The Marketing and Communication course for professional clubs, which took place on February 14 and 15, was realized through a partnership between the National Football Academy (ANF) and the European Club Association (ECA) and lays the foundations for a lasting collaboration for increasing the educational quality of clubs in Romania.

The two days were structured in six training sessions, with the themes of social media trends, storytelling in football, the relationship between the club and the community, branding and rebranding processes and communications strategy planning. The participants came from clubs in the first three Romanian leagues, women’s football and FRF employees.

Among the speakers invited to lead course sessions were branding and communication specialists from Romania – Simona Otel from the U BT Cluj-Napoca basketball club and Lorand Balint, director of the Romanian agency of Publicis Sports and Entertainment -, and through the collaboration with ECA, representatives of some renowned European football clubs.

Ann Park and Alan White spoke about the link between club and community in the case of Scottish team Heart of Midlothian, founded in 1874, Michal Bykec from Slavia Prague led a discussion on what club branding looks like in practice, and Érica da Mata, from the Portuguese Football Federation, gave a presentation on optimizing the fan experience through strategic communication planning.

By collaborating with ECA, the National Football Academy offers Romanian clubs the opportunity to create a network of expertise at an international level and to learn from the European club football industry in order to improve their practices at their own clubs.

On the other hand, one objective of ECA’s services portfolio is to share useful practices and knowledge with football clubs and to provide unique insights that they can use to manage today’s challenges. To achieve this, ECA collaborates with experts in the football and sports industry from all over the world as well as leaders in their respective fields.

ECA Knowledge and Education Manger, Sara Williams said: ”We are delighted to collaborate with the National Football Academy and support such education initiatives to raise standards across European club football. We have the common goal of supporting clubs to grow and to reach their full potential, and we strongly believe that together we can achieve more.”

The National Football Academy, in its second season of activity, is the means by which the Romanian Football Federation delivers courses to athletes and specialists who work directly with them, but also to professionals outside the field of play, who deal with sports management, volunteering or other operations.

Already in 2021, with the launch of the ANF, the Romanian Football Federation made public the plan to become the most important provider of educational programs in sports in Romania, offering an organizational model for Romanian sports.

About ECA

The European Club Association is the sole, independent body directly representing football clubs at European level. Since its creation in 2008, ECA has positioned itself as an important and respected stakeholder in the international football landscape. ECA exists to protect and promote European club football. Its aim is to create a new, more democratic governance model that truly reflects the key role of the clubs. ECA acts to strengthen each of the clubs for the benefit of all and to ensure that club football is recognised by decision makers as the main stakeholder in the game.