The Johan Cruyff Academy offers elite athletes an opportunity to balance sports with a four-year Bachelor of Science program in Sport Marketing, a learning track of Commercial Economics. This program is exclusively offered to students who practice sports at the highest levels in The Netherlands and it is delivered in Dutch.

There are Johan Cruyff Academies in Amsterdam, Groningen and Tilburg. These Johan Cruyff Academies are part of Dutch universities of applied science (The Netherlands: Hogescholen o hbo).


The Johan Cruyff Academy prepares student-athletes to become leaders within the varied business sectors of sport. On completion of their studies, students are able to apply the theories of business economics in the world of sports from various perspectives, such as sponsorship, products & services, events, facilities, media and elite athletes.

Alumni can also apply their learning to similar fields outside sports, or obtain a Master’s degree, such as the Master in Sports Management or Sports Marketing from the Johan Cruyff Institute.


The Johan Cruyff Academy is exclusively for elite athletes who practice sports at the highest level in The Netherlands (in Dutch).

Only talented athletes that show perseverance, discipline and self-esteem have a chance to reach the top. The same qualities are needed to accomplish the rigorous combination of elite sports & full-time studies. This requires discipline, responsibility, planning and communication. Students have to approach their studies as entrepreneurs.

Athletes who have completed a four-year college degree are in demand in the labor market. With their sports background, drive and disciplined winning attitude they have shown themselves to have skills that many companies are looking for.


The Johan Cruyff Academy offers a 100% sports marketing-oriented edition of the Commercial Economics program (that is offered by many Dutch universities of applied science). During the first two years, the students study several courses and assignments. In their third year the students do their internship and follow a minor (a specialization). The fourth and last year consists of theory (classes, guest speakers) and a final internship.

The knowledge the students gain can be directly translated to their sports practice environment. Students learn for example to create a marketing or communication strategy or a sponsorship policy, or to manage the organization of (sports) events or (sports) projects.


Most teachers of the Johan Cruyff Academy have a sporting background and/or have extensive experience in sports business. Their affinity with the practice and business of sports makes them equipped to guide elite athletes since they share a drive to excel in sports and studies.

The Johan Cruyff Academies work closely together. If a student has to move, due to their sport or other circumstances, they can make a transfer from one Johan Cruyff Academy to another.


Johan Cruyff Academy