Hacking the football business model – HJK meets Prodeko Alumni
At August, we believe that new ideas emerge when different people with experience and knowledge from different industries get together. That’s how we go about helping our clients when they turn to us for advice in strategy, management and many other topics. This time, we wanted to take the idea of combining different experiences even further, and try what happens when we put the management of the leading Finnish football club HJK and businesspeople from Prodeko Alumni into a same room for a business hackathon. Throughout an evening of passionate discussions and brainstorming, the participants developed new ways to address some of HJK’s most pressing matters such as how to attract a larger audience.
The participants – including many football and HJK enthusiasts – were keen to leverage their personal and professional backgrounds to come up with ideas to respond the questions. “It was exciting to see how alumni with different professional backgrounds from finance, branding, pricing, and strategy were using their business learnings and skills to come up with suggestions for HJK”, says Olli Lehtonen, one of the organizers, and Director at August. “The personal experiences really matter as well – some of the participants had played in Helsinki Cup finals, or now have their own kids participating in the tournament, and this was really helpful in figuring out the context.”
HJK’s management was pleased with the business hackathon. “It was fruitful to hear some fresh outside-in viewpoints to the questions important for HJK’s future. We believe new ideas and growth should be searched also outside the boundaries of our own industry”, says Aki Riihilahti, CEO of HJK. “I think it really is time well spent to expose your organization’s own thinking to this kind of external sparring and viewpoints.”