As part of the FC Barcelona U.S. tour, the Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB) has organised a forum on innovation and sport, bringing together recognised industry leaders and specialist academics in sporting innovation.
The event, in collaboration with the San Francisco 49ers, was held at the Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara (California).
The club delegation was headed by first vice-president Jordi Cardoner, who introduced the forum explaining the role of the BIHUB as a project that forms part of the Més que un Club identity. This was followed by two round table discussions.
The first, entitled Implementing Innovation in Sports saw discussion on the implementation of innovation strategies in the sector. Participating were: Brano Perkovich, Chief Investment Officer of the San Francisco 49ers; George Foster, Director of the Sports Management Initiative at Stanford; Henry Chesbrough, director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation Berkley-Haas; and Albert Mundet, head of Knowledge at the Barça Innovation Hub.
The second round table, The Future World and The Role of Sport, featured: Enric Llopart, Digital Director for FC Barcelona; Mark Wan, Managing Partner of Causeway Media Partners and Co-Owner of the San Francisco 49ers; and Jen Panasik, Managing Director of IDEO.
Steve Gera, a well-known figure in sports innovation who works with BIHUB moderated the event, which was attended by around one hundred university lecturers, businesspeople, members of start-ups and active agents of innovation.
Before the forum, the members of the board attending the event – first vice-president Jordi Cardoner, director and commissioner of Espai Barça, Jordi Moix, treasurer Enrique Tombas and directors Emili Roussaud and Dídac Lee, along with executives of five-time Super Bowl winners the San Francisco 49ers, visited the Levi’s Stadium, a benchmark in the implementation of new technologies and an example of sustainability.
It even includes a rooftop organic orchard whose produce is then sold at the restaurants in the stadium. Opened in August 2014, it was the venue for Super Bowl 50 in February 2016 and is considered one of the finest venues in the NFL.