Real Madrid is the most successful sports franchise on the planet. The soccer club has more trophies than any other sports franchise, including 10 UEFA Champions League trophies. However, the story behind the triumph lies off the field. Generally unnoticed, in the space of fifteen years, a management team, consisting mostly of outsiders, took the team from near bankruptcy to the most valuable sports franchise in the world.
How did Real Madrid achieve such extraordinary success? Columbia Business School professor Steven Mandis investigates. Given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access, Mandis is the first researcher to rigorously analyze both the on-the-field and business aspects of a sports club. What he learns is completely unexpected and challenges the conventional wisdom that Moneyball-fueled data analytics are the primary instruments of success. Instead of relying primarily on computer-generated analysis, Real Madrid relentlessly focuses on the values and expectations of their fans. Real Madrid’s formula stems from a powerful organizational culture built around satisfying the passions and desires of the fan base.
Employing in-depth analysis, Mandis reveals the impact of the too tired” and too much talent” effects, with surprising insights into why sports teams can fall short of expectations, and how Real Madrid overcomes these challenges. Chasing the most talented, and most expensive, players can be a recipe for on-the-field success and financial disaster, as it was for Real Madrid in the late 1990s. Real Madrid found a way around that dilemma by centering their strategy on the fans’ values and expectations. By doing so, they created extraordinary passion and loyalty, which has led to amazing marketing and commercial success. This, in turn, attracts and pays for the best players in the world, with the values the fans expect. The management team tries to ensure the fans’ values are the key drivers to player selection, style of play on the field and business strategies in order to create a sustainable economic-sport model.
The Real Madrid Formula explains how Real Madrid has created and maintains a culture that drives both financial and on-the-field success. The book is the first to comprehensively illuminate similarities and differences both on-the-field and business aspects of European soccer and American sports. Filled with data and analysis, and with detailed accounts of the personalities involved, this book is an engrossing account of the lifetime of one of the greatest clubs in the most popular sport in the world. For business and organization leaders, it’s an invaluable inside look at a roadmap for organizational success at the highest level.
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