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Teaching about sports management and sports marketing for students in mature sports markets like Europe or the USA must have a different approach, than teaching and mentoring coaches in emerging countries like Zimbabwe. I had the pleasure to meet a group of coaches and athletes from Zimbabwe yesterday in a 2hr webinar, where we talked about sports marketing, business models in sports, and their very own business ideas.
As a special guest I could welcome my student ELIJAH MENSAH, Ghana born, Italian raised, who shared his business model beeing a personal fitness trainer.
We will have the next webinar coming weekend. The course is supported by a short online course as well, with some additional material, videos, and case studies. I appreciate, that I gained some new insights in the discussions as well about the sports market in Zimbabwe.
I have already dealt with this topic in the last course with my students: Fitness, is the fastest growing "sport" in the world. despite the COVID pandemic. The demand for fitness is not only for gyms, fitness studios, CrossFit boxes, micro,- or yoga studios. Fitness competitions are becoming more and more popular. Although there has been a slight dip in participation rates due to COVID in 2020 and 2021; most competition formats have come out of the crisis in good shape. Whether Crossfit Games, Spatan Race, Mudder Games or other OCRs.
One competition format that has established itself in recent years - not only in Germany but throughout Europe - is HYROX. The target group are the millions of worldwide athletes who call Functional Fitness their sport. Up to now, there have hardly been any comparable, measurable fitness events for everyone. HYROX, that is the ultimate challenge: A perfect combination of strength, endurance and speed, for all performance and age groups!
I have been following the event since 2019, when I listened to a podcast with one of the founders of the fitness series, Moritz Fürste, Germany's most successful hockey player. Fürste was able to explain the motivation and concept of the event in the sports business talk and convinced me not only from a business point of view. Since I have a background in athletics - both as an athlete and coach - I fully understand the concept of 8x 1km running in combination with 8 workouts.
Inspired by the talk and the concept, I started training with the goal of completing a HYROX competition myself in April 2020. Due to Corona, of course, that didn't happen for a while, but in September and November 2021 competition was calling: I started in Leipzig and Berlin!
Having an idea and a concept is certainly one thing, but to successfully put such a concept into practice a completely different one!
HYROX or better, the company UpsolutSports GmbH from Hamburg, which is behind the concept, has succeeded greatly! It was a great experience and I had the opportunity - besides the races - to chat to some other athletes and officials. Great success for the event - at least the two events I competed in.
This winter 2022/23 HYROX starts into its 4th season. The DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) countries are the core of the event calendar, so are Spain, Netherlands and the UK. Even in the USA, the largest fitness market in the world, there have already been a number of successful events. Chicago, Dallas, New York or Las Vegas. All first-class organized events, which find more and more enthusiasts.
I will also also participating again this season and have booked my tickets for two events initially. More to come maybe in 2023.
In addition to the sporting side, HYROX remains a very interesting research object as a business case in the field of fitness events.
The winter semester starts with a course at the ALBA College on Leadership in Sport.. The ALBA College is a cooperation between the most successful German basketball club ALBA Berlin and the University of Europe for applied sciences.
In the course we will look at the organizational structure of sports organizations in general as well as organizations in professional sports. What are the requirements and challenges for managers and executives in the sports industry? What challenges will sport face in the future and what are the tasks of managers and executives in particular in an often fast-moving and hectic industry? In addition, we will deal with very general techniques and concepts of employee management.
Ralf Iwan MBA