Red-White Business Tour
An internship program “Red-White Business Tour” based in München, Amsterdam, Eindhoven was held on 7th — 17th December 2014, organized by the RMA business school for the students of RMA “Sports Industry Management” and their partners.
Dates: 07 — 17 December 2014
Cities: Munchen, Amsterdam, Eindhoven.
Program: masterclasses and seminars by the leading top-managers in the industry’s; visiting the stadiums and overview of the training infrastructure of various centers and academies, attending the soccer games.
Football Clubs: FC Bayern Munchen, Fußball-Club Augsburg 1907, Philips Sport Vereniging (PSV), Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax, Football Club Utrecht.
Institution: The Royal Dutch Football Association (Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbal Bond, KNVB).
Stadiums: Alianz Arena, SGL Arena, Amsterdam Arena, Philips Stadion, Stadion Galgenwaard.
Matches: FC Bayern Munchen — PFC CSKA (UEFA Champions League), PSV — FC Dynamo Moscow (UEFA Europa League), АFC Ajax — FC Utrecht (Eredivisie).
Speakers: Andreas Kufner (International Marketing Director, FC Bayern Munchen), Stefan Reuter (Sport Director, FC Augsburg), Michael Stroell (Managing Director, FC Augsburg), Peter Fossen (Chief Operating Officer, PSV), Ruud van Elk (Youth Academy Analyst, PSV), Guus Pennings (Marketing Director, PSV), Art Langler (Youth Academy Director, PSV), Sander van Stiphout (Director of stadium, Amsterdam Arena), Gem Beemsterboer (Project Manager, Amsterdam Arena International), Wilbert van Baren (Sponsorship Manager, FC Utrecht), Folke Nagtegaal (Marketing Department Manager, FC Utrecht), John Hermans (Security Manager, FC Utrecht), Jurrie Groenendijk (Expertise Manager, KNVB), Dirk Hundersmarck (Sponsorship Manager, KNVB), Jan Blyssen (Competition coordinator, KNVB), Maarten Stekelenburg (Youth team coach, KNVB), Eddie van Schaick (Director of Development Academy, Ajax FC), Mark van Leest (Head of Media Department, Ajax FC), Sipko Adriaanse (Manager Business Relations & Sales, Ajax FC), Guus Hiddink (Head Coach of the Dutch national team), et al.
Eddie van Shaick on the basic principles of Ajax Youth Academy “De Toekomst” operation: "We bet on the individual work with each of the players involved in our youth teams. We do not follow the classic path where a team is represented by a coach, an assistant and 16-18 players.
We are now as close as possible to the opposite model — one player, one main coach and a few more, about a dozen specialists in total. It`s obvious that there are coaches working with attacking players, defenders, goalkeepers. But there are also physical and running trainers, coaches of kicks, passes, dribbling, gymnastics, judo coaches — we introduce these elements of training into the program to improve coordination, in order that players learn to fall and get up correctly without putting themselves in danger of getting injured.
Talking about the attitude to the loads and intensity. Our teams in the Academy divided into three age categories — from 8 to 12 years old, from 13 to 16 and from 17 to 19. We can conduct very intense gaming training sessions for the first group`s kids; the training sessions are aimed at improving the skills of working with the ball and last up to 2 hours — kids can run, move, almost without getting tired. Concerning the next group — from 13 to 16 years old, I know that many of our colleagues increase physical activity at this age in other Academies. It seems to be all right — the child becomes older which means you can load him more.
We take a different approach in our work though: the teams in this age group have the same amount of training sessions as the smallest ones — three times a week (plus one game), and their duration is even reduced. Why? We believe that increasing loads during such a difficult period in terms of physiology, when the body grows and rebuilds, can lead to serious negative changes — increased injuries, loss of flexibility, elasticity or even early tiredness from football or an aversion to the game.
Once the ripening period is over, the players reach 17 and turn from teenagers to young men — the training sessions become more intense, their amount increases to five per week, and physical training, including exercises in the gym, gets no less attention than the rest of the components."
Guus Pennings on how PSV works with fans on social networks: "We pay much attention to the selection of content that we are going to post on social networks. It never crosses with the official website content. It`s exclusive in the sense that only we have it and you won`t see this anywhere else. This is not a boring official protocol card in all media. This is, for example, a photo of Depay on the massage table in the locker room taken during the break of the match against Dynamo in Moscow. Or else selfies of other players made in Moscow as well.
This is the first thing. Secondly, we try to use social networks as a monitoring tool as much as possible, also as a tool for communication, feedback from fans, which allows us to track their reactions — both positive and negative. I’ll give an example of our Twitter accounts: we have two of them for a while — the first is traditional which was originally instituted to inform our audience about the club’s news. And the second one is called PSV Fan Desk, which is opened not so long ago in order to answer questions and complaints from fans without stuffing up the news feed of the first account with this ‘correspondence’. It is quite convenient and it works; this allows you to attract better, interest new fans and sometimes even return old ones — if they might have been offended by something or disappointed in something.
We had a case: we invited fans to an open training session of the first team via Twitter. And one of them answered us at Fan Desk like ‘I will never come to you again because Jeffrey Bruma is a very arrogant guy. I met him at the last training session and asked for an autograph, but he haven`t even looked at me.’ After that, we argued for a long time whether to respond to this tweet or not. Many of us believed that it wasn`t necessary, but I insisted and convinced my colleagues that since a person writes to us then he is not indifferent to us and since he is not indifferent to us then he is not lost to us.
And we finally responded to him: ‘It’s a pity that the last time it happened, come on in, we will try to change your impression of us for the better.’ And you know what this guy said? He replied literally the following: ‘I will definitely come. Thank you for hearing me ...’
I can give you one more tip regarding social networks. If you work in a football club and you are responsible for running your accounts then it`s awfully important if pages are designed in your corporate style with an extensive use of club colors, emblems and other images. Fans like it and according to statistics they repost materials from such accounts in 4 times more often than from those which don`t contain the elements of the corporate identity or contain insufficiently."