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    Our latest interview is with Christian Koller Vice President / Co-Head of Global Athlete & Team Marketing at SPORTFIVE, Valedictorian ESCP 2018 and the youngest member of the SPORTFIVE global leadership team.

    In your own words what is it like to work for SPORTFIVE as an organisation , what makes it special ?

    SPORTFIVE Christian image 2

    A big reason for having enjoyed my now more than 5 years with the agency are its people. I genuinely like the people I work with at SPORTFIVE. There is a positive and collaborative culture.

    What makes working for SPORTFIVE special to me is that the agency has proven to be a place that provides tremendous opportunity for personal development and professional growth. This is both due to the agency’s global presence and the fact that it covers all aspects of sports marketing and due to its culture of harnessing talent and rewarding results no matter the age.

    As VP/Co-Head of Global Athlete & Team Marketing what does your role entail ? what projects are you working on and what motivates you each day ?

    "Global Athlete & Team Marketing" is one of the main global business areas of the agency which works with major sports teams and athletes - such as the LA Lakers, the Kansas City Chiefs and Alexander Zverev – on growing their global brand presence and commercial revenues. The business area features a total of more than 40 employees in 9 countries.

    I have the pleasure to co-head this department together with Ron Wiegand, making sure we are succeeding for our team-, athlete- and brand clients, grow our and our client’s revenues and develop our team to be the best in the industry.

    What motivates me the most is to see how we went from having two employees and one client in my department five years ago to now becoming the leading agency in internationalizing sports rights-holders and working with some of the most renowned teams, athletes and brands in the industry. I enjoy the work with my co-head and our team and great culture we have built together. I am eager to continue this journey and always push the limit for SPORTFIVE and our partners.

    You are the youngest member of the SPORTFIVE global leadership team, what are your responsibilities and what perspectives do you bring over and above the other members ?

    Together with my leadership colleagues my responsibilities are to shape the overall strategy of our agency, create a working environment that enables our people to thrive and ensure we remain a leader in the industry.

    Being able to be part of the agency’s global leadership team is an experience I am very thankful for. I am learning a lot from the experience of my leadership colleagues and at the same time I am trying to leave my mark by contributing with strong business results and by developing new innovative business models and processes.

    What type of talent is SPORTFIVE looking for and how do you think the market and your requirements as a company will change over the next 5 years ?

    SPORTFIVE is a big agency covering all continents and areas of sports marketing which is why we are constantly looking for a broad range of talent. I think what unites the people we are looking for is an unmatched passion for sports and a constant thrive for excellence combined with a strong team spirit.

    In the next five years, we’ll see growing numbers of Generation Z entering the workplace and with that also evolving expectations from employers, including a focus on mental well-being, a continued shift towards hybrid work models along with a growing importance of inclusion and sustainability. As an organization, we’ll need to adapt to these trends in order to continue to attract and retain the best talent.

    SPORTFIVE has a big focus on encouraging women into the workplace, how important is this and what are you doing to support it.

    I am a big believer in the power of a diverse team with respect to gender, nationality, location, background and skills. Within Global Athlete & Team Marketing we have created a highly diverse team which in my opinion is one of the reasons why we are successful. Working with, mentoring and fostering such a team is one of things I enjoy the most about my job.


    Where do you see the future growth areas of the Sports Agency market, and where should the younger generation focus the development of their skills. What region and what skill set will be the best fit for the future ?

    We’ll see a further globalization of the sports market. Internationalization will be a continued priority for the biggest sports teams, athletes and organizations. Additionally, we’ll see significant new opportunities for rights-holders, media and brands with the rise of new technology and digital platforms such as Roblox which offer new ways to reach and engage a global audience.

    With respect to key regions, North America as host of the FIFA World Cup 2026 and the Olympics 2028 will be a key market along with the Middle Eastern Region, especially Saudi Arabia, a country that has a long-term strategy to become a global sports powerhouse.

    As a result, I’d recommend the younger generation to develop international experience early, both in terms of experience abroad and language skills. In addition, people skills, creativity and analytical skills will continue to be important as a complement to the rise Generative AI in all areas of the business.

    Is AI a challenge or an opportunity ?

    I think it is both. It certainly is a significant opportunity. The Generative AI in sports market size is expected to grow by 30% annually to $19bn in 2030. There is a broad array of applications both on the business and the performance side in sports. That said, the main challenge will be their “mainstream-ization” as well as finding the balance between artificial and human intelligence in order to achieve the best possible business outcome.

    Find more great articles to learn about the sports industry on our Learn: Knowledge Hub



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