Morel in top slot to serve LFP in good stead



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LFP appoints new Chief Executive Image: LFP

The Supervisory Board of the commercial entity of the French professional football league – Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) – has appointed Ben Morel as its Chief Executive.

Paris (France)-based the Ligue de Football Professionnel, commonly known as the LFP, is a French governing body that runs the major professional football leagues in France. It was founded in 1944 and serves under the authority of the French Football Federation.

The French Football Federation is the governing body of football in France. It also includes the overseas departments, the overseas collectivities and Monaco. It was formed in 1919 and is based in the capital Paris.

‘LFP’ stated that an École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP) (French business school) Europe graduate, Morel has a wealth of experience in the sports and entertainment industry, having served as the head honcho of Six Nations Rugby (an annual international men’s rugby union competition between the teams of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales) since 2018. Morel also previously spent over 20 years at the National Basketball Association (NBA), notably as the Managing Director and Senior Vice-President for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. During his tenure within these two major sport organizations, he played a central role in improving the fan experience, and fostering international growth and development of key revenue streams for reinvestment into the sport.

Morel will take on his new role in the Spring of 2023.

‘LFP’ further stated that in July 2022, both the LFP and the French professional football clubs unanimously approved giving a new impetus to French football through the creation of a commercial entity following a strategic partnership with the CVC Capital Partners (CVC).

This project represents an investment of €1.5 billion and reflects the ambition to reposition France on the podium of both the European and global football leagues via investments in the Ligue 1 (L1) and Ligue 2 (L2) brands, infrastructure, digital content, new technological tools all driving a stronger fan experience. The development of strong clubs, successful in European competitions and driving the L1 championship, will be part of a virtuous circle resulting in greater talent retention, performance and attractiveness for the benefit of the fans, clubs and L1 as a whole.

The CVC Capital Partners is a Luxembourg (country in Northwestern Europe)-based French private equity and investment advisory firm with approximately US$133 billion of assets under management and approximately €157 billion in secured commitments since inception across American, European and Asian private equity, secondaries and credit funds.

Paris (France)-based Ligue 1, officially known as Ligue 1 Uber Eats for sponsorship reasons, is a French professional league for men’s association football clubs. At the top of the French football league system, it is the country’s primary football competition.

Ligue 2, also known as Ligue 2 BKT due to sponsorship by Balkrishna Industries (Indian multinational tire manufacturing company), is a French professional football league. The league serves as the second division of French football and is one of two divisions making up the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), the other being Ligue 1, the country’s top football division.

The commercial entity, chaired by LFP’s President Vincent Labrune and operationally run by Morel, reflects the transformation of L1 towards an entertainment-focused business model, centered on the development of the Ligue 1 brand, the support of the clubs in building their own franchises and the development of cross-platform content. This new drive will also enable the league to enhance its partnerships with both national and international broadcasters, sponsors and other partners.

The announcement in October 2022 of the strategic partnership with Mon Petit Gazon (MPG), a fantasy football game with more than four million members that benefited from an unparalleled success during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with its game Mon Petit Prono (MPP), illustrates this ongoing strategic shift and lays out the foundations of the digital ecosystem the LFP wishes to develop to enrich the fans’ experience across several segments.

The Mon Petit Gazon is a team gaming mobile app for fantasy football. Users form teams with friends or random users and compete for prizes.

Commented Vincent Labrune, President of LFP, “The creation of our commercial entity opens a new chapter for French football. I am very pleased that Ben Morel has joined us. His appointment as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the commercial entity will perfectly serve our strong ambition to develop French football, a mission that we have been supporting for the past 18 months, with the objective of bringing French football clubs up to the level of our national team. With 25 years of experience working for Six Nations Rugby and the NBA, his vast experience will serve as a great benefit to lead the transformation we have initiated with our partner CVC. The recent performance of the French national team, runner-up at the 2022 World Cup, confirms this vision and compels us to do everything we can to make our professional football league a reference on the European stage.”

Maintained Morel, CEO of LFP’s commercial entity, “I would like to thank Vincent Labrune and the Supervisory Board for their trust. They can count on my determination to lead this new exciting growth phase for French football. I will work in close collaboration with all of the clubs and all other LFP stakeholders to offer an innovative and high-quality sporting spectacle, putting our global fans at the heart of this new approach.”

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