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Law In Sport football conference: day two key takeaways

We attended Law in Sport's football conference (May 2024), below are some key takeaways from day two: 


There was a gambling theme weaving throughout day two. Clubs are working hard to ensure players are clued up when it comes to their betting responsibilities, any wrong moves can have very serious ramifications for players and the clubs they play for, we expect to see a rise in player betting cases. This is particularly hard to navigate given the increase in gambling sector sponsorship interest, and how imperative it is to growth. Clubs will need to adjust to the lack of gambling shirt sponsorships and consider how this change might impact revenue generation. Clubs are thinking about striking a good balance between gambling and non-gambling sector sponsors, to ensure they are taking into account club ethos and values. 

Paris Saint-Germain F.C. (PSG) and story telling

PSG are doing a fantastic job of story telling, to attract a casual fan base. Other clubs should take a leaf out of their book and consider how they can target ‘left field’ spectators and fans. Being a lifestyle brand, not just a football brand is key to this. We wonder what clubs will follow the example PSG are setting.

Women’s football

The opportunities for commercialisation (when it comes to women’s football) are endless. The growth of women’s football is fantastic and a great moment in football history to reflect on in years to come; and presents a real opportunity to target a potentially untapped market of ‘consumers’ (fans/spectators). Clubs working hard on this initiative are really contributing to the diversity/responsible business agenda and will benefit financially as a result. 

Fan data

It was very interesting to hear about how to use fan data to help players build their brand and attract better business opportunities on and off the pitch. Working out what makes your fanbase tick can significantly benefit the clubs that players move to, Cristiano Ronaldo is a perfect example of this. 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia see sport/ football as a huge asset, a way of diversifying away from oil. Outward investment (investment into European clubs) is obvious to everyone but inward investment examples include project NEOM, which will be a phenomenal revenue generator when it is finalised.

In-house lawyers

20 years ago, there were no in-house lawyers at football clubs, the role is continuously changing as it is still in its infancy. Smaller legal teams report that horizon scanning from outside counsel is an absolute core need of theirs; and on the flip-side, larger legal teams report a key interest in incentivising staff, so anything that outside counsel can do to compliment projects like this must go a long way. 

Cultural considerations

When doing business with other nations, it is important to be as respectful as possible and consider cultural differences. A fact we learned today, was that if you absolutely need to, it’s OK to fall asleep at the dinner table in Japan, so long as you make an effort to be present and don’t go home early.


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