Soccerex China 2019: Notes from Day 1

Soccerex China 2019: Notes from Day 1
Soccerex, the global leader for the business of football, kicked off Soccerex China, its 2-day event in front of a packed house at the Mission Hills Haikou Movie Town in Hainan, China. The event marks the second year in a row Soccerex has come to China, building on the success of its inaugural event in Zhuhai last year.

Key Highlights

Opening Ceremony

At the Opening Ceremony, Joe DaGrosa, Soccerex Chairman, Cai Yong, Executive Committee Member of the Chinese Football Association via a recorded video, and Karen Maddocks, Consul General, British Consulate General Guangzhou, addressed the distinguished guests, delegates, and media.

Joe DaGrosa, Chairman, Soccerex said: “It’s my honour and pleasure to welcome you to Soccerex China. We’re very pleased to be part of China’s soccer community. We’re here to bring people together, bridge cross cultural divides and to make new friends. It’s our desire at Soccerex to bring everyone together”

Cai Yong, Executive Committee Member, Chinese Football Association said: “In recent years, the Chinese Football Association has continuously strengthened its further communication and actively cooperated with FIFA and UEFA. The Association welcomes Soccerex to come to China again to help us to build a healthier, diverse and sustainable Chinese football industry. I hope that all the delegates here can feel free to exchange their ideas and form more consensus.”

Karen Maddocks, Consul General, British Consulate General Guangzhou added: “Soccerex, from the UK and the home of football, has come to China. This is a wonderful collision between Chinese and English culture. The cooperation of football can bring China-UK relations even closer. I hope that all participants will have more opportunities to communicate with others in these two days, and more cooperation will be established in the future.”


Acheiving Peak Performance:

At a session focusing on Achieving Peak Performance, experts in nutrition, technical analysis and coaching provided insights into key components of peak performance in football.

Daniel Stenz, Technical Director at Shandong Luneng Taishan FC: “Data still has not reached the ceiling in terms of enhancing player performance, there’s still a long way to go”

Marie Farag, Nutritionist at Totum Sport: “Repair and recovery are not the same thing. Repair is short term and happening all the time, recovery is long term.”


Industry experts discussed the Importance of Commercial Rights to China’s Sports Economy

Lowis Chun Liu
, Vice President and General Manager of Sales and Marketing Center, Wanda Sports: “There’s huge potential for collaboration between Wanda and FIFA to promote football throughout China. The big Idea behind the recent Dalian investment is to encourage young people to play football.”

Zeng Gang, Executive Vice President, PP Sports: “The media's advertising transformation is based on the retail system. The next step is to expand the retail sector to make it more open and flexible, and to make the advertising process smoother. In the process of football competitions, the audience rarely produces the action of ordering. In the past, many of the broadcasts of football media were in the form of TV media. At present, we are testing the digital multi-screen form on the mobile, resulting in possible instant conversion.”

Patrick Murphy, CEO of DDMC Fortis: “China is at the center of Asia football development and we want to be part of that. We have a great relationship with CCTV which will continue, and we’ll be offering rights to our partners currently in market, and we’ll also be sure to make available to other platforms too. We’ll be working very closely with our sister company Super Sports.”


European Leagues & Clubs in China

In the afternoon delegates were treated to presentations from senior representatives from two of Europe’s biggest leagues – Bundesliga and LaLiga – before FC Barcelona and City Football Group spoke about their differing approaches to the Chinese market.

Bundesliga in China

Patrick Stueber, Head of China for Bundesliga: “The next challenge for our clubs is to find the next Chinese player to make it to their team - we know it’s just a question of time.”

 “Last year the Bundesliga invested €1.6 billion into youth academies. The investment took its time but it’s an investment that we now continuously benefit from.”

“Our key goal is to become the most popular European football league in China.”

 “We have 6 clubs on the ground in China which is completely unique. There’s a willingness to do things together. There’s proof we’re doing things together and clubs are coming to China.”

The Impact of the 'Wu Lei Effect' on LaLiga

Sara Yian Zhu, LaLiga, Global Delegate Network: “The best Chinese player joined the best league in the world, becoming one of the most talked about transfers around the world”

 “90% of LaLiga’s followers growth in China came this year came after the Wu Lei signing.”

FC Barcelona

Jordi Camps, Barcelona Managing Director - APAC: “40% of the club’s partnership revenue comes from Asia.”

 “We try to bring a piece of Barcelona into China. We currently have 6 Barcelona academies in China with 15,000 kids trained by Barcelona coaches.”

 “Fan engagement is a big pillar of Barcelona in China, and the Barcelona experience center is the first experience center outside of Spain.”

 “The methodology we use in China with the kids is the same we use with our first team in Barcelona. Obviously with a different standard, but the principles are the same.”

 “China will without a doubt become one of the biggest and most important countries in the global football industry.”

City Football Group

Scott Munn, City Football Group China, CEO

“The most important thing we do is work as a global business which operates locally. The Shanghai office runs well because we have an experienced local team on the ground.”

 “Digital channels change so quickly in China so we need to be flexible.”

 “In China, the athletes make a massive difference, they are very appealing to the younger community”

 “Supporting who your father told you to support is no longer the case, the 5-8 year olds make the decision”

“Our chairman has made it a goal we’re here regularly. We currently have 17 official supporters’ clubs, and it should be 20 by the time the team comes out here this summer.”


There were other insightful panels throughout the day focusing on Investing in the Future of China’s Football, Improving Governance and Financial Management, China’s Sponsorship of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the Future of Football Media.

Tomorrow will bring another action-packed day, including discussions surrounding Mastering China’s Digital Landscape, Esports & Football, Producing Grassroots Talent, The Modern Footballer, Fan Engagement, China’s Football Culture, and much more. Be sure to tune in tomorrow.

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