Amanda Duffy, Managing Director of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and Head of Women’s Soccer at Concacaf, Karina LeBlanc, will help form a panel of experts that will be discussing the commercial potential of women’s soccer at Soccerex USA this November 15-16 in Miami, including LaLiga’s Women’s Football Director, Pedro Malabia, and Portland Timbers’ President of Business, Mike Golub.
In the “How can Women’s Soccer Realise its Commercial Potential?” session, key figures from women’s soccer will analyse its recent growth, assess the possible impact of the upcoming 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and evaluate what needs to be done for women’s soccer to realise its full potential in the US and around the world. The women’s game has seen a vast global growth in the past few years, which will continue to be apparent with the upcoming Women’s World Cup, generating new fans and attracting new revenue through sponsors. Many of the world’s best clubs have invested in women’s football - champions of the top five european leagues, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona to name but a few. On top of the growth in Europe, women’s soccer in the US is becoming ever popular, with the NWSL recording its highest total attendance in its history in the 2018 season.
Amanda Duffy joined the NWSL in January 2017 as Managing Director and was a driving influence with the development of NWSL Media – the league’s marketing, broadcast and commercial arm – as well as successful launch of the historic partnership between the NWSL and Lifetime. Duffy previously worked for Louisville City FC – rising through the ranks of the United Soccer League club which she joined as the vice president of operations in October 2014 before being promoted to general manager in December 2014 and ultimately being tapped to serve as president in November 2015. From her experience working with both a club in the USL, and the largest women’s soccer league in the US, Amanda has a wealth of knowledge in the commercial side of the soccer market makes her an ideal speaker for this session.
Joining Amanda on the panel is Karina LeBlanc who has worked with Concacaf for over a year and a half, before becoming Head of Women’s Football in August 2018. The former Canadian international leads the Confederation’s efforts to strengthen and develop women’s football throughout the Concacaf region, increasing opportunities for women in the sport across multiple areas including through grassroots and competitions platforms, refereeing, development, and administration. Through her playing days, and recent appointment as Head of Women’s Soccer, Karina will be able share her thoughts on behalf of an entire region of women’s soccer.
Pedro Malabia, the third member of the panel, has been involved in women´s football for more than 20 years since starting a girl´s team which later became the women´s division of LaLiga´s professional club Valencia CF. In 2015 Pedro joined LaLiga as Women´s Football Director in order to lead a project to grow, boost and professionalize women´s football in Spain, turning LaLiga into the first men´s professional football league involved in the development of women´s football. Pedro helped to develop women´s football at an international level as Head of Women´s Football Competitions in FIFA before rejoining his former position in LaLiga in June 2018. Pedro will add another level of expertise to the panel with his international experience in women’s soccer.
Mike Golub has more than 30 years of experience in professional sports marketing and management working at Nike and within MLB, NHL and the NBA before joining the Portland Timbers in 2009 where he helped lead the organization during its highly successful launch to Major League Soccer. Mike oversees all business functions for the Timbers, Portland Thorns FC and Portland Timbers 2. The Portland Thorns women’s soccer team has been successful in the NWSL, winning the first ever championship in 2013, the 2016 NWSL shield and their second NWSL championship in 2017. Working first-hand with a club in the top women’s league in the US, Mike will provide valuable insight from a club’s perspective.
The moderator for the panel is Jeff Kassouf, the Founder of The Equalizer - the leading site for women’s soccer news an analysis in the U.S. since 2009. His passion for growing women’s soccer has been a constant throughout his career. Previously, he worked at NBC Sports, where he covered the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, in addition to two Olympics Games as part of Sports Emmy-winning teams. With his experience and passion for women’s soccer, Kassouf is perfectly placed to direct the discussion in an intriguing and detailed fashion.
“How can Women’s Soccer Realise its Commercial Potential?” will be part of an industry leading conference programme at Soccerex USA that is being developed in conjunction with an advisory board containing representatives from Concacaf, MLS and US Soccer. For more information about the advisory board please click here.
Soccerex USA is sponsored by the London Football Exchange, the world’s first fully integrated soccer club stock exchange and marketplace, and hosted in partnership with General American Capital Partners. The two day event will take place at Miami’s iconic Marlins Park and will comprise an exhibition showcasing the latest soccer business, performance and technology innovations.
Soccerex USA will include a programme of structured and informal networking events to connect delegates from across the USA and the rest of the world and it will feature a market leading conference agenda, with international experts tackling topics such as league expansion, women’s soccer, youth development, eSports, stadia technology, investment and new commercial opportunities.