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Talking to many sports leaders, as well as companies, importance of having a strategic plan is highlighted. Of course, if there is no destination, there is no direction. Even so, many sports organizations still do not have a strategic plan, and this week the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) launched theirs, their first. In this time of change & uncertainties, it is always helpful to refocus on your goals and your value proposition. The temptation is diversification, but watch out for dilution.

But why a strategic plan? Clearly it is one more step in the professionalization and modernization of a sports organization. Knowing where you are, with clear metrics, and where you want to go and how, is key to success. And it is a process, a process to define this strategic plan, and a process to reach the goals in each of the stages. In the case of the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation), the process started with an in-depth SWOT diagnosis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), followed by the definition of the mission, vision and values, which will govern the strategic objectives.

Let me share with you strategic pillars of RFEF plan:

  • Good Governance / We are Open: renew the rules of good governance and the ethical code, prepare and implement a transparency plan, follow up on the external control bodies, prepare and publish the annual accounts, define the relationship with public entities, define the relationship with stakeholders…

  • Sports Excellence / We are Excellence: establish the ideal profiles of soccer players/referees/coaches, establish a unique methodology for the selection of soccer players and referees, establish technical centers, prepare a multidisciplinary training plan, improve the FIFA ranking ...

  • Increase participation / We are Soccer: analyze the current situation of federated soccer vs non-federated soccer and the creation of new competitions, increase the participation of women's soccer, ...

  • Digital Transformation / We are Innovation: prepare a data protection and management plan and integrate them into a single management system, implement a single federative management system, implement an RFEF interconnection plan with territories and clubs, implement an OTT audiovisual platform , establish a Business Intelligence platform for data processing Establish an eFootball competition model

  • Image and international projection / We are Leaders: develop a new digital and visual RFEF presence (logo, web, social networks, etc.), enhance the relationship with fans and activate the “La Roja” fan club, protect and promote the values of football , present a candidacy for a European Championship or a World Cup, develop international programs and schools, plan an analysis of the state of the facilities and a possible plan for improving facilities, develop a project for futsal to become an Olympic sport.

  • Optimize internal resources / We are Evolution: review the organizational chart and functions of the departments, prepare a job description plan, prepare an internal training plan, prepare a training plan for the territorial federations, coordinate procedures to improve the internal communication of the RFEF and the RFEF with the territorial federations, organize interdepartmental meetings with a periodicity to be determined

  • Improve self-financing / We are sustainable: carry out a medium-long-term financial plan: main categories of income and expenses, increase the number of licenses, increase own income (audiovisuals, sponsorship and ticketing), optimize RFEF competitions, promote reform of the Sports Law, optimization of UEFA / FIFA subsidies and other international entities

  • Social development through soccer / We are values: integrating the most disadvantaged groups (inclusive soccer), establishing a policy for foreign minors, promoting the values of soccer and fair play, analyzing and promoting the social impact of soccer in Spain, unifying and develop the RFEF training under a new Spanish football university

The word "we are" in this case is very strong, it embarks any member of the organization, generates the feeling of belonging to an organism with its own identity, which needs the commitment of each one to reach the destination. When pushing, there will be opposition, naturally. But it is part of the process. Obviously, having a strategic plan is also generating a culture of "accountability" and monitoring of actions, in order to optimize learning and actions to take to improve. In one of our #SISMasters with Amaury Vergara (Chivas), Juan Pablo Pareja (Universidad Católica, Chile), Ivan Alonso (Club Nacional de Football, Uruguay) & Gustavo Silikovich (Federación Ecuatoriana de Futbol), the strategic plan stood out as the first stage of the development of a sports organization, I invite you to see more here: https://bit.ly/30fQ8ZA

A plan shows ambition, shows how to get there, and pushes an entire team to success!

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