Football is the most popular sport on the planet, with FIFA estimating an audience of five billion fans worldwide. With such a large addressable market, fan engagement is a powerful cultural and economic driver for the football industry.

Nevertheless, fan, or customer, engagement, is critical in many sectors and covers a scale that reaches from local to global.

City Football Group’s commercial and sporting success can teach much about reaching, captivating and monetizing a global fanbase. From immersive and innovative digital experiences to what sports economist Paul Madden calls ‘fan welfare maximisation’, there are a variety of reasons and ways to engage fans. This course examines how fan engagement cannot rely on winning seasons and championship trophies, and how it is increasingly essential for organisations to understand customer behaviours and preferences to gain and maintain loyalty.

On this two-day course, you will hear from market analysts, media experts, digital disruptors, and engagement visionaries. You will analyse a variety of case studies and understand how implementing the right approach can translate into a wider, more engaged customer base. By the end of the course, you will be better equipped to apply the learning gained to your own organisation’s business model, to enable brand building and growth at whatever scale and within any sector.

Themes covered

  • Consumer trends in a post-Covid world
  • Moving customers from passive consumers to loyal advocates
  • Digital frontiers for new fandom: content creation, NFTs, streaming, esports
  • Growing a fanbase in a new geography
  • Giving and getting value from fans


  • Understand how data, market research, and personalisation fuel fan engagement.
  • Apply the principles and case studies covered to a business model at any scale, size, or sector.
  • Discover new avenues to maximise fan/client engagement.
  • Balance corporate social responsibility and community-building in light of profit opportunity.

The course fee includes two days of on-site lectures and sessions, resources, lunch and refreshments both days, and a networking evening reception.

The course fee excludes: accommodation, non-scheduled meals, transport to/from the course venue.

Participating Faculty

Gavin Johnson – Media Director, City Football Group
Gavin Johnson is responsible for developing CFG’s ambitions in the constantly evolving media and entertainment space, focusing on content creation, distribution, and commercial media across the growing family of CFG clubs.

Previously, Gavin was Managing Director of JOE Media which grew to become Digiday European Publisher of the Year in 2019 with ground-breaking social media content including the award winning ‘House of Rugby’, ‘Liquid Football’, ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and ‘TKO’. He also oversaw partnerships with a number of blue-chip clients including Cadbury, Guinness, Gillette, McDonald’s, Adidas, British Airways and many more.

Brad Sims – Chief Executive Officer, New York City Football Club
Brad Sims joined New York City FC as Chief Executive Officer in January 2019 ahead of the new MLS season. In this role, Brad is responsible for all aspects of the organization on a day-to-day basis, continuing to build on the Club’s successful first four seasons.

Sims joined the Club after six years with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers where he served as Executive Vice President of Franchise Operations & Chief Revenue Officer.

A former New Yorker, Sims spent four years at the NBA League Office in New York City serving as Vice President of Team Business Development, Team Marketing & Business Operations.

Petrit Berisha – Founder, Sporting Crypto

Petrit is the founder and author of Sporting Crypto: the most popular newsletter in the intersection between Sports & Crypto. He regularly consults with global brands on Web3 strategy. He’s also an award-winning podcast creator, previously working on the blockchain insider podcast and commissioned work like “the history and future of NFTs” audio documentary.

More faculty to be announced shortly.

  • Early Booking Rate
    Full Price
    if registered by 12 April.
  • Apply
  • Date
    11 May 2023–
    12 May 2023
  • Duration
    2 Days
  • Type
  • Division
  • Location
    London, UK
  • Contact Us