Elite European Football Club Commercial Development In A Globalised Football Market

A seminar as part of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre Public Seminar Series

Given by: Richard Lamb

Lecture Theatre B36
Main Birkbeck Building
Torrington Square
Birkbeck College
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

Date, Monday 19th November, 2018, at 6pm

For directions click here.

Attendance at the event is free but you need TO REGISTER.


In this presentation, Richard Lamb, formerly International Business Director at Inter Milan, Sponsorship Sales Manager at Manchester United’s APAC office in Hong Kong, and Chief Revenue Officer at West Ham United, will share insights into commercial developments at top flight European football clubs, especially in relation to European football’s rapid global commercial expansion and the recent surge in the development of football in China. Richard will also discuss the geopolitical impact of football and how football is becoming increasingly visible in the political arena.

Top-flight European clubs have found lucrative markets in countries from across the globe, reaping robust financial rewards even in countries not traditionally associated with the sport. The sponsorship market has been highly profitable for many clubs with sponsorship brands coming from product ranges and countries as diverse as noodles from Japan, petrol from Canada, curry from South Korea, mattresses from China, and whiskey from Myanmar. How has this explosion in commercial opportunities come about, and as all football clubs have grown their commercial teams and vied for an increasing market share, have all clubs been successful, and are they adapting adequately to rapidly changing markets?

Ownership in football has also undergone significant changes in football in recent years, with many clubs from all leagues across the continent now under the control of foreign owners. How has this impacted football and why are so many clubs even from outside of the top leagues without global fan-bases and lucrative revenue streams being bought by wealthy international owners?

Football has increasingly begun to feature more prominently in the political arena, also. With China rapidly increasing investment in the development of football at the grassroots level, Chinese brands featuring heavily during the 2018 World Cup, and President Xi Jinping’s personal support behind China’s pursuit of footballing excellence, how and why is football increasingly moving into the political arena and even becoming part of central government policy-making?

Richard will address these questions and share first-hand experiences of working within the commercial departments of top-flight European clubs during a period of rapid global commercial expansion, as well as insights into how football is shaping and being shaped by recent international developments.


Richard Lamb has worked in the commercial departments of Manchester United and Inter Milan, including as a member of the executive team responsible for the sale of Inter to the Suning Group in the summer of 2016.

As a fluent Mandarin speaker, Richard lived and worked full-time in China between 2002 and 2016 including for the local Tianjin government at the Tianjin Free Trade Zone between 2009-2012, as an interpreter for Johnson Matthey between 2007-2009. Richard is currently a board member of EMD UK, the national governing body of group exercise, and a guest lecturer at the International Football Business Institute.

Contact Details

Seminar Series Details

For further details on this seminar contact:


For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020 7631 6763


Twitter: @Birkbecksport

View all Events