WFS Live partners

WFS Live returns in November, to build football’s roadmap for the future

WFS Live returns in November, to build football’s roadmap for the future 2560 1440 WFS Live

After the success of its inaugural edition, which gathered 158 speakers and over 3,400 professionals, WFS Live returns from November 23-27.

The second iteration will bring the football industry’s most influential community together once again to share experiences and lessons learned during the restart of competitions after the hiatus imposed by coronavirus, while pooling strategies for the crucial times ahead and exploring new paths for the industry to continue moving forward in the so-called ‘new normal’. 

Building football’s roadmap for the future will be the motto of this virtual gathering in which industry leaders will share strategies developed to cushion the multiple effects of the pandemic on their businesses, new opportunities they have encountered along the way, and their future prospects in light of the knowledge and experience gained in recent months. 

WFS Live will also stress the need to take this opportunity to evolve towards a more modern, more digital and more interactive industry, as well as one that is fairer, more inclusive and more supportive. The event will continue contributing to the fight against the effects of coronavirus on vulnerable communities, and 10 per cent of the ticketing revenues will be donated to Common Goal’s Covid-19 Response Fund.

“Resuming competitions and finishing them successfully has been the biggest challenge the sports industry has ever met,” said Jan Alessie, Director of World Football Summit.

“The experience and knowledge gained by the different stakeholders during the process is huge and it should provide invaluable guidance for the industry in the crucial times ahead of us. It’s therefore essential that leaders share their experiences, learnings and vision for the future, and together build a roadmap that will allow the industry to move forward with a firm step in this new and still uncertain normality.”

As in the inaugural edition, the WFS Live platform will allow attendees to engage with speakers by submitting questions during the sessions and to interact with other attendees via group discussions or scheduling one-on-one meetings and video-calls. In addition, new features will be released to improve the user experience and provide new networking opportunities for attendees, partners and exhibitors. 

The quality of the platform was the second most valued aspect according to the WFS Live Satisfaction Survey only after the quality of the speakers. A total of 94.1 per cent of respondents said they had met their goals, while 86.3 per cent of them were sure they would participate in a second edition.

Covid-19 has marked 2020 in every sector linked to sports, but the pandemic has not been the only significant event. The year will also be remembered as one in which sport firmly stood up to racism. The actions taken both individually by athletes of all sports, and collectively by organisations and companies across the industry undoubtedly signal a turning point in the need to eradicate racial discrimination. 

There were also significant statements of intent to bring greater parity between the men’s and women’s games, with the decision taken by the Football Associations of England and Brazil to pay their international female teams the same as their male counterparts, following the steps of Australia, Norway and New Zealand.

WFS Live: Building football’s roadmap for the future

These events are also featured in the comprehensive WFS Live Conference Concept, which pivots on five main themes:  

  • Explore: The ‘new normal’ in football
  • Bridge the gap: Partnerships, investments & more
  • Discover the next step: Sports technology & OTT
  • Inclusivity: This game is for everyone
  • Breaching boundaries: New global possibilities in sport

The WFS Live Programme, which will be released in the coming weeks, will also feature the final of the WFS StartCup by GSIC – the annual startup competition promoted by WFS and the Global Sports Innovation Center (GSIC). The WFS Industry Awards, issued annually by WFS to recognise outstanding works done by professionals of the different fields within the football industry, will also take place. Due to Covid-19, this year the awards will be handed virtually. 

Tickets for WFS Live will go on sale next Monday September 14th with a unique special offer, so keep an eye on your mailbox and the World Football Summit’s social media networks to make sure you don’t miss it.

In the meantime; if you are interested in being part of WFS Live and want more information on how to participate, send us an email to: live@worldfootballsummit.com 

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.”

Casillas and Villa, among the World Champions to join the lineup

Casillas and Villa, among the World Champions to join the lineup 1200 800 WFS Live

For a long time, the senior national male team was the weak link of Spain’s impressive football chain. Spain had won almost every existing U- 17, U-19 and U-21 nation competition as well as the Olympic Gold Medal, and LaLiga clubs were consistently among the most successful teams in UEFA competitions. However, when it came to Eurocups and World Cups, Spain’s journey always ended abruptly in painful quarter final defeats.

Over the years, some of the country’s most talented players succumbed to what seemed to be an unbreakable curse. Until a unique generation of footballers, most of which were no more than 1,70 m tall, came together around the much celebrated ‘tiki-taka’, a style that teams across the world still strive to replicate due to its unmatchable mix of beauty and efficiency.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the most remarkable success of that unique generation of players: the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The victory against the Netherlands in Johannesburg meant tearing down the final wall for Spanish football. It brought the whole country together in the midst of a global economic crisis that was devastating for its citizens, and its importance went far beyond the playing field. The World Cup ignited the professionalization and modernization of all the structures of the sport in the country, consolidating Spanish football as a powerful industry and one of the pillars of Spain’s country brand.

To celebrate this tenth anniversary, WFS Live powered by Octagon and Senn, Ferrero Sports&Entertainment are bringing together some of the key actors of that historical victory: Fernando Hierro, former Sporting Director of the Spanish Football Federation; Vicente del Bosque, Manager of the team from 2008 to 2016; Iker Casillas, the captain, David Villa, top scorer, and Juan Mata, who was one of the team’s rising stars in South Africa, will be sharing their memories with moderator Julio Senn in a session that will surely touch the heart of all the fans of that remarkable team.

‘La caída del muro: A decade from Spain’s historic World Cup win’ will take place on Friday July 10th a day that has been added to the WFS Live powered by Octagon schedule, which will run from July 6th to 10th. This extra day will be focused on discussing on the pitch issues and will feature some of the game’s biggest legends.

LaLiga and Johan Cruyff Institute join WFS Live as official partners

LaLiga and Johan Cruyff Institute join WFS Live as official partners 1617 1365 WFS Live

LaLiga and Johan Cruyff Institute will be partners of WFS Live powered by Octagon, the online summit that will bring football’s biggest names together from July 6-9 to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the global football industry and the challenges and opportunities that will arise in this new and unprecedented scenario.

Both brands have a long-lasting and fruitful relationship with WFS. They’ve been a part of every summit since 2016, and have helped produce some of the most memorable moments, fostering insightful discussions and bringing top leaders to the stage.

LaLiga, Spain’s top tier, is one of the world’s most popular sports competitions, with a global audience of over 2,7 billion and more than 100 million followers across social media platforms. It’s powered by the likes of Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, two of the biggest clubs in the world, but as its slogan says –it’s not football, it’s LaLiga– it has become much more than a sport competition. It is a global reference in innovation. Initiatives like #LaLigaSantanderChallenge (a virtual FIFA20 competition involving real football players) or #LaLigamusicfest (an online music festival that brought together athletes and musicians) are just two of the latest examples of its cutting edge approach to fan engagement and digital content.

Johan Cruyff pictured with a group of graduates from the Johan Cruyff Institute.

Johan Cruyff Institute, who joins as Academic Partner, is an academic institution specialising in educating athletes, sport and business professionals to become leaders in sport management. More than 9,000 students from all over the world have experienced their online, onsite and on campus learning programs in Sport Management, Sport Marketing, Sponsorship, Coaching and Football Business. Edwin van der Sar (current CEO of Ajax), Michael Reiziger or Gianluca Vialli are among their alumni. Founded by Johan Cruyff, one of the game’s biggest legends, it currently runs institutes in Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Mexico and Peru.

“We are delighted to have two leaders such as LaLiga and Johan Cruyff Institute on board for this new and exciting event. Both have played an important role in the growth of World Football Summit and I’m sure they will continue to do so in this crucial moment, in which we are all facing new challenges”, said Jan Alessie, director of World Football Summit.