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Sports Business in Barcelona: Introducing our new Master’s in Sports Management Programme

Sports Managament

In autumn 2020, ESEI is launching a Master’s in Sports Management Programme in collaboration with Bruguera Tennis Academy. We are very excited to begin this new chapter, and we want to share with you a bit more about why we chose to add sports management to our courses. 

Barcelona is no doubt an international sports hub. The sports innovation and entrepreneurship scene is thriving. And while FC Barcelona may be the first to come to mind, there’s a lot more to the local sports scene. 

Let’s take a look at why Barcelona is the perfect place to study Sports Management!

Barcelona’s thriving sports scene

If you had to name the biggest thing that the city of Barcelona is famous for, chances are, you would hesitate between La Sagrada Familia and FC Barcelona. 

Barcelona’s legendary football club has garnered a passionate global fan base. In fact, it’s one of the most widely supported teams ever. The team has won record numbers of titles, including 74 domestic trophies and 20 European and worldwide titles. It’s the fourth most valuable and the second richest football club in the world. And it’s become a symbol of Catalan culture. The club’s home stadium, Camp Nou, is a site of pilgrimage for football fans from around the world. 

However, football is not the only sport that Barcelona excels in. And Barça is not the only team the city can be proud of. For instance, FC Barcelona Bàsquet is a great basketball team that regularly performs well domestically and internationally, so much so that they won the Euroleague in 2010. Other successful sports teams include the FC Barcelona handball team, the futsal team, the ice hockey team and the volleyball team

Aside from professional sports, if you’re an outdoorsy person, there’s a lot to do in and around Barcelona. You can go sailing, hiking, mountain-climbing, surfing, or run the Barcelona Marathon

And of course, let’s not forget about the bar culture in Barcelona. On the day of the El Clásico, the immensely competitive showdown between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Without fail, every single football enthusiast in the city goes to a bar to watch the match with a beer in hand. There are even thematic sports bars in Barcelona for the most hardcore fans. 

Tennis in Barcelona

Let’s take a moment to talk about tennis. Spain has always been a tennis nation, with world-famous players like Rafael Nadal, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moyá excelling at international tournaments and earning the world’s most coveted titles. Spain has won the Davis Cup five times and Spanish players have shined on clay courts like the Roland Garros, too. Many of Spain’s top 100 players started their careers in Barcelona, including Álex Corretja, Andreu Gimeno and Sergi Bruguera. 

As captain of the Davis Cup team since 2018, Sergi Bruguera is particularly important to the success and popularity of the sport. The former professional tennis player has many outstanding achievements under his belt, including two consecutive French Open wins (1993 and 1994) and an Olympic silver medal (1996). 

Sergi Bruguera’s father, Luís Bruguera is one of the world’s most recognised coaches. He is extremely well-connected within the Barcelona sports ecosystem, acting as a mover and shaker who brings sports professionals from different fields together. He’s also the founder and director of Bruguera Tennis Academy, a prestigious tennis school in Barcelona. 

Bruguera Academy has a long history of success, with 25 of its players ranked among the top 100 on ATP or WTA tours, 3 Roland Garros singles champions, 1 Wimbledon singles champion and 2 Olympic silver medalists. In the 35 years since its founding, Bruguera Academy has developed a unique methodology drawing on the experience of Sergi and Luís Bruguera.

We are extremely proud to partner with Bruguera Academy on our Master’s in Sports Management Programme!

Barcelona has and always will be an important hotspot for tennis in Spain. The city has hosted the annual Barcelona Open tournament every year since 1953. Spain’s oldest tennis club, Real Club de Tenis Barcelona was founded in Barcelona over 120 years ago, in 1899. 

The history of sports events in Barcelona

The 1992 Olympic Games changed the face of the city – that’s when the popular downtown beaches were built and sports really became a central focus for the residents. This helped turn Barcelona into an important travel destination. It also cemented the city’s reputation as a centre for athletics. Estadi Olímpic Lluís Company still stands on Montjuïc as a testament to the Games. 

Barcelona has hosted many other important sports events. These include several matches during the 1982 FIFA World Cup, the final of the European Champions League in 1989 and 1999, the 1996 FIFA Futsal World Championship and several games of the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. 

Regularly organised sports events add to the buzz around sports. There’s an active Sports Tech Meetup group. Sports enthusiasts can connect to discuss sports innovation and disruptive technologies such as Big Data, AI, Blockchain, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Internet of Things, Wearables, Smart Arenas and more.

Sports entrepreneurship and innovation

When it comes to sports innovation, Barcelona is ahead of the game. While Barça is a key figure in this ecosystem, there is no shortage of sports tech startups, either. The city is home to companies like WeFitter, a fitness gamification app, and SoccerDream, a virtual reality football training platform. 

There are several initiatives that are making Barcelona a very attractive place for local and international companies alike. 

For example, the global sports equipment company Asics has recently started running a sports and wellbeing accelerator programme in Barcelona. The Tenkan-Ten Growth Catalyst is currently working with its second batch of five startups. The cohort includes a number of interesting businesses. There’s Munich-based Fun With Balls, a startup that uses interactive gaming technologies to create immersive sports experiences. And there’s UK-based RaceCheck, a platform that connects fans of endurance sports with races around the world. 

The ESEI Master’s Degree in Sports Management

Our goal at ESEI is to provide our students with high-level, 21st-century education programmes that will propel them towards their dream careers.

We are launching our Master’s in Sports Management Programme in autumn 2020. We’re doing this to give our students direct access to the world of sports through invaluable contacts. You’ll be connected with outstanding sports professionals like Luís Bruguera, the founder of Bruguera Tennis Academy, our programme’s organising partner. If you want to be close to the best in the sports business, this course is for you!

We believe that Barcelona offers an ideal environment for students to get the most out of such a specialised course. The programme will involve hands-on practical workshops taught by leading industry professionals. You’ll also have the chance to go on visits and tours of sports facilities, take part in networking opportunities and more. 

Once you graduate, you will be standing on the doorstep of a fruitful career in any sports management field you choose. There are lots of options to think about, including:

  • Professional sports management
  • Sports marketing
  • Event management
  • Facility management
  • Sports finance

Applications are open. Apply now to save your spot and join us in Barcelona in 2020!

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