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AFC turns to experienced Rogers for commercial director role

The Asian Football Confederation has named Andrew Rogers, a sports marketing executive who counts Team Marketing and Fifa among his former employers, as commercial director.

Announcing Rogers’ appointment today (Thursday), the AFC said that he will oversee the continental federation’s newly-created commercial department that will manage the relationship with DDMC Fortis. The joint venture agency is selling media and sponsorship rights to AFC competitions from 2021 to 2028.

Rogers is also tasked with planning, commercial and media rights strategy, brand, broadcasting and marketing.

Having left his role as New Zealand Cricket’s general manager of domestic cricket, Rogers has been working as a consultant in recent months.

A dual New Zealand and Swiss national, he spent five and a half years at Team Marketing, laterally as commercial and legal director. He is well known to Patrick Murphy and David Tyler, previously leading members of Team’s management and now DDMC Fortis’ chief executive and chief operating officer, respectively.

Rogers was senior legal counsel at Fifa from 2001 to 2006, helping to develop and implement the commercial strategy and sales for the World Cup and other Fifa events.

Commenting on Rogers’ appointment, AFC general secretary Dato’ Windsor John said: “We are delighted to be able to appoint someone with Andrew’s vast experience. He has worked in football for more than 15 years and has also held senior management positions for more than 10 years.

“His knowledge across a wide range of organisations – from global rights-holders, to National Federations, International agencies and Local Organising Committees – means that the AFC can call on a wealth of knowledge.”

From 2006 to 2008, the new arrival at the AFC also worked for Athletics Management & Services, the agency selling the IAAF broadcast rights. Rogers was also commercial director at the 2015 Fifa under-20 World Cup held in his native New Zealand.

DDMC Fortis was buoyed by the news earlier this year that China had won the race to stage the 2023 Asian Cup. In June, Murphy told SportBusiness that China’s hosting had “significantly increased” the probability of it exceeding its financial targets in selling the commercial rights for the tournament.

The agency’s remit covers media and sponsorship rights for: the Asian Cup, Fifa World Cup Asian qualifiers, the AFC Champions League, the AFC Cup, the AFC Women’s Cup, the AFC men’s and women’s youth championships, and the AFC Futsal Championships.

However, the agreement excludes media rights sales in the Middle East and North Africa.