September 3 – Simon Thomas is to replace Philippe Le Floc’h as FIFA’s new commercial chief.
Thomas brings a wealth of big football deal experience to the role having previously been chief executive of Switzerland-based agency Team Marketing, which sells the UEFA Champions League and Europa League broadcast and sponsorship deals. He also served as Fox International Channel’s global executive vice president of sport sales and later founded his own independent media rights agency Talisman Sports Media.
In his new role Thomas is expected to ring the changes in the commercial department. A FIFA statement attributes Thomas with “very strong leadership credentials and a track record of implementing organisational change.”
“We are delighted to be bringing Simon on board. His appointment further confirms FIFA’s commitment to forge ahead with the development of our in-house capabilities, the growth of our competitions, and the management of our sporting assets,” said FIFA’s secretary-general Fama Samoura, currently on secondment in Africa leading a reform of CAF.
Thomas joins FIFA in his new role at a time when the governing body has been keen to reinvigorate its commercial sales after a slate of high-profile sponsors backed out over the FIFAgate corruption scandal. Even with their pullout, at the end of the four-year cycle after the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the world governing body announced revenues of $6.4 billion with the organisation’s reserves soaring to $2.7 billion.
Le Floc’h, a former UEFA executive, led World Cup sponsor sales since 2016 and is leaving the organisation for personal reasons. “Philippe Le Floc’h has decided to return to Malaysia for personal reasons and will continue his career in the Asian region,” read FIFA’s statement.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1569037009labto1569037009ofdlr1569037009owedi1569037009sni@o1569037009fni1569037009