Eredivisie Media & Marketing's Tielbeke to leave at year-end
By Jonathan Rest
Dutch soccer's top-tier Eredivisie today announced the impending exit of Alex Tielbeke, the long-serving commercial director of Eredivisie Media & Marketing, the league's in-house commercial arm.
Tielbeke (pictured, left), who joined the Eredivisie in 2004, will officially leave his role as a director of the league on 1 August, but will stay on with EMM, which manages the collective media and sponsorship rights for Eredivisie clubs, until 1 December in order to ensure an adequate handover period for his eventual successor.
The 57-year-old said: "I have really enjoyed working in the world of Dutch football for the past 15 years. That is quite a long time in this dynamic world and I have loved every second. I particularly relished the creation and sale of our ‘own’ TV channel (previously Eredivisie Live and now Fox Sports); it was like an adventure from a boy’s story book. Aside from my own fantastic personal experience, the initiative also gave a substantial boost to the sports rights market in the Netherlands.
"For me, it now feels like the right moment to move the goalposts. I would like to thank all of my colleagues and business partners over the years, for an amazing experience, and I’d especially like to thank all of the Eredivisie clubs for the faith they had in me."
Eredivisie chairman John Jaakke said Tielbeke's "expertise in the development of media and sponsorship rights in the sport is still of huge value to the Eredivisie clubs," while Frank Rutten, on behalf of the EMM board, said the outgoing commercial director had "provided an important contribution towards the growth and development" of the business.
Tielbeke began his Eredivisie career in the sponsorship department, and was involved in EMM's launch of Eredivisie Live, the league's subscription television service, in 2008, to show coverage of the Dutch top flight.
Eredivisie Live was renamed Fox Sports Eredivisie in August 2013, a year after Fox International Channels acquired a majority stake in Eredivisie Media & Marketing in a deal worth €80 million (now $90.2 million) per season to Dutch soccer over 12 years.
Fox Sports Eredivisie holds live domestic rights to the league, with international media rights distributed by IMG, the international sports and entertainment agency, until the end of the 2021-22 season.