Team Marketing media rights chief Schmidt to leave
By Martin Ross
Thomas Schmidt, managing director of media rights at Team Marketing, the Luzern-based agency that sells rights to Uefa’s club competitions, is to leave his position, Sportcal understands.
Schmidt, who heads up the agency’s media rights sales operation worldwide, is understood to be exiting amid strategic differences over the future direction of the company.
He joined Team in 2002 from a new business position at Highlight Communications, the Swiss company that owns the agency, and went on to assume various media and business development roles in his initial years at the company.
He was part of a senior management group that took on the operating management of the company upon the departure of leading trio Simon Thomas, Patrick Murphy and David Tyler in 2012.
Before moving to Switzerland to work for Highlight and then Team, Schmidt was managing director of Wasser und Brot, the German music and media agency.
Schmidt at Sportel America in Miami
Schmidt’s surprise departure comes as Team nears the end of its sales process for broadcast rights to the Uefa Champions League and Europa League for the 2018-19 to 2020-21 cycle.
The agency was faced with a curtailed 18-month turnaround for its international rights sales following a six-month delay as Uefa approved new format changes and kick-off times for the next cycle.
Nevertheless, Team is well on course to meet (and exceed) its targets, thanks in part to impressive increases delivered by new broadcast deals in France, Germany, Spain, China, USA and the MENA region.
Team is currently in the midst of its sales process in southeast Asia and has still go to market in territories such as Brazil, the Indian subcontinent and Russia.
The agency was recently left shocked by the news of the death of Martin Wagner, its chairman, who was the victim of a shooting incident in the Swiss canton of Basel-Landschaft.
The 57-year-old media lawyer became Team’s chairman in 2016, having earlier served as delegate of the board.