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FB Headlines - January 2021

Football Business Headlines – January 2021

The Football Business Headlines – January 25th, 2021



LaLiga club Sevilla FC and Indian I-League 2nd division club FC Bengaluru United has finalized a partnership agreement. The partnership will reinforce Sevilla’s presence in the Indian market and is part of the Spanish club’s plans to grow its brand globally. FC Bengaluru will benefit from the expertise and knowledge of the six-time Europa League champions to achieve fast and sustainable development in Indian football. Sevilla also aims to participate in technological innovation, and development and implementation projects addressing the sports industry in India with the help of its new partner. (Source)


Serie A giants AC Milan, in partnership with fintech blockchain company Chiliz, has announced that they will launch the $ACM Fan Token on fan engagement and rewards platform The club’s fans will now be able to access a wide range of benefits like the right to vote in club decisions, VIP rewards and experiences, exclusive club and sponsor promotions, games, competitions, and ‘super-fan’ recognition. (Source)

This partnership allows us to give our 450 million fans across the world another exciting way to interact with AC Milan, which is particularly important under the current circumstances created by the Covid-19 pandemic.” – Casper Stylsvig, Chief Revenue Officer of AC Milan


Argentine club River Plate has announced an agreement with blockchain technology-based fantasy platform Sorare. This new agreement is in line with the club’s international brand expansion strategy. River Plate fans will now be able to buy, sell and play with the digital cards of all the club players on Sorare. (Source)



The Football Business Academy partner Fnatic has announced a multi-year partnership with American snack company Jack Link’s. The partnership will see the Jack Link’s logo featured on the right sleeve of all Fnatic team jerseys and both the brands will work together on the development of content, in-game activations, online and physical tools, and storytelling from pro gamers. (Source)


Several football clubs have teamed up with Epic Games to bring football to the online video game Fortnite. Players can now choose from 10 different variants of the new ‘Kickoff Set’ outfits to represent their favorite club in-game and each outfit can be swapped to any of the 23 football clubs participating. Participating clubs include Manchester City FC, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, AS Roma, Seattle Sounders FC, Atlanta United, Los Angeles FC. Santos FC, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Ham United FC, Sevilla FC, Sporting CP, Borussia Monchengladbach, FC Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg, Rangers FC, Celtic FC, Cerezo Osaka, Melbourne City FC, Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers, and EC Bahia. (Source)



The Football Association (FA) of England, in partnership with Amnesty International, has launched a guide and online training series which aims to increase refugee women’s participation in grassroots football. The guide will support the county FAs, coaches, clubs, and their foundations in setting up football sessions to help refugee women and girls better connect with their local communities. (Source)

“We are now seeing more women and girls than ever enjoying the game at all levels and, through important partnerships such as the one between The FA and Amnesty International UK, we can ensure the game becomes truly inclusive and keep driving participation forward.” – Baroness Sue Campbell, Director of Women’s Football, The FA


Irish energy company SSE Airtricity is the new title sponsor of the Ireland Women’s National League, the Football Association of Ireland said in a press release. A deal has been agreed until the end of the 2022 season and this is the first time that the Women’s National League in Ireland has shared a sponsor with the League of Ireland, the men’s professional league in the country. (Source)



The Latvian Football Federation (LFF) has created a new online platform to encourage more people to get involved in football and keep them informed about the various paths available to be involved in the game. ‘’ will offer visitors direct access to five major sectors in Latvian football – player, coach, referee, volunteer, and supporter. Once the user fills a simple registration form to any of the 5 areas of interest as above, they will be contacted by the LFF who will then propose the possibilities to get started in that area. (Source)


Media production company GAFFER in partnership with luxury goods and jewelry designers, Valentino has launched a new campaign ‘A New Dawn’ featuring Real Madrid superstar Vinicius Junior. The campaign reminds us of the slogan “always be yourself” by telling the story of the Real Madrid and Brazilian forward. (Source)



Danish club FC Nordsjaelland has secured new investors to the club as a part of the ongoing investments to the ‘Right to Dream (RTD)’ organization by Mohamed Mansour, an Egyptian businessman. A newly established investment company by Mohamed Mansour ‘ManSports’ has taken over majority ownership of the RTD organization, an organization that works on providing education and football in the West African region. Tom Vernon, the previous chairman of the board of RTD and FC Nordsjaelland will now continue as CEO of the RTD group. The new investors will provide support to investments in the club and the club’s men’s and women’s academy. (Source)


Legends, a premium experiences stadium operations corporation, has signed an agreement with global investment firm Sixth Street to receive a majority investment. The new investment will lead the Legends company’s long-term growth to support global client relationships and enhancements to its platform of premium experience offerings. (Source)


US-based sports marketing agency Two Circles has acquired Sports Ink Limited with a vision to bolster their sports ticket and hospitality marketing capabilities. Two Circles will also take on all existing Sports Ink clients and projects including the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 in England. (Source)


The Football Business Headlines – January 18th, 2021


The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced an official partnership with Switzerland-based company Sportradar. Sportradar will become the official video and data distribution partner for major AFC national team and club competitions for the cycles 2021-2024 and 2025-2028. (Source)

The Liga MX, the top professional football division in Mexico, has announced a partnership with Tecate to become the official sponsor of the competition. The multi-year deal will allow the Heineken-owned beer brand to access the Liga MX logos, team names, and images to support its marketing. (Source)



G2 Esports has added sportswear manufacturer Adidas as its latest partner and official sports apparel provider. Adidas will supply G2 Esports with their 2021 Pro Player Jersey and Kit. Additionally, both organizations will work together to create new lifestyle apparel collections and new content involving the players. (Source)



The United States Soccer Federation in partnership with Deloitte will organize a ‘SheBelieves Summit’ on February 11th and 12th which will take place virtually. The two-day summit will provide college students and young professionals the opportunity to gain valuable insights through panels and workshops focussing on the three core pillars of Confidence, Career, and Community. The summit is organized as part of US Soccer’s commitment to empower young women and girls and continue to grow the women’s game in the United States. (Source)


FIFA president Gianni Infantino met with the members of the women’s football development department of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and with members of the national women’s futsal team during his visit to Saudi Arabia. An in-depth presentation was made on the strategy for the future development of women’s football in the country by SAFF Board Member Adwaa Al-Arifi and SAFF Women’s Football Development Director Lamia Baiyan. President Infantino offered his support for the development of the game in Saudi. (Source)

“Women’s football is now played in the country and we need to support its development. FIFA needs to work together with the SAFF in order to ensure a bright future for women’s football in Saudi Arabia” – Gianni Infantino, FIFA President



FIFA has launched ‘FIFA Sound’, a new entertainment strategy designed to create innovative and meaningful connections between football fans, music enthusiasts, players, artists, and the game. FIFA Sound will launch with an eight-episode podcast series hosted by famous singer Liam Payne and co-hosted by sports broadcaster Jaydee Dyer. In each episode, celebrated footballers will discuss definitive moments of their career through the songs that have provided a soundtrack to their lives. (Source)

“FIFA’s vision is to make football truly global, accessible, and inclusive. The crossover between football and music underscores this wider cultural relevance. Both are universal languages and have the power to create unrivaled emotions. It’s a natural fit to bring them together” – Jean-François Pathy, FIFA’s Director of Marketing


LaLiga North America and global sports agency ISL are launching ‘LaLiga Next’, a platform that will provide young American football players the opportunity to showcase their talent and start a professional career in a LaLiga youth club. The selected players will train and compete with the best clubs in Spain under the supervision of different technical directors from LaLiga youth cubs, who will recruit the best player from each age category to participate in a sponsored training camp with a LaLiga youth club. (Source)



Canada Soccer has announced that it has extended its Coach Education Program to include the Canadian Premier League (CPL) players to provide them with an opportunity to look at a future in coaching. As part of the program, each CPL club will be permitted to nominate up to five players and upon successful completion of all components of the course, the candidate will receive the Canada Soccer B Licence. (Source)


UEFA has released the 2021 edition of its anti-doping regulations updated in-line with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code (WADC). New provisions have been introduced and the term ‘Aggravating Circumstances’ has been added to the regulations to describe special or exceptional circumstances for which an additional period of ineligibility of up to two years can be imposed. Substances of Abuse’ is another new definition that permits flexibility and this term encompasses those substances that are frequently abused in society outside of the context of sport. The regulations have also introduced a new ADRV which makes it an offense to either discourage someone from reporting information or to retaliate against an individual for sharing information. The new set of regulations can be downloaded here


KPMG Football Benchmark released the ‘European Champions Report 2021’. The 5th annual edition of the report reviews and compares the most relevant business performance indicators of the champions of Europe’s six most prominent leagues in the 2019/2020 season. Key conclusions from the report are:

  • Operating revenues (net of transfer proceeds) have decreased for all the champions analyzed in our report.
  • Despite an 8% drop in revenues, Real Madrid registered the highest overall income of EUR 681.2m among the champions. Broadcasting income also decreased for all these champions, with UEFA Champions League performance also playing a role: finalists Bayern München and Paris Saint-Germain registered only a 4% decrease in their TV income, while Porto’s 63% drop in TV rights was mainly a consequence of their early exit in the UCL qualifying rounds.
  • Liverpool, Bayern München and Real Madrid could increase their commercial income by 14%, 4% and 2%, respectively.

The full report can be downloaded here.




The Football Business Headlines – January 11th, 2021


Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur has announced a multi-year partnership with cinch, one of the UK’s fastest growing online car selling platforms. cinch will become the club’s first official sleeve partner and its logo will be seen on both Tottenham men’s and women’s first team shirts. (Source)


Eredivisie giants AFC Ajax have announced a one-year extension of its sponsorship agreement with Netherlands-based cable operator company Ziggo. Ziggo will remain the main sponsor of Ajax teams, including their esports team, till 2023. The partnership will also focus on creating exclusive Ajax content on Ziggo Sport in the coming years. (Source)



Construction has started on the $900m (€733m) estimated esports facility in Shanghai named The Shanghai International New Cultural and Creative E-sports Center. The facility is expected to become the global capital of professional gaming and will cover more than 500,000 square meters and will include a hotel to accommodate international gamers, a 6,000-seater esports arena, and a museum dedicated to gaming. (Source)



The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) will implement a national strategy to triple the number of women and girls playing football. Players of the women’s senior team will have professional contracts and minimum wage standards will be implemented for players of the first and second division and for the coaches as well. (Source)


Manchester City Women’s Football Club has announced a long-term partnership with fashionwear production house Salento Creazioni Moda. As part of the partnership, the English team will wear a limited-edition hand-sewn collection for their Manchester Derby match in the FA Women’s Super League. Furthermore, there will be a number of fan engagement activities and bespoke content featuring members of Manchester City Women’s first-team squad.  (Source)



TSG Hoffenheim is one of the first German Bundesliga clubs to operate its website in a club in a climate-neutral manner. Carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the operation of the club website homepage is now offset in climate protection project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Source)

“ ‘TSG is movement’ is a lived strategy. After we have already offset all emissions that arise in the immediate vicinity of TSG, we are looking forward to this next step, which will be followed by others in the future” – Denni Strich, Managing Director of TSG Hoffenheim.



The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has announced a major rebranding of its national team and club competitions. The AFC Asian Qualifiers, AFC Asian Cup, AFC Women’s Asian Cup, AFC U23 Asian Cup, AFC Champions League, and AFC Cup are all now rebranded with new logos. The rebranding was managed together with the AFC’s exclusive commercial partner Football Marketing Asia (FMA) over a 15-month period and was informed by deep stakeholder collaboration and extensive consumer research across Asia. (Source)

“We are delighted to start the new year with all-new AFC national team and club competition brands. The AFC strives to make its competitions even more relevant for its diverse fanbase while showcasing their unique reputation as Asia’s most popular football events. I am convinced the new visual identities will resonate strongly across Asia and worldwide, and I am looking forward to the new look and feel across social media and TV broadcast.” – Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President


Football Australia and Australian Professional Leagues (APL) announced the termination of the Australian A-League and Westfield W-League licenses held by Newcastle Jets Club. A new license has been issued to an entity owned and controlled by a consortium of existing APL club investors. The club later announced that the consortium is led by Sydney FC, Western United FC, and Western Sydney Wanderers FC. (Source)


The Major League Soccer (MLS), in December, notified the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) that it intends to invoke the Force Majeure Clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). However, ‘SportBusiness’ reports that the MLS has submitted a revised labor agreement to the MLSPA which would not require any further pay cuts to players but extends the current CBA by two years to 2027. (Source)



Major League Soccer (MLS) club Columbus Crew SC are nearing the completion of new downtown stadium. Last week, the club installed the final piece of the steel canopy and structure for their new ground. The new Crew Stadium remains on schedule to open in July 2021 and is expected to seat 20,000. (Source)


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The Football Business Academy is a Swiss-based high level international educational institution whose goal is to professionalize the management of the football industry and facilitate the insertion of qualified professionals and future leaders in the game. Its flagship program, a Professional Master in Football Business, was codeveloped with international football industry experts from around the world around one foremost objective: to provide Candidates with all the necessary tools and an optimal learning environment in order to succeed in this passionate and dynamic industry.