Sports

Ferran Reverter quits as Barcelona CEO, plus more


Ferran Reverter has resigned from Spanish soccer giants Barcelona, leaving the club searching for a new chief executive after only seven months.

Reverter was announced as Barca’s chief executive in July, having previously served as the boss of consumer electronics company MediaMarktSaturn. A statement from the LaLiga club said he was leaving ‘for personal and family reasons’. Reverter’s resignation will come into effect as soon as his successor has been appointed.

Reverter’s resignation comes in the same week that Barca were reportedly poised to announce a major sponsorship deal with Spotify worth €280 million (US$319 million) over three years. According to Catalan radio station RAC1, the partnership will secure the audio streaming platform front-of-shirt branding and title rights for the Nou Camp stadium.

That deal, however, looks to have further strained the relationship between Reverter and Barca president Joan Laporta. According to ESPN, the pair have clashed over a number of issues, with the Spotify agreement seen as the last straw. The report adds that while Reverter had played a key role in negotiations with the Swedish company, he was unhappy with the final terms of the deal, many of which had been revised at the last minute.

“These have been passionate months and I thank the president for his trust and, above all, his enthusiasm and capacity for leadership that mean FC Barcelona now has a first class executive team that is able to reposition Barca as a world leader,” said Reverter.

“Personally I have put in much effort and dedication during these months, but I now wish to focus on the reason why I returned to Barcelona, which is to spend more time on personal and family projects.”

Elsewhere, Franco Bernabè has joined sports streaming service DAZN as a senior strategic advisor to its Italian operations. Stefano Azzi has also been appointed as chief executive for DAZN’s Italian operations.

Dick Cass, president of the National Football League’s (NFL) Baltimore Ravens, is retiring. Sashi Brown will be his successor.


Appointments

Thomas Schmidt

Chief executive, World Boxing Super Series (WBSS)

Previously: Chief commercial officer, ESL

Sarah Kendall

Managing director, Fuse Sport & Entertainment

Previously: Managing partner, Fuse Sport & Entertainment

Leonard Edwards

Vice president and head of global partnerships, Evil Geniuses

Previously: Vice president of partnership sales, New York Islanders

Guillermo Heredia

Managing director, metaverse and blockchain, Hype Sports Innovation

Previously: International development manager for the MENA, Russia and India, LaLiga

Scott Dougal

Director of communications and digital, World Sailing

Previously: Head of communications, British Cycling

Matt Corey

Chief marketing officer, Vinik Sports Group

Previously: Chief marketing officer, PGA Tour

Sam Leadsom

Commercial director, global sports, Vizrt Group

Previously: Vice president, global business development, Pixotope

Robin Seckler

Chief digital officer, Sport1 Medien

Previously: Managing director, Chameleo

Notes: Seckler also joins as a new board member.

William Koukouras

National director, sport and entertainment, Publicis Groupe

Previously: Group manager sport sponsorship, Telstra

Jodie Hawkins

General manager – commercial and marketing, Swimming Australia

Previously: General manager, Sydney Sixers


Departures

Marlène Masure 

Chief commercial officer, Paris 2024

Notes: Masure is leaving to pursue “a new professional opportunity”. Two internal appointments have been made to cover her role, with François Xavier Bonnaillie named senior director of partnerships and licensing, and Damien Rajot as senior director of on-site business operations and viewer experience.

Corin Dimopoulos

Executive head, streaming television and content, Optus



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