About ESSMA (6)

Development and Construction

The stadium industry keeps on moving very fast, pushing the boundaries of design standards. New technologies, high expectations from fans and finding those additional revenue streams are just some aspects impacting the way stadiums need to think and move forward.

At the core of this expert area stands the Stadium in Construction Database, which provides members of various data.

News and updates


Operations and Ticketing

Operations and Ticketing are an important part of a stadium’s profitability. Finding the right balance for your fans is important. Look for new ways to organise events and activate your current audience in a different way or attract a new public.


Sustainability and SMART

A SMART stadium is built around Sustainability, Mobility, Accessibility, Resiliency, and Transport. They form crucial parts in your overall organization and ask for a specific mindset to implement them in the best possible way.


Safety and Security

Security in and around the stadium impacts all other aspects of stadium management. The area of safety management is therefore of crucial value for everyone in the industry, especially when you think of the reality we are living in today.

News and updates


Fan Experience and Hospitality

The stadium industry underwent a significant change over the last years. Nowadays fans expect a complete different approach from their stadium: personalized commitment, direct interaction and fast accessible content. Hospitality is one of the cornerstones of stadium management, making sure attendees can expect an outstanding experience.

News and updates


Pitch Management 

Europe have taken huge steps in regards to pitch quality over the last decade, including recognition of the importance of good Groundmanship; with Grounds and Pitch Managers now seen as valuable assets of the club.

News and updates


ESSMA delivers knowledge towards members through


  • Reports and case studies: available on the ESSMA Knowledge Platform

  • Tailor-made interviews with leading industry experts

  • In-depth articles

  • ESSMA' Knowledge platform: find presentations and case studies related to ESSMA's expert areas





Cyril De Greve

Managing Director

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Joris Vanderspikken


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Gert-Jan Cuypers

Commercial Partnerships & Finances

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Sofie Jans

Commercial Partnerships & Governance 

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Laura Robberechts

Communications & Media 

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Elisa Campregher-Nass

Regional Accounts & Activation DE,CH,IT

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Yari Van Minsel

Research & Data Analysis

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The Advisory Committee during the fourth ESSMA Summit in Dublin (LTR): Dimitri Huygen, Jonathan Calderwood, Kees Klein Hesselink, Alfredo Lorenzo (former board member), Roland Meier (former board member), Leif Bjørn, John Beattie, Pierre Venayre, Stéphanie Porchet, Yves De Cocker, Jürgen Muth, Declan OBrien, Birger Nass (former board member) and John Barrow.


Advisory Committee


José Guerra Alvarez

Corporate Operations Director LaLiga

Joachim Baur

Senior Manager Stadium & Infrastrucutre DFL

Jürgen Muth

Managing Director Allianz Arena

Pierre Venayre

General Director Atlantique Stade Rochelais

Sebastian Seibt

Business Development Manager for Stadiums BOSCH

Jonathan Calderwood

Head Groundsman Paris Saint-Germain

Cenk Cem

Manager of Stadium and Security Turkish Football

Francesco Gianello

Head of Stadium Juventus FC

Kees Klein Hesselink

Business Development Manager Philips

Didier Wauters

Senior Sales Manager Tractebel

Stéphanie Porchet

Business Development & PR Manager Atelier Tom Sheehan & Partenaire

Leif Bjørn

Security Manager Telia Parken


Piotr Bielecki

Competition Manager Ekstraklasa



Executive Committee


John Beattie

Stadium and Facilities Director Arsenal FC

Declan O'Brien

Operations and Events Manager IRFU

Yves De Cocker

Tarkett Sports Hybrid Grass Director

Benjamin Viard

Head of Stadium Department LFP


John Barrow

Director ESSMA Services NV

Dimitri Huygen

Director ESSMA Services and Business & Communications Manager Royal Antwerp FC


Sports Venue Business

Sports Venue Business (SVB) is the only platform dedicated to providing an access-all-areas pass to the sector’s key influencers and decision-makers, with information delivered via media-rich formats, from videos and case studies to beautifully illustrated featured articles and in-depth interviews.

The portal acts as a gateway to sector-driven news and views, from job and procurement opportunities and details on the latest venue developments, including tenders and design competitions, to the hot topics and best practices affecting the industry. Thanks to SVB’s high quality, in-depth content, the website achieves more than 4.3K visits a month, which accounts for more than 13.1K page views.

The platform is further complemented by our free Weekly e-News Report, which delivers Industry Interviews, Featured Articles, videos and the latest news directly to some 10,500+ named, high level industry execs around the world.

Further global exposure is secured via our Sports Venue Business group page on LinkedIn, which boasts more than 1,230 high calibre industry professional members; through our Facebook page that has received nearly 5,000 ‘likes’; and via Sports Venue Business Founder & CEO, Katie McIntyre’s Twitter feed (@KatieMc123), which secures 50K impressions a month.

The offering is rounded off with the SVB Industry Directory, which puts the details of the top sports architecture & design practices, engineering firms & contractors, producers & suppliers, conference & trade show organisers at the fingertips of the end-users. And venues are eligible for free listings, in which they can highlight their key amenities and upcoming developments.







February 18, 2013

Sports Grounds Safety Authority

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority is a government body that began as the Football Licensing Authority and has played a critical role in transforming spectator safety at football grounds in the UK. The SGSA carries out a range of regulatory functions in relation to football in England and Wales, and advisory functions in relation to other sports within the UK and internationally.  It operates a licensing scheme to regulate the spectator viewing accommodation at Premier and Football League Grounds, Wembley and the Millennium Stadium and oversees the issue and monitoring of Safety Certificates by local authorities.

The SGSA aims to create the conditions for safe and enjoyable experiences for spectators at all sports grounds in England and Wales and around the world.  It provides trusted independent advice and guidance, and uses its experience and commitment to drive continuous improvement. The SGSA works with its partners to educate and inform, and champions innovation in safety management.

For more information about SGSA: www.safetyatsportsgrounds.org.uk



European Club Association - ESSMA Summit Event Partner

The European Club Association (ECA) is the sole, independent body directly representing football clubs at European level. ECA currently counts 214 member clubs representing 53 different UEFA National Associations. The main objective of ECA is to safeguard and promote the clubs’ interests on European club football matters and to maintain a high level involvement in the decision-making process of the game’s governing bodies. Furthermore, ECA provides to its member clubs a platform for knowledge sharing, information and services.

For more information about ECA: www.ecaeurope.com


European Leagues - ESSMA Summit Event Partner


The European Leagues – the Association of European Professional Football Leagues – is the voice of Professional Football Leagues across Europe on all matters of common interest. The European Leagues represent the vast majority of club football employers in the European social dialogue for the professional football sector.

The European Leagues, which is an association governed by Swiss law founded in 2005 and based in Nyon Switzerland, traces its origins back to the founding in 1997 of the EUPPFL (Association of European Union Premier Professional Football Leagues).

Originally founded by 14 members: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Sweden. The European Leagues now counts 32 professional football leagues and associations of clubs from 25 countries, representing more than 900 clubs from all over Europe.

For more information about European Leagues: https://europeanleagues.com



Institute of Groundsmanship 

The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) is the leading organisation that represents professional and volunteer groundsmen and women, with its head office located in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. In 1934, the first 11 founder members formed the National Association of Groundsmen, which became the Institute of Groundsmanship in 1969. The original purpose was defined as being to improve the status of groundsmen and the standard of groundsmanship. 

For more information about IOG: www.iog.org 




The Football Business Academy 

The Football Business Academy is a new, ambitious football business educational institution which has been created for people who want to break into the football industry. It offers an innovative and comprehensive Professional Master in Football Business which has been developed in a collaborative way with football industry experts around one foremost objective: to provide students with all the necessary tools and an optimal learning environment in order to succeed in this passionate and dynamic industry

For more information about the FBA: www.the-fba.com 



February 15, 2013

ESSMA, the European Stadium & Safety Management Association, offers a platform to stadium professionals where they can share, learn and discuss topics related to ESSMA’s areas of expertise: Development & Construction, Operations & Ticketing, Sustainability & SMART, Safety & Security, Fan Experience & Hospitality and Pitch Management. ESSMA has been founded in 1996 by former president Lionel Dreksler.

ESSMA is built around 3 pillars: Business Intelligence, Events and Strategic Support.

Business Intelligence Workshops and Events Strategic Support 

Mission statement