Bergen is among others known for its football team, Sportsklubben Brann, the pride and joy of the town and with a long history of great triumphs.
“Yes, we lost yesterday. That’s always hard. But we only mourn a loss until the office opens again at 8 a.m. the following morning. And now it’s past eight o’clock, so my team and I are looking ahead,” says Camilla Schutz, Brann’s commercial director.
Camilla Schutz has been with the club for a year. Before that, she spent 13 years in finance. Joining Brann meant a big change, something she was looking for when given the opportunity to pursue another line of business.
“In the finance industry, like many similar industries, you are spoiled for having like-minded people around you. People who gained their education at more or less the same schools and have similar professional backgrounds. At Brann we are a small organisation that consists of a commercial department and a sports section. And there is a much wider range among employees with different backgrounds and different skills. But in order to manage during our home games, we also enlist 200 volunteers to help.”
Yesterday’s event went well. Even though it was just a training match, there were 10,800 in the audience.
During the football season, Brann organises 15 home matches. Everything has to work, and preferably better than at the previous game. “We are not unlike the event industry, as we organise 15 events a year. Ideally with full stands. The 17,686 visitors should get a top-rate experience where everything is perfect, from the atmosphere in the stands to the queues for the toilets or the selection of snacks in the kiosks.”
So, on a rainy day after the match, outside the arena the natural grass is meticulously covered with a special plastic to protect it from the heavy rain. The stands are being tidied, and next week’s start of the season has resulted in some extra cleaning here and there.
Brann is somewhat unusual. As a members’ club since 1908, the club and its members own the arena, and have to be involved in all big decisions. “I quickly realized that it was essential to listen to what the members, as well as those who have worked at the club for a long time, think is important. It is not only a football club, it is also one of Norway’s most well-known brands, and the people of Bergen are hugely proud of the club. Everyone talks about what happens at the club, from results to new players to how many people came to see the match. And anything else that is related.”
As a membership club, Brann has always had a large amount of social responsibility. Many of the sponsors who support the club financially are not only interested in winning, but also in the different ways the club gets involved in the community. “Our social responsibility is of huge significance. It makes us greater and more important than great results or full stands.”
»The 17,686 visitors should get a top-rate experience where everything is perfect. «
One of Brann’s initiatives is Gatelaget (street team, in English), a team of sober alcoholics who can practice twice a week, borrow equipment, have lunch and socialize with the players in the A-team. “By being involved, we know that members of Gatelaget find it easier to stay sober. For some of them, training is the only thing they will have planned for that week. We also know that it has a positive effect on our A-team players.
»Elite sports can be isolating, but mixing with Gatelaget results in a lot of laughter. «
The fact that the club depends on good sports results is no secret, and for Camilla and her team, the club’s culture of having to perform has been quite educational. “We have learned a lot about how the team and its management think. We have taken on board their way of focusing on a task, how thoroughly they prepare and how they constantly work to improve their weaknesses.”
- AGE: 39
- LIVES: Bergen
- TITLE: Commercial Director
- PROGRAM BI: Bachelor of Marketing Communication
- FAVORITE FOOTBALL PLAYER: Everyone who plays for Brann (and, after all, it’s mostly the ones I can name on too)
- BEST ABOUT BERGEN: The charm and warmth you feel when in the city. And the amazing “Bergensers” with the heart of Bergen and Brann.
Reference: Advantage #1/2017 – The magazine for members of BI Alumni