Spotlight: Interview with Dario Brignole, CEO & Founder of Shine Entertainment Media

Spotlight: Interview with Dario Brignole, CEO & Founder of Shine Entertainment Media
In this Soccerex spotlight, we interview Dario Brignole, CEO and Founder of Shine Entertainment Media, a sports marketing professional with over 30 years of experience in brands such as IMG and Nike and vast knowledge of the Hispanic market in the US.

  1. Hi Dario - thank you for taking the time for this interview. For those who may not know, would you explain what Shine Entertainment Media does, and what inspired you to start the company?

Shine is a global sports marketing consulting agency that specializes in creating revenue streams for soccer interests.  Shine’s expertise lies in sponsorship, licensing, talent representation, event management, and media rights.    

  1. Prior to founding Shine, you worked at IMG, one of the most notable sports agencies in the world. How do you think your 13 years of working for IMG influenced you when founding Shine?

Working for IMG gave me tremendous exposure and knowledge on how to find sport business opportunities around the globe.  Having Mark and Todd McCormick as mentors was extremely helpful and educative and directed me in establishing work habits and streamlined processes that enabled me to thrive in the industry.  IMG’s extensive networking allowed me to call on a multitude of experts when needed.

  1. Whilst working at IMG, you managed to build the company in incredible new ways, such as founding its IMG Hispanic Division, and also managing to become one of the first executives that could penetrate the Latin market with sports properties, working with American companies. Looking back at your time with the company, which moments would you say stands out the most?

One of the amazing things of working for IMG was to create something from scratch using the knowledge, models, techniques and experience from executives from other divisions for a new business venture.  When we discussed the IMG Hispanic and Soccer division, we started to look at who are the most relevant and potential profitable athletes/properties available in the market.  We divided them into 4 revenue streams:  athletes, events, consulting, and TV Media rights.  The creative aspect is to start to look for the best candidates in each category.  For example, for athletes we approached Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo.  In events, we approached The Champions League, different national teams and clubs, soccer events, etc.  This was a comprehensive process.

  1. Looking at Shine Entertainment Media, you represent a variety of talent from across the sports and entertainment industries, ranging from players and former players to TV hosts and more. There is a definite synergy between the entertainment and sporting industries and as someone who works across both, what similarities do you think these sectors share ̶ particularly in the Latin American markets  ̶  and how do you think they could learn from each other? 

There are similarities that the sports and entertainment have.  IMG had soccer and tennis staff in Miami, Florida take a week course at Disney in Orlando to learn customer service and best practices.  These procedures were applied to events and hospitality experiences.   When we (Shine) advise corporate clients, we focus on the ROI (Return on Investment) and on very clear goals.  In Latin America, families go together to events.  Including all the members of the family is very important, like having a kid’s fan club, websites targeting to each specific person of the family, pre-event tail gates, merchandising and food events. 

  1. The list of talent that Shine represents is extensive but one fascinating theme is that you manage a large number of personalities who have shifted from the world of sports to the entertainment industry, such as Felix Fernandez and Ivan Zamorano. How has Shine helped to guide former athletes through that transition?

At Shine, we advise our current soccer players to prepare for the next stage of their career with financial and career coaching.  We have a partnership with a coaching company that trains players to become sports analyst and broadcasters.  We help our clients with their investments, so they are financially secure for the next stage of their sports career. 

  1. Looking at the wide variety of talent you host from companies such as Univision, ESPN, and Telemundo, how crucial do you think is the role of media in connecting Hispanic fans to soccer in the United States, and how has that relationship between media and its fanbase changed since Shine was founded over 10 years ago?

The audiences and fan base have become more sophisticated and more engaged.  The fan base in more savvy and is looking for higher quality players such as European football or some key teams in Latin America like Boca Juniors and Club America.  For sports analyst like Jorge Ramos, the level of analysis and opinion has become more important for these sophisticated audiences. 

  1. Since founding Shine, you have consulted for and produced campaigns for a variety of brands and corporations. Among these many campaigns, which would you consider your biggest achievement?

A  beer company campaign we had more than 100% brand awareness.  For Advanced Auto parts, we were able to increase sales by 40% with a 3 month campaign.  Convincing corporate America to sponsor and promote soccer is the most valuable achievement. 

  1. Shine is based in Miami, a city with a very strong Latin American community and a soon to be thriving soccer culture, with the arrival of Inter Miami CF in 2020. How important do you think the Latin American community will be towards the success of the club?  

Very important.  Inter Miami CF needs to find the correct multi-cultural formula in and off the soccer field.  Players, management, staff and volunteers and all marketing campaigns have to have to be multi-cultural.

  1. You have extensive experience organising sports events within Mexico and the USA, and at Soccerex USA this November 15-16, you will be hosting the 'USA & Mexico - United Through Soccer' session. With the creation of the Campeones Cup this year, the merger between Liga MX and Major League Soccer, and looking forward to the 2026 World Cup, can you explain what is so important about the connection within the soccer industry between the USA and Mexico, and how you think this connection may flourish within the coming years?  

The two country leagues should work productively without industry politics and focus on the real growth of the sport.  Both Mexico and the US are going to have one of the most vibrant, wealthy and profitable soccer markets in the world.  The combined population nearly a half billion people and many avid fans and 55% of US fans ages 16-24 are interested in soccer according to Nielson, which is 32% of the total population.  In Mexico the number rises to 73% of the total population is interested in soccer.  Corporations like Coca-Cola/Pepsi and General Motors are already seeing the benefit to be involved in soccer in both countries.  The merge between the two leagues will improve the quality of the players on the field and will improve the visual experience overall.  Audiences will just keep naturally growing. 

  1. This year's Soccerex USA is the first time the event is being held in Miami and is a long-awaited return to the United States after almost twenty years. How important do you think events like Soccerex are for helping to build the soccer industry in the region?

An event like Soccerex being held in Miami is extremely helpful to grow the sport of soccer in the US. Bring the executives and the soccer know-how in to North America will help to boost the brand awareness and exposure of the sport in the country.  A big difference with other developed countries like Germany or England is that here in the US, soccer is competing with at least 4 very developed sports, including the different league tiers. For example, soccer not only competes with American Football but also competes with college and high school football.

Dario Brignole will be hosting a conference session at Soccerex USA with MLS Commisioner Don Garber and Mexican Football Federation President Yon de Luisa. Read More

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