"It definitely is an exciting time to have joined MP & Silva," said the new CEO, Jochen Lösch, as a testament of the changes the company has undergone since he took on the role in October of 2016.
A leader in the distribution of sports media rights, MP & Silva is now in the process of transforming to a full-service agency which, as the CEO explained, means "a commitment to providing our clients and partners with a full arc of support, including sponsorship, digital and technology services, as well as media rights."
A TEAM EFFORT. This expansion can only be possible if there's a strong team behind each area, something Lösch has made sure of by making a number of new appointments to his senior leadership team. "My goal is to build a strong, robust and dynamic agency that can support all our clients' needs," he said.
During his first few months as CEO, he appointed Suhyeon Cho as MP & Silva's new CCO, and Elli Morii as CFO, who will work to ensure strong financial performance and continued growth.
In addition, Konstantinos Filippas, formerly Managing Director for Europe, has been promoted to Group Executive Director of Content, and is responsible for content-related issues of the group. Similarly, Roland Nikolaou, formerly VP of Sales, has been promoted to Group Executive Director of Commercial, and is responsible for the world-wide exploitation and monetization of the company’s rights portfolio.
Finally, the CEO named Wu Swee Sin and Daisuke Hikita as new Managing Directors in Asia, a region where MP & Silva plans to grow even further, following the alliance with Everbright and Baofeng in China. "At MP & Silva, our experience comes from the content side, and we will continue to focus on content. Baofeng are very interested in virtual reality and evolving technology. Our role will be to deliver the content and to create properties which support and interact with their technology," he explained.
THE CONQUEST OF THE AMERICAS. In addition to an extended leadership team, MP & Silva's growth plan is focused on its core business: media rights, an area where it's shown "tremendous year-on-year growth since it was created," Lösch said.
In this sense, the company has a long list of recently signed deals in North and Latin America, starting with the appointment as the international agency for the New York Red Bulls, to sell the naming rights for the team's home, Red Bull Arena. "We are honored to be working with the Red Bulls in finding a new, innovative and strategic partner for both the facility and the team," he said.
MP & Silva has also signed a number of important deals in Latin America, such as the distribution of the Brazilian Championship (Brasileirao) in the region, outside Brazil; or the rights to distribute the Italian Serie A in the Americas with Fox Sports (Latin America plus ESPN via Fox sub-license) and beIN Sports (US/Canada) and Sportmax (Caribbean).
"Another good example of our growth in the region is the NFL deal which MP & Silva secured a couple of years ago. This was a game changer for us in the region, because of its innovative digital distribution solution and the number of broadcasting partners that we brought to the table," he explained.
Similarly, the World Baseball Classic partnership is also a success story which MP & Silva is very proud of. It is a North American property, but it was a global acquisition (excluding U.S., Puerto Rico and Japan). "We are now working successfully in our second cycle; we had the rights in 2013 as well. It's been a great experience to work with MLB and the MLB Players Association to deliver strong distribution and to help grow the game of baseball around the world."
AN AMERICAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. Lastly, the executive spoke about Riccardo Silva's idea of an Americas Champions League, saying it's an idea the company is "absolutely" still developing. "The question is how and when, not if," he said.
"Everyone wants it, the broadcasters, the clubs and especially the fans," he explained. "The competition will bring increased revenue, prestige and excitement for fans of the biggest clubs on the two continents."
"But for me, the biggest attraction is the fact that both continents and all the clubs will benefit from the competition. Just think of the possible competitive rivalries that could build up, in the same way that there is always some additional drama between Chelsea and Barcelona, or Arsenal and Bayern Munich. It could be Corinthians facing LA Galaxy, or Boca taking on New York Red Bulls. Sport is about stories, and the story, the drama and the rivalries in this competition will be fantastic," he concluded.