Kentaro: the facts
WHO ARE KENTARO?
Kentaro was set up by sports media experts Philipp Grothe and Philippe Huber in 2003 and immediately went about signing up football federations around Europe to look after their TV rights. They subsequently expanded their company into the area of staging of high-profile friendly international matches on neutral soil, starting off with the November 2005 meeting of England and Argentina in Geneva.
WHEN DID THEY LINK UP WITH BRAZIL?
The agency organised a pre-World Cup training camp for Brazil in Switzerland before the 2006 finals, which sold out all 80,000 tickets, and their relationship with the CBF grew from there. Later that year, they launched a 'Brazil World Tour' and an 'Argentina World Tour' which included the meeting of those sides at the grand opening of the Emirates Stadium in September 2006.
WHAT IS THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FAI?
By 2006, the FAI were also using Kentaro to market qualification campaigns, predominantly in the area of organising television rights with larger countries. Kentaro took a prominent role in negotiating with the various TV companies of the bigger nations visiting Dublin, in addition to working with the FAI on friendly matches such as the visit of Brazil to Croke Park in 2008. RTE's struggle to broadcast the second leg of the World Cup play-off in Paris in November arose from French anger at Kentaro's decision to sell the French rights for the first match in Dublin to the highest bidder, a private station.
HOW DO KENTARO ORGANISE THESE FRIENDLY MATCHES?
Kentaro hire a venue, pay an appearance fee to the competing nations -- depending on their stature, and benefit from the ticket sales, in addition to whatever TV deals and other opportunities they can arrange around the game. In the case of tomorrow's game, Kentaro have paid a ballpark figure of €250,000 to the Emirates in addition to a flat fee believed to be in the region of €350,000 to the FAI and upwards of €1.2m to the Brazilians. They then endeavour to sell out the ground and maximise revenue to turn over a large profit.
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