Category Archives: News

MESGO congratulates Stefan Gunnarsson

A participant from the current MESGO edition has been appointed to a new executive position.

Since January, Stefan Gunnarsson has stepped into the role of Club Licensing and Development Director at the United Arab Emirates Pro League. Stefan was previously Head of Marketing and Commercial at the Icelandic Football Association (KSI), and has over 20 years’ of marketing experience. He joined the Icelandic Football Association in 2018 after ten years as the head of VERT Marketing Agency, marketing consulting company that he co-founded in 2009.

We would like to wish him the best of success in his new role at the Pro League, where Stefan will work to enhance the work of the Pro League clubs on various issues.

A MESGO week dedicated to Ethics and Integrity

From 6 to 10 March 2023, the MESGO VII participants were in Germany (Mainz and Frankfurt) for Session 4 of the programme. Directed by both Mathias Schubert and Volker Bernardi, senior researcher and sports law lecturer, respectively, at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Mathias Schubert, Senior Researcher, JGU Mainz

Volker Bernardi, Sports Law Lecturer, JGU Mainz

The session covered several topics related to ethics and integrity in sport, such as; safeguarding and abuse, ethical responsibility of leaders, sports and human rights, freedom of speech and athlete activism, diversity and discrimination including the governance of World Para Sports.

Participants had the opportunity to reflect collectively in some depth on the different topics through work exercises but also by interacting with a large panel of experts in their field. A warm thank you to all the speakers for their high-level contributions to the session!

Each session over the five days was hosted by a different academic or sporting institution: Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz (MESGO partner); German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB); German Football Association (DFB); Mewa Arena (Mainz 05 Stadium); Euro 2024 Headquarters.

At the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz: Presentation about “Ethics and Integrity in Sport: Introduction & Workshop” by Mike Mcnamee, Professor, KU Leuven & Swansea University

At the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz: Presentation about “Monitoring Good Governance and Ethical Principles in Practice: The Example of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF)” by Alexander McLin, Director, Gymnastics Ethics Foundation

At the German Olympic Sports Confederation: Presentation about “The Sports Good Governance Game – Inspire Sport Managers to Become Ethical Leaders” by Abigail Levrau, Professor, Executive Committee Member of GUBERNA & Mathieu Marlier, Professor, Lunex University, Luxemburg

The MESGO group at the German Olympic Sports Confederation

At the German Football Association: Presentation about “Sports and Human Rights” by David Grevemberg, Chief Innovation and Partnerships Officer, The Centre for Sport and Human Rights

The MESGO group at the German Football Association

At the MEWA Arena (MAINZ 05 STADIUM): Presentation about “Diversity in Sports: A Sport Governing Body Perspective” by Ivo Ferriani, IOC member; Member of IOC Gender Equality Diversity and Inclusion Commission; President, International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation

The MESGO group at the MEWA Arena

At the EURO 2024 Headquarters: Welcome speech by Markus Stenger, Managing Director, Euro 2024 GmbH & Mex Schär, Managing Director, Euro 2024 GmbH

At the EURO 2024 Headquarters: Open Debate about “the Athlete as Gladiator in Modern Sport: Towards Occupationalisation?” with Matthias Hofbauer, Former Professional Floorball Player, Member of the International World Games Association (IWGA) athletes’ commission; Dr Jürgen Mittag, Professor, German Sport University, Cologne & Rachel Smith, OLY, Athlete Service Manager of Team GB, British Olympic Association (BOA)

In terms of entertainment, the participants had the opportunity to play football at the new DFB-Campus and indoor climbing as well as enjoying excellent traditional German cuisine.

The next MESGO session will take place in Barcelona (Spain) from 26 to 30 June 2023 and will be dedicated to Events and Participation.

MESGO VI participants graduated in Paris!

Over two days, on 13 and 14 October 2022, 17 participants of the sixth edition of the Executive Master in Global Sport Governance (MESGO) defended their theses and received their certificates at the graduation ceremony in Paris.

The graduation ceremony was chaired by Sean Hamil, Director of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre at the University of London. Also speaking at the ceremony were Nathalie Alaphilippe, lawyer at CDES and MESGO Programme Director, Jean-Jacques Gouguet, professor at the University of Limoges and Scientific Director of the MESGO programme, and Thomas Junod, Head of UEFA Academy. They wished to thank, amongst others, all partners for their contribution to the MESGO programme and congratulate the participants for having successfully completed the 20-month course.

Keynote speaker at the ceremony was the Executive Secretary of the Council for the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS), Sophie Kwasny. Sophie gave a speech to the graduates, highlighting in particular the values of solidarity and humanism which, today, more than ever, must be put forward and defended by the sports community.

Congratulations to the new graduates of MESGO VI: Runar Pahr Andresen, Angelo Chetcuti, Joanna Deagle, Sabina Fasciolo, Kim Hallberg, Boineelo Hardy, Lars Helmersson, Peter Jehle, Oleksandr Kucheriavyi, Jorge Mowinckel, Kobe Schepers, Jernej Smisl, Sarah Solémalé, Karim Souchu, Boris Stankov, Emma Sykes and Radu Visan.

Second MESGO session took place in Paris

From 10 to 14 October 2022, the MESGO VII participants were in Paris for the second session of the programme, which was dedicated to the design and regulation of competitions.

Organised by Sean Hamil, director of the Birkbeck Sport Business Centre, this second session was aimed at examining the external regulatory functions of sports governing bodies, particularly how they apply to the design and regulation of competitions.

Thank you to the Stade Français, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), Roland Garros and FIFA’s Paris branch for their warm welcome.

We would like also to thank all the speakers that came to Paris. Having representatives from FIFA, UEFA, ASOIF, FIA, LNR, French Tennis Federation, clubs (Lokomotiva Zagreb, KNVB, PSG) as well as Qanalytics, KPMG and Stats Perform was a key component of the week and allowed a powerful interaction with the MESGO participants.

During the week, participants had the opportunity to attend the UCI Track Cycling World Championships and to have an introduction to 5-a-side rugby.

The third MESGO session will be held in Brussels from 16 to 20 January 2023 and will be dedicated to the legal frameworks governing European sport.

Ninth and last MESGO IV session in Tokyo

The final session of the fourth edition of MESGO dedicated to the future of sport took place from 5 to 9 March 2018 in Tokyo.

This session was directed by Holger Preuss and Jean-Jacques Gouguet, respectively professor of sport economics at Johannes Gutenberg University and professor in economics at the University of Limoges.

The Tokyo session was an ideal opportunity for MESGO participants to look at the future challenges they might face as sports industry leaders in the coming period and to analyse their specific organisations in the light of another culture.

The week was rather special, with a conference organised and coordinated by the Tsukuba International Academy for Sport (TIAS), the MESGO local academic partner. The discussion focused on the future of sport governance and challenges faced by sports organisations.

The TIAS conference concluded with joint presentations by TIAS students and MESGO participants, who reflected on the future of sports organisations, the future of competition design/regulation, the future of sports marketing, the future of sports events and future ethical challenges faced by sport.

Earlier, participants were given an outsider’s and insider’s view of Japanese culture and sport, in particular through the presentation of sumo, iconic Japanese sport, by Takanobu Nakajima, the former deputy chairman of the Independent Commission of Governance Overhaul at the Japan Sumo Association.

During the week, the issue of legacy of the Tokyo 2020 Games was the hot topic presented by Haruyo Fukuda, director of action and legacy for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

At the Tokyo 2020 venue: Round-table discussion about “Tokyo 2020 and Agenda 2020 – The future of host cities” with Holger Preuss, professor, Johannes Gutenberg University; Haruyo Fukuda, director of action and legacy for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo and Hiromi Kawamura, PR secretary and senior project director for executive office, Tokyo 2020.

Finally, we talked about the future of football in Asia. Our day at the Japan Football Association started with a presentation of the history of Japanese football by Kohzo Tashima, president of the Japan Football Association and ended with a discussion about “markets for sport in Asia” included speakers such as Tom Byer, former AFC technical consultant; Kunihito Morimura, president and CEO at Dentsu Sports Asia and Alex Phillips, head of governance and compliance at UEFA.

At the Japan Football Association: Presentation by Kohzo Tashima, president of the Japan Football Association about football in Japan.

The MESGO participants will meet again at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon on 5 and 6 April as part of the viva voce exam session, during which they will each defend their professional thesis. The graduation ceremony on Friday 6 April will conclude the fourth edition of the programme.

The application process for the next MESGO edition is open until 12:00 CET on Saturday 31 March.

Welcome to our new partner: the Council of Europe

We are very proud to announce that the Council of Europe is joining MESGO as partner as of MESGO fifth edition. It will give government authority sports officials the chance to enhance their professional skills alongside representatives of sports bodies.

MESGO is expanding its reach to public authorities active in the field of sport through a cooperation agreement with the Council of Europe.

The agreement, under the auspices of the Council of Europe’s Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS), breaks new ground for the MESGO programme, which has provided a vital source of learning, training and personal development, as well as contributing to the further development of sports bodies across this continent and beyond.

MESGO aims to attract participants from diverse countries and backgrounds. The objective of developing a partnership through this agreement is for participants from public authorities in charge of sport in a variety of countries to fine-tune their skills, knowledge and expertise.

For more details

The MESGO logo is getting a (slightly) new look!

With the overwhelming success of the previous 4 MESGO sessions in Europe, the direction of the program has made the decision to open the course up to the global market.

Following that decision, we have made some changes to our logo.


As you may have noticed, MESGO no longer stands for “Executive Master in European Sport Governance” but for “Executive Master in Sport Governance” reflecting the aforementioned openness to an international audience. This change will help us best position the program internationally.

We would like to thank all current and past participants for helping us make the MESGO what it is today and hope you like the revised logo of the course!

The MESGO Team

The MESGO in New York for the eighth session

From 4 to 8 December 2017, the MESGO IV participants were in New York for the penultimate session of the programme, which was dedicated to the North American sports model.

Organised by Francesc Solanellas, professor in sports management at the National Institute of Physical Education (INEFC) and Didier Primault, general manager at the Center for Law and Economics of Sport (CDES), this eighth session was aimed at presenting the organisation of sport in North America from a legal, economic, sociologic and media perspective.

Over the five-day session, the MESGO group was hosted at key locations such as the Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Basketball Association (NBA), St John’s University, the FC Barcelona New York Office, the Major League Baseball (MLB) and Turner Sport (Bleacher Report office).

The participants were able to discuss the distinctive features of the American sports system, such as the salary caps, the draft and revenue-sharing systems, with prestigious speakers including Sunil Gulati (President of the US Soccer Federation), Mark Tatum (Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer, NBA), Jorge Perez (Senior Vice President of International Affairs and Litigations, MLB) and Matt Hong (Chief Operating Officer, Turner Sport).

Among the other topics covered during the week were college athletics and the university sports system (NCAA), the peculiar relationship between competition law and professional leagues in North America, with the specific case of baseball and the importance of collective bargaining agreements as well as the changing sports media landscape in the United States.

Participants also had the opportunity to attend a basketball game at the prestigious Madison Square Garden.

The next and final MESGO session will take place in Tokyo (Japan) from 5 to 9 March 2018 and will be dedicated to the future of sport.

Start of session 8 with the presentation of the development of soccer in the United States in the last 30 years by Sunil Gulati, President of the US Soccer Federation and Professor of Economics at Columbia University.

The MESGO IV participants at the Major League Soccer (MLS)

At the National Basketball Association (NBA): Welcome by Mark Tatum, NBA Deputy Commissioner.

Workshop related to European and American sport model with students from St John’s University.

At the Major League Baseball (MLB): Welcome by Jorge Perez, the MLB Senior Vice President of International Affairs and Litigation.

Presentation about NFL experience by Andrew Brandt, Former NFL Franchise Manager (Turner Sports – Bleacher Report office).

Ethics in Sports. Discover the 7th session of the MESGO that took place in Mainz and Frankfurt

The seventh session of the MESGO programme, dedicated to ethics took place from 25 to 29 September 2017 in Mainz and Frankfurt.

Directed by Holger Preuss and Volker Bernardi, respectively professor of sport economics and sport sociology and sports law lecturer at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the objective of this session was to introduce participants to the ethical challenges of sports governance and gave them the opportunity to reflect together in some depth on the different topics through work exercises.

The five days of this session were each hosted by a different academic or sports institution: Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz (MESGO partner); German Football Association (DFB); Opel Arena (Mainz 05 Stadium); Kupferbergterrasse (event location); German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB).

The week started with a workshop directed by Mike McNamee, professor of applied ethics at the College of Engineering at Swansea University, who introduced the participants to the basics of ethics and sports.


At the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz: presentation about the basics of ethical behaviour by Mike McNamee.

On Tuesday, the participants had the opportunity to discuss about match manipulation, illegal betting, match fixing, corruption, integrity and compliance in sport with highly qualified experts: Andrew Harvey (Lecturer, Swansea University), Daniela Giuffré (international match–fixing expert and former head of the integrity in sport unit, Interpol), Dr Jim Parry (professor, Charles University Prague) and Sylvia Schenk (lawyer and senior adviser for sport, Transparency International).


Round-table discussion about ethical governance of football – German Football Association (DFB). The speakers (from left to right): Dr Holger Preuss – moderator, Sylvia Schenk, Daniela Giuffré and Jim Parry.

During the two following days, the debates focused on ethical questions concerning the inclusion of disabled people and athletes, the social responsibility of sport and the fight against doping.


The day began with a guided tour of the OPEL ARENA (MAINZ 05 STADIUM).


Presentation about ethical challenges of the – factor system – in alpine skiing by Matthias Berg, Paralympic athlete and lawyer.


Frédéric Donzé, chief officer at the World Anti-Doping Agency, shared insider views regarding the global fight against doping.


At the Kupferbergterrasse, Claudia Bokel, Olympic medalist and former chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, shared with the participants her perspective on fight against doping.

On Friday, Marie Sallois-Dembreville (director of the IOC’s Corporate Development, Brand and Sustainability department) and David Stubbs (former head of sustainability, London Olympic Games 2012) have organized two workshops allowing participants to discuss about the need for greater sustainability in sport.


Workshop about learning from the IOC sustainability strategy journey moderated by Marie Sallois-Dembreville at the German Olympic Sports Confederation.

Social and sporting activities were held to mark this week in Mainz.


Guided tour of the Kupferberg wine cellars followed by a dinner at the Kupferberg restaurant.


Football match between participants at the Johannes Gutenberg University.

The next session will take place in New York City in December, when the North American model of sport will be studied in depth.

Barcelona, the ideal location to discuss about the successful organisation of sports events!

From Monday 19 to Friday 23 June 2017, the MESGO IV participants were in Barcelona for the sixth session of the programme, which was dedicated to the organisation of sports events.

Organised by Francesc Solanellas and Andreu Camps i Povill, both professors at INEFC (Institut Nacional d’Educació Física de Catalunya) which has been an academic partner of the MESGO programme since its first edition in 2010, this sixth session was aimed at examining the critical elements in the successful organisation of sports event.

1. Introduction to Session 6 by Francesc Solanellas

Introduction to Session 6 by Francesc Solanellas, professor in sports management at INEFC, at the Euroleague Basketball headquarters.

Various topics and issues were tackled during the week, in particular:

  • Previous experiences (Olympic Games, events, cities and best practices);
  • Bidding process (Why? What? When? Where? How?);
  • Governance models and main stakeholders;
  • Implementation of the event, with a focus on risk and crisis management;
  • Post-event issues (legacy, knowledge transfer and economic impact).

The MESGO session was held in various locations including the Euroleague Basketball headquarters, Barcelona World Race, Barcelona-Catalunya circuit and the RCD Espanyol Stadium.

2. Visit of FC Barcelona facilities at Camp Nou

Visit of FC Barcelona’s facilities at Camp Nou.

3. Chris Pollard's presentation at the Barcelona World Race

At the Barcelona World Race headquarters: presentation about knowledge transfer for the Olympic Games by Chris Pollard, IOC consultant.

We would like to thank all the speakers that contribute to this session: Jordi Bertomeu Orteu and Roser Queraltó (Euroleague Basketball), Chris Pollard (IOC consultant), Javier Sobrino (FC Barcelona), Vicenç Aguilera (Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya), Pau Serracanta i Marcet (Dorna Sports), Petr Stastny (IAAF Diamond League) and Mark Fenwick (architect of RCD Espanyol Stadium), to name only a few.

4. Guided visit of RCD Espanyol Stadium by its architect Mark Fenwick

Guided visit of RCD Espanyol Stadium by its architect Mark Fenwick.

It was also an opportunity for the participants to listen and discuss with key representatives of MESGO sports partners: Lisa Wiederer (EHF Marketing), Jacques Hussy and Grégory Lepesqueux (UEFA) and also two former participants: David Rouger and Elkhan Mammadov. The MESGO team is very grateful to all of them for their availability and willingness to share their experiences.

5. Podium of the karting race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The winners of the karting race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

On Thursday evening, a round-table discussion about the future of sports events was organised at the Museum and Study Centre of Sport Doctor Melcior Colet with various experts: Dr Holger Preuss (Professor at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz), Jean-Loup Chappelet (Professor at IDHEAP, University of Lausanne), Iain Edmondson (Head of Major Events at London & Partners) and Enric Truñó i Lagares (sports consultant and former commissioner responsible for the management of the Barcelona-Pyrenees bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics). After an introduction speech given by Gerard M. Figueras i Albà, (General Secretary for Sports at the Generalitat de Catalunya), the panel was moderated by Francesc Solanellas, professor of sports management at INEFC and organiser of this discussion.

6. Speakers_Sports events in the future

The speakers of the round-table discussion (from left to right): Enric Truñó i Lagares, Francesc Solanellas, Gerard M. Figueras i Albà, Dr Holger Preuss, Iain Edmondson and Jean-Loup Chappelet.

On Friday, the participants gave oral presentations on their thesis subjects to their mentors and members of the Scientific Committee; a first compulsory step towards the completion of their Executive Master’s degree in European Sport Governance.

7. The MESGO team at INEFC

The MESGO team at INEFC.

The next MESGO session, which will focus on ethics, will take place in Mainz and Frankfurt am Main (Germany) from 25 to 29 September 2017.