IT’S a happy New Year for Cappamore man Noel Mooney who will begin 2012 in an exciting new role as marketing manager of European soccer’s governing body UEFA.
A former goalkeeper with Limerick FC, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers, a knee injury forced Noel out of the game in 2006 but he had been “interested in the business of football” right through his playing days.
Noel is a former commercial director of Limerick FC and has also held roles with the FAI - most recently as head of league marketing and promotions. His job with the FAI has seen him work with UEFA over the past three years. He is a recent marketing graduate of DIT.
“It’s a long way from Cappamore alright but I’m really up for it. It’s everything I’ve been working towards and studying for over the last number of years and I feel I’m ready for it,” he told the Leader this Wednesday.
His new role will see him based in Nyon, Switzerland, but Noel expects to do a lot of travelling. He will be responsible for maximising the marketing potential of football in UEFA’s 53 members countries from the Faroe Islands to Kazakhstan.
“I’ve actually been to Kazakhstan twice already this year. Part of the job will be helping the national teams build up their brands. You have the really progressive national associations like in Holland and Germany, like ourselves and the FA but the further east you go, the less developed they are. Compared to the European clubs, which are massive brands all over the world, the national teams are not as powerful and part of the challenge will be restoring that balance,” said Noel.
The first big project for Noel will be this year’s European Championships in Poland and the Ukraine. This will be the last occasion on which TV and advertising rights for these major championships will be negotiated by individual associations and France 2016 will see Noel Mooney and UEFA centralise that process.
“Up until now, there was an element of the luck of the draw. If you drew Germany, which has the biggest market, you could expect to do well but revenues were very volatile for associations. We hope that by centralising TV and advertising rights, we can keep the finances more stable in the member countries,” he said.
Asked if he could use his influence at the top levels of European football to revive the mooted Limerick-Barcelona friendly at Thomond Park, Noel said “of course I’d be delighted to see the big clubs coming to Limerick”.
“Pat O’Sullivan and his team are doing a great job at Limerick but the timing would have to be right to get a game like that together and it would have to make sense for all the parties involved.”
Meanwhile, FAI chief executive John Delaney has wished the Limerick man well in his new position.
“It is a wonderful opportunity at this stage in Noel’s career to broaden his horizons on the European stage and a testament to the quality of staff we have developed at the FAI. We wish Noel well in his new role and look forward to watching his progress,” said Mr Delaney.