CONCACAF is embarking on a new era in football development with 19 of its member associations benefiting at different levels from PERFORMANCE: the football management programme of FIFA.
While FIFA’s development investment in the CONCACAF region during the period between 1999-2012 reached USD 258,599,659 – mainly through the Financial Assistance Programme (USD 186,750,000) and Goal (USD 39,100,000) – Performance is set to become a key platform aimed at supporting member associations reaching their full potential in all areas that are needed to perform at an optimum level in football management.
By the end of 2012, Performance had been initiated in 127 member associations with 12 more beneficiaries approved by FIFA’s Development Committee in March 2013. The Performance budget for the financial cycle 2011-2014 amounts to USD 35,000,000, which includes USD 20,000,000 dedicated to direct funding for the participating members in the form of incentives.
Two years after the programme’s official implementation process was set in motion, member associations in all six confederations have benefited from Performance by undergoing comprehensive organisational reviews that have enabled them to implement specific action plans.
Bermuda, a country with an estimated population of approximately 7,000 football players, has been among those benefiting from such reviews.
“The basis of Performance has been to assist in setting some meaningful and achievable priorities that otherwise sometimes get sidetracked by the day-to-day administrative responsibilities of a small national Association such as ours," Secretary General of Bermuda's Football Association, David Sabir explained.
"Performance worked with the various departments and respective standing committees within the Bermuda FA focusing on developing their specific priorities. It then brought everyone together with the Executive Council to discuss how each relates to the overall strategic development of our association," he said.
At the end of the exercice, the member association, together with the FIFA Performance team, formalizes the outcomes of the review by creating a document defining short term strategic objectives and concrete action plans.
Performance has been a critical tool to define our short, mid and long-term priorities, particularly in the areas of marketing and national competitions.
“We have set a task of achieving the initiatives as contained in the final document developed at the conclusion of the Performance organisational review. In this regard, our ultimate goal will be the creation of an updated strategic plan that encompasses all that we and our stakeholders decide is the best plan of action to guide the Bermuda FA over the next several years,” concludes Sabir.
Panama’s Football Association has taken advantage of Performance to set up a strategic development programme that intends to transform the country into a new football stronghold in the region.
“Performance has been a critical tool to define our short, mid and long-term priorities, particularly in the areas of marketing and national competitions,” Secretary General of the Football Federation of Panama, Jorge Oscar Aued said.
“Through Performance we have been implementing marketing research in order to better position football and the professional and amateur leagues in Panama. We want to take our league to be among the top four in CONCACAF," he said.
Better knowledge of football’s popularity and marketability, including key indicators and insights, are set to help Panama’s Federation in leveraging favorable proposals with the private sector.
“Our current objective is the development and strengthening of our national competitions,” continued Aued. “Though we are also very much focused on our World Cup qualification campaign, since qualifying for Brazil 2014 would be a major boost for our football as it would increase the popularity of our sport in the country and reaffirm the commitment of our sponsors.”
Likewise, Performance has contributed to the planning and implementation of a strategic plan for the Football Federation of Puerto Rico.
“Throughout the past eight years, our Federation has experienced its biggest growth in history. Overall, Performance has helped us to implement concrete measures to promote our National Football League and grassroots structures, and offer advanced education for referees, coaches and club officials,” Secretary General of the Football Federation of Puerto Rico, Dariel Collazo revealed.
“Our fundamental task is to better define the objectives of our Federation in terms of marketing and communication strategy in order to further improve our relationship with our key stakeholders, including fans, media and commercial partners," he said.
In order to set up their marketing and communication operations, the Football Federation of Puerto Rico will benefit from specific funding through Performance – USD 85,000 – and receive specific mentoring from FIFA experts in all key areas.