Johan Cruyff Institute organizes the first Sport Management and Innovation Forum in Costa Rica

December 22, 2023

Johan Cruyff Institute organizes the first Sport Management and Innovation Forum in Costa Rica

Johan Cruyff Institute organized the first Forum on Innovation and Sports Management in Costa Rica in collaboration with Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, an event that took place on January 30 and 31 in San José

This forum was launched as an innovative academic project aimed at transferring knowledge about the most relevant trends in the sports industry and its management at an international level. The synergy between Johan Cruyff Institute and Liga Deportiva Alajuelense led to the first Costa Rica Innovation and Sports Management Forum, held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in person in San José, Costa Rica.

The forum was designed as a space for knowledge, inspiration, and collaboration among the club, companies, and sports sector professionals in Costa Rica, successfully positioning the club as a benchmark in the professionalization of the sports industry in the country and aspiring to become an essential event in the Costa Rican sports scene.

The forum’s objective was to provide sports industry professionals with an update on sport management through a deep analysis of current and future industry trends. It highlighted the importance of sports organizations innovating in management, promotion, and organization, adapting to new tools and realities, committing to innovation, and professionalizing the sector.

The event included masterclasses taught by Johan Cruyff Institute faculty and discussion panels with prominent national sector professionals. Román Pascual, commercial director of Johan Cruyff Institute; José Luis Beltrán, teacher and digital product manager at FC Barcelona; and Edgar Romero, corporate relations and faculty member of the institution, represented Johan Cruyff Institute at the forum, which also featured a virtual intervention by Jordi Viñas, academic director of the Master in Marketing and Sports Management.

Costa Rican sports industry professionals joined the forum to analyze the current situation and short-term trends, creating a roadmap that highlighted the main challenges and key aspects we face, and the opportunities for innovation that arose.

According to Román Pascual, commercial director of Johan Cruyff Institute, “It has been an intense forum; in 2 days, we have provided a lot of information that participants will have to analyze and internalize. We have discussed the outstanding trends of the sports industry, but from there, there is a lot of work to be done. One of the keys is to follow these trends, not to fall behind, and to be references, at least in Central America. And that this helps others grow and that the industry gradually professionalizes.”

“I am very happy with the effort made by the entire commercial team of Liga Deportiva Alajuelense to organize a forum like this,” said Oliver Nowalski, Commercial Manager of Liga Deportiva Alajuelense. He continued, “It has been a real challenge. Sometimes, in Costa Rica, it is difficult for us to appreciate this type of initiatives that seek to prepare and educate us more. However, seeing the staging, how people enjoyed the event, and all that we have learned in these two days fills me with great satisfaction with the final result. I hope this becomes an activity that we can carry out, hopefully, every year or periodically, as it significantly contributes to people in our industry.”

Monica Malavassi, former football and basketball player for the Costa Rican national team, commentator on Teletica Deportes, and speaker at the forum, noted, “These have been two enormously profitable and learning-filled days. Initiatives like this are fundamental for the development of sports in general, not just football, as they allow us to stay up to date and open our minds to a universe of new opportunities and possibilities. I am convinced that continuous education and being aware of the latest trends are essential for the growth of the sports industry. Especially in Costa Rica, we have the potential to develop a robust sports industry that is not only seen as a business but also as an agent of social change.”

Following the success of the first edition, the Liga Deportiva Alajuelense and Johan Cruyff Institute are working closely together to establish this event as an essential milestone in Costa Rica’s sports scene. Preparations for the organization of a second edition in 2025 are already underway.


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