The FIH Pro League has officially kicked off– replacing the Champions’ Trophy and the World League Semi Finals and World League Final. It aims to run a calendar of must-see events played in packed stadiums across the world and throughout the year.

The game-changing competition sees 152 international matches being played between January and June 2019 at locations all around the world, with nine men’s and nine women’s teams competing for the title.

The new global competition is overseen by Thierry Weil — a former top marketing genius who comes with 35 years of experience.

Prior to joining the FIH, Weil held the position of Marketing Director at the International Football Federation (FIFA) for almost 10 years.

Prior to joining FIFA in 2007, Weil had held various marketing positions at Adidas. He joined the German manufacturer of sports clothing in 1981, heading up Product Development for Europe at Adidas France.

In 2003, he became their Head of Global Football Sports Marketing and went on to become President of Global Football Sports Marketing 3 years later only to move on to FIFA one year later.

On Saturday, Thierry Weil, was one proud man, as the season kicked off in Valencia where host Spain welcomed top-ranked world champions Belgium in the first men’s game of the FIH Pro League.

“My mission, together with our team in Lausanne, is to inspire the next generation and make the Hockey Revolution happen.” – Thierry Weil

The FIH Pro League took three years of research, consultation and development with more than 600 individuals, including athletes, National Associations, Continental Federations, , major broadcasters, the International Olympic Committee, individuals at Continental Federation congresses, officials and umpires, FIH Committee and Panel members and FIH staff.

It has never happened in the history of hockey that so many people are consulted from different stakeholder groups and different backgrounds in different countries.

To connect better with fans, the FIH will broadcast Pro League games on its own streaming platform, FIH.live.

“In the beginning we have to keep it free, we have to keep it simple. “It’s only geoblocked in the country where the broadcaster will show it live.”  – Thierry Weil

In addition to this, Deloitte (international specialists in audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management and tax), was also invited to provide extensive support in developing the financial modelling for the new portfolio of events.