Interview with CEO at OneFootball: Aiming to become the Spotify of live football - though he doesn’t say it directly

16 October 2020

OneFootball
Photo: PA Images “There is one thing I can promise you; I did not walk into Sky Sports in Germany and directly talked to their CEO Carsten Schmidt. Over many years, I first spoke to the marketing managers, then the rights department and I ended up in the right place. So it took me many years," says CEO at OneFootball, Lucas von Cranach about the company's journey so far. Today their presence in the tv-market is growing with great pace. The picture is from a game back in June between Schalke o4 and Bayer Leverkusen.

Lucas von Cranach, the German entrepreneur behind OneFootball, is convinced the whole football ecosystem will change significantly within the next couple of years.

Backed by some of the world’s largest venture funds, he is now growing OneFootball’s  presence in the market – and the broadcasters are going with him.

Broadcasters may not want to follow, but perhaps they will have to. And von Cranach believes clubs, players and agents will be next in line to act according to the “new reality”.

He sees private-equity funds as an opportunity to deliver innovation in the way football is engaged with.

Kasper Kronenberg kk@offthepitch.com

One of the first things reporters are told when they move into business journalism is this:

“If you want to understand a company, what they are, what drives them and what they will be in the future, take a look at their owners.”

In other words: “Tell me who your owner is – and I will tell you who you are.”
If that thesis is to be taken seriously, and if we tested it on OneFootball – then the picture becomes rather clear.

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