WFS EUROPE: Meet the speakers

WFS EUROPE SPOTLIGHT: Meet the speakers

WFS EUROPE SPOTLIGHT: Meet the speakers 1920 1080 World Football Summit

With the fifth edition of WFS Europe fast approaching, we shine a spotlight on some of the stellar names who will be appearing at this year’s event.

After his eye-catching WFS Live appearance, WPP-founder and S4 Capital executive chairman Sir Martin Sorrell will now take to the WFS Europe stage in what promises to be one of the must-see events of this year’s summit at the Wanda Metropolitano. Sorrell is widely regarded as one of the greatest business minds in the world when it comes to advertising, marketing, and communications, and he will bring unparalleled insight to WFS Europe.

While Sorrell is making his physical WFS debut, one man well accustomed to WFS events is LaLiga president Javier Tebas. He has been a near constant presence since WFS’ inception and Tebas will be on hand to discuss the hottest topics impacting the global game in 2021. Since his appointment in 2013, Tebas has been at the forefront of revolutionising LaLiga as the Spanish top-flight has established itself as one of the world’s best leagues. In doing so, Tebas has in turn emerged as one of the most respected figures in football.

Another WFS Europe speaker that will bring their expertise from a background in global governance is Ornella Desirée Bellia, who is head of professional football at global governing body, FIFA. Ornella also has a legal background and extensive international experience in the global sports industry, having worked for football clubs, leading law firms and sport institutions in no less than five different countries.

Also on hand to kick-off proceedings on 22 September will be Atlético de Madrid CEO, Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, who will lift the veil on what makes the reigning Spanish champions so successful both on and off the pitch. Another WFS stalwart, Gil Marín will certainly feel comfortable in the surrounds of Atleti’s 70,000-seater stadium that will provide the backdrop for what will be the first hybrid event in WFS history.

Three-time UEFA Champions League winner, three-time LaLiga champion, and Olympic gold medallist Samuel Eto’o – who took part at the second edition of WFS Live – returns to represent his Samuel Eto’o Foundation on the Wanda Metropolitano stage at WFS Europe. The Cameroon legend will be joined there by fellow WFS favourite – and WFS Africa Advisory Board member – Noella Coursaris (Malaika).

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Arianna Criscione is another WFS Live star that will make her WFS Europe bow this September. Criscione is director of women’s football at N3XT Sports, and will be sharing her vast knowledge of the women’s game – from her perspectives in goal and in the boardroom.

Responsible for building Google’s strategic approach to sports and entertainment partnerships, Kate Johnson is not only a former Olympic silver medallist and rowing world champion but she was also named by Adweek as one of its ‘35 Most Powerful Women in Sport’ in 2017. As a result, Johnson will be one of the most exciting speakers at the event as she delves into the future of partnerships in the sports and entertainment industries. She will also be joining us virtually, one of a number of speakers and guests who will mark WFS Europe’s hybrid debut.

Every aspect of the sports industry will be represented at WFS Europe, including experts in sports finance and sports law. That field is headed by Gregory Carey from Goldman Sachs and FIFA’s chief legal and compliance officer, Emilio García, who will bring us up to date on the biggest regulatory, legal and finance issues that the industry currently faces.

Adding yet more star-power from club football are Alfonso Diaz (Real Mallorca), Iván Alonso (Nacional), and Jordan Gardner (FC Helsingør), who will shed light on the secrets of leading a successful football club, as well as the opportunities out there for prospective new owners.

Meanwhile, Roc Nation Sports’ international president Michael Yormark will share his thoughts on the landscape of ‘sportainment’, with both the sports and entertainment world continuing to merge in more and more compelling ways.

Our latest wave of speaker announcements also sees Claire Bloomfield (ECA), Andreas Heyden (DFL Group), Joe Januszewski (Texas Rangers), Rahul Kodavakolu (Rakuten) and Professor Simon Chadwick (EM-Lyon) bring a diverse wealth of experience to the table from extensive backgrounds in their respective fields.

Some of the leading names in sports media and content will also be present, with Ed Malyon (The Athletic), Lucas von Cranach (Onefootball), Nora Hendriksson (MediaMonks), Tom Thirlwall (Copa90) all signed up for WFS Europe that will once again be hosted by the always superb David Garrido (Sky Sports).

Further representing the game’s leading institutions and federations will be Giuliano Giorgetti (FIFA), Emma Sykes (UEFA), Amanda Vandervort (formerly of FIFPro) and Leandro Petersen (AFA), while there will also be senior figures from the industry’s leading consultancy and agency firms. Chief among them are Chad Biagini (Nolan Partners), Adam Fraser (Laureus), Emilio Collins (Excel Sports Management), and Patrick Massey (Portas Consulting).

These are just some of the top names who will be attending WFS Europe on 22-23 September, with many more to be announced shortly, so subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on our social media channels to keep up to date with all the latest announcements.