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INTERVIEW: Senior Director, Tom Mueller and CBF’s Lucas Varidel discuss OneFootball’s partnership with CBF


OneFootball has risen through the ranks in the football media industry in recent years, thanks to broadcast deals with Ligue 1 and Bundesliga, the purchase of Dugout, and the slew of clubs and federations that have signed up to be a part of the OneFootball Network. All of which we’ll be covering in this series.

For the second installment of this series, we speak with Tom Mueller, Senior Director of OneFootball, and Lucas Varidel, Head of Digital at CBF, to gain valuable insights into how their partnership works. This series of articles will allow us to answer some of the most pressing questions about football, starting with how this collaboration between CBF and OneFootball came to be and how they plan to proceed.

Tom and Lucas, what is the background of the partnership between CBF and OneFootball ?

TOM: Brazil is one of OneFootball’s largest markets so partnering with CBF to increase their reach was a natural next step. Welcoming CBF as our first federation partner was a milestone for us and even more special given the unique place Brazil’s men’s, women’s and youth national teams hold for many fans around the world. 

LUCAS: We have previously seen how OneFootball connects football fans across the country and following early conversations, we believed we could work together to share CBF content. The OneFootball Network allows us to create new value from our content by generating greater reach with football fans in every corner of the world, with no extra resource required. This helps us to not only engage with our current audiences but connect with new football fans and create new, incremental digital monetisation opportunities.

How did the partnership start off? What is the feedback from the users?

TOM: Since we announced our partnership, the levels of engagement seen with CBF content have been fantastic –  similar to those recorded by the world’s biggest clubs. Over the first 30 days of our partnership, more than 500 articles have been published with over one million reads in 66 countries. We believe this shows that the OneFootball model combined with providing the best and most relevant mix of content is appreciated and liked by fans.

LUCAS: Agreed Tom, a very promising start with a massive upside in terms of global reach. Being able to share original CBF content and news with our fans supports two major objectives of our digital strategy. Firstly, we are able to keep ownership of our news and secondly we can increase the reach outside of CBF’s owned and operated channels.  

Based on the impressive insights, how do you plan to proceed?

TOM: The early stages of our partnership have indeed been a success, however, in the coming months we will be working to continue to increase engagement with CBF’s content.  We have already established an automated content distribution model where CBF content is automatically published on OneFootball at the same time as CBF’s owned channels. This requires no additional workload from CBF and is a solid foundation for how our partnership will develop as we move forward. We are working to collaborate on initiatives where there are mutual growth possibilities including direct to consumer models, and the joint commercialisation of CBF’s digital sponsorship packages. 

LUCAS: For CBF, it has been important to see that the partnership and distribution model is a success, which it has been. Our next priority is adding greater commercialisation and identifying new, incremental revenue potentials. As OneFootball’s first federation partner we are at the forefront of creating these new commercial routes and will see most benefit.

How does commercialisation work?

TOM: OneFootball Boost enables federations to leverage new commercialisation opportunities outside of their owned and operated channels by offering digital activation of partnerships globally alongside local targeting options in a brand-safe and contextual environment. This is particularly valuable for federations’ sponsors as they can add a new, high quality media asset class creating greater reach with no extra resources based on a revenue share. 

LUCAS: Over recent times we have clearly seen a trend towards the digital activation of sponsorships which has absolutely been accelerated by the pandemic. OneFootball provides us with a solution to cater for these needs and to meet the goals of our sponsors and their agencies. We are seeing a steady increase in the requirements and requests regarding tracking capabilities, targeting and localisation and through OneFootball, our partners receive added benefits and new ways to reach target audiences in a cost-effective way. 

What are the challenges facing federations in reaching their fans?

TOM: Federations are facing increasing challenges to connect with their fans across a variety of platforms. At OneFootball,  we have the highest concentration of fans, and importantly of the young modern fan and are able to provide a service, like we do for CBF, without extra resources. We can help federations to target specific audiences while sharing the widest mix of content from a range of sources all in one place.

LUCAS: Connecting with fans across the world who are on the move and receive higher levels of content than ever is a challenge for us. OneFootball offers an avenue to connect with a highly engaged audience while also reaching new fans and converting them into CBF followers. Like all federations, monetising our content is key to create new revenue opportunities.



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