The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer
Frederico Pena, “Brazilian Football”

Frederico Pena, “Brazilian Football”

March 23, 2021

Frederico Pena, better known as Fred is a "Jerry Maguire" inspired Brazilian Sports agent, working across Brazilian Football for 20 years, including many years with the leading Agency, Traffic. Great inside look into Brazilian and South American Football, the rise and demise of Traffic and how we worked together in Asia. 

 

Key Highlights

  1. How the movie "Jerry Maguire" and Brazil winning the 1994 World Cup in the US inspired his career path
  2. The Mueller Sports Group and Jeff Slack saved him from a boring Banking job
  3. Working on due diligence for Mueller Sports Group and Hicks & Muse buying Traffic
  4. Traffic deal. Mr Hawilla, the owner, amazing deal maker, sold 49% for USD 125 mil and then bought it back for a fraction when Hicks/Muse ran out of cash during Dotcom crash. TNT - Traffic & Torneos partnership holding key rights. 
  5. First role in Traffic, exploring Internet concepts as we all did during that time in 2000.
  6. Moving into TV sales - working with TSA in Asia as agent
  7. The challenges of selling South American Football in early 2000 and what we (Traffic & TSA) had to do to build the confidence with broadcasters. Selling it as a stand alone product
  8. Next step in his career to get closer to becoming an agent. Representing players just for sponsorship deals. 2002, deal w Brazil's Ronaldo, the best player in the world at that time
  9. Copa America 2004 in Peru - LG Electronics sponsorship deal. Tag team with TSA to broker deal
  10. Finally becoming an agent, starting his own agency at 29. Support from Hawilla. Being an Entrepreneur, not an easy start, 15 months before the first deal
  11. Trading Brazilian players to Europe. His Jerry Maguire moments
  12. How tough it is to become a Pro Footballer, lots of competition in Brazil
  13. Coming back into Traffic - TPO model (Third party player ownership) - player fund, youth academy. Not allowed anymore
  14. Selling controlling stake to Traffic of his agency - turned into Traffic Telantos - buying/selling players. Big deals, with top European and Chinese clubs
  15. Traffic's demise and the link to the Fifa scandal (started in 2013). Hawilla was brokering the deals with Federations himself
  16. Hawilla was a witness cooperating with the Department of Justice in the US. Hawilla being the Villan or Victim? 
  17. Traffic Sports business, rights, clubs, etc sold to pay for fines
  18. Management buy out of the Agency part for Round 2 as an Entrepreneur
  19. Now focus on young players. Dynamics between the small and big agents in Brazil 
  20. Biggest transfer in Brazil football - Vini Jr, now at Real Madrid - transferred at age of 17
  21. Brazilian Football industry and Covid - bullish on players, less on Clubs and Football structure -lots of sports politics - little long term focus 
  22. Red Bull entering Brazilian Football with a Club recently. 
  23. The flawed logic of bringing all top Brazilian players back and final thoughts on the Brazilian players ecosystem

 

About Frederico Pena

Education background in finance and economics having graduated from the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business (The Wharton School/CAS), the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. Over 20 years of experience in the football industry, both in South America (Brazil in special) and Europe.

Fluent in 4 languages (Portuguese, English, Spanish and French), having lived in 5 different countries (Brazil, United States, France, Canada and England). Professional experience in football includes: player representation, player fund creation and management (third party ownership), consultancy in club acquisition, club management (in both Portugal and Brazil), marketing of sponsorship and TV rights (buying and selling).

Extensive international experience having travelled to over 30 countries in the world to do business with key industry stakeholders such as federations (Fifa, Conmebol, etc), clubs (Real Madrid, Barcelona, etc), sportswear brands (Nike, Adidas, Puma, etc), agencies (Dentsu, Sportfive, etc), sponsors (Coca-Cola, Hyundai, LG, etc) and TV companies (Globo, Fox, etc).

 

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Andreas Heyden, “Football Gone Digital”

Andreas Heyden, “Football Gone Digital”

March 12, 2021

Andreas Heyden, is a German web/digital native, learning from the tough times of the dotcom boom/bust days and the 2008/09 global financial crisis and now leading Digital Innovations at the Bundesliga (DFL - German Football League).  Great insides into the Digital innovations and projects of one of the leading Football Leagues in the world, which also aims to be the most innovative Football League in the world.  Plenty to learn for anyone in this space. Listen closely.

 

Key Highlights

  1. Early days in Andreas’ career and how that leads to his roles in the digital space and the learning of cycles across the past 20 years
  2. Crisis leaves clues and creates new opportunities Web 2.0 came after the dotcom crash,  Social Media boom after the 2008 financial crisis, what will come after Covid?
  3. RTL Interactive (part of RTL Bertelsmann, one of the biggest Broadcasting Groups in Europe) – video on demand, taking a traditional broadcaster into Web 2.0 world after the dotcom crash
  4. “I am a customer guy first, focus on the fan and customer”
  5. Sevenload – German version of YouTube – joining just before the 2008 crisis – tough road ahead in a start-up environment
  6. ProSiebenSat 1 Games – (another Giant of German Broadcasting)  & Maxdome– entering the Gaming world  
  7. His start as CEO of DFL Digital Sports (Bundesliga) – German Football League – his roles
  8. How to create new revenue opportunities with content and data – three initiatives he is leading (using AI and machine learning)
    1. Local relevance – providing customized content
    2. Bundesliga Match Facts (Data driven stats) & Club data portal
    3. Smart media archive – 150,000 hours of media footage digitized  
  9. Treat “AI” like a colleague – create customized content for different clients and customers
  10. AWS (Amazon Web Services) partnership and evolution of it – best in class in cloud services to integrated business partner now
  11. Deltatre partnership – JV in Football data, VR, etc
  12. Sports Innovation Trade Fair – every two years, setting up a real live environment(actual matches) to showcase new technology – next Spring 2022
  13. DFL Digital innovations during Covid -  on-screen innovation, augmented reality, additional match facts, new camera positions
  14. Glass to Glass strategy – from the camera Lens to the screen – DFL owns the parts of the entire value chain
  15. Betting space – DFL digital role – provide data to betting operators
  16. NBA Shots – NFT discussion – real collectables vs digital versions – exploring, difference in market dynamics
  17. OTT ready anytime if its needed – difficult question when will the switch to D2C happen vs the existing model
  18. Bundesliga looking at PE partnerships and the process internally

 

About Andreas Heyden

Since June 2015, Andreas Heyden is serving as CEO of the DFL digital sports GmbH being responsible for digital platforms & production and distribution of national and international media content. Before Andreas was the Managing Director of Maxdome GmbH since July 1st, 2013. Previously, Andreas was COO as part the management of ProSiebenSat.1 Game GmbH from December 2011 on.

Before this Andreas was a managing director of the startup Sevenload, where his responsibilities included cooperation with content and distribution partners as well as internationalization of the portal. Before joining Sevenload, Heyden was head of the innovation and production unit at RTL Interactive, where he established new internet business models in the games industry and other segments.

Heyden began his career at Metronet AG in 1996, where he worked in the Subscriber Marketing Department. In 1997, Heyden became a key account manager for I-D Media AG. Following his professional work in Singapore in 1999, he began working with Microsoft GmbH as part of the Product Marketing team for MSN.de.

 

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Jeff Slack, “From MJ To Football & F1″

Jeff Slack, “From MJ To Football & F1″

March 4, 2021

Jeff Slack, the new Managing Director of the Aston Martin Cognizant F1 team is a highly respected American Sports Executive with a truly global CV, having worked at Pro Serve & FAME in the US, Wassermann Media and IMG in the UK,  Inter Milan in Italy and a few others in between besides running his own agency the last few years out of London. His unique experiences are bar none across the globe and he is excited over the new chapter and challenge in F1.  Listen carefully and learn.   

 

Key Highlights

  1. Early days at Pro-Serve (Donald Dell's Agency) in Washington.  Experience working with Donald Dell and David Falk and the learning as a young man.
  2. Working with/for Michael Jordan (at David Falk’s FAME) – extraordinary experience
  3. Joining the Mueller Sports Group in New York,  launching PSN.com in South America partnering with Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst – and what went wrong
  4. Next stop CEO of Inter Milan as an American executive -  bringing US best practises to Italian Football and the reasons for it and stories behind it  
  5. The “Juve” scandal and the “wrongs’ of Italian Football at the time,  Inter had an amazing team and should have won a few Scudettos (Italian Championships)
  6. The next decade in the Agency world -  first Wassermann Media in the UK, building the Football Agency Division (working with Casey Wassermann)
  7. Next IMG Football in London -  Teddy Forstmann days as the owner of IMG – JV partnerships in Asia, with CCTV in China and Reliance Group (Mukesh Ambani) in India
  8. Launch of Indian Super League and work on the Chinese Super League marketing (both Football)
  9. CCTV stamp of approval of IMG and the doors it opened
  10. China Super League and two different opinions of its future   
  11. India Super League and TSA’s competitive bid partnering with CAA against IMG at the time and the challenges of the League since then
  12. IMG is sold to Endeavor Silverlake and this opens up an opportunity to set up his own agency
  13. JS3 projects – FIBA Basketball Champions League, working with startups, etc
  14. The Aston Martin Cognizant F1 story
  15. Lawrence Stroll, world class entrepreneur, passionate motorsports enthusiast, buying Force India F1 team & turning it into Racing Point F1 and purchasing a stake in Aston Martin separately
  16. Jeff’s role is focused on the commercial side and creating enterprise value for the team, building a community, etc  
  17. Great history of the team from Jordan F1 days and of course Aston Martin’s last time in F1, 60 years ago
  18. Positioning of the team and the sport in general and the amazing response and interest from sponsors and partners – testament to the Aston Martin brand
  19. Cognizant – who is the “mysterious” Fortune 200 company most people never heard of and how both sides work together to make the car go faster (smart partnership)
  20. Sebastian Vettel – an engineer racing a car – statement of intend
  21. New car launched on March 3rd – featuring the iconic green
  22. F1 2021 season and what to expect and how to prepare, from bubbles to testing, strict protocols
  23. Vision to be a top 3 team this year

 

About Jeff Slack

Jeff Slack joins the Aston Martin Cognizant F1 team after a 30-year career across the sports industry. The American sports executive has extensive experience at the highest commercial level of sports.

His career began managing Michael Jordan's marketing activities before moving into sports private equity with Hicks, Muse.

In 2000, Slack became the first American CEO of a top European football club, Inter Milan. He also has a wide range of agency experience, with leadership positions at Wasserman and IMG.

More recently, Slack has been a commercial adviser to FIBA and Dorna, as well as undertaking a number of personal investments in businesses across the sports industry.

 

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