Eva Martinez manages and runs her company Dream Cheers, a reference in the show beyond the field of play
Eva Martinez has managed to make entertainment her way of life and, more importantly, her business model. She comes from the world of artistic gymnastics, and is a psychologist, set designer and choreographer – a cocktail that she knew how to successfully mix more than 10 years ago to create her own company, Dream Cheers. Her group of cheerleaders is not only the official team of FC Barcelona basketball team, but has also become a reference in ‘entertainment’ at the national level and has nothing to envy the creators of the American ‘show time‘.
Her restless character and professionalism lead Eva to visit the United States each year in the search to incorporate new concepts for her choreographies. Besides livening up the timeouts in Palau Blaugrana, her girls have been an active part in shows of the ACB League, the Asobal League, the basketball Copa del Rey tournament, competitions of the Spanish basketball team, the Marseille Beach Soccer World Cup , motorsport events and the American football NFL.
Eva explains in this interview why she decided she needed a Masters in Sports Management to strengthen her business model and also the keys to its success.
How was the company born?
It was born in 2002, following the end of the Barcelona Dragons when the NFL decided to take the franchise to Cologne. At that time, with the agreement that there was between FC Barcelona and the NFL, we were already dancing on the basketball court and I continued working for Barça but setting up my own company.
How did you take the step of creating your own business?
There was a continuity because of my work with the NFL Europe. I’m a psychologist, set designer and choreographer, and thanks to this knowledge I continued with my team of cheerleaders, studying the Barça concept well. But I found that I needed more training to run a business and that’s when I discovered the Johan Cruyff Institute and came to do the Master in Sports Management, which is really what gave me the necessary tools to be able to arrive, as a company, where we are today.
How did you promote Dream Cheers to become a reference in entertainment?
The disappearance of the Dragons was big news in Barcelona. A lot of the media and people in the sports world were interested in knowing what would happen to the team of cheerleaders and it was reported in the press that we were still in FC Barcelona, and the club was a great platform for people to get to know our show and we were being watched by the major sports organizations in Spain.
In your case which comes first: the passion for sport or the show?
The passion for sport. I was a gymnast and I’m really an artistic gymnastics coach, and I trained as a choreographer to unite my two passions. But my passion is for sport and joined to dance, this is the result.
From what concepts do you create a new show?
The first thing is to study the target of each event, of course you have to have a good team, which you need to find taking into account certain values, and from there, sacrifice, effort, to get great results. Consistency is also important and the desire to excel.
What is the profile of a Dream Cheer?
She must be a girl with a good training base, both in terms of dance as well educational, usually they are all university students, and she must have something very special, which is an incredible desire to improve, and be very demanding, very respectful, with a capacity for teamwork, with poise, and really like the world of sport and be able to enjoy it with respect and dedication.
You describe yourselves as ‘NBA concept’. What is the American model like?
I was fortunate to be able to train in the NFL Europe, I was in the Miami Dolphins working with the American concept, I also worked in some NBA teams and I applied it here. In order to put in a basketball court what I had done in the Barcelona Dragons I needed more training so I went to the United States to get it. I’m constantly retraining at the best schools in New York. I’m in contact with the best cheerleader teams there, we exchange information and our ‘entertainment’ is very American. An example of that is that when the NBA comes to Spain or Europe, Dream Cheers is one of the companies they are most comfortable working with, as they themselves have said.
Were you clear when you did the Master that you would set up this kind of company?
Doing the Master in Sports Management gave me some incredible tools I would never have imagined and a network of very important contacts that really opened up the vision of my company. And many people have also helped me.