Marc Gasol is testing his own sports company model with the club, created in 2014 and which will debut in Spanish basketball’s elite in a matter of weeks. Bàsquet wants to be an entity rooted in the city of Girona that saw the pivot stand in its day, but it also wants to copy things from the NBA business model and “generate” it 365 days a year.
“Thirteen years in the NBA has served me a lot. I am very curious and I pay attention. There you work differently and you try to apply some concepts there knowing that the context here is different”, he said. In Spain, he pointed out, sport accounts for 3.3% of GDP.
As is the case in the United States, for example, Gasol seeks to attract a fan who enjoys (and spends) but does not suffer with the team. “People who go to dinner anyway if their team loses” so they can do it in the pavilion. He also didn’t mind removing a stand last season to set up a bouncy castle so parents could watch the game in peace “and repeat,” he remarked. Earn fan loyalty.
He explained this Thursday in front of about 250 people who have come to the Juan Rogue Business Marina in Valencia to attend Investor Day. If it had been any of this past summer, Gasol would have been one of the stars of Spain’s previous semi-finals at EuroBasket, but the Catalan center continues with its path from the playing field to the companies.
Theirs, he recalled, is a path more and more elite athletes are following. From Gerard Pique to Fernando Alonso. From LeBron James to Stephen Curry, he has targeted. And to illustrate what the transformation of becoming an entrepreneur means to her, she uses two photographs. The first, after winning the Eurocup in 2007 with the former Akasvayu Girona. “There I was only concerned about the size of the rod I was going to take later,” he confirmed. Second, after climbing to the top flight with his club this summer. “There, instead of cane, I was already thinking of balancing the budget and the next day’s ‘rua'”, he compares.
An investor in some ‘startups’, Gasol recalls the reluctance he had to overcome when he decided to promote a project in Girona. “The people who were there wanted us to help their clubs but not ours, but we persevered”, he recalled. In just eight years they have a team in ACB but in total they already have about forty, including girls, 3×3 and wheelchair. He will have a budget of 45 lakhs for this course, which is one of the lowest in the competition, but the highest ever in history.
In the front row are his former teammate Alex Mumbra, coach of the Valencian team from this summer, and one of his assistants, Fernando San Amaterio, and how the Catalan is a restless investor.
Dressed in a black shirt and jeans, Gasol presents himself as Girona’s “founder, president and player”. Because just a few hours earlier, under the command of Aito García Rennes, he was key in Girona to win a friendly match against Joventut. A few months ago the promotion in the ACB, on the track and in the offices, was to move the promotion phase to Girona.
A SAD without losing DNA
The owner of Girona has stated that from a sports club they will become a sports limited company in this campaign. To do this, he has surrounded himself with a dome of trust. “Vice President (his brother Pau), of course you know him. He is a very good boy, as well as a good player”, he joked. Everything has been decided unanimously. “But if there isn’t, I decide,” she concedes.
“My name is relatively important to me, but that essence shouldn’t be lost. I want my ‘DNA to circulate and people understand it’,” he stressed after detailing the values and habits they want to instill. Or the integration work that they do as well.
Spain, very team
Earlier, Gasol told reporters how he was experiencing the first major tournament in Spain since the resignation of several veterans of the historic generation like him or his brother. “I live it with the illusion that the team transmits, which gives the security that they are going to leave everything on track and that they are going to face tough moments as a group”, he said. “Also, the fact that Sergio Scariolo is on the bench is a guarantee”, he remarked.
Gasol sees the selection as focused and has only asked one thing from his former teammates. “That they defend as they are,” he claimed. “Germany is a very tough opponent and they are brave but Spain is not short on that”, he concluded.