Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images
The 20th anniversary of the Soccerex Global Convention 2015 event was held in Manchester from 7 to 9 September. Yutang Sports sat down with the CEO of Soccerex, Mr Duncan Revie at the convention, to talk about a range of topics including the holding an event in China.
The first Soccerex event was organized in 1996. Mr Revie says they have not only become the largest business event in the football world but also in terms of bringing different football sectors together, in the B2B area, from around the globe. They combine conferences, exhibitions, and networking events into one event, and bring together stars of the sport, businesses, and adminis-trations from around the world.
The first overseas Soccerex event was held in Paris in 1998, 4 years after they started. They have since hosted events on all continents and in 17 cities including Manchester, Dubai, South Africa, Jordan, and Barbados.
However, Soccerex has experienced some difficult times. For instance, several times, their events had to be postponed because the event’s dates clashed with major social incidents, such as 9/11 and the Gulf War. In spite of this the organizers rescheduled the dates and the events were suc-cessfully held.
They are also continually growing the events. At this year’s convention, they announced three new forums in Jordan, Mexico, and Ghana respectively for 2016. Mr. Revie’s “Plans for Soccerex forum is actually to improve year on year.”
In Asia, they have already held one event in Singapore, and have had two consecutive Asian Fo-rums in Jordan where it will be held again in 2016.
“We are actively talking with several parties in Asia at the moment about bringing Soccerex to them in 2016 and also in 2017. So I am sure we will create a larger presence starting with Jordan. It’s relatively small but gradually getting bigger and bigger. The 2016 FIFA U’17 Women’s World Cup will be held in Jordan. It will be a great platform,”
China is obviously going to be one of the countries that Soccerex is considering, given its size and status in Asia. China has just initiated a push in the development of its country’s football, which is backed and led by the central government and the President of China. This makes China the hot bed of football now.
“We are talking to some new places like China, for instance. It is the territory we haven’t really fully explored yet, like the one missing piece in our jigsaw with Australia and New Zealand the remaining two missing pieces”.
What can Soccerex do in terms of offering a hand in China’s football development?
Mr Revie said they could bring their football expertise on “competition, league development, good governance, stadium, law, finance, everything that makes a successful league” to the country.
At this year’s Global Convention, there were a few Chinese businesses and organizations. Tencent and Sina Sports were there. The Chinese Football Association had delegates participating. Other Chinese delegates were mostly Chinese businessmen living and working in the UK. In total, there were around 6 or 7 Chinese organizations present, including Chinese businesses operating in the UK. “It is better than the last global convention in terms of the number of Chinese delegates” according to a Chinese delegate who works in Sheffield and also went to the 2014 Global Convention.
Mr Revie said, “We haven’t signed with anybody in China yet, but we are getting closer and closer to doing that, and I’m sure it will be a huge success there too.” Yutang Sports believe this is also the hope of many football professionals.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick.