Lagardère Sports restructures its global team ahead of rebranding
Lagardère Sports, the sports unit of the French media giant, has announced a change in its organisational structure ahead of its rebranding later this week.
Lagardère is now 75.1 per cent owned by H.I.G Europe, a division of the USA-based private equity and alternative assets investment firm, with the parent group retaining a 24.9 per cent stake in its sports business, which is valued at €110 million ($119 million).
Ahead of its planned rebranding, Lagardère Sports yesterday unveiled a new organisational setup, which will see the agency divided into two areas – domestic markets, and business development and growth.
The two areas will be led globally by a four-member executive committee: chief executive Stefan Felsing, chief operating officer Philipp Hasenbein (pictured, left), chief growth officer Robert Muller von Vultejus (pictured, right) and chief financial officer Christian Peters.
Felsing returned to Lagardère Sports after a two-year hiatus in February, following the sale of the agency to H.I.G Europe. He was its executive vice-president, media, global sales and acquisitions when he left in January 2018 to form his own consultancy. His first client was Lagardère Sports.
He succeeded Andrew Georgiou, who left the agency last year after five years in charge to join Eurosport, the Discovery-owned international sports broadcaster, as president, Eurosport and global sports rights and sports marketing solutions.
Hasenbien moves from his role as managing director of LagardèreSports Germany and president of Football Europe within the company to chief operating officer, while Muller Von Vultejus, also a former managing director of Lagardère Sports Germany, moves into the newly-created chief growth officer role to lead the agency's business development units.
The reorganisation marks the departure of David White as president of media, although he will continue to collaborate with the agency over the coming months. Raphael Lombard, former chief financial officer, leaves the agency at the end of the month to be replaced by Peters.
The rest of the agency’s structure is broken down based on the main geographic areas where it operates.
Joel Segal, the highly-regarded NFL American football agent, has been moved from his role as chief executive of the agency’s North American division to president Americas, while Idriss Akki, former president of Football Africa at Lagardère Sports, has been appointed president Africa.
Adrian Staiti is promoted from his position as managing director of APAC to president of APAC, while Hasenbein will be president Europe on top of his role as chief operating officer.
Within Europe, the agency’s three core markets remain: France, led by Laurent Moretti, former Lagardère Sports managing director, the UK, which will continue to be led by Carl Woodman; and Germany, whose team is expected to be announced in due course.
As chief growth officer Muller Von Vultejus will oversee Global Sales, Media, Olympics and Esports, which will each have individual heads: Michael Bushell (Olympics), the former president of Olympics and Major Events; Nikolaus von Doetinchem (Media), who replaces White; Adrian Staiti (Global Sales) and Stephen Marsden (Global Sales and Olympic Partnerships).
The sales business has been strengthened by the addition of Woodman as executive vice-president of sales for EMEA, on top of his role as UK managing director.
Felsing said: “This structural change builds up on our existing core strengths as a truly global company and enables us to accelerate to full speed in terms of smarter, faster and more efficient decision making.
“It is our ambition to deliver the best value possible towards our clients and partners at all times. We are setting ourselves up for global integration, operational excellence and growth whilst leveraging our specific area and market expertise as foundation of this new way forward.
“And above all the defined key responsibilities and dedicated business areas within the global leadership team.”
In March, André Fläckel, who was responsible for co-founding the esport department at Lagardère Sports moved to Infront, the international sports marketing agency, as new head of its gaming esports department.
In its most recent published financial results, for the first nine months of 2019, Lagardère Sports and Entertainment posted turnover of €402 million, up from €304 million, in the prior year, driven by events such as the AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates, the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and the IHF World Men’s Handball Championship in Denmark and Germany.