Daniel Sillman (Relevent): “Football has business opportunities yet to be exploited” | Business

Relevent Sports Group is one of the world’s leading sports event organizers. It is LaLiga’s partner to promote its business in the United States. Stephen Ross, an American tycoon who has amassed his fortune through large real estate projects in New York and Florida, is the owner of this media and entertainment group. Ross, one of the greatest fortunes in the US, is known in the sports world because in 2009 he took over the Miami Dolphins football team and the Hard Rock Stadium in the Florida capital. A year later, the American businessman born in Detroit experienced an epiphany with Spanish football. It was difficult for him to fill the Dolphins stadium with NFL games, but when in 2011 he saw that the tickets for a game between Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, ​​who had won everything, and Chivas de Guadalajara, they were sold in just 10 hours he understood the power of Spanish soccer and the influence of the Hispanic public.

In 2018 Relevent signed a 20-year alliance with LaLiga to develop the business in the United States. Together they created LaLiga North America, the joint venture through which the sale of emission rights is negotiated and Spanish football is promoted on the other side of the Atlantic. Through this company, content is produced and initiatives are launched to expand the business and the community of football fans. It is with this company that the rights to LaLiga have been sold to the ESPN and Televisa networks for 2,000 million and sponsorships have been obtained for 10.6 million dollars a year.

Daniel Sillman (Detroit, 33 years old) is the CEO of Relevent Sports Group. He receives a group of Spanish journalists at the headquarters of the joint venture that LaLiga North America has in New York. Sillman explains that Relevent also hosts the Miami Open, the professional tennis tournament; the F1 race held in Miami; the international soccer tournament that takes place every summer in the USA, in which the most powerful clubs in the world participate, including Real Madrid and Barcelona. They also manage the rights of the Champion League and UEFA in that country, among other sports businesses. “Relevent has the largest portfolio of sports and entertainment events in the US, we are focused on hosting live events and sports content, and providing a unique experience for fans,” he adds. “With our entire portfolio of sporting events, we generate about 1,000 million dollars in revenue per year,” he specifies while repeating that Europe must begin to understand the business of sport globally. “We here call this the sports industry. In Europe if we say that football is an industry they would kill us”, he says with a laugh.

“We see business opportunities in sports yet to be exploited.” Sillman gives an example of the programs that the NBA has on the fashion and lifestyle of the stars. “Young people see it on television and want to imitate them and that offers an opportunity.” He also points to the management of the stadiums as another source of income for the teams. “All this means more money for the clubs, for the athletes, for the television producers, for the brands…”, he enumerates from a room from where the new glass and steel skyscrapers are observed. “The Spanish clubs are very important in this relationship. Everyone, from the greats like Real Madrid and Barcelona to the most modest. That is the key on which we work to promote Spanish football in the US, to promote this sport”.

Relevent is the promoter of the match that LaLiga planned to organize in the US “We recognize that holding a LaLiga match in the United States is not easy. But I will tell you one thing: in the nineties when the Dream Team, the legendary basketball team with Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing…, traveled to Spain for the Olympic Games, it was a boost for the recognition of the NBA in Spain and in Europe. Now there are a lot of NBA players who come from Europe. We see that there is an opportunity to grow football and LaLiga globally, to provide economic opportunities for clubs and for them to sign the best players in the world. It is the best market opportunity that Spanish football can have because the United States is the best possible market. We hope that a LaLiga match can be held in this country before the 2026 World Cup.” Sillman remarks that this match would be the icing on the cake of a relationship with the Spanish clubs that is having a development that he describes as very successful.

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