Students of the Master in Sport Marketing and Management at Johan Cruyff Institute propose ideas to optimize the strategic plan of the new Sports City of Fundación Damm, which is expected to open in early 2024 and whose main user will be the Club de Fútbol Damm
In January 2021, Fundación Damm announced the acquisition of 30,000 square meters of land from Club Natació Montjuïc swimming club for the construction of its new Sports City, whose main user will be Club de Fútbol Damm. The club will inaugurate its new facilities at the beginning of 2024 to become, along with FC Barcelona, the only two clubs participating in the highest categories of Catalan and Spanish grassroots football with their own stadium in the city of Barcelona. Quite a challenge for a leading club in youth work, whose expansion and change of location will be accompanied by improvements in all areas of management.
And a challenge that the students of the Master in Sport Marketing and Management Blended at Johan Cruyff Institute will face as part of the ‘Company Project’, an academic activity that forms part of the evaluation system of Johan Cruyff Institute’s sport management programs and which has a triple purpose: to connect the content of the different subjects to respond to a real challenge posed by a company in the sports sector; to promote networking between students and professionals in the industry; and the possibility that the solution offered can be implemented in the future through an internship agreement.
Àlex Galí, coordinator of Fundación Damm, was responsible for presenting the project to the students of Johan Cruyff Institute’s Master in Sport Marketing and Management (Blended) and collecting their proposals after an analysis phase in which they took into account the idiosyncrasies of the club and all the possibilities offered by its new location in Montjuïc, one of the areas with the longest sporting tradition in Barcelona.
“With the acquisition of the new Fundación Damm and CF Damm Sports City in Montjuïc, the idea is to be able to manage this facility in the most professional way possible. We were fortunate to find a partner like Johan Cruyff Institute, whose students can help us in different management areas,” explains Galí.
“We were fortunate to find a partner like Johan Cruyff Institute, whose students can help us in different management areas” – Àlex Galí (Fundación Damm)
“This is one of the strong points of Johan Cruyff Institute’s academic program in any of its modalities. We seek the applicability of the more academic content and concepts developed in each of the subjects,” explains Jordi Viñas, director of the Master in Sport Marketing and Management (Blended) in Barcelona. Three phases are established in the work methodology. “First, we contact a company that is willing to reach a consensus and share a problem they may have. Then, a representative of the company comes one day of class to explain the situation to our students and we guide them as tutors and prepare work teams to respond to this business challenge based on an organized structure. In the last phase, the company returns to the classroom to listen to the solutions provided by each of the work teams. It is an excellent example of the applied methodology based on real cases that is characteristic of Johan Cruyff Institute and the interest is mutual: we have direct contact with the business market, and the organizations in the sports industry are able to get a fresh view and some innovative ideas from the students,” adds Jordi Viñas.
“Company Project is an excellent example of the applied methodology based on real cases that is characteristic of Johan Cruyff Institute and the interest is mutual, for us and for the organizations in the sports industry that are able to get a fresh view and some innovative ideas from the students” – Jordi Viñas (Johan Cruyff Institute)
The students not only enjoyed the experience, but also hope that some of their ideas can be put into practice. This is the case of Everest Barjau. “This is the first time we have had the experience in a real project. We thought it was a great initiative when Damm came to present their new sports facilities in Montjuïc. We were asked to present a communication strategy to promote the team and make them known in this new area. If they decide to carry out any of the strategies proposed, it would be the perfect cherry on top, a great way to finish the work and all the research we did on the case,” he says.
“This is the first time we have had the experience in a real project. If Damm decides to carry out any of the strategies proposed, it would be the perfect cherry on top, a great way to finish the work and all the research we did on the case” – Everest Barjau (student)
For Macarena Freiría, this academic initiative is “special and unique. I think that all of us who come to do a master’s degree in sport management are looking for that, to internalize the reality of the sector and to feel and study the essence of the sports business. I think that having this kind of opportunity is very rewarding, it makes you grow and see how the world of sport works.”
“Having this kind of opportunity is very rewarding, it makes you grow and see how the world of sport works” – Macarena Freirçia (student)
Fellow master’s student Ian Felipe Abascal found the experience “very challenging. In our case, we were asked to improve the area of services to be offered. It’s about looking for new formulas for the new sports complex and to create a community, so that young people who go to this sports center can have a better experience,” he says.
In total, the new Fundación Damm sports complex will have two 11-a-side football pitches—one of which can be divided into two 7-a-side football pitches—and two buildings. The main building will house offices, medical services, a gym, changing rooms and a study room, and a secondary building located between the two football pitches will have stands for up to 550 spectators, a restaurant area and more changing rooms. The club wants its services to be not only new, but also exemplary.