The Supervisory Board of the commercial entity of the French professional football league has appointed Ben Morel as its Chief Executive.
An ESCP Europe graduate, Ben Morel has a wealth of experience in the sports and entertainment industry, having served as CEO of Six Nations Rugby since 2018. Ben Morel also previously spent over 20 years at the National Basketball Association (“NBA”), notably as Managing Director and Senior Vice-President for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. During his tenure within these two major sport organisations, he played a central role in improving the fan experience, and fostering international growth and development of key revenue streams for re-investment into the sport.
Ben Morel will take on his new role in the spring of 2023.
In July 2022, both the LFP and the French professional football clubs unanimously approved giving a new impetus to French Football through the creation of a commercial entity following a strategic partnership with CVC Capital Partners (“CVC”). This project represents an investment of €1.5 billion and reflects the ambition to reposition France on the podium of both the European and Global football leagues via investments in the Ligue 1 (“L1”) and Ligue 2 (“L2”) brands, infrastructure, digital content, new technological tools all driving a stronger fan experience. The development of strong clubs, successful in European competitions and driving the L1 championship, will be part of a virtuous circle resulting in greater talent retention, performance and attractiveness for the benefit of the fans, clubs and L1 as a whole.
The commercial entity, chaired by LFP’s President Vincent Labrune and operationally run by Ben Morel, reflects the transformation of L1 towards an entertainment-focused business model, centred around the development of the Ligue 1 brand, the support of the clubs in building their own franchises, and the development of cross-platform content. This new drive will also enable the league to enhance its partnerships with both national and international broadcasters, sponsors and other partners. The announcement last October of the strategic partnership with Mon Petit Gazon (“MPG”), a fantasy football game with more than 4 million members that benefitted from an unparalleled success during the 2022 World Cup with its game Mon Petit Prono (“MPP”), illustrates this ongoing strategic shift and lays out the foundations of the digital ecosystem the LFP wishes to develop to enrich the fans' experience across several segments.
Vincent Labrune, President of the LFP:
“The creation of our commercial entity opens a new chapter for French football. I am very pleased that Ben Morel has joined us. His appointment as CEO of the commercial entity will perfectly serve our strong ambition to develop French football, a mission that we have been supporting for the past 18 months, with the objective of bringing French football clubs up to the level of our national team. With 25 years of experience working for Six Nations Rugby and the NBA, his vast experience will serve as a great benefit to lead the transformation we have initiated with our partner CVC. The recent performance of the French national team, runner-up at the 2022 World Cup, confirms this vision and compels us to do everything we can to make our professional football league a reference on the European stage.”
Ben Morel, Chief Executive Officer of the LFP's commercial entity:
“I would like to thank Vincent Labrune and the Supervisory Board for their trust. They can count on my determination to lead this new exciting growth phase for French football. I will work in close collaboration with all of the clubs and all other LFP stakeholders to offer an innovative and high-quality sporting spectacle, putting our global fans at the heart of this new approach.”