Press release
Home game: Trade fair cities bring football tournament to Nuremberg
Press release of the NürnbergMesse Group

Home game: Trade fair cities bring football tournament to Nuremberg

11. June 2024
  • For its 50th birthday, NürnbergMesse will step up for the first time to organise the Trade Fair Cities Football Tournament, a sports event with a long tradition and a forerunner of the UEFA Europa League
  • The “Trade Fair Cup” competition will be held in Nuremberg on 15 June, also marking the kick-off weekend for the football European Championship
  • A roster of ten teams from German, Italian, and Dutch trade fair companies will compete for the cup, sponsored by the AUMA trade fair association

Many consider this tourney among trade fair companies a forerunner of today’s UEFA Europa League (formerly the UEFA Cup). Back in 1955, just ten years after World War II ended, the competition was launched when FIFA officials conceived the idea of a European football tournament as a way of “contributing to friendship among nations”. Some years would still have to pass before NürnbergMesse was even founded. But now, in its 2024 jubilee year, it will organise and host this long-traditioned tournament for the first time, as teams from nine European trade fair companies contend against one another on 15 June. “Trade fairs are a way of connecting people together – and so are sports. Whether for active players or enthusiastic fans, the international trade fair tournament has already become a storied affair, attracting the trade fair community from all over Europe. At NürnbergMesse, in the year of our 50th anniversary, we’re proud to host this event, and we’re looking forward to a festival of sporting fair play among friends”, said NürnbergMesse Group CEO Peter Ottmann. Cornelia Trinkl, Nuremberg’s city officer for schools and sports, will attend as representative of Lord Mayor Marcus König, who is also the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of NürnbergMesse: “In Nuremberg, exercise and sport play a central role - not only as a hobby and to promote health, but also as a means of strengthening the community. That's why I was particularly keen to support the exhibition cities football tournament. With every pass and every goal, the European teams will demonstrate the common spirit that unites us at our sports park in Nuremberg-Gebersdorf just one day after the start of the European Football Championships.” The tourney is sponsored by AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry.

Nuremberg, 11 June 2024 – The ten teams who will face off on the pitch of ATV Frankonia in Nuremberg on 15 June come from Germany (Deutsche Messe, Hanover; Kölnmesse, Cologne; Messe Berlin; Messe Hamburg; DLG e. V. Frankfurt; and host NürnbergMesse), Italy (Fiera Milano, Milan) and the Netherlands (Jaarbeurs Utrecht and RAI Amsterdam). Each trade fair company organises its own team autonomously. The NürnbergMesse Group team, captained by Employee Council Chairman Uwe Friedrich, numbers 33 men and four women. Four players come from subsidiary Holtmann+, two from NürnbergMesse Brasil, and one player from joint venture YONTEX. The NürnbergMesse squad also represents a broad mix of events from the company’s trade fair portfolio: Altenpflege, BIOFACH, embedded world, Euroguss, Fachpack, FeuerTrutz, GaLaBau, it-sa, IWA Outdoor Classics, Perimeter Protection and Powtech Technopharm, as well as Pet South America, Pet Vet und Pet Experience in São Paulo.
The Nuremberg team is especially looking forward to the football firepower of Eduardo Valente and Guilherme Martinez. “Edu” is in charge of personnel matters such as employee recruitment and staff development at subsidiary NürnbergMesse Brasil. During the tourney, this enthusiastic amateur football and futsal player will be in Nuremberg for an exchange program where he can network with his colleagues in the HR department and the employee council and expand collaboration further. His colleague Guilherme Martinez is the head organizer for Pet South America, Pet Vet and Pet Experience in São Paulo. He’s pursuing an on-the job parallel MBA degree in Madrid, which means he’s now opportunely situated to come and play in Nuremberg.

A diverse programme for networking
The programme for the exhibition cities’ competition will offer a wide range of opportunities for participants to get acquainted and chat, both on the pitch and along the sidelines. NürnbergMesse will offer a tour of its Exhibition Centre on the day they arrive. Match schedules will be set up by lot at an evening reception.
The “Trade Soccer Fair Cup” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, 15 June, at the ATV Frankonia pitch, Willstätterstrasse 4 in Nuremberg. That evening, the proceedings will move back to the Exhibition Centre to honour the winners and party together. Since the football European Championships are beginning in Germany at the same time, participants will be able to watch the opening Germany vs. Scotland match together, along with Italy vs. Albania the next day, on video screens at the Exhibition Centre.
The finals of the first Trade Fair Football Tournament in 1955 pitted a selected London team against world-famous FC Barcelona. Until 1971, the event was held between professional teams from Europe’s trade fair cities. And in 1979, the exhibition companies revived the tradition, holding the tournament in a different European trade fair city each year. Following host cities Berlin (2019) and Utrecht (2023), NürnbergMesse will serve as organizer and host in celebration of its 50th year in business.

Dr. Ulf Santjer
Dr Ulf Santjer
Press Spokesman NürnbergMesse
T: +49 9 11 86 06-80 28
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Maximilian Hensel
Senior Manager Corporate Communications
T: +49 9 11 86 06-85 15
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About the NürnbergMesse Group

The NürnbergMesse Group was entered in the commercial register on 5 April 1974 as Nürnberger Messe- und Ausstellungsgesellschaft mbH (NMA), and is now one of the 15 largest exhibition companies worldwide. The Group employs more than 1000 people at eleven locations in Germany, Brazil, China, India, Italy, Greece, Austria and the USA. It also has a network of international representatives in more than 100 countries. Its portfolio comprises some 120 national and international exhibitions and conferences held in person and as digital events, focusing on five general fields: Retail & Consumer Goods, Building & Construction, Process Technology, Electronics & Security, and Social & Public. The company has also been incorporating more and more aspects of sustainability into its trade fair concepts. Its events secure more than 12,000 jobs and generate billions of euros each year in purchasing power and tax revenue, making NürnbergMesse a major economic engine for the Nuremberg metropolitan region and Germany as a whole. As an employer and organizer of major events, NürnbergMesse assumes responsibility for people and the environment. It shapes its corporate actions in accordance with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the aim of achieving climate neutrality by 2028.