- After two fascinating days, the curtain has come down on World Football Summit’s WFS Africa debut in Durban, establishing the foundations to shape the African football industry of the future.
- The ICC in Durban was witness to the thousands of connections and networking opportunities that emerged among the more than 700 on-site attendees and decision-makers from around the world that joined the event.
- Representatives from SAFA, CAF, LaLiga, Meta, Hudl, Turkish Airlines, and from many other leading brands and football clubs have shared their insights into how to really tap into the potential of African football.
- Honorable Siboniso Duma, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, KZN reflected on the opportunities World Football Summit can bring to the region: “It gives us a pleasure to host the first-ever WFS Africa in Durban. Our province is open to the business of sport as well as recreational profiles. We feel blessed to partake in this journey with the WFS team. This Summit can be used to discuss sport business but also delve deep into issues affecting human society at large. This sport and game has a unique platform with a strong influence to reach millions. We must use it to play an active role in building our nations”
17 November 2022 – WFS Africa’s maiden edition is now successfully in the books, after two days of fascinating discussion at Durban’s International Conference Centre (ICC).
Over the course of the event, more than 700 on-site attendees have enjoyed the possibility to network and make thousands of connections, helping accelerate opportunities that would normally take years to materialize.
Honorable Siboniso Duma, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs, KZN was responsible for kicking off the second day of the event, encouraging the audience to use World Football Summit as a lever for growth: “It gives us a pleasure to host the first-ever WFS Africa in Durban. Our province is open to the business of sport as well as recreational profiles. We feel blessed to partake in this journey with the WFS team. This Summit can be used to discuss sports business but also delve deep into issues affecting human society at large. This sport and game have a unique platform with a strong influence to reach millions. We must use it to play an active role in building our nations”
The common theme from the diverse range of high-profile speakers, who gave rallying calls for the African football industry to not be discouraged from showing the world the value that it brings to the table, was that the potential for the African football industry is massive.
Part of this growth undoubtedly involves the women’s game, where Brenda Kunda, Director at Bresmar Investment Ltd, had the following to say: “There needs to be a greater investment into building more resources like playing fields so that the Banyana Banyana don’t have to wait.”
Just as networking was central to the two-day event, so was discussion around partnerships and sponsorship opportunities between businesses and football properties.
As such, Meta was responsible for leading a panel on sponsorship, one of the pillars of the commercial marketing model of football clubs, where Kike Levy, Southern Sports Lead at Meta, urged football properties to embrace digital technology: “With traditional sponsorship, the value of the digital side is not normally taken into account. African football and sports clubs need to value these assets more. You have an infinite inventory of assets that you can sell when you look at the digital side. Digital will allow you to create different strategies for different audiences.”
LaLiga, one of the most innovative brands in the world of football and one of the truly global sports brands that have a presence across Africa, shared how sports properties can bridge the gap with African football thanks to content. Marcos Pelegrin, Managing Director at LaLiga Africa explained: “Fans relate to the reality they know. Localising content allows us to deliver LaLiga in every corner of the continent has proven to be the right strategy – we want to continue with the same.”
The final panel of the event saw Dr. Danny Jordaan, President of the South African Football Association (SAFA) and a key figure in bringing the FIFA World Cup to South Africa in 2010, revealed that the next level of growth must involve women’s football: “Since 2010, there has been tremendous progress for the South African women’s team. We hardly had women’s coaches before, but we took a decision to have women coaches to have every team. We were criticized about it – but we have seen how much improvement that change has brought.”
The curtain of the first-ever WFS Africa was closed by the honorable Emmanuel Nkosinathi Mthethwa, Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture who urged the audience to avoid letting the event be a one-off event, and rather, use it as a platform to enable long-term economic development across the region.
WORLD FOOTBALL SUMMIT: WHERE THE FOOTBALL INDUSTRY MEETS
World Football Summit is where the football industry’s leading stakeholders meet to shape the future of the beautiful game. Our platform has evolved from an annual gathering held in Madrid, focused on the European market, to a growing series of events that cover the challenges and opportunities of the different regions
and sectors in this thriving industry. WFS is powered by a global community of influential professionals sharing a unique passion for the business of sports and a mission to spark discussion, share knowledge and promote innovation to drive progress for the game and the industry.
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Jaime Domínguez / CMO/ firstname.lastname@example.org