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 English (@English_AS) November 16, 2020
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.
🚨 ONE WEEK TO GO 🚨#WFSLive gets underway next Monday so if you want to join the global football community and help build football's roadmap for the future, make sure you book your spot ASAP.
📅 Nov 23-27
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— World Football Summit (@WFSummit) November 16, 2020
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.