THE SPORTS ENTREPRENEURS
Deep Dive Into UEFA
Guy-Laurent Epstein a Football Association veteran and senior UEFA Executive for the past 20 years, shaping European football, the commercial side and beyond. Deep dive into UEFA’s world from Club Football, new National Team competitions, to the growth of the Women’s game and much more. Highly educational and lots of great details you don’t want to miss.
- How it started, from a passion for mathematics, to Arthur Andersen auditing to Sony Music
- Commercialising the licensing rights for the FIFA World Cup in 1998 for Sony Music
- ISL Marketing days – joining ISL in Luzern during an interesting time for the agency
- Spending time in Asia, around the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan
- ISL collapse in 2001 just before the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2001, FIFA creating FIFA Marketing to take over agency role
- Joining UEFA shortly after the 2002 FIFA World Cup – comparing notes on the event
- The start of a two decade adventure with UEFA in Nyon
- No Marketing department within UEFA yet when he first joined, developing new projects and showing value to the administrators of European Football
- The “old” way of doing things in European National and Club competitions at the time, early 2000
- Change of guards, EBU, mostly state controlled broadcasters vs more commercially driven free to air channels
- Non-linear channels emerge – Pay TV – now digitization, Amazon relationship, DAZN, Apple testing
- US Market importance for both European Club and National team football
- UEFA.TV – create new content from archive, exploring new ways to invest in brand – home of Youth and Women’s football
- Relationship between UEFA and their agencies (Team Marketing – Club competitions & CAA Eleven – National Team competitions)
- Big changes and success stories from the CAA Eleven deal
- UEFA Nations League – the creation and where it is now and some of the challenges
- New UEFA Champions League format from next season explained
- Next steps in the governance of club competitions and relationship with the European Club Association (ECA)
- Covid impact on UEFA competitions – looking back, moving EURO 2020, etc
- Success of Women’s EURO 2022 in England and the growth and unbundling of UEFA Women’s Football – www.weplaystrong.com
- EURO 2024 in Germany – high hopes for another big Football Summer Festival
Guy-Laurent Epstein graduated from Paris IX Dauphine University with a Master in Applied Mathematics & Social Sciences in 1990, and completed his studies with a MBA at ESSEC Business School in Paris, which he obtained 2 years later.
After four years working as a financial consultant for Arthur Andersen, he decided to shift his career towards sports marketing and worked for the 1998 World Cup in France. After that, he joined ISL Marketing where he was in charge of the licensing and merchandising programme for the 2002 World Cup. In 2001, Guy-Laurent joined FIFA Marketing, where he continued to oversee the good development and implementation of the Licensing programme.
He started in October 2002 at UEFA as TV& Sponsorship Manager and became Head of Marketing Activities in December 2004. In June 2005, he created the Media Rights unit which is responsible of the overall sales of the UEFA competitions TV and other media rights, which he managed till March 2010, when UEFA decided to set up a new company – UEFA Events SA – to handle all UEFA’s commercial and event operations. Consequently, Guy-Laurent was appointed Marketing Director of UEFA Events SA and as such, he is responsible for the ongoing development of the marketing and commercial activities, including media and sponsorship, across all competitions of UEFA.