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Javier Tebas
Keynote speaker Javier Tebas, President of La Liga

The Sportel America spring business convention was held from March 14 to 16 in Miami. Juventus and Roma were among the 330 participating companies (9 of which were from Italy).

According to Sportel, this is the most influential business convention for the global sports media industry. It brings together top level executives representing broadcasters, networks, international sports federations, sports and marketing agencies, production companies, content distributors, right owners, satellite providers, technology and new media providers who meet twice a year. All these big players unite annually to decide on how sports is marketed and watched in the homes of billions of people around the world.

The spring convention alternates between Asia and the USA, while the fall one (in October) is always held in Monaco. The conventions are organised by Monaco Mediax, under the high patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and the patronage of the International Olympic Committee.

List of Italian participants

AS Roma
Deltatre
Infront Italy Srl
Juventus
Lapresse Spa
Mediaset Premium Spa
RAI Com
RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana
RTI Spa

It is not surprising to see Juventus and Roma attend the event, especially since they confirmed their participation in the annual International Champions Cup.

Networking with the major players in the sports media industry in north and south america is a smart way to market their brand, particularly in the USA where football has been growing steadily year over year.  Juventus and Roma will look to maximize their marketing opportunities while on tour this summer and meeting some key people at the convention will definitely help in that regard.

Among the Serie A clubs, Juventus and Roma have been the most active when it comes to marketing their brand on the international stage. For example, Juventus redesigned their logo and Roma provided free access to Roma TV online.

Interestingly, also in attendance were the four major UEFA leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga) but not Serie A. Why Serie A would not send a delegate to such an event, while the other leagues have done so remains a mystery.

All the major north american sports leagues were in attendance (NFL, NBA, MLB and MLS) except for the NHL.

MP & Silva, who acquired the Serie A rights abroad, and B4 Capital, who own the rights to the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana abroad, also attended the event. The broadcasting rights for Serie A will go up for tenders this summer so this was a good opportunity for all the key players to mingle over cocktails and strategize for the future.

One of the keynote speakers at the convention was La Liga president Javier Tebas, who delivered a presentation on La Liga’s digital strategy to engage fans all over the world through digital innovation.

“We’re the leading sports league in terms of audience figures on social media. It’s through our digital strategy that we need to engage with our fans. Listening to the public’s views is the key to getting closer to our followers. In all of our projects, we’re very clear that this factor represents a key strategic element in boosting the value of our broadcasting rights. Our aim is to become a global role model,” explained Tebas.