Brand Licensing Europe has announced that its second keynote speaker at the 2012 show will be Ralph Straus of FIFA, the international football (soccer) federation.
As head of strategy and brand management at FIFA, Straus will discuss how the football governing body is managing its global licensing program in the run-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, in the BLE Big Interview on Oct. 17.
After the 2010 FIFA World Cup, FIFA made the decision to take its future event-licensing program in-house, with the exception of one master licensee who has been appointed in Brazil, 2014’s host nation.
“We are delighted that Ralph is to be our big interviewee this year,” says Jessica Blue, show director, BLE. “It gives those in the licensing industry a unique chance to hear from a sports giant on managing such enormous projects in-house and just some of the challenges it faces in major-events licensing.”
In his address Straus is expected to discuss the power of football and major events like the FIFA World Cup to reach out to fans through licensing and merchandising. He will outline current trends in sports and event licensing, challenging the view that licensing of sports events is declining. He will also give exclusive insight into FIFA’s licensing strategy for 2014 and beyond, and discuss some of the biggest challenges the organization faces.
Straus previously worked at the Shell Group in his native Netherlands and Swisscom in Switzerland, and has been with FIFA since 2005. He oversees a number of FIFA’s marketing departments including brand management, marketing communication and research, strategic marketing projects and licensing.
The Big Interview with Ralph Straus is a part of the BLE Licensing Academy, and will take place Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. GMT. Kevin Eastman, original co-creator of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Rich Magallanes, senior vice president, animation, current series, Nickelodeon, will host the first BLE keynote session on Oct. 16. Brand Licensing Europe 2012 is taking place Oct. 16-18 at London’s Olympia.