from all over the world from July 6th to 10th.

The StartCup session will take place on Thursday July 9th at 5.00 PM (CEST). The jury will then decide the Top 8 startups that make it to the final stage, which will take place at the next WFS online summit.

The 16 selected startups come from 10 different countries (Brazil, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, United Stated and United Kingdom) and offer a wide range of solutions in different fields, although mostly focused on Player & Team Performance and Fan Engagement. Half of them use AI-driven technology.

16 shortlisted startups:

4D Sight: AI and cloud-based virtual ad insertion in sports and esports. It creates intrinsic, audience-friendly, targeted ads for great brand sentiment.

– ACE Applied Cognitive Engineering Ltd. / The Football IntelliGym: Improves footballers’ performance by boosting players’ decision-making skills. It provides easy-to-use training software that is scientifically proven to improve actual on-field players’ performance by 20-40% by training an hour a week.

AiScout: Has developed an Amateur Talent Identification platform, which is using AI, Machine Learning, Data Analytics & in-app Biomechanics, Psychometric & Cognitive Analysis, to automate the Amateur Talent Identification, scouting & trial process.

– Armony Ltd: Claims to be the world’s first, patent-pending, wireless communication system made specifically for the use of soccer teams. This system creates a direct connection between coaches and their players, simultaneously transmitting coaches’ instructions and eliminating the need for coaches to yell to their players.

– BBox Sports: A startup focused on fan engagement. BBox Sports have created an engagement tool that offers real data about real fans. BBox allows sports teams to really know their fans and engage with them in a whole new level through Augmented Reality.

– Beyond Sports BV: Transforms positional tracking data into fully immersive and animated 3D simulations in 16 milliseconds, serving player development, match analysis, broadcasting and multi platform end consumer access across multiple sports.

– Fanisko: It offers a B2B platform & solution that helps sports organizations to: 1) Identify high value fans through data driven campaigns, 2) Engage wherever they are and whatever they use, 3) Retain through Gamification, AR, & VR and 4) Monetize through sponsor activations.

– IDOVEN: Remote digital sports cardiology based on Artificial Intelligence. With the aim of early detection of diseases such as myocardial infarction, sudden death and other heart problems in people and athletes of any level.

– Imagine AR Inc: An industry leader for an augmented reality platform for sports and live events. Its platform can synergistically engage fans in immersive memorable experiences to drive a deeper engagement and create new revenue sources.

– Immersiv.io: A startup working in the field of augmented reality to enhance the fan experience for sports and esports. They rely on the latest innovations (like machine learning, computer vision, real-time data) to design new ways for teams and leagues to engage their audience by sharing immersive and interactive experiences with their fans.

– iSPORTiSTiCS: This company processes, formats and analyze sports content, using technologies based on AI and ML to simplify, enhance and amplify deliveries on the way from the crude content and distributors / audience, increasing all people interactivity and engagement.

– Olocip: Pioneering international company specialised in the implementation of Artificial Intelligence in the business world and professional sports.

– Pico – Get Personal: A SportsTech startup with a personalized fan communication platform, powered by AI. Pico transforms engagement across digital & social channels into high-converting fan experiences that support true business objectives. Pico drives engaged, anonymous online fans into 1st party systems with actionable data via personalization at scale.

– Seyu – Together for victory!: An easy to implement, 150+ events proven, AI assisted solution which is using sport industry partners’ already existing IT infrastructure to allow fans around the world, through a moderated channel, to post their photos on to the LED boards and other screens in the stadiums on matchdays, and share them instantly on social media in branded frames.

– Sponix Tech: A technology company that provides solutions and services which helps broadcasters, TV channels and advertisers increase viewers and enhance fan experience. Their end-to-end creative service covers the entire video production process, from developing an initial concept, through to offering a full service of pre-production, filming and post-production.

Sport Buff: An innovative fan-driven company that truly combines sports broadcast, digital/ social fan engagement and live sports datacasts to create a truly unique business and product, delivering the best-in-class next generation of sports fan viewing, engagement and gamification, powered by AI and Machine Learning. 

90 startups from 32 countries have registered for the WFS StartCup

90 startups from 32 countries have registered for the WFS StartCup 2048 1365 WFS Live

90 startups from up to 32 different countries across the globe have submitted their candidacy for the WFS StartCup by GSIC, the international startup competition that aims to locate the best sportech projects and/or startups with innovative solutions that can impact the sports industry in general, and football in particular. 

Spain, the UK and the USA are the countries that have submitted most candidacies this year, while Fan Engagement & Experience has been the most popular category. 23 percent of the startups are offering solutions focused on this area.

In the coming days, the jury will deliberate and decide the 16 projects that will be awarded the right to pitch their projects during WFS Live on July 9th. The eight finalists will be announced on July 27th and will have the chance to pitch in the next WFS online summit, in which the winner will be announced.

The jury members of the 2020 WFS StartCup by GSIC

This will be the fifth edition of the WFS StartCup. In its four previous editions this competition received over 800 applications from startups around all the world. 30 of them had the opportunity to present their solutions to the world’s industry leaders at World Football Summit events. 

Thermohuman, 3D Digital Venue,  YBVR and GameReady, winners of the four previous editions respectivelyhave since gained great notoriety in the sportech ecosystem All four of them are currently working with top international sports entities such as LaLigaNBALigue 1Australia OpenMLBMLSMutua Madrid OpenDavis CupManchester CityFC Barcelona, Wembley Stadium or Atlético de Madridamong others. 

“Having had the fortune to participate and win the StartCup has been an immense help for us. It is difficult to measure the impact, but it has certainly helped us improve our positioning and brand image, and that is something very valuable in a project like ours,” said ThermoHuman founder Ismael Fernández in a recent interview.

Paul Barber: “For most of the industry to be losing money every year is clearly an unsustainable model”

Paul Barber: “For most of the industry to be losing money every year is clearly an unsustainable model” 2560 1440 WFS Live

Paul Barber is the Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and will be one of the speakers during the WFS Live powered by Octagon, which is taking place from July 6th to July 10th. We recently caught up with him to talk about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead fort the football industry in the post-Covid era.

Q. You’ve been in the football industry for over 25 years, do you recall any crisis similar to the one we are currently facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic?
A. No, this is by far the worst crisis for the football industry.

Q. Which have been the major challenges that you’ve had to overcome, personally and professionally, in the past months?       
A. Similar to most people; concerns for people’s health; financial concerns for our business; and general uncertainty.

Q. As a chief executive of a large business, how have you managed to balance the financial pressure of having to get back to business as soon as possible and the huge responsibility of taking care of the well-being of the club’s players, employees and fans?
A. Health must come first. Then it’s about being adaptable, flexible and pragmatic. We’ve tried to be open and transparent to all stakeholders at all times.

Q. Although football is restarting it seems clear that it’s going to be a TV only entertainment for quite some time, meaning that there will be no match-day revenue at least until 2021. How is Brighton preparing to face this unprecedented situation?
A. We’ve taken action to halt major projects and to reduce costs where we can. We’re also lobbying to get fans back in as soon as it is safe, even on a phased basis.

Q. This crisis has proved that clubs rely too much on match-day income and media rights and that if football is to continue growing there is a huge need to explore other revenue streams. Where do you think these new revenue streams can be found considering that investment in sponsoring is also likely to decrease since most industries have been seriously hit?
A. In my experience, clubs have always looked to build new and more sustainable revenue streams. Achieving this while maintaining focus on core objectives is challenging.

Q. A couple of months ago, Brighton Chairman Tony Bloom said he wished Covid-19 “sparks a change in football’s broken financial model”. Do you agree? Which would you say should be the most urgent changes?
A. For most of the industry to be losing money every year is clearly an unsustainable model. We need to be prepared to manage our cost base – player salaries – far more robustly to reverse the model. This is easier said than done in a competitive industry that relies on the best talent.

Q. Changing the financial model will undoubtedly take some time. In the meantime, how do you think this crisis is going to reshape the football landscape and what do you think will be the main consequences?
A. This crisis has shaken all of us. We need to ensure our contracts are more resilient for the future, and we need to ensure we have better protection in our contracts.

“We need to ensure our contracts are more resilient for the future, and we need to ensure we have better protection in our contracts” – Paul Barber

Q. We’re focusing a lot on the challenges, but obviously there will also be opportunities arising. From where we stand today, which do you envision?
A. The obvious one is to learn the lessons of the past 3 months – there are many!

Q. You are going to be one of the key speakers at the upcoming WFS Live powered by Octagon along with a number of global leaders across the industry. How do you think a gathering like this can help football at this moment and what topics and issues are you most looking forward to discussing?
A. It’s always good to share views and opinions, there is much to learn from colleagues.

Q. At WFS Live we believe this crisis can provide an opportunity to kick off a new beginning for the football industry. From the perspective of a top club like Brighton, what do you think can be done in this new era to make football even greater?
A. Well, we’ve all shown we can adapt to very challenging circumstances. We can innovate. We can survive. Hopefully, moving forward we can prosper too.

Join WFS Live and contribute to tackling Covid-19 across the world

Join WFS Live and contribute to tackling Covid-19 across the world 2560 1707 WFS Live

WFS Live powered by Octagon aims to contribute to the growth of the industry, but also to support those communities that have been most severely hit by Covid-19. That’s why all net proceeds will be donated to:

  • The Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund: Founded by footballer Juan Mata and Jurgen Griesbeck, Common Goal is a platform uniting the global football community in tackling the greatest social challenges of our time. Since launching its COVID-19 Response Fund on 8th April, Common Goal has allocated the first round of proceeds to 27 community organisations. Through a collective effort by Common Goal members, from football players to football industry leaders, and beyond the football industry itself, so far €226,660 has been raised.

  • Fundaçâo Fenômenos: It was created by the idea of giving back to the society what Ronaldo achieved through his fantastic history in football. Its main goal is to reduce social imbalance in local communities and to support the less favored, with the aim of building a better country for the future generations. After 9 years of hard work, more than 25 projects have been rewarded with direct funds. Fundaçâo Fenômenos has impacted more than 85.000 life’s directly through our hard and meaningful work.

Visit Fenomenos.org and Common-Goal.org for more information on where the money goes, the work it will support and how you can donate to make a difference.

WFS Live speaker Luis Vicente explains how Covid-19 will impact right packages

WFS Live speaker Luis Vicente explains how Covid-19 will impact right packages 2048 1365 WFS Live

WFS Live powered by Octagon, will be running from July 6th to July 10th, talking place over a month after the Bundesliga’s return to action and just under a month since LaLiga was also able to resume. It’s time now to reflect on how football was able to make a comeback in various countries around the world after the unprecedented crisis provoked by Covid-19.

As CEO of Eleven Sports and having formerly worked in digital transformation at FIFA, Luis Vicente is perfectly placed to discuss the lessons learned during this time by both linear and OTT broadcasters and by the industry in general. He’ll be doing so on the second day of WFS Live, on July 7th, in a panel titled ‘One Month Into The New Normal: Sport’s Comeback From Covid-19’.

Vicente has already demonstrated his expertise on this subject in one of the ‘Talking Sport’ webinars that have been held in recent weeks as part of a collaboration between Eleven Sports and World Football Summit. Vicente spoke on a similar topic, titled ‘Sport’s Great Comeback: Fighting Back From Covid-19’ and he is very interested in the impact the crisis will have on the future of rights packages.

As Vicente said on that panel: “I think there are, of course, many ways that Covid-19 is definitely going to impact the packages. The traditional inventory packages of sports rights holders will need to change. They needed to change anyway. There was a certain culture that didn’t probably resist the test of time, with the exception of a few organizations.”

In his view, the current crisis and the return of football behind closed doors should further convince industry players of the opportunities to be found online during an event. As Vicente explained: “When you look at the essence of a football match and you look at 47,000 or 50,000 people in a stadium, people tend to forget sometimes that there are millions of people connecting online and trying to engage with that game on social media networks. It’s an amazing ecosystem and we have actually been doing a very poor job in trying to get that all aligned. People sometimes complain about the lack of new forms of monetization. Well, that’s a solution right there that comes from a need.”

Following that line of thinking, Vicente expressed his belief that micro-transactions and micro-subscriptions will become increasingly common and popular and also praised the innovation being seen in eSports.

All of these topics will be discussed in much greater depth during WFS Live, WFS’ first virtual summit. Other speakers already announced include FIFA President Gianni Infantino, LaLiga President Javier Tebas, Real Valladolid President Ronaldo Nazário, S4 Capital executive chairman Sir Martin Sorrell and world champions Iker Casillas, Juan Mata, David Villa, Vicente del Bosque and Fernando Hierro.

Attendees, meanwhile, will come from various leagues, federations, clubs, broadcasters, retailers, sponsors and more and it’s already possible to book a ticket to this unique virtual networking opportunity right here.