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The FBA’s Anniversary: 7 years in 7 facts

As we mark the 7th anniversary of The Football Business Academy (The FBA), we reflect on the remarkable journey that has brought us to this momentous occasion. With its roots in a visionary concept that first originated in 2015 but took two years of development, The FBA has evolved into a thriving organization, shaping the future of football business education and making a lasting impact on the global sports industry through its trained leaders and partnerships. 

Within our network, there are no borders when it comes to surpassing the initial question of ‘How to get into the football business’ and taking the very first step towards that goal. From bustling metropolises to remote corners of the globe, FBA Alumni comprise a diverse community of over 340 individuals, showcasing our global impact and reach. Annually, they span all continents, fostering cross-cultural exchange and enriching experiences. This diversity enhances both educational and post-graduation endeavors, shaping a network of professionals adept at navigating our interconnected world. Through collaboration and mutual respect, FBA Alumni make meaningful contributions globally.

Unveiling the mosaic:

Europe accounts for the largest portion, with 46.4% of The FBA Alumni originating from this continent. North America follows, representing 17.7% of the Alumni body, closely followed by Asia with 17.1%. Latin America contributes 13.5%, while Africa makes up 5.1%. Lastly, Oceania is the origin of 1% of FBA Alumni.

When examining the academic backgrounds of Candidates enrolling in our Professional Master in Football Business, we find that the most prevalent fields are Business Administration and Economics. Following closely behind are professionals with backgrounds in Sports Management, with Marketing, Advertising, and Communications professionals in a close third position.

The FBA’s creation was intended to challenge conventional education paradigms by introducing a Professional Master in Football Business exclusively dedicated to the football industry and rigorously aligned with the evolving market needs, employing a practical approach. We are fully committed to nurturing careers in the football industry and advancing the game’s evolution by empowering the next generation of leaders to make a tangible impact.

While some of our candidates were already working in the football industry before joining our Master in Football Business, the vast majority of them are career switchers from various academic and professional backgrounds. Today, they have established themselves in their passionate industry and are dedicated to promoting The FBA’s values.

We are thrilled to share that 91% of our graduates have secured employment in the sports industry post-graduation, with 86% specifically within the football sector, after an average of 3 months of active searching. Additionally, numerous cases exist where our guaranteed internships transition into full-time job positions within the same organization. This exemplifies a remarkable full circle of professional growth and development. You may download our latest Employability Report here.

Type of organizations employing our Alumni:

From its inception, The FBA has been aligned with the idea that a fundamental component for driving the game forward – on and off the pitch – involves acknowledging the challenges women face, emphasizing the importance of diversity, and creating a more inclusive and supportive environment. Although there is still progress to be made, in recent years, the industry has shown noticeable change as more women have entered various roles within football. We are thrilled to see our efforts reflected in the very positive trends our statistics show, knowing that this is just the beginning and that together we can continue to make strides.

Currently, our women’s network comprises the following regions: Europe leads the podium with 53.3% of our female FBA Alumni coming from countries within the European territory, while Latin American Alumnae represent 22.2%. Third place goes to Asia with a little over 11%, followed by North America with almost 9%. Africa is next with 4.4%.

From enrolling our first FBA Candidate in our very first Edition to reaching a peak of 8 female Candidates in our 13th Edition and registering almost 20% women in the classroom of our 14th Edition, we are absolutely positive about the journey ahead. 80% of our current Alumnae community have secured a job in the industry after completing our Professional Master in Football Business. While the vast majority of them are working in football clubs and governing bodies (such as FIFA, UEFA, etc), they also excel at leagues, sports agencies, consultancies, and other organizations.

In this regard, we are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Women in Football and their bold network of professionals, driving change together through initiatives like the #GetOnside pledge.

In less than a decade, we have established a significant number of industry allies, enabling us to consolidate our presence in the European region and rapidly expand our partner base across diverse backgrounds and continents. This ensures even more impactful development opportunities for football globally. Our FBA Partners are essential supporters of our mission to further professionalize the football industry worldwide. We recognize the complexities within the industry, which vary greatly depending on the continent and even country. Having well-known clubs, governing bodies, football associations, agencies, NGOs, and various other organizations onboard allows us to address all aspects and participants within the football ecosystem.

We have grown to over 75 Partners, with ongoing promising conversations that may positively impact that number. From our initial consolidation in Europe, we are now becoming more present on the world stage, with 9.2% of our current allies located in North America, 7.9% in Latin America, followed by Asian partners (3.9%), and Africa with 1.3%.

Our Partners are:

Crafted by Experts for emerging talents in the field, The FBA’s Professional Master in Football Business has been co-developed and is frequently revised to update the curriculum, ensuring it better responds to market needs.

For programs starting in September 2023 and beyond, we have restructured, refreshed, and added new courses. We have enhanced and developed up to 18 top-notch courses, delivered by international experts serving as mentors and professors, to comprise our current curriculum for our Candidates. And the truth is, we are certain this won’t be the last update (and that is absolutely fine). Keeping pace in this industry demands flexibility and dedication, not to mention excellence every step of the way. In this vein, and as an example, fields such as Sustainability, Business Intelligence, and Data Analysis, among others, were not the trends they have become today. Part of our mission is to understand their current significance for the sports industry, thereby ensuring we provide our students with detailed knowledge and understanding of today’s trends. We complement our comprehensive curriculum with guest lectures, with over 34 experts contributing to our program.

Before completing the 12-month Degree, our Candidates are tasked with a consulting mission for a selection of FBA Partners and industry collaborators. During the final two months of the program, they work closely with a Partner’s counterpart who oversees the project. These projects typically involve real considerations and ideas that Partners aim to activate in the near future.

The Student Business Project (SBP) serves as a roadmap and action plan for them, providing initial steps for our Candidates while they pursue careers in the football industry.

Throughout 12 Editions, we have secured SBPs for Partners from Europe (65.8%), Asia (18.4%), Latin America (10.5%), and North America (5.3%). The majority of these projects were undertaken for football clubs, followed by leagues, companies, federations, and a confederation.

This amounts to 58 Student Business Projects successfully delivered between Editions 1-12.

In our early years, we were fully focused on our flagship Degree – the Professional Master in Football Business. Then 2021 arrived, marking a new milestone in The FBA’s history. We embarked on a new business vertical, initiating the creation and successful proposal of educational initiatives to support prominent football-related stakeholders. Others sought our services for what we excel at: the production and delivery of bespoke programs such as workshops, certificates, or diplomas, curated with the best expertise available. Our deep understanding of the industry’s primary trends and challenges, coupled with The FBA’s mission to shape the future of football, has motivated us to establish a framework for diverse industry stakeholders to unlock their growth potential, enrich their staff’s skill set, and expand their network.

We have collaborated with football governing bodies to develop and deliver educational programs related to football management and leadership for their members. But that’s not all! We have also partnered with a federation and are currently engaged in a project with a football club and another organization. While that’s all we can reveal for now, stay tuned for more exciting news from our end.

As we celebrate seven years of remarkable achievements, each fact shared unveils a milestone of The Football Business Academy’s journey. From our vibrant and multicultural Alumni community to our commitment to women in football, from our expanding Partnership network to the success of our educational initiatives and business solutions, each aspect highlights our dedication to shaping the future of football business education.

As we look back on these seven years, we are filled with immense pride and gratitude for how far we have come and the meaningful community we have forged between our Alumni, Partners, Professors, FBA Team, and stakeholders. However, this journey is far from over. With each passing year, we are driven by a renewed sense of purpose and passion to continue growing, evolving, and making a positive impact on the global sports industry.

The promising years ahead hold even greater opportunities for us to innovate, collaborate, and lead the way in football business education. Together, with our Partners, Alumni, and Stakeholders, we are confident that the best is yet to come. This seven-year celebration marks the exciting beginning of what lies ahead, with a solid background that serves as a powerful impulse. Thank you for being a part of our story, and here’s to many more years of growth, success, and excellence with The Football Business Academy.