Vange Kourentis has pioneered many sports industry defining projects over the last 25 years. He has a unique mix of experience that covers global sports right holder Manchester United FC, international media agency representing global brands investment in sport, Publicis Sport & Entertainment and progressive digital activation and fan engagement agency Sports Revolution.
Vange joined Manchester United International Marketing team in 1997. He designed and launched a number of flagship retail, restaurant, bar and museum experiences in 12 capital cities in key markets in Europe, South East Asia and Africa. These premium retail environments set the tone for a re-design of the club brand and a re-positioning of the internal merchandising business ahead of its sale to Nike for a world record commercial deal at the time – 13 year term US$390m minimum guarantee. He went on to establish and run the Marketing Services team at the club, supporting all departments of the club and driving the growth of the brand globally.
Vange became Manchester United Commercial Director for the newly formed Digital Media business in 2001 building a team, digital assets and new revenue line for the club. Within 2 years, 15% of total club revenue was being transacted through ManUtd.com the official website in the form of match tickets, hospitality and memberships. Many ground-breaking services were developed including, the first live stream of a professional football match on the internet and the first club to launch mobile services in partnership with Vodafone.
In 2006 Vange went on to found the leading activation agency Sports Revolution helping brands including Ford, Barclays, to reach and engage fans through access to 65 contracted football clubs in the UK from the Premier League and the Football League. He recruited an experienced advisory team that covered both the rights and brand side, including Greg Dyke, former FA Chairman. He pioneered digital fan engagement at stadia and through broadcast including the first virtual pitch-side advertising deployment in sport at Wembley Stadium, the first use of High density Wi-Fi in Europe at Celtic Park, and the full digital and connected stadium conversion at Twickenham ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
More recently Vange was invited by Manchester United legends, the Class of 92 (Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt), to help them launch a range of football businesses that have defined a new paradigm for engaging fans through local communities. The acquisition of Salford City FC in the 9th tier of the English Football pyramid, a BBC prime time series documenting the rise of the club to the Football League within 4 years and the human stories that connect this unique club to its local supporters and the wider community. Together with the design and launch of a 180 bedroom football themed hotel outside Old Trafford, Hotel Football, and a Sports & Media University in Manchester for 9,000 students, U92, he has helped the Class of 92 harness their authenticity and connection to fans.
Vange has a personal passion and interest in the democratisation of football and the growing influence of social media in the way fans are consuming and creating football content. He is shareholder and advisor to a new football fan social media and chat platform KROWD9.