En-Linea's story began in 1994 in Santa Monica, California, as the brainchild of the man responsible for implementing the technology operations for the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States.
Juan José (Cheché) Vidal Noya is a formar profesional soccer player, sports technology industry visionary and a sports social activist. Throughout his rich professional career spanning more than 25 years, he has disrupted and innovated the sports world by leveraging advanced technology to maximize its benefits in the marketing, management and entertainment side of the sports industry and by promoting fair competition both on and off the field.
Cheché’s successful athletic career on the international stage as a football (soccer) player began in Venezuela as Captain of the Venezuelan National Olympic Team. He competed in the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games and won Gold and Silver Medals in the 1983 Central American and Caribbean Games in Havana and Medellin in 1973. His performance earning him numerous awards including the 1979 Venezuelan Football Player of the Year Award, the 1980 Venezuelan Youth Athlete of the Year Award for Football and from 1981-1983 the prestigious NCAA All-American Award. He also received nominations for the 1979 Venezuelan Athlete of the Year Award and the 1983 Herman Award (the U.S. Intercollegiate Soccer Player of the Year Award). He was inducted into Boston University Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
He graduated from Boston University in 1980 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Education in Human Movement and Sports Technology. He then joined Dr. Richard Lapchick at the prestigious Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University where he helped organize the Center’s first research and technology programs, and began his activities as a social activist in sports under the tutelage of Dr. Lapchick (For more information of Dr. Lapchick see: https://youtu.be/DXOb-N9iF6c).
Cheché began making his mark as a sport technologist when the 1994 World Cup USA Organizing Committee hired him as Vice President of Technology. There he created, planned, implemented and managed groundbreaking telecommunications and technology operations across nine venues in the United States. His work helped raise over $50 million in marketing partnerships with EDS, Sun Microsystems, Sprint and Sybase for the World Cup ’94 technology operations. He also led a national technology team that included over 1,500 professionals and volunteers across the U.S. His work established a legacy that served as a digital platform for future global events and was recognized for his exceptional ability to uncover new digital experiences and marketing opportunities. He was awarded the 1993 Integration Technology Award by VAR BUSINESS magazine and was nominated for the prestigious 1993 and 1994 Smithsonian Computer Award.
The results of implementing a national information multi-media network for the 1994 World Cup, created the first-ever official implementation of the Internet in global sports.
After the World Cup, Cheché approached FIFA, the international governing body of football (soccer) based in Switzerland, with the idea of creating an official on-line information and entertainment service that would allow constituents and fans to connect in a novel. From here he launched his sports technology firm, En-Linea, to develop, implement and provide FIFA with what is recognized as the pioneering digital platform for sports federations worldwide: FIFA.com. He established global offices to service FIFA across multiple time zones in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Kuala Lumpur.
En-Linea became a leading global sports technology integration and Internet development company, serving the world’s most prestigious sports governing bodies such as FIFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, CAF and numerous football federations. En-Linea also provided technology consulting and services to some of the world’s largest sporting events such as the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea, the1998-2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the U.S., the 1998 World Cup in France, the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales and the 1996 European Nations Cup in England.
From 2004 onward, Cheché transformed En-Linea into his sole consulting firm to assist sport organizations, companies and individuals around the world in the challenges and opportunities generated by the digital transformation of sports and business in general. Since then En-Linea and Cheche have been contributing with several innovative projects of innovative mobile, social media, OTT, AI, Blockchain and other multi-media digital platforms to help enrich the way people enjoy their sports experience.
1n 2018, Cheche was invited to collaborate as one of the experts in the development of the innovation vision of the United Bid that won the right to organize the FIFA World Cup 2026 in US, Mexico and Canada.
Cheché is also an active consultan an active guest speaker at global industry conventions and events such as the 2000 World Football Expo, the 2003 Sport Marketing Convention, the 2004 Barcelona Forum, the 2008 Frankfurt Sports Marketing Summit and the 2011 FIFA CIES. A sports social activist, Cheché has founded several sports organizations in Venezuela (the Olympic Athletes Association of Venezuela among many other) and created his own non-profit organization to enhance the positive influence of sport competitions in society through the use of technology and education, www.Fundacolim.org and www.Fair-competition.org