UEFA's KISS programme has staged a century of workshops designed to strengthen the bond with member associations and help FAs further their own development in a range of areas.
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To reach the figure 100 is an achievement in many fields or activities – a century is often a mark of distinction and engenders respect and honour for work undertaken.
UEFA's work with, and on behalf of, its member national associations reaches an important milestone this week with the 100th workshop held as part of the Knowledge & Information Sharing Scenario (KISS) programme.
The century was raised with a gathering in Liechtenstein under the theme "Marketing – Sponsorship and Fan Engagement", which looked at sponsorship sales, football and competition from a sponsorship point of view, and current sponsorship trends in football. The workshop was attended by 23 participants from 15 European national associations.
A key aspect of UEFA's mission as football's governing body on this continent is to nurture a spirit of solidarity and equality across the European football family. To this purpose, the KISS programme was launched in 2005, further reinforcing a bond between UEFA and its 53 member associations which has endured over five decades since UEFA was founded in June 1954.
"The member associations of UEFA cover a broad geographical reach, incorporating many diverse cultures, working methods and professional good practices," says UEFA in explaining the KISS programme. "KISS recognises this collective know-how as a valuable commodity and seeks to build a platform to share these resources, and ultimately enhance the level of professional performance based on knowledge exchange and networking."
KISS's birth soon bore fruit, with national associations hosting their own specific workshops, passing on real experience and knowledge, debating solutions, and trading good practice in innumerable working areas – communications and media relations, marketing, corporate management, law, event management and stadium security are just some of the topics covered.
The drive to share knowledge has also brought fresh departures in how such know-how has been imparted – quizzes, storytelling as well as role playing and simulation were on many workshop agendas.
"The key to these workshops is the adaptability of the knowledge," says UEFA. "By using detailed case studies and interacting with experts and like-minded individuals, a member association can apply these good practices to their own problem-solving or work culture. And as a result an association is empowered to work autonomously."
In addition, KISS offers UEFA associations individual assistance programmes. Sometimes a particular issue needs specific guidance, and in this instance a UEFA member can approach KISS for assistance. The appropriate experts in the field are deployed, and they endeavour to help the association find and implement the best solution.
Since February, KISS has also operated a new and improved customised online platform for the associations.
The platform contains football good practice spanning a range of issues. A journey through a virtual stadium can explain the behind-the-scene operations, while in-depth videos clarify roles and recommendations. The goal of this platform is to touch a wider audience, cascading the knowledge and good practice throughout football to clubs, sponsors, players and everyone else working in the game on a day-to-day basis.
"KISS is a genuine success story for UEFA," says Theodore Theodoridis, UEFA's national associations director. "It caters for a variety of topics which adapt to the experience level – so it works for the novice as well as the advanced. KISS has also provided a superb platform for networking, not only forging strong bonds between UEFA and its members, but also between the national associations themselves."