The German Football Association (DFB) has promoted Holger Blask to chief executive, with Blask being elevated from his current role of managing director of sales and marketing at the body.
Blask (pictured) has been in that role since August 2020, when he joined from being the director of audiovisual rights at the top-tier DFL league structure in the country. Previous roles at the DFL also included director of public affairs and international relations.
His contract with the DFB has been extended until 2027, and he will in addition become chair of the DFB’s management board.
The appointment comes with Germany set to host the men’s national team UEFA European Championships tournament next year, and also while bidding for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2027.
Blask said: “I am pleased about the trust placed in me by the shareholders' meeting and the supervisory board and look forward to further cooperation. There are some big challenges, but also great tasks ahead of us, such as Euro 2024 and the further development of women's soccer.
“Together with my management colleagues, we will tackle this courageously and make the DFB sustainable and economically stable to develop the unifying power and enthusiasm of soccer."
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Bernd Neuendorf, president of the DFB and chair of the body’s shareholders meeting, added: "We are pleased that we will continue our successful collaboration with Holger Blask. After taking office, he successfully implemented new marketing structures and strategies.
“Holger Blask fits perfectly into our team both professionally and personally. It is therefore only logical that the supervisory board has decided to entrust him with the chairmanship of the management board.”
The DFB has claimed that under Blask’s stewardship, the sale of media rights for the main domestic competitions it markets “achieved record results.”
The last significant DFB commercial tie-up on Blask’s watch came in mid-October, when the body extended its partnership with Sportec Solutions, the joint venture between the DFL and leading technology provider Deltatre. That venture is now the official data service provider for the women’s top-tier Frauen-Bundesliga competition, as well as for the men’s 3. Liga division.
Before joining the DFB, Blask spent 14 years at the DFL in total.
His new role has been confirmed at the same time as the DFB’s 2022 financial results were being disclosed through German media – the DFB lost €4.2 million ($4.53 million) in 2022.
The body’s finance director, Stephan Grunwald, has been reported as saying that the result was expected in the wake of the men’s national team’s poor performance on the pitch at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. At that tournament, the country failed to make it out of the group stages.
The body’s commercial subsidiary, however, secured a profit of €23 million, handling sponsorship and media rights sales for the domestic competitions it looks after, as well as for the German representative national teams.
Elsewhere, English soccer’s Football Association (FA) has appointed James Gray as its new commercial director.
Gray joins after spending just over four years in senior positions at Barclays, the UK bank, where he was most recently the managing director of digital platforms.
He has been brought in as a replacement for Navin Singh, who will soon leave his role as the FA’s commercial head to join the Six Nations Rugby tournament organizing body as chief operating officer.
In terms of previous sporting experience, Gray has worked for major brands such as English soccer’s Manchester United, the Electronic Arts video game producer, and the Disney media heavyweight in Southeast Asia.
Singh was announced as the new COO of the Six Nations in late July.
In terms of recent FA commercial activity, the body brought in computer software firm Adobe as the title sponsor for its Women’s FA Cup club competition for the next three years.
The body also renewed a partnership with Google Cloud in late October.