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Paok Host Greece’s First Football Business Conference

Thu 12th Oct 2017 | Football Industry Events

Greek Super League side Paok FC took the pioneering step of hosting the very first Football Business Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece yesterday (11 October).

Over 200 executives from across Greece and Europe gathered at the water front setting of the Macedonia Palace Hotel, to hear from guest speakers which included Swansea City, PSV Eindhoven and executives from the Hellenic Football Federation and Greek Super League. 

The conference titled ‘Return on Investment in Football’ saw speakers deliver insight in areas around marketing, sponsorship and new media.

Paok’s Greek-Russian owner, Ivan Savvidis, opened the conference stating: “This is a pioneering move by the club to develop football in Greece on and off the pitch.”

The conference followed the club’s announcement that it is to build a new stadium on the site of it’s current Toumba Stadium. 

With clubs in Greece losing ground to the wealth of other European nations, Savvidis is keen to develop the commercial aspects of the game, adding: “Paok wants to develop football in Greece in general.

“You cannot underestimate the power of football. 

“Greek football needs to find a new way to become more competitive in international football. 

“Building a new stadium is not the end of the journey but the start to become the best football club in Greece in all areas."

Despite Greece’s long-running economic problems, football activities in the country generate 2.1bn Euros per annum and employs nearly 40,000 people.

During the day long conference delegates saw presentations from a wide variety of marketing and sponsorship experts which included former AC Milan executive, Jaap Kalma and PSV Eindhoven’s Sponsorship Manager Koen van Haastert.

In a Q&A, hosted by fcbusiness editor Aaron Gourley, Mark Davies, Swansea City’s Global Head of Partnerships, discussed his role at the club and the unique benefits and challenges of sponsorship in the Premier League.  

Paok’s brave move to gather industry experts from across Europe to share ideas and knowledge is hoped to begin the long process of football business reform in the country.

To view pictures of the conference visit: http://bit.ly/2gcX9pE


Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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