The landmark decision from the UEFA Executive Committee to expand the hosting of the 2020 UEFA European Championships by awarding the rights to stage a tournament game to a total 13 cities has significant repercussions for the European football industry. With 13 different venues being used, the stadia industry is particularly affected and across the continent stadia will be redeveloped and facilities improved as they look to secure their role in the 2020 tournament.
This situation reflects the growing trend that cities are using football as a major commercial and promotional vehicle and are more and more interested in the financial and social benefits of hosting major sporting events and associating with the collective sporting consciousness. Manchester, the city that has hosted the Soccerex European Forum over the last three years and which will see Soccerex’s flagship event, the Global Convention, taking place from 2014 to 2017, is a good case in point, being widely associated with its football clubs and fans and through them with excellence and passion.
The Soccerex European Forum conference agenda will develop this subject during the ‘What Does it Mean to be a Football City’ panel, which will tackle the benefits that can be reaped by hosting major football properties, from job creation to tourism boost including the importance of offering their population prime entertainment. A significant portion of this will revolve around the stadiums and how they can enhance the profile of a city and the experience of viewing a match.
The match-day experience will be further discussed in the ‘Rise of the Armchair Supporter’ panel, an in-depth look at the evolution of the balance struck by football clubs in accommodating their international and local fan bases. Through ever-increasing TV rights and broadcasting deals and though global and local sponsorship deals, clubs are finding ways to satisfy their growing international following but this perhaps the expense of their local fans who are affected by increased ticket prices, altered game schedules and poor match-day provisions. Top club and league representatives including Spanish league CEO Francisco Roca will speak alongside broadcasters and sponsors to address this issue and determine what and where the stakes are for top European clubs. Finally a schedule of workshops will also address match-day experience with strategic design consultancy agency 20.20 providing unique insights into the future of technologies and strategies that will help develop fan experience at games.
These debates will take place only once the view from the top has been shared with delegates. Gianni Infantino, General Secretary of UEFA, will be interviewed in an exclusive one-to-one with former Executive Director of the FA and prominent media personality David Davies; Gianni will take this opportunity to update the industry on the preparations for Euro 2016 and offer European federations and cities an insight into the bidding requirements and regulations for Euro 2020.
The stadia focus at this year’s Soccerex European Forum is also present in the structured networking opportunities available with tailored SoccerMatch sessions which allow direct one-on-one networking with clubs, brands and other stakeholders. In addition, an array of social events taking place at the FA150 Lounge, hosted by the FA and situated in the heart of the exhibition, as well as the networking evenings open to all, will give delegates unrivalled access to the rest of the football industry for two days of intense business and networking at what is now recognised as Europe’s premier football business event.
With over 1600 industry stakeholders expected to attend including key representatives from Europe’s top clubs, federations, government officials, local organising committees, tournament organisers, stadia suppliers, sponsors, agencies, key industry media and many more, the Soccerex European Forum is a must- attend event for stadia companies looking to develop business within the football world, attracting the likes of Millenium Stadium, Adi Group, Viagogo, Wembley Stadium, Ticketmaster, Infield 3D, Ungerboeck Systems, Fortress, Aviva Stadium, Donbass Arena, AFL Architects, ICSS, SoccerGrass and Stadium Marketing Solutions, to name just a few…
In addition to the dedicated stadia content, Soccerex delegates can also enjoy a comprehensive conference line-up which will address the latest industry headlines:
- Sir John Madejski, owner of Reading FC, will be joined by Andrew Main Wilson to discuss the unique relationship between big businesses and football.
- Gordon Strachan, Scotland manager, will be joined by top Scottish FA executives to present the federations’ modernisation plans.
- Edwin van der Sar and Gaizka Mendieta will reflect on their personal experience to share the insight on the life of a player after they have hung up their boots.
- Newly announced Soccerex Ambassador Gary Neville will talk about his experience on his former career as a player and his new careers as a coach and a television personality.
- David Bernstein will reflect on his tenure as Chairman of the FA and what is left to be done to improve the game in England and globally.
- Roy Hodgson, Kevin Keegan and Bryan Robson will share their thoughts on their careers, the chances of England at the 2014 World Cup and the current state of European football to celebrate the FA’s 150th anniversary.
For more details check our up-to-date conference line-up.
With so many leaders in attendance, can you afford not to be there?