More than 70% of the graduates of the first two editions of the Master in Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona are now working in the football industry and more than 30% hold managerial positions
The first two editions of the Master in Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona have exceeded the expectations of more than 72% of graduates of Johan Cruyff Institute and Barça Innovation Hub. There were basically two reasons that led those first 34 students to enter the only football business program based on the management model of FC Barcelona: some sought to progress in their professional career within the football industry, and others to get their first job in the sector. Now you can say that those 10 months of toing and froing in Barcelona to combine classes at the Camp Nou and the Johan Cruyff Institute headquarters have changed their lives.
The prestige of Johan Cruyff Institute as an academic institution specialized in sport management and the involvement of professionals from all areas of the football business who transfer their theoretical and practical knowledge in this program make for a most powerful combination. Broadening their vision of the football industry and activating their networking thanks to direct contact with professionals that are already part of the great machinery of the football business has led students of 23 different nationalities to find new professional opportunities. Graduate hires at communication agencies and private companies have been the most numerous (38%), followed by those offered new jobs at clubs (20.6%), and at federations, leagues and associations (13.8%). Another circumstance to highlight is that 32.3% of the students of the Master in Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona now hold managerial positions and 67.7% hold operational positions.
Daniel Martin, financial and operations director of the Al Jazira Sports Club Group, was a student of the first edition of the program. Daniel, born in Scotland, got his first job in football as a financial controller of the group to which Celtic Football Club belongs, and subsequently held high-level financial management positions at international brands such as Etihad Aviation Group, Armaguard and Jumeriah Group. The Master not only allowed him to return to the football industry, but to do so at a high level. “For me, it was a fantastic experience,” says Daniel. “As a student, you have access to renowned academics in world football who give you a lot of knowledge and, without a doubt, what in my opinion gives more value to the program is the interaction with the management team of FC Barcelona enabling you to understand the strategy of one of the most important football clubs in the world.”
“When I started the Master, I was lucky enough to be working in the industry as director of international affairs and business development at World Football Summit, but the program definitely helped me to expand my professional network, consolidate my knowledge and organize my ideas”, says Marcos Pelegrín. He was already in the world of international relations when he joined the WFS founding team and, for the last six months, he has been country manager for LaLiga in South Africa.
Cristina Morena, of Spanish nationality, and Daria Chernyak, of Russian origin, met on the 2018-19 edition of the Master and now work together at WFS. Cristina is commercial director, and leads a team of five people. Her job is to develop and implement commercial strategies according to the objectives of each project to accelerate growth and sales, as well as carry out market studies and analysis in search of new business opportunities and guarantee the success of existing ones. “The Master has helped me not only to expand my knowledge of the most important areas of the industry, but also to meet the most relevant stakeholders, both in terms of content for the WFS program, and for the commercial area that I direct”, explains Cristina.
Daria Chernyak started working at WFS during a trial period while studying for the Master and currently holds the position of executive associate, in charge of communicating with clubs and federations to close commercial actions and organize BTB meetings in the exhibitor and networking areas of the summits. Daria had already had some previous experience in the football world, but was looking to open up her field of activity. “I had been at the World Cup in Russia out of my own interest, but it was nothing professional, and I also did an internship at the FIFA Confederations Cup while I was at university. I decided to do the Master to meet people from different countries and to have a definite opportunity to work in the football industry. At university, I graduated in logistics management because I wanted to direct my career toward event management, and the Master was essential to be able to get a job at WFS. It is a program that has everything: theory, practice and a very important professional network”, says Daria.
Juan España, a Venezuelan resident in Costa Rica, had lost faith in finding a way to get into the football business after several failed attempts. “In general, the football world is a fairly closed sector and if you don’t know anyone it is very difficult to become part of it”, says Juan. “The Master gave me the opportunity to meet people and having that direct access to industry professionals was very interesting. Once I graduated, I worked for eight months at the Barça Academy in Costa Rica and now I run my own football academy in Costa Rica, the Scorpion Academy.”
Networking also worked for Nuno Pereira (Portugal) during his time as a student of the Master. “While doing the program I got the chance to have a job interview for FC Porto, the club I am currently working for. I am convinced that the Master was a key factor for Porto trusting in me and now the knowledge I acquired helps me in my decision-making, to be clear about the path that the club should take”, says Nuno. He is currently the manager of the Under-11 team of FC Porto. “I am responsible for 35 players and six coaches. During the week, I organize the team’s work and prepare their participation in tournaments, and at the weekend I act as team delegate. In addition, I intervene in the quality management systems of the club and in the certification process of football training entities, a ranking in which the club has the highest 5-star rating.”
Regular viewers of Mediapro and DAZN broadcasts in Brazil know our last protagonist. Thiago Arantes is a sports journalist and, after studying the Master, he now has a much broader understanding of football, which helps him to judge everything he sees on the pitch in a very different way. “The Master helped me see the ‘whole picture’ of the football industry. As a journalist, I understood football as a mere sporting event: its heroes, its stories, victories and defeats. All the media talk about football from this perspective.” Thiago acknowledges that, as a journalist, “making the leap to the other side and working in other areas of the football business is always complicated and after the Master that is now my goal.” For the time being, he continues as a commentator for Mediapro and DAZN, “now trying to give more information and a wider opinion to offer my audience a more enriching experience.”
All of these examples—Cristina, Marcos, Juan, Daniel, Nuno, Daria and Thiago—not only devote themselves to what they are passionate about, but also have the necessary tools to do their job better. The football industry needs professionals who bring knowledge and new practices to the sector. Whatever sector they come from.
Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona
The Master in Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona is the only program in football business and administration based on the management model of FC Barcelona, recognized worldwide, as well as on the great experience of the Johan Cruyff Institute in sport management education. The main objective of the Master in Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona is to educate with in-depth and up-to-date knowledge and insights from the football industry. Students will analyze the core theories and relevant case studies that will help them visualize the behavior of the football business. Students will also have the opportunity to learn, interact and contribute with FC Barcelona business strategy and operations.Sign up!