The 2nd edition of “The Business of Football” Conference, organized by MMC Sports and sanctioned by the Philippine Football Federation, concluded successfully on 10 November 2023, at Raffles Makati. The one-day conference brought together key stakeholders from the Southeast Asian football community, fostering dialogue on critical topics shaping the future of the sport.
The event aimed to stimulate discussions and transfer knowledge on topics such as Asian football sponsorship & investment trends, the use of blockchain to develop community building and fan engagement, the Impact of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup on Southeast Asian Football, as well as lessons learned from FIBA World Cup hosting experiences in the Philippines.
More than +30 regional and international speakers, including experts from governing bodies and rights holders from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, the UK, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, Australia, Geneva shared insights and perspectives on the challenges and opportunities in the football industry, while the Philippines was represented through officials of government entities such as the German, New Zealand, Spanish, and British embassies, the Philippine Sports Commission, the Philippine Olympic Committee, Games & Amusements Board, Philippines Football League, representatives from the respective men’s and women’s national teams, Philippines Basketball Association as well as the Philippine Football Federation.
Asia Trends in Sponsorship and Investment in Football
According to Asia Sponsorship News, football is unequivocally the most valuable platform in Asia, constituting nearly 31% of all sports sponsorship sales in 2022. The platform’s value was almost2.5 times that of its closest competitor, the ‘Olympics,’ with a remarkable +21% increase over the four-year football average. Football, topping the charts at $1.6 billion, dwarfed the Olympics at only one-third of that, with $639 million, and Cricket trailing at $529 million. This data underscores the unparalleled dominance of football over other sports sponsorship platforms in the region.
The Role of Sport in Building Bridges in Governmental Relationships In a poignant exploration of the transformative power of sports as a catalyst for unity and reconciliation, the panel on ‘The Role of Sport in Building Bridges in Governmental Relationships’ features government officials from the German, New Zealand, and British Embassies.
“Sports (football), in my view, is something that should unite people; that should unite countries. It should serve as a tool for reconciliation. Global sports should bring people together regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of age, even regardless of sex, so everybody can play football.” – HE Dr. Andreas Michael Pfaffernoschke, German Ambassador to the Philippines.
“Sport is a fantastic platform for building connections between governments, countries, societies, and communities.” – HE Peter Kell, New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines
Addressing the Urgency for Adequate Sports Facilities Funding
During a short interview with Mr. Richard Bachmann, Chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission, he articulated a pressing concern regarding the funding of sports facilities: the deficiency in funding is not exclusive to football but extends across all sports. He also acknowledged that the country is currently lagging in providing the necessary financial support for sports infrastructure. His commitment is to rectify this shortfall and to collaborate with National Sports Associations (NSAs) to expedite the process of securing such funding. Looking forward, Bachmann disclosed of having requested a substantial budget allocation that aims to address the critical need for facility improvements across various sports, including football, underlining the need for the development of sports at all levels at every local government unit.
Monetizing the Fan Experience through the Power of Blockchain & Web3
‘Monetizing the Fan Experience through the Power of Blockchain & Web3, presented by Mr. Samir Ceric, Chief Operating Officer of Blocksport, unveiled an innovative and holistic solution to bridge the gap from Web2 to Web3 in the world of sports. Providing a glimpse into the transformative potential of this cutting-edge technology, he emphasized the importance of a solid foundation and community-building exercise, where Web3 technology enables a deeper connection with fans and the creation of substantial new revenues for sporting properties globally.
Obstacles in Sustainability in Professional Club & League Football \
The panel discussion of ‘Obstacles in Sustainability in Professional Club & League Football,’ provided profound insights into the challenges faced on both the buy and sell sides with brands and clubs. Mr. Paul Poole, Founder & Managing Director of Paul Poole (South-East Asia) Co., Ltd. The Sponsorship Experts, commented on the intricate dynamics surrounding the commercial rights of football clubs and the struggles they face as they often don’t understand the value of their assets while also not using agencies to package and ell the rights.
Awards and Recognitions:
The conference also honored individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to the football community. Notable awardees included:
- Token of Appreciation: His Excellency Dr. Andreas Pfaffernoschke for his support and contribution to The Business of Football 2023 Conference.
- Token of Appreciation: Mr. Jefferson G Cheng, Team Manager of the Philippines Women’s National Football Team, for his dedication and contributions to the development of Women’s Football in the Philippines & Asia.
- Token of Congratulations: Philippine Football Federation for its inaugural participation in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.
- Token of Congratulations: New Zealand Football & Football Australia respectively for the successful hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
- Token of Congratulations: Malaysia Football League for the successful implementation of its digital transformation process.
“The Business of Football” conference aims to become an annual event in the Philippines “as regular football discussions and knowledge transfer are essential elements for the development of the sport. And since not everyone can travel around the region, we will bring the football industry to the Philippines stakeholders”, explains Eric M. Gottschalk, CEO of MMC Sportz Asia explains the future plans of the conference. “We might add more local elements to the event and conceptualize proper football awards to become the highlight of the Conference.”
MMC Sportz extends its appreciation to its partners – LALIGA, BLOCKSPORT, Capital Block, ASN, and Raffles Makati – for their extended support in making the conference a resounding success.
The event’s official hashtag, #BOFPH2023, continues to be a platform for sharing insights and engaging discussions on social media.
Stay tuned for updates on future events and initiatives from MMC Sportz.