Johan Cruyff Institute welcomes in the new academic year that will mark 20 years of the educational initiative of Johan Cruyff’s legacy
Johan Cruyff Institute opens its doors to a new generation of students who aspire to professionalize the sports industry, but this is not a regular first day. The new academic year 2018-19 marks 20 years since the creation of this institution, the academic initiative that represents Johan Cruyff’s legacy in education. Twenty years educating athletes, graduates and professionals from the world of sport and from other business sectors who want to become leaders in sport management.
The Johan Cruyff Institute network was born in Amsterdam in 1999, with the creation of the Johan Cruyff Academy, which offers a university degree in sport marketing for elite athletes in the Netherlands and also has centers in Tilburg (2009) and Groningen (2015). Other young athletes who preferred vocational education also found an answer: in 2004, the first Johan Cruyff College was inaugurated in Amsterdam, with new centers opening in Groningen (2006) and Nijmegen (2006-2018), Roosendaal (2007) and Enschede (2009).
That first footprint in Holland gave way to a much more ambitious project, with an expansion plan beyond its borders. The Johan Cruyff Institute opened its international headquarters in Barcelona in 2002. The brand has been consolidated over the years and currently offers master’s degrees, postgraduate courses and specialized courses in Sport Management, Sport Marketing and Sport Sponsorship, Football Business and Coaching, in on-campus, blended and online formats.
“This year we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Master in Sport Management, a program that was created through Johan’s efforts and means in order to offer professional opportunities to athletes once their active sports career ended”, recalls Núria Masferrer, academic director of the Master in Sport Management at the Johan Cruyff Institute. “Year after year, the Master has grown in number of students and in competencies taught, adapting to the changes that have taken place in this booming sector. We have taken a very important qualitative leap and proof of that excellence is the official accreditation of our master’s degree by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona”.
Judith Panadés, vice-dean of the UAB, explains that “the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, which jointly teaches, via FUABformació, the Official Master’s Degree in Sport Management of the Johan Cruyff Institute, has seen a good opportunity to create a master’s degree that combines academic rigor and university standards with real experience in the field of sport management, enabling it to offer students a comprehensive 360-degree training. We believe that the adaptability and innovation of this Master has allowed it to become a reference in the field of sport management”.
FC Barcelona, through its project Barça Innovation Hub – Universitas which aims to achieve sports excellence through knowledge and innovation, is another of Johan Cruyff Institute’s allies in the Master in Football Business in collaboration with FC Barcelona. The program launched its first edition last year, in on-campus format and in English. Strategy and knowledge manager at Barça Universitas, Marcos Picallo, comments that “the first edition of the master was a resounding success; we had students of many different nationalities who gave the classes an international perspective of the world of football. The growth of this joint project of Barça Innovation Hub – Universitas and the Johan Cruyff Institute is more than evident and we hope that our new students will benefit from being able to share our knowledge and experience”.
Johan Cruyff’s trademark vision to put into practice common sense, pragmatism, intuition and the power of teamwork among teachers and professionals in the active sports industry is also very present at the Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam (founded in 2006), Mexico (2003), Sweden (2011) and Peru (2013).
“When I see all these students at the beginning of the new academic year, aligned with the vision and mission of the Institute, I see the next generation of leaders in sport management. Whether in the field of play or as a sports manager, one needs to understand the two worlds, the particularities of sport and the essential knowledge to be able to lead. We firmly believe that it is a privilege to share our knowledge with the new generations and continue to spread the legacy of Johan Cruyff”, says Henk Verschuur, manager of the Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam.
The Johan Cruyff Institute Mexico celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. “It is a privilege to start a new edition of the International Master in Football Business. The profile of our students is becoming more and more varied, from club leaders to former football players, journalists, representatives from brands linked to football, players’ agents and entrepreneurs, and our academic program is unique in the Americas”, says the country manager of the Johan Cruyff Institute Mexico, Ricardo Zayas.
“Each country’s sport is benefiting from the emergence of new professionals who are trained and acquire the necessary tools to be leaders in the sports industry. In Peru, we are proud to have contributed for years in leading that change,” says Renato Ricci, country manager of the Johan Cruyff Institute Peru.
The international network of the Johan Cruyff Institute is completed by the presence of international agents in 13 countries: Italy, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Australia, Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.
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