MIAMI.- Soccerex returned to the United States to host a soccer business convention at Marlins Park on November 15-16, for the first time ever. The diversity, colors and enthusiasm of the city welcomed soccer business professionals, senior officials of Concacaf, Soccerex executives and experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges within the football industry. The Mayor of the City of Miami Francis Suarez opened the convention highlighting Miami as the perfect destination for sports, business and tourism.
“Just like soccer, Miami is diverse and multicultural”. He ensured, and affirmed, it has never been a better time for soccer, in Miami and in the U.S., than right now. “I am extremely excited to see how this universal sport is showing its vibrations, energy and dynamics that only football offers,” said the Mayor, confessing how much he enjoys watching his son playing the sport “My son only plays soccer, as so many children here in South Florida, it is a generational opportunity”.
Among the expected 1,400 attendees was Concacaf President Victor Montagliani; he was interviewed by Fox Sports analyst Alexi Lalas.
“Obviously we have some very important milestones this year with the Concacaf Nations League, leading up to the Gold Cup next year, and from a footballing standpoint, those are very important. But what underpins that is really the unity we are showing within our confederation, the administration of it, but also as we can see, the unity within the 41 federations that make up our confederation” said Montagliani, commenting on the progress of the organization.
The conference also highlighted the success and growth of club football within the region during a panel hosted by Univision Deportes host Alejandro Berry. In this session, a selection of senior stakeholder representatives from Concacaf, Univision Deportes, Scotiabank and Flow Sports, provided insight into the success of their collaborations and how club competitions can generate vital revenues to support the growth of the game across North and Central America and the Caribbean.
The General Secretary of Concacaf Philippe Moggio, made reference to the future of football saying: “We're very focused on all our competitions, whether its national league or club football. We've been expanding our competitions, whether it's increasing Gold Cup from 12 to 16 teams, whether it's increasing our club competitions, providing clubs more opportunity to compete and creating more development below that, or through our Nations League property which is a great platform for national teams to continue to compete between World Cups”.
Other panelists enjoyed the podium for the second round of this quorum. Karina LeBlanc, Concacaf’s Head of Women’s Football, Amanda Duffy, NWSL Managing Director, Mike Golup, Portland Timbers President of Business, and Pedro Malabia, Women’s League Football Director, discussed how women’s soccer can realize its commercial potential and assessed the possible impact of the upcoming 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
“It's not about the money, it’s the access, the opportunity, the empowerment of wearing the jersey,” said Karina LeBlanc, former Canadian international, closing this opening ceremony, “We are committed to the growth of this beautiful game for women, all around the world, and our love of football is truly at the heart of everything we do”.