International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Wed. 07 July 2021


Laurent Van Rossom

Current Position: Commercial Lawyer at the International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Year of graduation: 2016 (16th edition)

Nationality: Belgian

What does your current role involve?

I work as a commercial lawyer at the IOC and am part of a wider team of 12 lawyers who are responsible for all revenue generating agreements of the IOC, such as sponsorship, licensing, broadcasting and other media-related agreements. 

My role consists of drafting and negotiating commercial agreements within the framework of the IOC TOP Programme (which regroups the highest-level sponsors of the Olympic Movement) and supporting Organising Committees of Olympic Games (OCOGs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in the development of their respective domestic marketing and commercial programmes. 

In addition, I am also a member of the IOC’s Rights Protection team, responsible for acting against Olympic IP infringements and other forms of ambush marketing activities, as well as implementation of Clean Venue principles (prescribed by Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter) during the period of the Olympic Games.  

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

I have undoubtedly benefitted from the strong reputation that the FIFA Master currently enjoys within the IOC when applying for my current role. Our team has hired other FIFA Master alumni in the past before I joined the IOC. 

Furthermore, the FIFA Master course helped me to increase my cultural awareness and prepared me to work in an international environment. This certainly facilitated my transition into a new role at the IOC. 

The fact that numerous FIFA Master alumni are now employed in Switzerland also helped me in developing a professional and social network here in Lausanne. This has proven to be very valuable as moving to a new country with a family can be challenging.  

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

Before applying and enrolling on the FIFA Master programme, my advice would be to first gain solid professional experience in your area of interest and expertise. It is probably worth being patient and getting a few years of relevant work experience under your belt before applying to FIFA Master. One of the misconceptions that exist about sports management programmes is that they will completely prepare you for a wide range of roles in international sports administration. However, in my experience, the FIFA Master helps you to demonstrate a strong interest in sport to recruiters within the sports industry and this will certainly increase your chances to be successful in your applications, especially in combination with the strong sport industry network upon which alumni of the course can rely. However, the FIFA Master programme will never replace or substitute your undergraduate studies. Therefore, transitioning into a completely different role in your career may prove to be difficult, especially considering the increasing professionalism the sports industry is currently undergoing.  

I would also advise future students to enjoy the social interactions with the class and to make the most of potential networking opportunities. The FIFA Master is an incredible journey and an experience that will change you forever. 

FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, ranked No.1 Course in Europe 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 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).

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