FC Barcelona ranked as most innovative sporting team

Iconic LaLiga side FC Barcelona have been named by research and market intelligence firm Sports Innovation Lab as the most innovative sports team in the world, in their annual data-driven rankings.

The list is largely made up of European football clubs, who provide 10 of the teams and seven of the top 10. Behind Barcelona and Real Madrid are Premier League club Arsenal, last year’s number one Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Italian outfit Roma.

The list takes into account revenue diversification, technology enablement, and organisational agility to assess how teams are building their business through innovative approaches and digital initiatives.

A key factor in Barcelona’s score was its investment in fan experience and was praised for its multi-lingual social media channels, its esports teams, its data-driven fan membership programme, and its Innovation Hub.

“Many industry leaders struggle with the definition of innovation. They say ‘we know it when we see it’ but for us, that wasn’t good enough,” Sports Innovation Lab co-founder and chief executive Angela Ruggiero said in a statement.

“The ‘Most Innovative Teams’ report is the answer to that ambiguity, providing a definitive ranking based on strict criteria that identify and score what it means to be innovative.”

At present, the list only takes into account the top 10 revenue-grossing leagues around the world – the ‘big five’ European soccer leagues, the ‘big four’ North American sports, and the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Sport Innovation Lab plans to expand the scope of its research in the near future. The organisation would also like to include women’s sports but has called for more publicly-available information that would allow for a more accurate assessment.

“There is an immediate need for more publicly-available information (that we turn into data) about what women’s teams are doing in technology, how they’re diversifying their revenue, and the structure of their organisations,” = Abe Stein, Sports Innovation Lab’s head of innovation, said in a statement.

“To put it simply, you cannot evaluate what you cannot measure, and that’s why we’ve put so much energy over the past two years into defining what it means for a team to be innovative and setting up the research method for independently collecting the relevant data.”

Nonetheless, The Sports Innovation Lab is confident it will be able to launch a women’s list within the next 12 months.

An amenities refresher for NSW grassroots custodian

The NSW Football Legacy Program has worked in conjunction with the Bayside Council in providing $150,000 to the Bexley North Football Club (BNFC) who join the vast growing number of successful applicants of the Infrastructure Stream, which is the second round screening process.

The Football Legacy program is a $10 million investment founded by the NSW Government. The program’s intention is to continue the established growth of female football through freshly refurbished community facilities.

Furthermore, development programs, participation initiatives and potential ventures involving tourism and international engagement are all at the forefront of the overall objective the NSW government has regarding the growth of football within the state.

The $150,000 grant in which BNFC are receiving is going to be spent sparingly. Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve is in dire need of a rejuvenation, given the club’s recent rise to popular interest within the Football St George Association, BNFC experienced an astounding spike in membership.

Since the 2021 season, the club witnessed a spike in members, a 35% increase surge in overall involvement, highlighted by a 40% increase in female involvement.

The traffic that the club began to experience was a confronting yet exciting time for the community operated club. Their previous facilities could not cater for the extravagant influx of participants, hence the club opting to collaborate with the Bayside Council.

The grant successfully attained will be used to upgrade the amenities at Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve from top to bottom. The newly furbished facility has hosts a conference room, referee room, medical room, canteen, and storage area.

Further funding requested by BNFC is expected to be utilized in rejuvenating the current change rooms and bathrooms, as well as a through fixup of the established home and away locker rooms. The end goal insight, is to accommodate highly regarded women’s footballing outlets in the future.

BNFC President Eddie Yazbeck, mentioned the importance of what this grant will provide.

“We have worked closely with Bayside Council to develop a site plan for Kingsgrove Avenue Reserve and together we applied for the NSW Football Legacy Fund to help make our vision a reality,” he said via press release. 

“This grant will deliver a much-needed infrastructure upgrade, addressing concerns such as accessibility and safety, improved canteen facilities, storage for our kits, change rooms for players and referees.”

The Facilities and Grants Officer at Football NSW, James Spanoudakis, also added via media release. 

“Amenity buildings are the heart and soul of all football clubs across NSW,” he said.

The new amenities is expected to be completed towards the conclusion of 2024, ready to go for the 2025 winter season.   

Melbourne City proudly unveil their state-of-the-art-facilities

Melbourne City have proudly showcased their clubs latest project through the unveiling of their new state-of-the-art-facility, located at Casey Fields in Cranbourne.

The City Football Academy Melbourne continues to push the already established high-standards in which football across Australia are beginning to reach. The facility will host the men’s and women’s teams, as well as the club’s grassroot program, and an administration office is also involved in the newly developed location.

The Melbourne based club were inspired by their British parent and European juggernauts Manchester City have some of, if not the best facilities in world football. Melbourne City’s latest facility was developed in accordance to the structure and framework relating to Manchester City.

Within the newly furnished building, it’s features are acknowledged to stand out amongst other rival A-League entity’s. A 60-seat theatre and community classroom was installed to host club officials and guests, 16 changerooms combined with Hydrotherapy pools and two gyms, all designed to propel their playing personnel in achieving their peak athletic condition. Administration spaces where also created for Sports Science, Sports Medicine and club officials to all reside in.

The official opening took place on April 10 by City of Casey Chair of Administrators Noelene Duff PSM, and Melbourne City FC Vice Chairman Simon Pearce.

Located at the Casey Fields Sporting precinct in which is building quite the resume within the tenants it has acquired in various codes of sport across the state. The 5,900m2 facility that City now possess in their arsenal sits on eleven hectares of land, upon it they have five different football pitches, with varying surfaces.

The opportunities in which this facility presents to football fans and participants alike, are in abundance, 3,500 aspiring young football participants will be able to use the facilities on offer, with many more able to spectate City matches in which may be played at their Academy.

Melbourne City FC CEO Brad Rowse stated via press release:

“This amazing facility will be the new home to our Men’s, Women’s, Academy, and Administration teams, and will allow us to come together under the one roof to train, share ideas and challenge each other every single day.

“We’re setting new standards for football in Australia and laying the foundations for sustainable growth, on and off the pitch.”

With the latest edition of the McDonald’s City Cup being played at the newly launched facility, the tournament was a token showcasing that the clubs elite are not the only ones who will benefit from the facility but also local footballing communities in addition.

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