Laura Georges, Secretary General, French Football Federation (FFF); Marzena Bogdanowicz, Head of Marketing and Commercial – Women’s Football, The FA; and Rebecca Smith, former New Zealand international and current Executive Director of the Women’s Game for COPA90, will come together to form an elite level panel discussing the growth of the women’s game at Soccerex Europe on September 5-6 in Oeiras. Soccerex Europe is hosted in partnership with the Municipality of Oeiras and the FPF, and the support of Liga Portugal, LaLiga and Totum Sport.
The session, entitled “Making the Breakthrough – the Rise of Women’s Football” will open with a presentation from Pedro Ferreira, CEO of leading football analytics and infographic provider, GoalPoint, who in partnership with Soccerex, delivered exclusive analysis and statistical insight throughout the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Pedro’s presentation will draw upon this analysis to compare the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup with the 2019 iteration and highlight how the women’s game has developed in that time.
2019 has been a tipping point for women’s football. The past five years have seen increasing investment by Europe’s established elite and now the UEFA Women’s Champions League boasts some of the most recognised brands in football, bringing increased audiences and commercial attention. With more fans en gaged than ever before, thanks largely to social media and the increased media profiles of its stars, the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France allowed the women’s game to reach new heights. At Soccerex Europe, our panel of experts will look back at the tournament and the impact it can have upon levels of participation, media coverage and financial growth in the sport. They will also look at what can be done to address the many inequalities in comparison with the men’s game and make football more accessible to girls and women across the continent.
Laura Georges is a former French international footballer who is now Secretary General of the FFF. As a player, Laura Georges has one of the greatest records of French Football. She won 2 Champions Leagues, 6 national titles and 3 national cups and she was a semi-finalist at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Since 2017, she has supported Noël Le Graët, President of the FFF, as Secretary General particularly in charge of the development of women’s refereeing plan. Fully engaged in the development and the promotion of women’s football, Laura Georges was the ambassador for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France.
Marzena Bogdanowicz joined The FA in April 2017, to deliver integrated marketing and commercial support to the women’s game across the whole organisation. Since starting, Marzena has been focused on the commercial and marketing pillars within the Gameplan for Growth strategy of doubling participation and fans by 2021. A Lionesses campaign ahead the 2017 European championships, followed by a successful English bid in 2018 for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 Championships set the bar for commercial investments from 7 partners in 12 months in the women’s game, including a landmark multi-million-pound investment from Barclays.
Bex Smith first came to prominence as a World Cup and Olympic footballer representing New Zealand, culminating her club career winning “The Triple” with VfL Wolfsburg as UEFA Champions League, German League and German Cup Winners up until her retirement from the game in 2013 (due to knee injury). During her time as a professional footballer she earned degrees in Economics, Spanish, an MBA and Masters in Psychology. Since then she has worked for FIFA as Manager of Women’s Competitions and Strategic Planning, as a freelance sports consultant, as an Executive Producer, and she is now Executive Director of Women’s Game for COPA90, the world’s largest independent football media business. At COPA90, Bex oversees the commercial, editorial and marketing delivery of a business-wide initiative to normalize women’s football.
This all-star panel will form part of the world-class conference agenda at Soccerex Europe, in the latest edition of the company’s event portfolio. The conference will focus on the future of football across the continent and we will see international experts address various topics, such as technology and innovation, the involvement of the modern football fan, the management of club revenues, television broadcasting and new media. Over two days, more than 1,500 participants will have a great variety of structured and informal opportunities to establish contact with delegates from all over the world.