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USL, The Economist Host Inaugural Sports Business Summit for Southeast Europe

By USLSoccer.com Staff, 09/20/19, 2:45PM EDT

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World-class organizations from Europe, North America engage in panels, presentations in Athens, Greece

TAMPA, Fla. – The Economist and the United Soccer League welcomed sports executives from across Europe and North America to the Divani Apollon Palace and Thalasso in Athens, Greece for The Sports Business Summit for Southeast Europe on Friday.

Led by Alec Papadakis, Chief Executive Officer of the United Soccer League and John Andrews, Consultant Editor of The Economist, the one-day summit featured panel discussions delving into all aspects of modern professional sports, from commercial rights and broadcast to social engagement, the crossover between sports, music and entertainment and the rise of e-sports in the commercial landscape.

The collaboration between The Economist and United Soccer League set the stage for a diverse group of established and eminent international sports leaders who embody the summit’s core message: “The sky’s the limit.”

Some of the world’s leading soccer clubs were represented at the event, with AC Milan Chairman Paolo Scaroni, FC Barcelona board member Marta Plana i Dropez and S.L. Benfica CEO Domingos Soares de Oliveira part of a panel discussing new business opportunities and the commercial strategies, partnerships and branding that clubs consider in this new data-driven age.

In addition, the event featured executives from MLS, the NFL, NBA and Octagon, the world’s largest sports and entertainment agency. While the economics, technological and business discussions drove the event, the vitality of sports through the lens of youth participation was also addressed via a recorded address by 2019 NBA Most Valuable Player and Greek National Team member Giannis Antetokounmpo.


The Divani Apollon Palace and Thalasso in Athens, Greece hosted The Sports Business Summit for Southeast Europe on Friday.

In the spiritual home of the Olympic Game, the Summit was opened by addresses from Lefteris Avgenakis, Greece’s Deputy Minister of Culture and Sport, and Spyros Capralos, the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee and a member of the IOC.

The Sports Business Summit for Southeast Europe is part of the Economist Events series, which brings together leading experts for analysis and discussion of challenges and innovations faced across all spheres of the business world.  

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