The professionalization of football as an economic growth opportunity
The first session of the 10th Day of the Master in Sports Management has dealt with the professionalization of soccer with the intervention of Carles Murillo, director of the Master in Sports Management at UPF-BSM, Patricia Rodríguez, Board Member in Granada CF and a round table with Octavi Anoro, attached to the International Management at LaLiga. Head of LaLiga Global Network; Anna Esteve, responsible for the implementation and activation of sponsorships and the development of the Women's Soccer Business in Levante UD; Álvaro Ramos, general coordinator of women's football at Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense and Rodrigo Yavarone, Marketing and Commercial Manager of Club Nacional de Football de Montevideo.
Murillo welcomed the conference and highlighted that in its tenth edition they have already become a benchmark in the sector, reviewing some of the topics covered in previous editions, such as communication and marketing in sport, sponsors , e-sports, etc.
Rodríguez continued with a presentation on how training is key to the professionalization of sport, reviewing her professional career: “I entered Eibar as a financial director coming from the business world and quickly began to manage other things, such as human resources, for example. In a short time we did a lot of very nice things ”. One of the issues pointed out by Rodríguez that cost the most was to make the directors understand that they had to move away from day-to-day management: “They should dedicate themselves to being directors and understand that they had hired people to run the club as a company, they had to dedicate themselves to thinking in the long term ”.
Rodríguez became general director of Eibar and with her management at the end of that year the strength of the club improved. However, she claims that there was a point where she "was tired of hearing that you could do good management with money." So Rodríguez decided to change clubs, she went to Elche, a club in bankruptcy in the second division. After managing an ERTO and other difficulties, Rodríguez can affirm that she left an economically healthy club and a promotion to first class.
"The more football grows, the more we will grow"
The session continued with the intervention of four alumni of the master's degree. Álvaro Ramos, general coordinator of women's football at Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense, has started. Ramos has reviewed the current situation of women's soccer in South America, a "relatively new modality, the first tournament appeared 49 years later than the first men's tournament."
Then Rodrigo Yavarone, Marketing and Commercial Manager of Club Nacional de Football de Montevideo spoke. "It is a very interesting challenge and a great responsibility," he said. Club Nacional de Football is a non-profit association and changes its board every three years. The current one, according to Yavarone, has set four management pillars: “Focus on a long-term sports structure, strengthening the quarry, giving it priority - currently most of the players are from the quarry-; economic management; social mission and transmission of values; generation of income through sponsorships, tours or international preseason ”. Yavarone has counted the National projects to detect their fans and how to fatten a database to get to know them better.
Anna Esteve, responsible for the implementation and activation of sponsorships and the development of the Women's Soccer Business in Levante UD has celebrated the movement in favor of gender equality worldwide, which translates into an increase in women's football: “Thing that leads to economic increase: television rights, ticketing, sponsorship… ”.
“We have to create professional structures. In Spain the league is not professional, but luckily next year it will be. And that means that television rights and sponsorship will be centralized, and this will have a positive impact on the clubs ”, stated Esteve. "We will enter a stage of stability and that will make women's football grow," concluded the spokeswoman for Levante UD.
Octavi Anoro closed the round table with his experience as a Deputy to the International Management in LaLiga: "I did the master with the hope that the sector would become professional, 12 years later I think there is still room for improvement." Anoro has stated that at that time there were only about 50 people to organize the first and second league, "now there are approximately 700". The LaLiga spokesperson has set his goal: "We want to be the second most watched league in each country after the local one, the more football grows, the more we will grow."