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Leaders in Football is bought by new sports and entertainment group

Wed 16th Mar 2011 | Football Industry Events

A majority stake in Executive Sport Ltd (ESL), the leading business to business event organiser for the international business of sport, has been purchased by Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI).

 In just three years, ESL through its Leaders in Football operation has established itself as the premier international event for the multi-billion pound business of football - attracting over 1,000 director level delegates from over 45 countries.

ESL has built an enviable reputation for creating a portfolio of highly acclaimed sports conferences under the “Leaders in” brand, including Leaders in Performance and Leaders in Sponsorship, as well as high-level networking events among them the annual Leaders in Sport gathering in La Manga Club, Spain.

A number of new conferences will be announced in 2011 with plans to expand the portfolio further in 2012 and beyond.

The company has also become a valued information service provider to the sports industry through The Leader, its independent, authoritative news service which is sent weekly to over 30,000 industry professionals worldwide.

Based in London, Convers Sports Initiatives was founded by Russian investors Vladimir Antonov and Roman Dubov with Chris Akers, former CEO of Leeds United. The company manages the commercial development of several sports brands, including the Russian Ferrari race team. They are developing sporting franchises in motor rally, polo and golf.

The company has a dedicated management team with significant experience in various areas of business and sports, which will help fuel CSI's development as one of Europe's leading multi-sports companies.

Among CSI’s other sports franchises are the Spyker Squadron sports cars team and North One Sport, the global promoters of the World Rally Championship (WRC), Isle of Man TT race series, Velux 5 Oceans Race and Clipper Round the World sailing events. In November 2010 CSI acquired a controlling interest in PowerPlay Golf the exciting new golf format which is now played in over 25 countries. In February 2011 CSI acquired control of DBG Convers a specialist in developing social new media solutions for sports and entertainment brands and personalities including David Haye.

James Worrall, Founder and CEO of ESL said: “The last three years have been incredibly exciting and rewarding as we have built a number of high level events from scratch under the “Leaders in” brand.

“I would like to thank my staff for their outstanding work and I am delighted to say that my team will continue our roles under the Convers banner.

“We are delighted to be partnering such a dynamic group as CSI and we are looking forward to continued growth and establishing the company as the global leader in the delivery of business to business sports events.

Vladimir Antonov said: “Convers Sports Initiatives are delighted to acquire a controlling interest in such a young, dynamic company as ESL.

“We will bring our experience and network to the table to assist ESL to become a truly global brand.”

The annual flagship Leaders event will take place on 5th and 6th October, at Chelsea FC.


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If you have any football business related news stories you’d like to share then please contact us – agourley@fcbusiness.co.uk or ryan@fcbusiness.co.uk



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