Xperiology’s Ian Nuttall chaired the 9th edition of Sport+Markt’s International Football Summit in Cologne last week.
The invitation-only summit attracted over 200 football industry executives for a packed conference programme, which included interactive voting for the first time.
This year’s Summit programme covered two key themes: the increasing internationalisation of football and the growing influence of digital channels/social media. These were introduced by a keynote from Danny Townsend, Director of EMEA and South Asia, REPUCOM before being explored in-depth by selected industry leaders.
Speakers included Tom Glick, CCO/COO, Manchester City FC (who described how the club was embracing new commercial partnerships and focusing on the matchday experience of its fans) and Christoph Winterling, Commercial Director, AS Roma (who went on to explore the club’s ground-breaking partnership deal with Disney and its new stadium project).
The brands’ perspective on football sponsorship was provided by ING Bank and Emirates.
Social media and digital sport were explored through the Virtual Bundesliga and FIFA Interactive World Cup initiatives, along with commentary from Twitter Germany and Pasi Lankinen, Head of Digital at FC Barcelona.
“It’s always a pleasure to chair this annual Sport+Markt/REPUCOM client meeting. International Football Summit always attracts a great mix of brands, sponsors, rights holders and agencies with the delegates always of the highest quality,” remarks Nuttall.
“This year we had a real demonstration of football’s future customers when the next generation of fans competed on EA Sports’ FIFA 13 video game live on stage… Showcasing how far the virtual world of interactive entertainment is embedded in the real world and vice versa.
“Clearly, the next stage in sponsorship is the convergence of these two previously distinct markets into one ‘sports experience’; both live at the stadium but also in every living room, bar and social space across the world.”
Digital fan engagement will be explored further at Xperiology’s next Fan Experience Forum – more details here.