Q&A with Duncan Revie, CEO of Soccerex

After a successful second Soccerex Asian Forum in Jordan, the attention of the global football industry has now shifted towards its most thought provoking football business gathering of the year, the Soccerex Global Convention 2015, taking place in Manchester, 7-9th September. 

To provide an official update on the event, MEI sat down with Soccerex CEO Duncan Revie.

 AB01353What’s in store for the Soccerex Global Convention 2015?

After reviewing 2014 we’ve implemented a number of strategic adjustments to ensure that we deliver the high quality experience within our exhibition, the conference programme and our networking platforms that Soccerex is renowned for. We will be working with cutting edge companies looking to showcase their products to the biggest buyers within the game, sourcing industry specialists to update the industry and hosting intimate and engaging networking sessions. 

Football’s major events are certainly in the spotlight at the moment, how will the Convention be addressing these issues?

We’ve always placed a heavy emphasis on the different stages of major event delivery within our conference programme and exhibition. Hosting the Convention in Manchester gives us the opportunity to broaden our horizons and focus on the multitude of tournaments, scheduled to take place across the world, from Africa to Oceania. There will still be a significant focus on the challenges and business opportunities associated with football’s major tournaments and we’re working closely with the 2016 European Championships LOC, the 2017 U17 Women’s World Cup LOC, the 2018 FIFA World CupTM LOC and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, to ensure they’re playing a major role at the event.

Is it just major tournament opportunities the Convention will focus on?

Not at all. As well as the demand from major event organisers, the ongoing requirement for clubs and national FAs to develop their stadiums will ensure the involvement of the football world’s leading clubs and rights holders. La Liga, an institutional partner for the Convention, will have a strong presence at the Convention, led by their President Javier Tebas and supported by senior delegations from all 42 clubs, highlighting the numerous opportunities available in the Spanish market. The Football League, another institutional partner, will for the first time be holding their biannual commercial managers meeting at the Convention, with all 72 Football League clubs bringing a delegation to the Convention.   The Convention’s conference programme will  also address a number of key areas  affecting all levels of the game,  with ticketing, seating, in-stadium technologies, Wi-Fi systems, goal-line assistance, turf pitches and many more all on the conference agenda.   In addition to this, the event’s exhibition floor presents an unparalleled opportunity for stadia suppliers to present their products to the football industry.

  What aspects of this year’s conference programme are you most excited about?

After evaluating our conference programme delivery last year, we’ve created new content streams to cater for more areas of the industry and, although I can’t give the full programme away just yet,  I can reveal that Ooredoo, who have signed up as the Official Telecoms Partner of the Convention, will be hosting a workshop to showcase their plans to revolutionise fan experience at the 2022 FIFA World CupTM in Qatar. They will also have a representative on one of our headline sessions on stadia technology, which I believe for MEI readers will be a huge draw.  We have also just received confirmation that a senior figure from the San Jose Earthquakes will be attending and speaking about the their brand new Avaya Stadium, which I am told by my more tech-savvy staff, is the first cloud-enabled venue in the MLS and has been nominated as Venue of the Year alongside Wembley, the Maracana and Camp Nou, so not bad company.

The US has long led the way in terms of sports marketing and stadia technology; how do you think European football can learn from their Soccer counterparts in the United States?SOCCEREXDAYTHREE-964

Off the pitch, Soccerex has enjoyed a great relationship with the US market,  hosting our main event in Los Angeles way back in 1997 and the growth it’s gone through since then has been immense. The knowledge and expertise the US sports industry can deliver in areas of fan engagement and stadia interactivity are extremely valuable to European football and we’re working closely with a number of companies and key stakeholders who will be taking a large presence at Soccerex. Leading that process is MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who will be delivering a keynote address on the league’s expansion as well as celebrating their 20th anniversary, which coincidently ties in with Soccerex’s celebrating our 20th year at the Convention.

Wow 20 Years, you must have some amazing memories, what’s been your standout Soccerex moment?

There have been some truly unbelievable experiences over the past twenty years, visiting all corners of the earth and working with some truly wonderful people. I have two highlights from the very first Soccerex event that will always stay with me. Firstly that we were able to welcome Mark McCormack, the founder of IMG and the godfather of Sports Marketing, it was amazing that he accepted our invitation to speak and something I am very proud of. My favourite memory, however, is once again from the very first event and is of the very first person we had on stage, the legendary Sir Stanley Matthews who played with my father for England. Sir Stanley and Mark McCormack epitomised what I wanted Soccerex to be about – the pinnacle of the business and football worlds coming together. This set the bar very high for the years that were to follow and I cherish the memories of such a great start and two such great men.

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