Written by: Stuart
Board directors Karen Dobres and LucyMills, and Director of Performance @KellyLindsay represented Lewes FC at the Athens Women’s Football Summit last week.
The summit united a truly global group of women’s football trailblazers, innovators, and investors from clubs, federations, media companies and corporations. In fact, all continents were represented.
Karen, Lucy and Kelly took the stage on day 1 to share their personal stories and insights on Lewes, including:
– How Lewes is able to attract new fans – people who never previously followed football.
– What we think it means owning a football club and our unique community ownership model.
– What our challenges and aspirations for the women’s game in England are for the future.
And some of our takeaways from the Summit:
Football clubs doing business as usual will struggle
Football clubs need to radically disrupt and do things differently if they’re going to survive. We learnt about amazing initiatives generating value and entertainment, like the Women’s Cup.
Private investors are leading the way
Investors are seeing women’s football as a big growth opportunity. It doesn’t need to copy the trajectory of the men’s game, it can carve out its own, and awaken millions of new fans.
People were struck by how authentic the Lewes story is. We believe our authenticity is based on having purpose and principles that make a difference in the world. The Summit heard how Lewes FC is a collection of people trying to build a club on principles and making it work in the commercial world at the same time. And because authenticity cannot be built overnight, it is arguably the ultimate competitive advantage as it cannot be immediately copied.
Expertise of the women’s game in and for the women’s game matters
Growth needs to be led and advised by the game’s experts to continue growing in a way that retains its soul and meaning.
Thank you to the organisers, and all the participants for creating an atmosphere where we all felt very much at home and able to make those connections that will lead to tangible change in the world.