The appetite for education is growing within football as clubs seek to build a strong professional culture. To accompany playing talent, skills in marketing, business development or law are essential to long-term international growth.
As an organisation that grew from 35 to 580 employees in just five years, LaLiga is an example of how investment in education can help sports businesses to expand globally. To pass on its knowledge to others it has launched the LaLiga Business School project, becoming the first major football league to provide uniquely-designed professional sports courses to students around the world.
Working with universities, local federations, and clubs, the project brings together expertise from across the business and sporting worlds to share best practices and create an appetite for learning. As well as classes within Spain, the programme has agreed new partnerships with educational and sporting institutions to bring courses to nine countries across the Americas and Africa.
For José Moya, Director of LaLiga Business School, these agreements are key to securing football’s long-term future. “We want to help professionalise the sports industry at all levels by capturing and developing the talent of today and tomorrow’s professionals,” said Moya. “The more qualified people we have working in the industry, the better equipped football will be for growth.”
International courses from Egypt to Ecuador
The first international course, on the subject of sports marketing, was held at the start of March in Egypt, at the ESLSCA Business School’s Cairo campus. Over an intensive 25-hour course, the 40 participants gained a deep understanding of new techniques that can help build a greater profile for football and attract new fans.
Moya said: “Whether they are already working within football or brand new to the industry, we’re offering courses that were not previously available and can help people approach football with a fresh business mindset.”
In the coming months, LaLiga will introduce similar classes in Peru with San Ignacio De Loyola University, in Ecuador with San Francisco de Quito University, in Colombia with the Universidad Externado de Colombia, in Mexico with ITAM, in Puerto Rico with the government’s department of recreation and sports, in Panamá with Universidad Latina de Panamá, in Nigeria with Lagos Business School and in the USA with Colombia University.
While each course is built on the same values and with the same objectives, the speakers are varied and students will learn from experts specific to each country, in addition to 20 hours of instruction from LaLiga teachers.
In Peru, for example, the marketing directors of leading clubs Club Alianza Lima and Universitario will address the classes. In Ecuador and Colombia, representatives from these nations’ professional football leagues will speak, while the President of the Puerto Rican football federation will do likewise for that territory’s course.
Through all of this, new technology will be in use to ensure that students receive the best possible experience. In addition to a digital tool that connects students from all over the world and permits networking, data from the LaLiga business intelligence and analytics department will be used in the lessons and professionals from the various tech departments of LaLiga will take part in the teaching too.
Inclusive education for the good of all football
While the courses help to build LaLiga’s international brand visibility, the principal aim of LaLiga Business School is to bring together experts that can provide the best sports education on the market. “Education should always be inclusive, and our doors are open to local leagues, federations, teams or committees that wish to get involved,” said Moya. “Where we succeed, football as a whole will succeed and that is good for everyone.”
There are plans for future expansion to south-east Asia, Japan and Thailand, as well as to other European countries including Hungary, Italy and Finland. But these moves will be made carefully and slowly. “We’re not built for rapid growth and profit but to put down roots and create a long-term appetite for sporting education,” said Moya.
“But in time, the whole sporting world will be focused on continuous learning and we plan to be a central part of that.”
For further information about all courses on offer visit https://business-school.laliga.es/en
Tech promotes connections across groups in emerging markets
Digital technology users say they more regularly interact with people from diverse backgrounds
Smartphone users – especially those who use social media – say they are more regularly exposed to people who have different backgrounds. They are also more connected with friends they don’t see in person, a Pew Research Center survey of adults in 11 emerging economies finds.
South Africa, included in the study, has among the most consistent levels of connection across age groups and education levels and in terms of cross-cultural connections. This suggests both that smartphones have had a greater democratisation impact in South Africa, but also that the country is more geared to diversity than most others. Of 11 countries surveyed, it has the second-lowest spread between those using smartphones and those not using them in terms of exposure to other religious groups.
Across every country surveyed, those who use smartphones are more likely than those who use less sophisticated phones or no phones at all to regularly interact with people from different religious groups. In most countries, people with smartphones also tend to be more likely to interact regularly with people from different political parties, income levels and racial or ethnic backgrounds.
The Center’s new report is the third in a series exploring digital connectivity among populations in emerging economies based on nationally representative surveys of adults in Colombia, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, the Philippines, Tunisia, South Africa, Venezuela and Vietnam. Earlier reports examined attitudes toward misinformation and mobile technology’s social impact.
The survey finds that smartphone and social media use are intertwined: A median of 91% of smartphone users in these countries also use social media or messaging apps, while a median of 81% of social media users say they own or share a smartphone. And, as with smartphone users, social media and messaging app users stand apart from non-users in how often they interact with people who are different from them. For example, 52% of Mexican social media users say they regularly interact with people of a different income level, compared with 28% of non-users.
These results do not show with certainty that smartphones or social media are the cause of people feeling like they have more diverse networks. For example, those who have resources to buy and maintain a smartphone are likely to differ in many key ways from those who don’t, and it could be that some combination of those differences drives this phenomenon. Still, statistical modelling indicates that smartphone and social media use are independent predictors of greater social network diversity when other factors such as age, education and sex are held constant.
Other key findings in the report include:
- Mobile phones and social media are broadening people’s social networks. More than half in most countries say they see in person only about half or fewer of the people they call or text. Mobile phones are also allowing many to stay in touch with people who live far away: A median of 93% of mobile phone users across the 11 countries surveyed say their phones have mostly helped them keep in touch with those who are far-flung. When it comes to social media, large shares report relationships with “friends” online who are distinct from those they see in person. A median of 46% of Facebook users across the 11 countries report seeing few or none of their Facebook friends in person regularly, compared with a median of 31% of Facebook users who often see most or all of their Facebook friends in person.
- Social activities and information seeking on subjects like health and education top the list of mobile activities. The survey asked mobile phone users about 10 different activities they might do on their mobile phones – activities that are social, information-seeking or commercial in nature. Among the most commonly reported activities are casual, social activities. For example, a median of 82% of mobile phone users in the 11 countries surveyed say they used their phone over the past year to send text messages and a median of 69% of users say they took pictures or videos. Many mobile phone users are also using their phones to find new information. For example, a median of 61% of mobile phone users say they used their phones over the past year to look up information about health and medicine for themselves or their families. This is more than the proportion that reports using their phones to get news and information about politics (median of 47%) or to look up information about government services (37%). Additionally, around half or more of mobile phone users in nearly all countries report having used their phones over the past 12 months to learn something important for work or school.
- Digital divides emerge in the new mobile-social environment. People with smartphones and social media – as well as younger people, those with higher levels of education, and men – are in some ways reaping more benefits than others, potentially contributing to digital divides.
- People with smartphones are much more likely to engage in activities on their phones than people with less sophisticated devices – even if the activity itself is quite simple. For example, people with smartphones are more likely than those with feature or basic phones to send text messages in each of the 11 countries surveyed, even though the activity is technically feasible from all mobile phones. Those who have smartphones are also much more likely to look up information for their households, including about health and government services.
- There are also major differences in mobile usage by age and education level in how their devices are – or are not – broadening their horizons. Younger people are more likely to use their phones for nearly all activities asked about, whether those activities are social, information-seeking or commercial. Phone users with higher levels of education are also more likely to do most activities on their phones and to interact with those who are different from them regularly than those with lower levels of education.
- Gender, too, plays a role in what people do with their devices and how they are exposed to different people and information. Men are more likely than women to say they encounter people who are different from them, whether in terms of race, politics, religion or income. And men tend to be more likely to look up information about government services and to obtain political news and information.
These findings are drawn from a Pew Research Center survey conducted among 28,122 adults in 11 countries from Sept. 7 to Dec. 7, 2018. In addition to the survey, the Center conducted focus groups with participants in Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines and Tunisia in March 2018, and their comments are included throughout the report.
Nokia to be first with Android 10
Nokia is likely to be the first smartphone brand to roll out Android 10, after its manufacturer, HMD Global, announced that the Android 10 software upgrade would start in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Previously named Android Q, it was given the number after Google announced it was ditching sweet and dessert names due to confusion in different languages. Android 10 is due for release at the end of the year.
Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer of HMD Global said: “With a proven track record in delivering software updates fast, Nokia smartphones were the first whole portfolio to benefit from a 2-letter upgrade from Android Nougat to Android Oreo and then Android Pie. We were the fastest manufacturer to upgrade from Android Oreo to Android Pie across the range.
“With today’s roll out plan we look set to do it even faster for Android Pie to Android 10 upgrades. We are the only manufacturer 100% committed to having the latest Android across the entire portfolio.”
HMD Global has given a guarantee that Nokia smartphone owners benefit from two years of OS upgrades and 3 years of security updates.