From corporate business to the sports sector

Business professional Auke Broex successfully completed the Master in Sport Management last June. During the program, he made the switch from working within the corporate business world to the sports sector

Auke-Broex - Master in Sport Management - Johan Cruyff Institute Corporate BusinessAuke Broex is a corporate lawyer with a management background. Broex worked for over 20 years for legal and financial service provider DAS, where he was a team leader and a regional manager, among other things. But in April 2017, the lawyer made the switch from the formal corporate business world to the more dynamic sports industry and became the new corporate lawyer of the Dutch Speed Skating Federation. Since then, Broex has been responsible for the legal affairs of the skating union and also contributes to the policy and strategy of the organization.

“Thanks to the network that I built up during my Master at Johan Cruyff Institute, this position came within my reach”

“This is a great job for me,” Broex says. “In the center of the sports industry, where I have common ground with the ‘real’ sport, as well as with a number of organizational and managerial matters. After my previous job at DAS, when I started the Master in Sport Management I said that I would like a position in the sports sector and I succeeded. As part of an assignment that I had to carry out for the Leadership module, I interviewed the technical director of the Speed Skating Federation, Arie Koops. By coincidence, the position as corporate lawyer then became available. I was offered the job after several intensive interviews. Thanks to the network that I built up during my Master at Johan Cruyff Institute, this position came within my reach.”

In the summer of 2017, the passionate amateur speed skater successfully graduated. Did he gain the knowledge which he can now use so well in this job? “Absolutely! Especially the on-campus classes and the guest lectures gave me a good insight into the ins and outs of sport organizations and events. I also gained a lot of knowledge from the module on Strategic Management, because you learn how to find and formulate solutions within sports organizations in certain situations, which is very useful now.”

“I also learned a lot from my fellow students, such as the top athletes who shared their top sports experiences”

Johan Cruyff Institute was founded in 1999 with the aim to educate (former) top athletes to become sport managers. However, that is no longer the case and for years not only top athletes, but also coaches, sport professionals, university students, international students and business professionals have discovered the value of the programs. This mix of students within one class is extremely valuable, because everyone contributes with their own ‘baggage’. This also applied to Broex, who brought a lot of experience into the classroom as a business professional. “I think that with my background as a corporate lawyer and manager, I had a lot of input during the classes. For example, I tried to explain to my fellow students how things work and what happens within corporate businesses. I also learned a lot from my fellow students, such as the top athletes who shared their top sports experiences. That was very nice and educational. For a future ‘leader in sport’, the experiences of these athletes are essential,” says the lawyer.

Broex has been working at the Speed Skating Federation for more than a year now, but still faces plenty of challenges in the near future. “The union is a sports federation that is facing up to a lot of challenges, such as defining how to manage with less money, because sponsorship income is decreasing. Personally, I am the contact person for all legal issues that can save us a lot of money. Besides that, I am involved in a number of international projects and I have to look at how we can increase our Dutch interests on an international level. I am also involved in a number of business projects and I monitor the HR part of the federation.”

When asked what he can advise students who want to have a career within the sports industry, Broex answers: “Follow your heart, go for it and don’t choose a direction too quickly, but keep your options open. Make sure that you do something in the sports world, such as a board position, volunteering or an internship – also during your studies. This is very educational, which you can use for your future. And further: be patient, and sometimes a bit of luck.”


Johan Cruyff Institute offers these Master programs in Amsterdam:

Credits Header: By Hank Prinsen ( [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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