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📢 nutmeg fc #15
Today, here comes World Football Summit
Before I start with the theme of this issue, I wanted to share a curious anecdote.
I was recently working on the creative side of an advertising campaign in Spain. The funny thing is that, because of a bit of this and a bit of that, I ended up doing the voice-over for the TV and radio ad.
So, if you can figure out which ad it is, I'll buy you a coffee or a gin and tonic, depending on the time of day.
Now let's talk about the World Football Summit.
Just as in Spain the left and the right are engaged in a trench war to see who gets the presidency of the government, as I write these lines I find myself in a similar situation on a train bound for Seville. But in this case, the fight is over something far more important, because my left arm is fighting against the right arm of my seatmate for control of the middle armrest.
If you don't like how this edition of nutmeg fc turned out, it's clearly because I lost control of the armrest. And, if you like it, it's because I won.
For me, one of the most exciting points of this year's World Football Summit is, paradoxically, the World Football Summit. Or, rather, its new positioning.
Until a few weeks ago, they introduced themselves to the world with the claim "Where the football industry meets", which was very clear, but at the same time passive. At least in terms of communication, WFS was limited to the role of host. A great host, mind you, like those butlers who know who to sit with whom to make what they want to happen happen. Like Carson from Downton Abbey.
But that's a thing of the past. WFS has decided to turn things around and has introduced a new, much more energetic tone. The new claim, "The football we want, the football we need" announces that WFS has watched and listened enough and it's time to put on the big boy pants. I don't know what its pillars will be, but I imagine they will probably include governance, sustainability, equality (in relation to football played by women and racism), anti-corruption and something else. Perhaps something to do with technology.
There are also other minor issues that would be good to focus on at some point.
On the one hand, the inclusion of people who come from low-income families in the football industry. I don't have any data, just the feeling that most of the people who are part of this industry are from upper or upper-middle class backgrounds, which is logical when a master's degree costs what it does and that they often have to start with unpaid internships. Including social background within diversity can have a very positive impact on the industry. Especially when it comes to connecting with the fan.
Another issue is that of Eurocentricity. You hear a lot of calls lately to limit it to the Saudi league because it takes top players from Europe and therefore devalues the leagues. My question is, how is what the Saudi league does different from what Europe has been doing for at least 50 years with South America and Africa? They have more money, they take the best players, they devalue the local leagues.
Beyond knowing more about what WFS will do with this new positioning, I am eager to know how some of the projects I discovered last year have evolved. In particular those of the English club Lewes and the Argentinean platform Gloouds, whom I met through their leaders, Maggie Murphy and Diego Muller.
In fact, what I liked most about the previous edition of the WFS was discovering projects I had no idea about and connecting with people very different from the ones I'm used to. This year, although the contacts I've initiated were looking for profiles with whom I could talk about football and creativity, the idea is to continue leaving room for the unexpected.
And finally, I travel to Seville with the wish that Esteban Granero, responsible for Marbella FC, will travel as well. It is just over a year since I moved to Marbella and since then I have been thinking about how creativity could have a positive impact on a club like the one from the blue paradise, which is currently playing in the 2nd RFEF. This little book I have printed is the result of those ideas.
It doesn't look like Granero will be at WFS this year, but hope is the last thing you lose. And, first of all, the iPhone thingy.
If you're at the World Football Summit, feel free to drop me a line here or via the app and we can chat. And, if you guessed which ad I voiced, you'll also win a coffee (or a gin and tonic).