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“The sky is the limit. You decide what you want to achieve” Felipe García Torighelli, former student of the MBA in Sports Entities Direction - Alfredo Di Stéfan

Máster Universitario MBA en Dirección de Entidades Deportivas - "Alfredo Di Stéfano"

Last July 2016, Felipe successfully graduated from the MBA in Sports Entities Direction - Alfredo Di Stéfano. In this interview he tells the Real Madrid Graduate School about his professional achievements how his time was at the school.

Where do you work at the moment? What are the key responsibilities of your role?

At the moment I am developing a new business model for the Group Alavés – Baskonia, to which belongs both sports clubs of the city of Vitoria. The Deportivo Alavés was recently upgraded to “La Liga” is also competing in “La Copa del Rey” whilst the Baskonia team has been for several years a key team in the “Endesa League” and the basketball Euro-League. Our objective is for the teams to be more familiar with the local businesses in the city and share with them the passion and the love for the teams. We have developed a campaign to get supporters from local business, and I am in charge of it.

In terms of key tasks, firstly we have developed the campaign together with the club’s ticketing team (under the direction of Juan Cantero, former student and professor and the MBA Alfredo Di Stéfano) and now I´m in charge of the commercial execution of it. 

Did you ever dream you'd be where you are today? Doing just what you are doing at your job?

I've focused my professional career in business development both in Uruguay (where I was born) and Argentina, with the objective of one day using my experience in the sports world. This growing stage and consolidation in the sports sector is definitely a big step in terms of reaching my personal objectives by turning my passion into my job, which is what I was looking for when I started in the school.

Could you tell us about your professional experience with the Real Madrid FC?

I always dreamed of the possibility of “living from the football world” and clearly all my options were pointing to Europe, as that is where you find the elites of this sport. Knowing my own limitations with the ball, following my childhood dreams I tried to find my way into being part of the worlds top football club, but from the management side. This is why my time at Real Madrid was a dream come true, where I was able to work with some of the top professionals in the sports sector. Personally, to arrived every morning to work at the Bernabéu Stadium and being part of Emilio Butragueño’s working team and collaborate with the preparation of the semi finals and the finals champion league matches, is something that I´ll remember all my life. 

What are you passionate about in the sports sector? 

“A man could change his profession, girlfriend or card, but would never change the passion he feels for his football team”. This quote summarises what we professionals in sports management face, as we work everyday in a very professional way with something as passionate as sports can be. Since I was little I loved the world of sports. I played basketball for 15 years until my studies lead to the the professional world. 

My objective was to reach the professionalisation of sports management in all its environments with the idea of offering “better experiences” for the users no matter if they are a football supporter or an amateur athlete that jumps on their bike at the gym. 

Why did you chose Real Madrid Graduate School - Universidad Europea?

If you want to be the top professional in your sector, you must learn from the best. This is why studying in the school was so important for me especially for their link with the Real Madrid football team. The experiences that this school offers you are really good, both in terms of the professors and the opportunities that the club generates, both of which were key for me to make my decision.

What is it that you miss the most from the school?

Knowing that every day I was going to sit down with my friends to listen and learn about those people that we all dreamed that one day we'd be, and especially our nights of “Beer and Ice tea” after the last lecture of the week.

Are you still in touch with any of your friends from the school? And with any teachers?

Thanks to new technologies, I am still in touch with a lot of my classmates even though we are all in different parts of the world, which by the way makes our whatsapp groups quite funny as we all have different time zones. Actually we are preparing a reunion for this year's New Year´s eve in Madrid. Also I'm currently working with a professor and a former student. We always share nice memories of our time at The School.

What did the Universidad Europea meant to you? What did it mean to your life?

It helped me to travel to the other side of the world and work in what I love. The vast majority of the students in our group were successful professionals that decided to put aside their careers (and in some cases even family and friends) to focus our lives on the development of the sports world. This is what this experience means to us and it is something that the account should take into consideration. 

How has the school helped you in your professional career?

It has helped me to develop my potential and to achieve my goal of working in the sports world. 

Which tip would you give to the current students?

To keep focused and to work very hard to reach the objectives and dreams that led them to the school, whether they are working in a football club, networking or basically following the Real Madrid at La Liga. Self success depends on the effort that you put into reaching your objectives, so I’d recommend them to use every moment to work towards them. 

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