Global Convention 2017 Conference Concept
The Soccerex Global Convention conference programme is designed to deliver unique business insight across a variety of key sectors and subject matters. The topics will be discussed by expert panelists in their fields across the three content areas of The Studio, The Academy and following a highly successful redevelopment in 2016, the Love Football Zone.
CONFERENCE SESSION CONCEPTS
SAFE STANDING: A STEP FORWARD IN FAN EXPERIENCE OR A RETURN TO FOOTBALL’S DARK DAYS?
The ban on standing sections at stadia in England’s top two divisions, that was introduced in the wake of the Hillsborough tragedy, has long seemed at odds with fan’s desire to stand when supporting their teams. While supporters of the ban point to the impressive safety records since its introduction, improved options such as the rail seat and positive evidence from Scotland, Germany, Sweden and Austria where standing areas are permitted show that there could be an alternative. In this session campaigners on both side of the argument will be joined by club representatives, safety regulators and leading suppliers to look at what safe standing involves and what its introduction would mean for English football.
INTERNATIONAL OWNERSHIP & INVESTMENT
More & more football properties are no longer domestically owned. Investors from the US, China and the Middle East look set to dominate European football through purchasing stakes in some of their biggest assets. This investment creates new opportunities for the clubs and other businesses benefiting from the injection of finances and the access to new markets but to what extent are these investors properly vetted? What are the long term implications of their involvement and, from the investor’s perspective, will their investment objectives be met? We will bring together a panel of club representatives, legal experts and international investors to analyse the impact of international investment on the global game.
HOW DO YOU VALUE BROADCASTING RIGHTS IN THE MODERN MARKETPLACE?
Rights’ values have been on an ever-steepening curve for many years but is this about to change? Technological and media developments are altering consumption habits and recent viewing figures for football via traditional broadcasters are significantly down. With OTT streaming services bidding for – and securing – significant rights packages and social media giants dipping their toe into live sports, the market is looking more fragmented than ever before. At the Global Convention a panel of broadcasters, rights holders and media gurus will debate the value of rights in this expanded marketplace and look at whether it has created more problems or more opportunities for the rights holders and media companies involved.
THE RISE OF INFLUENCER MARKETING
Social media has created an environment where brands and sporting organisations can talk directly with their fans/consumers but it has also enabled individuals to emerge whose authenticity of voice gives them an appeal and a credibility that big organisations cannot compete with. The growing influence of these individuals is becoming an increasingly important tool in the marketing arsenal of many brands in the football industry as they look to engage key fan groups. We will bring together a diverse group of experts to analyse influencer marketing and the opportunities – and challenges – it presents for rights holders, brands, media channels and the influencers themselves.
WITH FOOTBALL TOURNAMENTS, IS BIGGER REALLY BETTER?
2016 saw an expanded UEFA European Championships in France and FIFA have voted to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026. For the Confederations and smaller nations involved, expanded tournaments present increased revenue opportunities and the chance to compete at the top table with the established elite, as Wales and Iceland did so successfully at Euro 2016. However, for the hosts there are the technical challenges of accommodating more teams and more matches – potentially in a shared hosting situation which creates more logistical problems for the teams themselves – the players face more gruelling schedules leading to burnout and the club face losing their employees to potential injury. At the Convention, we will ask a selection of senior football stakeholders; are bigger tournaments really better?
THE FUTURE OF STADIA DESIGN
Influenced by a mixture of factors including technological advancements, environmental requirements and commercial challenges, architects are producing more and more innovative stadia designs that will shape the arenas of tomorrow. While these future stadia will undoubted provide a connected experience more advanced than anything we’ve seen today, to what extent will the technology involved be future proof? How will they strike a balance between maximising commercial opportunities and ensuring the venue is first and foremost a place to watch football where the fans passion translates into an atmosphere that can drive forward their team? Gathering together some of the industry's foremost architects and stadia managers we will look at the future of stadia design and how it will change the match day experience.
IS DOPING A PROBLEM IN FOOTBALL?
Football has watched on, detached from the doping scandals have unfolded in sports such athletics, cycling and tennis, with FIFA’s Chief Medical Officer once stating FIFA has "led the way in anti-doping," citing the 2014 FIFA World CupTM in Brazil, where there were no failed tests and where biological passports were introduced to the tournament for the first time - a move that has since extended to the European Champions League. However, as the problem of doping does not seem confined to one sport and the rewards on offer in football so high, can we really assume that the world’s most popular and high profile sport is completely clean? In this session sports scientists, anti-doping experts and football regulators will assess the extent of doping in football and what is being done to identify and police it.
WEARABLE TECH: THE EVOLUTION OF SPORTS PERFORMANCE
Already a massive industry based on personal fitness monitoring for the mass market, in elite sports the tracking capabilities of wearable technology mean it has the potential to provide important real time data on player performance that can be analysed by advanced sports science teams and acted upon by players and coaches alike. Already common place on the train field for many clubs, as the technology becomes smaller, more lightweight and more durable wearable tech may become as common and as essential as the boots the players wear - and from a performance perspective, perhaps more important. At Soccerex, technology experts, data analysts and sports scientists will evaluate the impact of wearable technology on the market and share their thoughts on the future applications that will drive the evolution of football.
BREAKING FROM TRADITION: FOOTBALL’S NEW SPONSORSHIP ASSETS
The days of sponsors being satisfied with just having a logo on a teams shirt have long gone. Brands today are looking for more innovative, content and experience driven engagement opportunities which, in turn, is forcing rights holders and agencies to be more creative with the portfolio of assets they offer. While new physical properties still exist – as seen with the Premier League offering shirt sleeves as new sponsorship inventory – they do so in the context of more integrated packages with mobile and digital platforms at their core. Via panel of rights holders, brands and sponsorship directors, the Global Convention will deliver exclusive insight into the value of football’s new sponsorship assets and how they can best be activated by brands.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FOOTBALL & ESPORTS
With more and more live gaming content being made available via social media and the UK getting a dedicated 24 hour gaming channel, eSports looks set to break into the mainstream in 2017. Clubs such as Manchester City, Wolfsburg and West Ham have already signed professional contracts with gamers, showing that football is aware of the potential of eSports but what can the game and its digital counterpart learn from each other commercially? How should traditional football brands work in the eSports space and will there ever come a time where the two are competing for audiences rather than complementing each other? At the Convention, a meeting of football and digital minds will dissect the relationship between football and eSports and analyse how the two can best collaborate both now and in the future.
THE FUTURE OF FAN GENERATED CONTENT
Content is king in the modern world, with the capturing and distribution of content central to fan engagement strategies for both rights holders and media organisations alike. However, improvements in technology and the growing influence of social media on society have brought another player into the content market – the fans themselves. Able to operate on the same playing field unfettered by corporate restrictions, fans are creating content that is increasingly valued higher than content created by the rights holders themselves and, through aggregating this content, new media channels are emerging. How can clubs, leagues and federations use fan generated content and its considerable commercial potential to their advantage? We will bring together a mix of media and content experts with senior rights holders to look at the future of fan generated content in football.
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