Thursday, November 05, 2015

FEI appoints Ralph Straus as Commercial Director & The Sports Consultancy

5 Nov 2015

The FEI has appointed The Sports Consultancy as its official global sponsorship sales agency up to and including the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 in Bromont/Montreal (CAN).

The Sports Consultancy, appointed after a competitive tender earlier this year, has a proven track record working with the FEI on a variety of commercial consultancy projects over the last seven years.

“With our partners Longines, Furusiyya, Reem Acra and Ariat International, the FEI has already proven the benefits of being associated with equestrian sport,” said FEI President Ingmar De Vos. “We still have a lot of high profile FEI events and assets for which we believe we can attract new partners. We are looking forward to working with The Sports Consultancy again, this time to develop our partnership programmes and to build relationships with premium brands who will greatly benefit from their involvement with the FEI and its wide-ranging portfolio.”

“We are delighted to have been appointed by such a prestigious international federation,” said Marc Hope, Director, Rights Marketing at The Sports Consultancy. “The high interest and participation of equestrian sport in major economies around the world, combined with its distinct positioning and demographic is incredibly appealing and we are extremely confident that our experience, use of data and understanding of the market will deliver significant results for the FEI and for the sport as a whole.”

New Commercial Director

In other commercial news, Ralph Straus (NED) has joined the FEI as Commercial Director. He takes up the post at FEI Headquarters in the Olympic capital of Lausanne (SUI) this week.

Straus was previously Vice President of Marketing and Communications in the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in the United Arab Emirates, with the primary role of developing the global marketing and communications strategy for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.

Prior to taking up the Dubai role, Straus was Head of Strategy and Brand Management at FIFA for seven years, in charge of planning and executing the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup marketing campaigns, spearheading global licensing and brand development, and implementing all FIFA experiential marketing initiatives, including the FIFA Fan Fests.

He also oversaw the FIFA Interactive World Cup, an annual international competition of football video games recognised by the Guinness World Records Gamers Edition as the biggest global gaming tournament, collaborated with FIFA sponsors for global consumer engagement programs and developed social media strategies for FIFA event brands.

Straus has held several senior roles in the private sector, including at telecommunications company Swisscom and oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell. He is also a regular speaker at conferences on sports marketing.

“The wealth of equestrian events, its rich history and the extensive global fan base presents compelling sponsor opportunities and provides fascinating content for broadcasters and digital platforms”, Straus said. “I am joining the FEI at a very exciting time and I am also keen to see how the changes in the digital landscape provide new opportunities to service the equestrian community and grow its fan base.”

“Ralph Straus’ extensive international marketing and commercial expertise in both the sport and private sectors will be massively beneficial to the FEI,” the FEI President said. “His leadership skills and experience in building up expert teams is crucial as we look to maximise our commercial goals into 2016 and beyond.”

About The Sports Consultancy

The Sports Consultancy was founded in 2006 by Robert Datnow and Angus Buchanan, whose respective expertise in sports law and commercial rights management, has created a strategic sports marketing consultancy poised to provide commercial advice and delivery to venues, brands, rights holders and others involved in top-level sport. Marc Hope joined the business in 2015 to head up a newly created rights marketing practice which aims to combine an insight led approach to consulting with a proven sales record.

About Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)

The FEI, the world governing body for horse sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was founded in 1921. The FEI is the sole controlling authority for all international events in the Olympic sports of Jumping, Dressage and Eventing, as well as Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining. The FEI became one of the first international sports governing bodies to govern and regulate global para sport alongside its seven able-bodied disciplines when Para-Equestrian Dressage joined its ranks in 2006. The FEI governs all international competitions for Para-Equestrian Dressage and Para-Driving.

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