British-Based Sports Consultancy Becomes FEI Global Sponsorship Sales Agency

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Ralph Straus, new FEI Commercial Director. © 2015 Hugues Siegenthaler/FEI
Ralph Straus, new FEI Commercial Director. © 2015 Hugues Siegenthaler/FEI

Nov. 5, 2015

The Sports Consultancy based in London has been appointed global sponsorship sales agency for the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) through the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Canada.

At the same time, the FEI announced the appointment of Ralph Straus of the Netherlands, a former marketing executive with FIFA, the governing body of soccer, as Commercial Director.

The Sports Consultancy, whose clients include the Florida-based Women’s Tennis Association and the International Basketball Association, was appointed after what the FEI said was competitive tender. The company has worked with the FEI on a variety of commercial consultancy projects over the last seven years.

The World Games of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing, jumping, reining and vaulting as well as para equestrian that are governed by the FEI are scheduled for the Quebec community of Bromont an hour outside Montreal in 2018. The event so far has no major sponsor such as Alltech that was the title supporter of the 2010 and 2014 Games and little funding to underwrite development of the show grounds.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos said of the appointment of The Sports Consultancy, “With our partners Longines, Furusiyya, Reem Acra and Ariat International, the FEI has already proven the benefits of being associated with equestrian sport. We still have a lot of high profile FEI events and assets for which we believe we can attract new partners. We are looking forward to working with The Sports Consultancy again, this time to develop our partnership programs and to build relationships with premium brands who will greatly benefit from their involvement with the FEI and its wide-ranging portfolio.”

Marc Hope, director of rights marketing at The Sports Consultancy, said: “The high interest and participation of equestrian sport in major economies around the world, combined with its distinct positioning and demographic is incredibly appealing and we are extremely confident that our experience, use of data and understanding of the market will deliver significant results for the FEI and for the sport as a whole.”

Ralph Straus, the new commercial director based at the FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland was previously vice president of marketing and communications in the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in the United Arab Emirates with the primary role of developing global marketing and communications strategy for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.

Prior to that, he was head of Strategy and Brand Management at FIFA, the Lausanne-based governing body of soccer, for seven years.

He was in charge of planning and executing the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup marketing campaigns, spearheading global licensing and brand development, and implementing all FIFA experiential marketing initiatives, including FIFA Fan Fests.

He also oversaw the FIFA Interactive World Cup, an annual international competition of football video games recognized by the Guinness World Records Gamers Edition as the biggest global gaming tournament, collaborated with FIFA sponsors for global consumer engagement programs and developed social media strategies for FIFA event brands.