Hi there, I’m Xavi Bové, Sports Marketing Consultant in Women’s Football.
Imagine a world where the majority of sports brands are seen, engaged and connected with people in a meaningful way. That’s what I do, creating meaningful brands for women’s football players, clubs and competitions. How? Through content and marketing services.
I’ve been trusted by players as Line Røddik and ‘Rocky’ Rodríguez, competitions as UEFA Women’s Euro, media outlets as Mundo Deportivo, events as Fútbol Para la Igualdad and Leadership Woman Football or teams as Everton FC Ladies.
Discovering sports marketing
At school, they told me that we have to go to work everyday, that the most important is to get a decent and stable job. Precisely, that was one of my biggest fears since I was a boy, giving away my life to a profession which I would not have fun with. At the age of 18, on a summer day, my uncle took us to have lunch at a new restaurant of the company he was working for. Throughout the lunch, he told us about how everything had been consciously designed and why every detail aimed to satisfy the customers. I did not know what he was talking about, but I loved it. Being doubtful about picking a degree, in 2010 I decided to try Marketing after that experience with my uncle.
In my 2nd year of Marketing in ESIC Barcelona, Carlos, one of my classmates and best friends insisted me on reading the book ‘Show me the money’. He knew I had always been a sports fan and, specially, a football one. With my twin brother, we practically started playing football before walking. However, it was not until the 4th year when he finally convinced me, I bought the book and read it in barely two days. Written by Esteve Calzada, former FC Barcelona Chief Marketing Officer, I found in it a true sports marketing masterpiece which caught me. At last, I had found the connection between my two big passions, marketing and sports. I knew what I wanted to become in the future, Sports Marketer.
In 2013, I packed my bags to study my last year of degree in Plymouth, England. It was one of the best experiences of my life, an authentic masters in partying and in Marketing. As they commonly say, Work hard, play hard. For two months, I had the opportunity of volunteering for Plymouth Special Olympics, an organisation dedicated to improve lives of people with disabilities through the practice of sports. I realised I really liked that, improving people’s lives through sports.
The first steps
When thinking about how getting started in sports marketing once I finished my degree, I contacted all football clubs in Catalonia to get a chance of starting my internship. The 2n division club Nàstic de Tarragona was the first of relying on me. So, directly from Plymouth to Tarragona, back to Spain. Curiously, the city where I was born and where we moved to Barcelona from, at the age of 11. In a month, I started working full-day and getting paid. To me, it was a dream come true.
In Tarragona I learnt to adapt to different areas and to develop creativity to achieve results. In the season and a half when I worked there, the first team promoted to a higher division, it was a privilege living it from the inside. Having the club promoted, they offered me a promotion to Marketing Manager. At that time I was 22 years old and it felt like a future aspiration being achieved. But, my intuition and will of finding my place took me back to Barcelona. There, RallyClassics, a motorsport company trusted me to manage their Marketing area. Above all, I learnt to strategically lead a marketing department from a wide range of areas as sponsorship, communications or participants loyalty. I worked there for 2 years, period in which we signed the first-ever main sponsor for Rally Costa Brava, the oldest in Spain.
Meanwhile, I also collaborated with the digital site Fútbol Finanzas writing 40 articles about sports marketing. Besides, I changed the office for the field becoming the coach of the U14 futsal team for AEE La Sedeta, it was a true honor to help from the youth. Regarding education, I kept growing through PhD’s in Strategic and Digital Marketing.
Women’s football click
Before leaving RallyClassics, a click in my head led me to the risky path. Specifically, it was the answer to the following question: where can I have the most fun while having the biggest impact? Again, my intuition drove my decision. This time, women’s football, a fast-growing sport with a huge potential. From failing to pass a recruitment process for LaLiga in its final stage I became part of the UEFA marketing team at Women’s Euro 2017, happening in The Netherlands. Connecting the dots, as Steve Jobs would say. At the Euro, I met first-hand the closeness and self-improvement spirit of women’s football. I also learnt that behind an extraordinary event there are even more valuable people.
From there, I followed my journey as a sports marketing consultant, creating meaningful brands for women’s football players, clubs and competitions.