Johan Cruyff Institute puts the finishing touch to another academic year at the graduation ceremonies of the sport management programs in Barcelona and Amsterdam
The setting, the reason and the protagonists invited to live a special night, the culmination of an academic year that closes with the awaited graduation ceremony. The students of the Barcelona and Amsterdam programs enjoyed their graduations in two incomparable settings, the magical mountain of Montjuïc and the Olympic Quarter, where sport and legacy always go hand in hand.
Far from being a farewell, the Johan Cruyff Institute graduation ceremonies have, once again, been a welcome to our big family and an invitation to continue perpetuating the great academic legacy of Johan Cruyff. This was recalled by Mariël Koerhuis, general manager of Johan Cruyff Institute, in her speeches, which included references to the figure of our founder and to what was always his desire: to contribute to the professionalization of the sporting world through responsible management, in which commitment, perseverance, good teamwork and responsibility are common attributes in all those who have placed their professional future in our hands.
“Now that you are beginning the next chapter of your journey, armed with the tools and knowledge acquired during your studies, you are ready to make a difference in the world of sport. You have the ability to do so, as well as a great responsibility. As you move forward, remember to stay true to yourself and your passions. Accept the challenges that await you with enthusiasm and a growth mindset. Let your love for sport guide you and always strive to make a meaningful difference in whatever path you choose,” Mariël Koerhuis told them.
“You are ready to make a difference in the world of sport. You have the ability to do so, as well as a great responsibility” – Mariël Koerhuis, general manager of Johan Cruyff Institute
The CaixaForum cultural center in Barcelona, at the foot of the Olympic mountain of Montjuïc, was the setting for the graduation ceremony of the University Master’s Degree in Sport Management, the Blended Master in Sport Marketing and Management (Barcelona) and the Master in Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona. The Frans Otten Stadium, very close to the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium, welcomed the recent graduates of the Master in Sport Management (Amsterdam). They will soon be joined by the graduates of the online programs.
The Johan Cruyff Institute faculty and students were joined in Barcelona by members of our academic partners: Judith Panadès, dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; Ricard Esparza, academic coordinator of the University Master’s Degree in Sport Management on-campus and online; and Albert Mundet, general manager of Barça Innovation Hub, our partner in the Master in Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona. After a year of sharing knowledge, experiences and illusions, the academic body recognized the effort of all the students who, excited, cheered the speeches of their program delegates. A special ovation was received by Bruno Laborde, whose Uruguayan origins did not prevent him from speaking Catalan “as a sign of gratitude and respect to this wonderful city that has welcomed me, and to my classmates and the institution”, after a speech that gave goosebumps to all present as a delegate of the University Master’s Degree in Sport Management (Barcelona).
“Sport management is an exciting and challenging field that requires courageous and committed people like all of you. During this year you have acquired the necessary knowledge to successfully face the challenges that await you from now on. I would like to emphasize two values that I believe will make a difference in your lives and professional careers: effort and leadership. Effort is the key to success in any field; commitment to hard work has gotten you this far and will be your engine for great achievements in the future. But we also need leaders, people who can inspire and guide others to success. I have no doubt that today’s graduating generation has all the qualities to lead in sport management,” said Judith Panadès.
“Commitment to hard work has gotten you this far and will be your engine for great achievements in the future” – Judith Panadès, dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the UAB
Ricard Esparza wanted to congratulate the graduates and thank them for all that they have given to this institution because “we, as teachers, have also learned a lot from you. When we started this journey together in September you already had certain knowledge, skills and experience in different backgrounds. Our job has been to give you new knowledge, but at the same time help you to use what you already had more effectively. And on that path of growth, we have also learned as individuals and as a community.”
“We, as teachers, have also learned a lot from you as individuals and as a community” – Ricard Esparza, academic coordinator of the University Master’s Degree in Sport Management
Albert Mundet emphasized that “investing in talent has been at the core of FC Barcelona for many years, both on and off the field. Now you are part of this talent developed under the umbrella of FC Barcelona. Beyond acquiring knowledge and skills, you have experienced the greatness of collaboration, through projects, case studies and interactive sessions. You have seen the power of working together for a common goal and this will continue to be super important in the next chapter of your life. The combination of talent, knowledge and passion is what makes the difference. The sports industry is changing and it is up to you to be part of this transformation.”
“Investing in talent has been at the core of FC Barcelona for many years, both on and off the field. Now you are part of this talent developed under the umbrella of FC Barcelona” – Albert Mundet, general manager of BIHUB
Jordi Viñas, academic director of the Blended Master in Sport Marketing and Management (Barcelona), made reference to the path and put special emphasis on remembering that everything starts from here. “Those of us who are passionate about sport always recognize the merit of reaching the final. To be here is to have qualified for the final. And that final will be long because it will be your professional career. On this master’s, you have developed the knowledge and skills to compete in that final. You have everything you need to face this next match successfully, but nothing is over. Remember that success is not measured only by wins and titles, but by the impact you will create in the lives of others. Act with commitment, leadership and purpose.”
“Remember that success is not measured only by wins and titles, but by the impact you will create in the lives of others. Act with commitment, leadership and purpose” – Jordi Viñas, academic director of the Blended Master in Sport Marketing and Management (Barcelona)
In Amsterdam, Richard Denton, academic director of the Master in Sport Management, shared an interesting reflection with the recent graduates and all those present at Frans Otten Stadium: “Each year we welcome to our master program men and women who want to dedicate their professional careers to the sports industry. They arrive full of enthusiasm to prepare themselves as well as possible to face the challenges of a competitive and constantly changing industry. On their development path, they learn to analyze the sports world from a management perspective, to understand success or failure from a broader perspective. And, of course, we talk about great clubs and athletes. Our students have reached the finish line and I want to remind them something: The only people who fully deserve the GOAT status are those who leave a legacy that changes the sports industry for the better of society. You can be a legend on the pitch but your legacy off the pitch is what really counts. This also applies to all of them. Hats off to all Johan Cruyff Institute Masters’ students!”
“The only people who fully deserve the GOAT status are those who leave a legacy that changes the sports industry for the better of society. This also applies to all of our students” – Richard Denton, academic director of the Master in Sport Management Amsterdam
The fellowship and the feeling of belonging to a global institution was also reflected in how the students from Barcelona remebered the students from Amsterdam, with whom they shared learning and leisure time during the study trips of their respective programs, as well as the students who were unable to attend their graduation, but followed the ceremony online via the different social networks.
And to cap off a memorable graduation ceremony, Johan Cruyff Institute wanted to recognize excellence by presenting a special award to the students with the best academic records on the different programs: Ricardo Salinas (University Master’s Degree in Sport Management, Barcelona), Roger Hampel (University Master’s Degree in Sport Management – Online), Jamie Leitner (Master in Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona) and Everest Barjuán (Master in Sport Marketing and Management – Blended, Barcelona).
The future belongs to those who dare to dream of doing better and as an academic institution we have no doubt that in this academic year 2022-23 we have added new leaders to our cause. Congratulations and good luck!