Digital media specialist Hopfen to take over from Seifert at Bundesliga

August 16 – Donata Hopfen will become the new CEO of the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) in January, succeeding Christian Seifert who will step aside early, the league body has announced. 

“Donata Hopfen is the right personality for one of the most important positions in German football. In a time of change, she has all the qualities and the assertiveness to lead the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 into an ongoing successful future for the clubs. This applies in particular to her extensive experience in media and digitalisation – with a clear commitment to responsibility in society in all its facets. We are convinced that we are at the start of a successful cooperation,” said DFL chairman of the supervisory board Peter Peters.

Hopfen is the managing director at BCG Digital Ventures, a Boston Consulting Group company, and will take charge of the DFL in January, a few months before Seifert’s time in charge was supposed to end. She began her career at Accenture before moving to Axel Springer, the media group that runs both Bild and Die Welt. In 2014, Hopfen was voted Media Woman of the Year in Germany.

Seifert, whose contract officially ends in June, guided the organisation through both significant growth and the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, the Bundesliga was the first major football league to return to action during the pandemic thanks to a well-worked hygiene concept.

In June, the DFL also negotiated a €4.4 billion domestic TV rights deal with Sky and DAZN, just worth slightly less than the previous €4.64 billion agreement. In the face of the pandemic, with TV rights stagnant everywhere, that deal was a seen as a sign of the Bundesliga’s strength.

Hopfen is the first female to take charge of one Europe’s Big 5 football leagues.

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