“Not another dumb company team building game,” says the displeased employee. Ouch! When this thought crosses your employees’ minds, you can pretty much throw the benefits of team bonding games out the window.
Team building activities and games are supposed to be not only educational, but also enjoyable.
Last year, my team & I had the opportunity to participate in what could be one of the best team building games for most people on earth; ¡A football tournament for startups! And, as if it wasn´t enough, we got to play in the football fields where the Barcelona younger generations play.
Hey Daniel, why don´t you tell us a bit about yourself and how did you come up with this cool idea.
I was always crazy and passionate about football since I can think and played football in a club and also with friends my whole life.
After my studies, I worked for the German airline Lufthansa in which I founded next to my job, the private Lufthansa Football Club which is an after work football meetup for Lufthansa employees. With this team we travelled and took part at international small airline tournaments. These travels were really great fun with many memories…well some parts of the trips we maybe already forgot 🙂
Thus 4 Lufthansa friends and me came up with the idea to create the ultimate “World Aviation Football Cup”, the world championship for Airlines from all over the world. The concept was as follows: Travel to a city, play football on special fields and celebrate afterwards at night with people from all over the world with the same passion. 32 teams came to Frankfurt, we attracted Sponsors and also had Manuel Neuer as the patron of the event. Organizing this event was a huge and especially fun experience. That’s when I decided with my brother and my cousin to bring this experience to another level and to start CeleBreak.
For us as the founders, football is more than just a game. It means friendships, a rollercoaster of emotions and the most positive distraction to daily life for many people. After the World Aviation Football we decided to organize a larger event that might take place on the best training fields of the world. So we contacted FC Barcelona and luckily organized the 1st CeleBreak edition (the name actually comes from the slogan ‘Celebrate your summer Break’).
So, is the tournament quite competitive or more amateur level? From previous editions, what do you think startups are getting out from the experience at CeleBreak?
In general, our tournament is more amateur level where every team is welcome to join. Of course, we have some teams who play on a quite good level and travel to CeleBreak with the principal objective to win the title. But it’s generally a mixture between a relaxed festival atmosphere and doing sports at the same time while listening some good music and maybe have one or the other drink afterwards which makes this event to a ‘football festival’.
We think that CeleBreak is not only football or travel – it is actually an experience you will share with your team, friends or work colleagues. And who does not dream of playing on a pitch which are actually only used by Messi or Ronaldo? In addition to that, our guests can celebrate in the best nightclubs of the city where they meet international people with similar passions from all over Europe.
How did you manage to get Barça fields to be the venue for your tournaments? Are you the nephew of Marc-Andre ter Stegen?
I wish I knew him, but for now I didn’t spot Ter Stegen yet in Barcelona! He should come out to one of our events!:)
Actually, it was a mix between naively just mailing FC Barcelona, impatient persistence and some lucky incidents
Tell us some more stats, like how many teams have played, where they come from, do you have alternative activities after or during the tournament?
Last year, we had 29 teams from 12 different countries who came to Barcelona. We had, for example, teams from Germany, France, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Tunisia. Also in the matter of activities we offer a stadium tour, celebrations in famous nightclubs and longer stays in the city.
FC Barcelona or Real Madrid…Lionel Messi or Ronaldo…those are common questions in Spain and Europe in everyone’s footballers life.
Thus it was the next logical step to contact the big rival of FC Barcelona and give our CeleBreak community the chance to make their personal choice.
Even though Madrid is missing the beach it’s a really attractive city, very hot in summer and counts on a famous vibrant nightlife with long spanish summer nights!
On the entrepreneurship side; What difficulties did you find more challenging when developing your startup in Spain?
Setting up a Start-up in Barcelona is sure one of the best places in Europe to start the journey. It is a truly international city; it already has a very developed start-up eco system on the investor as well as on the Startup side. It attracts many people from abroad, has comparatively low company set up costs and of course the sunny days, the lifestyle and the beach facilitate the decision to start a company in Barcelona.
What can we expect from CeleBreak in 2017?
The idea is to bring our CeleBreak summer events to more international “football capitals” in Europe.
In addition to our international events in the summer with Barca and Real, we recently started to set up a local football community in Barcelona. Many people do not know where and with whom to play football, especially when they are new to the city.
Thus, we recently started daily pick up football sessions that everyone can join independent of level of play. The results quite exceeded our expectations and after 4 months our community grew to 1000 people playing with us monthly.
Based on that we just started a few weeks ago to run our own Weekend Leagues. Furthermore, every 6-8 weeks we organize the Mini CeleBreak Cup for our local community, which is a one-day event according to what CeleBreak is all about: Football with friends/new friends, music, celebrations and all of that with people sharing the same passions!
Apply for the upcoming tournaments now!
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