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News

Tue. 14 August 2018

FIFA Master Alumni – Where are they now? – Ophir Zardok Shemer

Ophir Zardok Shemer

Current Position: Executive Consultant

Year of graduation: 2005 (5th Edition)

Nationality: Israeli

 

What does your current role involve?

Since I graduated from the FIFA Master in 2005, I undertook a career path which was beyond my imagination. I could not have thought of a better career path since I graduated from the FIFA Master until now. Immediately after graduation I moved to Ireland and became the CEO of the League of Ireland Champions, Cup Winners and all Ireland Champions at the time, Drogheda United. During this period I also implemented my FIFA Master Final Project of “The Football Village of Hope”, which is a football village that brings together Israeli and Palestinian kids. Here, we had over 500 kids from both side of the border playing football together and showing that coexistence is not just a dream. After four years in Ireland, I moved back home to Israel and I took a sports-technology company, Evento, from initial idea to financial breakeven. The company is in the social ticketing space and its partners are some of the leading brands in the world (Houston Rockets, Chelsea FC, and various Broadway Theatres. Later in 2010 I joined UEFA on a freelance basis and became a UEFA Venue Director working for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. As a Venue Director I have an active role in implementing the sporting elements of these high profile competitions.

In 2017 I decided to diversify my professional portfolio and started to work as a consultant for different sports-tech companies and other sports entities. Some of the projects I have been working on include Project Leader for the Israeli FA and Haifa municipality in their bid to host the UEFA Super Cup 2019 and 2020, transforming the biggest stadium in Israel to a cashless venue, improving the fan experience on a match day, assisting sports-tech companies building GTM (Go-To-Market Strategies), and setting the company’s KPIs along with various other projects.

More recently, I became a Football Operations Specialist at UEFA. This new role at UEFA was established to coach / tutor new Venue Directors in club competitions and match day managers in their various duties.

 

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

Many aspects of the FIFA Master have helped in my career development. I would say, though, that the two key aspects for me have been, firstly planting a good foundation to start working in the sports industry. I arrived to the FIFA Master from the technology industry. The FIFA Master course equipped me with the basic knowledge and foundation in order to better understand the sports industry, and the various potential roles and entities. With the knowledge I gained during the course I was then able to do many roles and had the ability to undertake different responsibilities within the sports world. Secondly, the global Network was key. Now there is a high number of FIFA Master alumni working at the sports industry and it is very easy to find a graduate who works in a certain country or in a certain job. Therefore, if I ever need to get advice on a certain matter in sport, I can find a colleague willing to assist in this matter through the global course network.

 

What advice would you give to future students on the course?W

If you are a sports fan, working within sport is satisfying, entertaining and provides self fulfilment. Indeed, it allows you to combine your passion with your profession. However, it requires hard work, long hours and the need to be proactive. This is especially true if you become involved in sports event organisation and implementation. Therefore, get ready to work hard, and prepare yourself. However, also make sure you enjoy the journey!

 

The FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, ranked No.1 Course in Europe 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018 by the SportBusiness International global rankings. 

Organised by CIES in partnership with De Montfort University (United Kingdom), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland).

Discover more examples of inspiring FIFA Master alumni career paths by clicking here.