Common goal

Common Goal’s Jürgen Griesbeck: “Now is the moment to shape the future we want for football”

Common Goal’s Jürgen Griesbeck: “Now is the moment to shape the future we want for football” 1200 675 WFS Live

The football we want, the game we need! These eight words will form the spine of WFS LIVE‘s opening day, as WFS and Common Goal team up to invite football’s stakeholders and decision makers to reimagine the industry over the next decade.

Driven by the ambition of maximising football’s positive impact on society, all day one panels will set out to provide an answer to a question crucial to the sport’s future: How can we embed purpose at the heart of the game?

A month ahead of the event, we talked to Common Goal co-founder Jürgen Griesbeck to know more about how the WFS Live programme is being shaped, the key topics that will be addressed, and the specific goals that we’re aiming to achieve as we look to turn discussion into action and instigate a turning point for the industry.

Jürgen Griebeck (l.) and Common Goal have been central figures at WFS events since our inception.

Q. Common Goal reacted very quickly to coronavirus, launching the Common Goal Covid-19 Response Fund which aims to deliver essential support services to vulnerable youth not only during the pandemic but also afterwards. Can you give us an update on how the fund is going and the work that your partner organisations are carrying out?

A. The COVID-19 crisis has put the world in an unprecedented situation. More than ever, we realised how vulnerable we are and the need for a collective response. With Common Goal, we had a mechanism that enabled us to provide a rapid response, given our existing network of community organisations and our community of members and partners from the football industry, including players, managers and other stakeholders such as World Football Summit

Since the start of the pandemic, we have supported around 40 football for good organisations working across the globe with two different projects: the Common Goal COVID-19 Fund, with a global reach; and the Common Ground project, with a focus in Germany. The principle behind it all being: support young people who are in a situation of vulnerability and for whom the crisis has amplified existing challenges such as poverty, lack of access to education, essential services, safe spaces, and being exposed to gender violence and forced migration.

Such efforts were done through our network of community organisations, who, in addition to implementing football for good programmes for young people as their “day to day activities”, represent an important form of support for young people, families, and their local communities – and are at the center of the community development. This has been of crucial importance during the crisis, especially for young people who have seen a halt in services and measures that had previously provided a sense of home and reliable relationship structures.

Q. Since 2017, Common Goal and World Football Summit have jointly promoted football as a force for good, but for the coming WFS Live you’re going to take a step forward and devote a full day to the ambitious objective of embedding social purpose in the industry’s agenda for the future. Why have you decided to take this step now, when the industry is experiencing one of its biggest ever crisis?

A. Since the launch of Common Goal, the support from World Football Summit has been remarkable, both with WFS becoming a member of Common Goal in 2017 but also always providing a space for Common Goal and believing in the vision we have for football. 

Now is the moment to discuss and shape the future we want for the football industry and take action. Not only because of the crisis of the football industry but rather because with the current global crisis we have realised how vulnerable we are a society, and how interconnected we are. We have a responsibility to act together as a global community, as a collective, and football, as the biggest cultural phenomenon on earth, has the responsibility and opportunity to be a big part of it. World Football Summit is creating a space to enable these discussions to happen and we are thrilled to help shape these discussions and the way forward in cooperation with institutions, athletes, the corporate world and the football community as a whole. 

Q. Football is a global industry that cuts across so many different sectors and involves a wide range of stakeholders. Which stakeholders do you think have a more important role to play in the objective of shifting from a CSR approach to really embedding purpose in the industry’s DNA? 

A. Instead of pointing fingers towards a specific stakeholder group, I think rather we all need to take responsibility. 

The football industry has developed into an economic powerhouse, with double digit percentage growth – even during the global financial crisis and despite a massive reputational crisis. But such a model is not sustainable in a world where, more and more people are concerned about the sustainability of our planet, the social and economic gap… especially new generations of young people who are, for the first time, looking at how purpose-driven and socially responsible the brands they consume or their employers are. COVID-19 has reinforced the need for a shift towards a purpose-driven economy, and football won’t be an exception. Now, who is responsible to enable this shift? In essence everyone. 

This moment of tangible crisis has inspired activism among athletes and has also challenged the corporate world to take an authentic stand in regards to their contribution to people and planet. The global fan community is also voicing this need in a number of ways. 

Actions that athletes, the corporate world and fans are taking can have a ripple effect and accelerate things. But we need the commitment of institutions, which are moving at a slower pace and still remain in an ad-hoc or CRS style system when it comes to driving and implementing socially conscious initiatives.

Q. At the coming WFS Live you will be inviting the industry stakeholders to reimagine the football industry with the vision on 2030. Do you think the industry can agree on an Agenda featuring a number of objectives similar to the UN Sustainability Agenda?

A. I think the industry doesn’t need to define a new agenda or a new set of objectives but rather use the UN Sustainability Agenda as the framework to define its purpose and vision for the future. When it comes to the future well-being of our society and the sustainability of our planet, the football industry cannot act in isolation.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the blueprint to achieving a better future for all – and the key question is how we can embed it into the fabric and culture of football in a meaningful way. This means rethinking football over the next 10 years with the ambition of driving progress towards the Global Goals, instead of taking profit as its guiding principle and as the main indicator of success. 

Q. The theme chosen for this first day of conferences is “the football we want, the game we need”. Football has been used as a very efficient tool to drive development and social change across the world for a long time. What does this fast-changing society need and how can football support?

A. We are facing a global crisis, even before COVID-19, where issues related to social justice and the sustainability of our planet are increasing at an alarming rate. Everyone at this stage is aware of how interconnected we are, but we haven’t yet fully acknowledged how interdependent we are as a society.

The current crisis has shown that to face global challenges we need to promote and live up to values of community, inclusivity, togetherness and individual responsibility; actually values at the core of football as a team sport. It is by bringing those values forward in the way we imagine football, that football can also play a leading role in this critical decade of action. 

Q. One of the main objectives for this event is turning discussions into actions. What are the actions that football ought to take with utmost urgency in your opinion?

A. With Common Goal we believe that the best way to start was the 1% pledge. The 1% is a symbol of what can be achieved through team play. Everyone can contribute and, while it is a small individual effort, it can generate a great impact. And it provides the opportunity for the football industry to embed purpose in a very simple systemic way that can be adopted by everyone. It can become part of football’s re-wired DNA.

The 1% also represents an opportunity not only because it enables the industry to embed purpose at its core, but because it can lead an example for other sectors and for society as a whole to follow and make contribution “the new normal”. And here we are not only talking about 1% as a pledge or as a donation, we are talking about 1% of time, for example, that fans could donate in contribution to our people and our planet. Setting a new path, changing the mindset, redefining what success is for us as a team, as a society, as humanity.

Tickets are now on sale for November’s WFS Live event, with 10% of all sales going towards Common Goal’s fight against coronavirus, and are available via THIS LINK.

WFS and Common Goal team up to turn discussion into action at WFS Live

WFS and Common Goal team up to turn discussion into action at WFS Live 1200 675 WFS Live

World Football Summit and Common Goal are moving a step forward in their commitment to promote football’s contribution to social change. At November’s upcoming WFS Live event, the organisations will partner up to provide a platform for stakeholders from the football industry, the non-for-profit and private sectors, as well as the global football community to discuss how the sport can maximise its contribution to our people and our planet

It is a discussion becoming increasingly critical in the current landscape that will feature prominently under the title of the next edition of WFS Live from 23-27 November, 2020: “Building football’s roadmap for the future”. The event’s opening day will be entirely dedicated to promote discussions around how to embed purpose at the heart of football and invite participants to reimagine the football industry over the next 10 years, driven by the ambition of maximising its positive impact.

From the very outset, the event will also seek to create alliances and opportunities for collaboration between stakeholders from the industry and the wider global community. The intention being to take conversations beyond the summit and turn discussions into actions that positively transform both the industry and the future of our society.

“Promoting football’s power to drive social change has been at the core of World Football Summit since its foundation, but we believe the time has come to take a step forward,” said Jan Alessie, Director of World Football Summit

“As the world’s biggest shared passion, football has a key role to play in raising awareness and tackling crucial issues like racism, climate change and so many more. Through this partnership with Common Goal we aim to place the need for football to maximise its contribution at the center of the industry’s agenda and start turning discussions into actions.”

Common Goal, the football industry’s fastest growing social impact movement, encourages professional footballers, managers, officials, clubs, businesses and all other stakeholders from the football industry to donate a minimum 1% of their earnings to support high-impact initiatives that use football to drive progress towards the United Nations’ Global Goals. The movement’s long-term vision is to unlock 1% of the entire football industry’s revenues — estimated at €50 billion per year. 

Over previous years, World Football Summit and Common Goal have established a long-term partnership. Since 2017, WFS has pledged 1% of its revenues to Common Goal and Common Goal has actively participated at every event organised by WFS over the past four years. 

At the inaugural edition of WFS Live, Common Goal co-founder Juan Mata took part in a purpose-led discussion with Ronaldo Nazario on philanthropy in football and their individual personal commitment towards social change

WFS also donated part of the proceeds from the event to support the Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund, a collective fund aimed to support young people in the most vulnerables communities around the world affected by coronavirus. In anticipation of the second WFS Live edition, WFS have committed to increasing this support, and will donate 10% of all ticketing to Common Goal.

WFS Live proceeds donated to Common Goal and Fundação Fenômenos coronavirus efforts

WFS Live proceeds donated to Common Goal and Fundação Fenômenos coronavirus efforts 1080 1080 WFS Live

Having committed all net profits from WFS Live to social movements Common Goal and Fundação Fenômenos, World Football Summit and Octagon Brasil have contributed to their respective ongoing initiatives fighting coronavirus around the world.

As part of WFS’ continued investment in real-world change through the power of football, proceeds from WFS Liveour inaugural digital event – are now being distributed by both Common Goal and Fundação Fenômenos.

“An important part of what makes football the world’s most popular game is its unmatchable power to tear down barriers, bring people together and drive social development,” said Jan Alessie, director of World Football Summit.

“These are no easy times for the industry, but at WFS we believe that now, more than ever, it’s our duty to continue supporting these efforts and promoting the power that makes football so unique. That’s why we’re delighted to donate the net proceeds of WFS Live to our long-time partners at Common Goal and to Fundação Fenômenos – with whom we look forward to continue working with in the future.”

The fight against COVID-19

Celebrating its third anniversary this month, Common Goal was co-founded by Jürgen Griesbeck and Juan Mata in 2017 as a way of “uniting the global football community in tackling the greatest social challenges of our time.”

They have done so by bringing on board some of the biggest names in the sport – such as Jürgen Klopp, Megan Rapinoe, and Paulo Dybala – taking the pledge and donating 1% of their salaries to Common Goal causes.

Common Goal have already raised over €300,000 for its COVID-19 Relief Fund, while allocating €260,000 to 27 organisations in 20 countries, with the aim of supporting Football for Good’s emergency response efforts and young people hardest hit by the pandemic.

This has helped community organisations deliver education and medical supplies to deprived areas in 200+ communities across 90 countries, reaching out to more than two million people dealing with a global crisis that has left death, hunger, violence and displacement in its wake.

Similarly, Fundação Fenômenos were born in 2012 with football at it score in the shape of founder Ronaldo Názario – the Brazil legend who redefined the sport on the pitch and is now trying to have a similarly transformative impact off it.

The Sao Paulo-based organisation’s COVID-19 Fund will distribute raised funds from September to December this year, with the express aim of supporting communities across Brazil that includes: the indigenous and black population, those that identify as LGBTQI+, the homeless, refugees, and immigrants.

The start of a new partnership…

It was the first time WFS and Fundação Fenômenos has partnered, but certainly won’t ​be the last, with both organisations firmly committed to using football as the catalyst for bringing about societal change in areas that need it the most.

“We are absolutely satisfied with the WFS partnership,” said Fundação Fenômenos president Otávio Pereira. “The event itself was groundbreaking and successful on all fronts. Furthermore, we were glad to be part of the pool of NGO’s supported.

“We call to action others to promote and foster partnerships between private and third-sectors. This is a brilliant example how joint forces can change the world for the better.”

Alessie added: “Football players have a unique power to make an impact on people’s lives and Fundação Fenômenos is a great example of the remarkable goals that can be achieved when that power is used to giving back to society.

“The work that Fundação Fenômenos is doing with vulnerable communities in Brazil is amazing. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ronaldo and all his team. We’re honoured to be partners and we look forward to continue joining forces in the future.”

… And the latest in a long-term collaboration

As for Common Goal, this is the latest in a long-running relationship that dates back to WFS taking the 1% pledge just weeks after Common Goal’s inception three years ago.

The 1% pledge is just a small part of WFS’ ongoing commitment to the Common Goal cause, and as a platform that brings the football industry leaders together, WFS firmly agrees for the need to promote football as a force for good and a tool for social development.

Griesbeck and Mata have taken to the WFS stage numerous times, bringing awareness to the huge impact football can have on the lives of millions of vulnerable people around the world.

Most recently, Spain midfielder Mata joined Fundação Fenômenos founder – and WFS Live partner – Ronaldo for an important discussion on how football players can contribute more to society at July’s WFS Live event.

Both shared their hands-on knowledge and experience from their respective work with Common Goal and Fundacao Fenômenos, which includes their efforts combating COVID-19.

“Over the last few years, World Football Summit has successfully created a space to gather and discuss the future of football,” said Griesbeck, whose Street Football World organisation was collaborating with WFS some time before Common Goal was born.

“Together we aim to drive the agenda towards how it can meaningfully contribute to the development of a fairer society and a sustainable planet, towards a platform that encourages new voices within the industry.

“We’re convinced that it’s of vital importance and we’re committed to engage in this conversation alongside World Football Summit. We’re proud to have WFS on board as a Common Goal member and look forward to together being part of the solution in the times ahead.”​

“In recent years we’re seeing more and more football players becoming actively involved in social issues, such as the fight against poverty, racism or sexual discrimination. This is of great importance because nobody has more capacity to influence youth around the world more than athletes,” added Alessie.

Common Goal’s work, making footballers and other industry players aware of their power to build a fairer society, has been key in this ongoing and crucial process. At WFS, we’re extremely proud of being members and partners of Common Goal since their inception, and we remain committed to ensuring that football as a tool for social development will be an important part of the industry’s agenda when addressing the future of the game.”

Day 5 highlights: Drogba, Carney, Collina, Infantino, Ronaldo, and more

Day 5 highlights: Drogba, Carney, Collina, Infantino, Ronaldo, and more 1236 566 WFS Live

Day 5 of WFS Live was packed with action and relevant discussions. African leaders such as CAF General Secretary Abdelmounaim Bah or football legend Didier Drogba discussed the best strategies for the game to continue growing in the continent, Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of FIFA’s Referee Committee, addressed how VAR is changing the game for the good, and FIFA President Gianni Infantino shared his plans for the future with Ronaldo Nazário in a unique live conversation. And as a special treat for our Spanish fans, we had Vicente del Bosque, Fernando Hierro, David Villa and Juan Mata sharing their memories on the 2010 World Cup, in which the Spanish National Team conquered the world with their unique “Tiki Taka” style.

Gianni Infantino on hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup every two years
“One idea that came in this period, and even before as well, is that maybe we should organise the Women’s World Cup every two years instead of every four years. For the next Women’s World Cup in 2023, we had a lot of interest around the world. We’ll go to Australia and New Zealand. Then, what happens next? Should we go to South America? Or maybe Europe or North America want to organise it again? Why not South America? Why not Africa? So, we need to see what we can do.”

Ronaldo Nazário on fighting against racism every day
“The fight against racism is not just a fight for black people, it’s everybody’s fight. We have to fight it every day. Nobody is born racist, but somehow people learn to be racist. We have to fight to teach those who learn that when kids. But, it’s everybody’s fight.”

Santiago Solari on the mental challenges faced by players during the Covid-19 lockdown
“During the lockdown, players have had to rely heavily on self-discipline and self-motivation. They have worked for weeks without the control of any staff and without the motivation of the daily competition and also without their teammates. For the first time in their careers, they’ve experienced the harshness and the loneliness of the preparation for an individual sport, which is much more difficult.”

David Villa on why Spain has to quit looking for the new Xavi and the next Iniesta
“It would be a huge mistake to try to find the new Xavi, the new Iniesta, the new Villa or the new Casillas. Spain has great players and great coaches. They are different to the ones that won the World Cup in 2010, but they are perfectly capable of building an excellent team. If we want to succeed in the future, we have to stop comparing the current players with the past players. If we do so, Spanish football has an enormous potential.”

Didier Drogba on the need to educate football players in Africa
“Education is the key. We need to educate the players because, for example, in Ivory Coast some of them don’t know how to read, how to write. Education is vital, it is crucial because you can’t focus just on creating good football players. This is a career that lasts 10, 15 perhaps 20 years, but after that there is a life and the move can be very difficult.”

Karen Carney (Visa) on the importance of long-term partnerships in women’s football
“When I first started playing I don’t think there was any partners, there wasn’t really big sponsors. Nobody really cared if I’m honest. Then, as England started to get to major tournaments, you saw sponsors and partners drop in at key times, maybe a year before the tournaments and then they would drop out. There wasn’t really any consistency. And what I noticed since now is that for instance with Visa’s seven-year partnership, which is incredible, Nike, Barclays… This stops those peaks and troughs of coming in at the key moments and then dropping out. How can the women’s game ever really develop like that? Visa’s seven-year plan shows confidence in the game and it shows believe and that’s massive for other brands as well.”

Pierluigi Collina (FIFA) on how VAR is forcing referees to change their mentality 
“Referees today grew up as referees without VAR, so this generation is in a process of big change. They have to adapt their mentality. To be clear, a referee on the field of play has been educated to defend the decision taken against everybody. Today he has to change this mentality because he has to understand and accept that his decision on the field can be overruled based on something that can be shown on the monitor. It’s a matter of mentality.”

Day 3 highlights: Ronaldo, Mata, Popal, Verón and more

Day 3 highlights: Ronaldo, Mata, Popal, Verón and more 1242 565 WFS Live

Day 3 of WFS Live powered by R9 saw former and current football legends take the virtual stage to address both on the field and both the field topics. Rebecca Smith and Khalida Popal discussed the best way for women’s football to tackle Covid-19 and continue its growth path during a panel sponsored by Visa, Juan Sebastián Verón explained how a good education boosted him from the youth teams of Estudiantes to the Chairman’s office in a panel sponsored by Johan Cruyff Institute, whilst Ronaldo and Juan Mata shared their experiences as social activists in a panel sponsored by Santander.

Ronaldo Nazário on how Covid-19 will impact football for good organisations:
“Covid-19 is going to make a big impact on foundations and NGOs because the companies that fund these organisations have suffered a big blow and we know that whenever there is a crisis the first thing they cut is donations. What we have to do as foundations is to find solutions, find ways of proposing new projects. With Fundação Fenômenos we are developing channels and platforms to try to identify where people are suffering most in Brasil and do our best to provide assistance. It’s not what we normally do, but it is what is required. There are a lot of communities in Brasil that have no assistance and we have to provide them with an opportunity to overcome this crisis with dignity.”

Juan Mata on players becoming increasingly involved in social causes
“There are a number of reasons that explain why athletes’ voices are becoming more influential. Social media has become a very important tool for professional footballers and athletes in general, and, as we are seeing with all the young players joining Common Goal lately, players are realising that when you are a footballer you have a very powerful platform. When you state your views, people listen, and a lot of players are starting to use that power to speak up for social causes. I think this is already a trend, and I think that it is going to grow even more in the coming years. More players will realise the power they have to reach people, because in that sense nothing matches the power of sports and football.”

Juan Sebastián Verón (Club Estudiantes) on the need for clubs to ensure their player’s education
“At Estudiantes we use football as a vehicle to educate kids. We receive kids from all types of places, some of them with important needs, and it’s important that we ensure that when they leave they have finished secondary school, which is the minimum needed to get a job. I think that’s what the club has to do, and I think the kids have the right to receive that education. They’re going to invest around 10 years chasing a dream that may never come true. If that happens, I want them to know that the club gave them the chance to finish school and go back home with something. If they get to be players, that will be excellent, but if they don’t make it we want them to have another opportunity in life.”

Tatjana Haenni (Swiss Football Federation) on the need for football organisations to talk less and do more
“If you talk to male players, they are usually super supportive and helpful. If you talk to people in society, they are open to women sports. If you talk to people in the economy they see the benefits as well. It’s developing everywhere, but where we still struggle is in places in which changes could be made immediate and that’s sports organisations. These organisations quite often in my opinion do a bit more talking than actually doing. They could really reinforce the case of women’s sports much quicker and put the right structures in place.”

Toni Ordinas (Lillestrøm Sportsklubb), on how Bepro is revolutionising data analysis in football
“During more than 20 years I had the feeling that I just watched the matches, didn’t analyze the matches. With Bepro this has changed. For the first time I have the chance to see what happens on the pitch, what players do and how they interact. In youth football it’s important that we not just look at the physical parameters but also the fundamentals, this is the most important thing when you are developing a player.”

Mic Conetta (Arsenal FC) on using data to build fan engagement
“Clubs have to balance the amount of information that is available to them and really focus on what part of that information is going to drive and build out that fan experience and nurture and develop the relationship with the fans, because you can go down a lot of rabbit holes chasing a lot of data that won’t deliver much value back to either the club or the relationship with the fans.”

Iván Codina (LaLiga), on how LaLiga kept its fans engaged during the Covid-19 lockdown  
“At the beginning our main focus was definitely to show our commitment with the fight against Covid-19, specially with the dramatic situation that we had in Spain. That was our main focus. After that we were also able to provide content around the protocols for clubs to resume training and the restart of competitions, and also on all the initiatives that our clubs carried out around the restart of LaLiga.”

Ale Xavier (Desimpedidos) on how Covid-19 is forcing media companies to reinvent themselves 
“In the pandemic, more than ever, we need to reinvent ourselves, produce different content related to sports and leverage tools that already existed but we didn’t know how to use. We also need to make the best use of all available platforms.”

Dani Alves (Brasil National Team) on the need to come together to make real impact
“Individual voices don’t make much of an impact. They need to be together and in different parts of the world. All lives matter. We are in 2020 debating about the same things and haven’t evolved yet. We have to position ourselves as humans and not as football players or a sports athlete in general.”

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 and for more information on where the money goes, the work it will support and how you can donate to make a difference.

WFS, Ronaldo and Octagon Brasil join forces to kick off football’s new beginning

WFS, Ronaldo and Octagon Brasil join forces to kick off football’s new beginning 2048 1365 WFS Live

The sport industry is facing its biggest challenge in history due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. All major competitions have been forced to pause for over two months and it is highly likely some of them will not resume at all, enforcing multi-million losses across the industry. Among others, the UEFA Champions League, the NBA and the NHL have had to postpone their respective plans to restart several times over the last few weeks and it remains uncertain when and under what conditions they will be able to resume. Until a vaccine is available, travel and restrictions on large public gatherings will remain in place all over the world.

This “new normal” will inevitably lead to a significant decrease in some traditional revenue streams, forcing all stakeholders to rethink business models and pursue new opportunities. This will require the industry’s major players to come together and join forces like never before in order to overcome these obstacles and explore new opportunities.

That communal response will begin at WFS Live powered by Octagon – the first virtual event that will bring together the entirety of the global football industry’s leaders in one place. Top executives from clubs, leagues, federations, broadcasters, agencies and sponsorship brands from every continent will band side by side to lay sound foundations for the sport to continue growing into a new era.

“The importance of World Football Summit for the global football industry is irrefutable. I have been to the summit with Real Valladolid and now I am honoured to promote the event with Octagon Brasil.” – Ronaldo Nazário

From the 6-9 July, more than 50 leaders will address crucial issues such as; how to adapt mass events and venues to the new sanitary context, the need to enhance digital tools to further monetise fan engagement, the best strategies to capitalise on the growing eSports industry, and how to develop new non-linear content formats to engage fans and add value to sponsors while competitions are paused.

WFS Live powered by Octagon will include all features that make the WFS Series the largest and most appreciated networking events in the global football landscape, attracting key decision-makers over the years such as Fatma Samoura, Secretary General of FIFA; Andrea Agnelli, Chairman of Juventus and the European Club Association (ECA); Peter Moore, CEO of Liverpool FC; and Javier Tebas, President of LaLiga; as well as leading partners like Amazon, Banco Santander, Budweiser, and Facebook. This time, however, to the top speakers and the premium networking it will add an entire new range of opportunities powered by the latest AI-driven tools, as well as unprecedented participation from a truly global audience.

WFS Live powered by Octagon is the result of a unique partnership between three global benchmarks in the sport industry: World Football Summit, football’s leading networking platform and event organiser; Octagon Brasil, global leader in sports and entertainment management and marketing; and Ronaldo Nazário, one of the best players the game has ever seen, President of Octagon Brasil and owner of LaLiga’s Real Valladolid. Ronaldo is at the forefront of the new wave of young executives storming the industry thanks to both a deep knowledge of the game and their solid training in the field of management and administration.


The importance of World Football Summit for the global football industry is irrefutable. It provides a multi-stakeholder dialogue; encourages networking; fosters discussions about technologies, innovations and the future of that market; and generates business opportunities. I have been to the summit with Real Valladolid and now I am honoured to promote the event with Octagon Brasil. We are in a pandemic scenario and there are many social, economic, cultural and political impacts. Unsurprisingly, football has not escaped the effects of the outbreak and, therefore, the event is even more necessary. WFS Live powered by Octagon have already confirmed the participation of big names in the industry and will have an unprecedented reach-from home, everyone will be able to follow, contribute and enjoy a whole world of possibilities.” – Ronaldo Nazário.

“Combining Octagon’s enormous prestige and unmatchable network, the unrivalled leadership of Ronaldo and our experience hosting and managing events, we are sure that WFS Live powered by Octagon will kick off a new era for football.” – Jan Alessie

WFS Live powered by Octagon aims to contribute to the growth of the industry, but also to help those communities that have been most severely hit by coronavirus. That’s why all net proceeds will be donated to Fundação Fenômenos, created by Ronaldo in 2012, which supports social projects aiming to improve living conditions of communities across Brasil, and the Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund, which will support community organisations across the world to deliver essential services during the COVID-19 crisis and to continue supporting vulnerable young people in the aftermath of the crisis.

“At WFS our goal has always been to provide the industry with the best possible platform to come together and explore new growth opportunities. We believe that in the current context this role is more important than ever. Unprecedented challenges call for unprecedented action. That’s what this unique partnership, as well as our commitment as members of Common Goal, is all about. Combining Octagon’s enormous prestige and unmatchable network, the unrivalled leadership of Ronaldo and our experience hosting and managing events, we are sure that WFS Live powered by Octagon will kick off a new era for football.” – Jan Alessie, Director of WFS.

“It is very important for us at Octagon Brasil to be involved in an event of this magnitude, especially at a time like the current one. It is a unique opportunity to connect the market, share content and, of course, contribute to the debate about what the world of football will look like in the coming years. Besides, of course, the unique opportunity to form a partnership with World Football Summit, a reference in football congresses in the world, and to be side by side with Ronaldo, with whom we share so many projects at Octagon.” – Eduardo Baraldi, CEO of Octagon Brasil.

Tickets for WFS Live powered by Octagon will be released in the coming days. In the meantime, you can register your interest here.