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ESEI Sports Speaker Series: Sport in the post-Covid World

As the world at large lives through the Covid-19 crisis and prepares for the challenges, changes and lessons to come, sport is already facing extreme consequences. The sporting calendar has been at a standstill and the fate of mega events up in the air. To shed some light on what’s in store for this particular industry in the post-Covid world, ESEI business school will run a series of live-streamed interviews with thought leaders and active professionals across the Sports sector, hosted by our Master in Sports Management Programme Tutor, Frank Hendrickx.

The sessions will have the following format:Frank interviews speaker: 45 minutesQ&A from the audience: 45 minutes

Please come with questions prepared to make the most of your time with our speakers!

Frank Hendrickx

Host:Frank Hendrickx, Master in Sports Management programme tutor at ESEIProfessional profile: Introducing the host of ESEI’s Sports Speaker Series, Frank Hendrickx! After a career of almost 20 years in finance positions in multinational companies including BASF, Bayer and PepsiCo, in countries such as Spain, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore, Frank decided to pursue his life-long dream to work in the sports industry. In 2005 he completed an Executive MBA in Sports Management which brought him the knowledge and network to lead different startup projects in the field of sports hospitality, sporting events organization and sports sponsorship. A Belgian citizen, but based in Barcelona, he is currently combining his work at Podoactiva, a company specialized in injury prevention of athletes, with his educational role as a faculty member at different European business schools in Sports Management programs. Frank is the programme tutor on ESEI’s new Master in Sports Management programme.

Session 1 – Football Finance post-Covid: The Turn of a New Reality?

Interviewer: Frank Hendrickx

Interviewee:Kieran Maguire, author of The Price of Football and thought leader in Football Finance

Interviewee profile: Kieran Maguire is a lecturer in football finance at the University of Liverpool, where he teaches on the Football Industries MBA course. He is also the author of the bestselling book The Price of Football and the podcast of the same title. Kieran is a regular contributor to BBC, CNN, Sky Sports, Al Jazeera and other media channels around the world.

Kieran Maguire

In the first of our 3-part Sports Speaker Series exploring Sport in the post-Covid world, ESEI Sports Tutor, Frank Hendrickx, will interview Kieran Maguire, author of The Price of Football, about the effect of Covid-19 on different cash streams for clubs – namely matchday, broadcast, commercial, player sales, loans and shares. Other topics to be explored will be the benefits of furlough and hibernation schemes, and the potential impact of the crisis on the football finance landscape over the next few years.

Friday June 26th: 3pm – 4.30pm45 minutes interview then 45 minutes Q&A

Session 2 – Covid-19 and the fate of Sporting Mega Events

Interviewer: Frank Hendrickx

Interviewee:Jakob Larsen, Director of Competitions and Events at World Athletics

Interviewee profile:Jakob Larsen is the director of competitions & events at World Athletics, a position he undertook in April 2020. Prior to joining World Athletics, he was CEO of the Danish Athletic Federation, a position he had held since 2007. Jakob also served as the Director of the 2014 World Half Marathon Championships as well as the 2019 World Athletics Cross Country Championships. As the race director of the annual World Athletics Gold Label Race (the ‘Copenhagen Half Marathon’), the ‘Royal Run,’ and other road running events, he oversaw event operations with more than 200,000 entries per year. With 10 years of experience as a TV Color Analyst, a background in scientific research and coaching, as well as a 3 year stint managing the national High-Performance athletics programme, Jakob Larsen has a broad and rich understanding of international athletics.

Jakob Larsen

In this session with ESEI’s Sport Series host Frank Hendrickx and Jakob Larsen, Director of Competitions and Events at World Athletics, we will have a close look at the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the organization of sporting mega events across the globe, with a special focus on Athletics, the most participated-in sport in the world. Some questions considered are: What is the real impact of the postponement of Tokyo 2020? How will the event organizers of thousands of running races in the world overcome this crisis? What are the mental health implications for athletes? How is grassroots development affected in Athletics? What does the future look like for the sport? Tune in to hear these topics explored and many more.

Friday July 3rd: 3pm – 4.30pm

Session 3 – Covid-19 and the Professional Sports Ecosystem: Tennis under the spotlight

Interviewer: Frank Hendrickx

Interviewee:Fernando Soler, Former Senior Vice President at IMG Tennis Worldwide and International Tennis Consultant

Interviewee profile: Fernando Soler is a former professional tennis player on the ATP Tour, who then became one of the most powerful agents in the sports industry. His sports business career began in 1987, when he joined IMG as a tennis agent and managed clients and events including Carlos Moya (former ATP World #1), Sergi Bruguera (2-time ATP Grand Slam Champion), Guillermo Coria (former ATP #3); and an ATP event in Barcelona, the Trofeo Conde de Godó.

Fernando Soler

During his wide-ranging career in sports, Soler also managed IMG’s Football Talent Division, representing players like Kun Agüero and Gerard Piqué; served as Head of Sales for IMG Media Spain and Portugal, where he was responsible for selling a wide range of sports and entertainment content to broadcasters in those countries; and was involved with the successful ownership, management and sponsorship of major sports events in Tennis, Golf, Ice Skating, Athletics and Football (most recently the Football Super Cup in Jeddah).As Managing Director of IMG Tennis Worldwide, Soler was responsible for leading and growing the agency’s wide-ranging activities, including managing world-renowned players (e.g. Novak DjokovicRoger FedererRafael NadalSerena WilliamsMaria Sharapova), producing ATP and WTA tennis events around the globe (e.g. Miami Open, Rio Open, Chengdu ATP 250, Chennai ATP 250), and creating sponsorship programs for international blue-chip brands (e.g. Itau Bank, Peugeot, Lacoste, Rolex).Soler is now a global consultant in sports. His clients include IMG, Kosmos and others under NDA.

This event will look at how the professional sports ecosystem has been impacted so far by Covid-19, how it has responded, and the potential lasting implications of the crisis. Given that Tennis has been doing things differently from a lot of other sports, our host Frank Hendrickx will talk to Fernando Soler, the former Senior Vice President of IMG Tennis Worldwide and international tennis consultant, to analyze the future of tennis post Covid-19. Important tournaments such as Wimbledon have been cancelled, while the US Open and Roland Garros might still take place later this year behind closed doors. How are the main stakeholders – sponsors, tournament organizers, broadcasters, players, federations – being affected by the crisis? In an act of support, the governing bodies of world tennis have come together to raise in excess of US $6 million to create a Player Relief Programme aimed at supporting players who are particularly affected by the ongoing impact of the pandemic. Will other sports follow this example by taking action to ensure young, talented athletes pursuing their dreams are not lost in the crisis?

Wednesday July 8th, 3pm – 4.30pm45 minutes interview then 45 minutes Q&A

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