Baltoro Group, a diversified venture building firm, today proudly welcomed Júnior Chávare on board as its new Director of Operations and Business Development. Chávare joins the K2 Soccer executive management team, where he will focus primarily on soccer-related activities. Chávare has extensive experience in strategic management positions at both companies and top soccer organizations—such as Brazilian clubs Grêmio and São Paulo, as well as Italy’s Juventus.
At K2 Soccer, Chávare will be responsible for developing and managing a sports intelligence center, which is expected to play a fundamental role in supporting Clube Athlético Tubarão, Elm City Express, and professionals in the company’s offices in Porto Alegre, Florianópolis, Curitiba, New York and London.
“I was very impressed by the group's ideas and long-term vision, which involves various and complementary areas of the sport. The possibility of creating an intelligence center involving physical, technical, tactical and mental issues was a key reason I decided to make this exciting move in my career. I’ve always lived the day-to-day life of big soccer organizations and now I am going to work with a group that wants to do more than soccer, that wants to stimulate innovation, forge partnerships, involve scientific communities, leave a legacy. We are creating something very big, and I’m happy to be part of it,” Chávare explained.
The company K2 Soccer SA was founded in Brazil in 2013 with the goal of investing in the soccer market, and it has been the driving force behind the resurgence of Clube Atlético Tubarão: a small, professional soccer organization located in the south of Brazil. K2 assumed management of the club in June 2015, and soon after started implementing its long-term vision, which is based on three pillars: passion, innovation and inspiration. Roughly 18 months later, after two successful seasons, C.A. Tubarão fulfilled its near-term goal of reaching the First Division of the State of Santa Catarina. Its goals for the medium- and long-term include rising all the way to the First Division (Série A).
In addition to its professional squad, C.A. Tubarão also has Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20 teams. The first two were Second Division (Série B) State Champions last year, and this year all squads will play in the First Division (Série A) in Santa Catarina.
Part of the recent success is explained through K2 Soccer SA’s different approach to soccer: the partners see C.A. Tubarão’s scope extending far beyond the 90 minutes spent on the field. Instead, they see the soccer enterprise as a multi-dimensional platform designed to embrace innovation and new ideas. For that reason, C.A. Tubarão has been referred to by some in the Brazilian media as “the first start-up club in Brazil.” The start-up club’s administrative headquarters are appropriately located at the on campus incubator of UNISUL—the University of Southern Santa Catarina. This strategic location facilitates engagement and the sharing of ideas between the C.A. Tubarão management team and the professors, students, and entrepreneurs who spend their days at the UNISUL incubator.
“The work at C.A. Tubarão being led by club President Luiz Henrique Martins Ribeiro is impressive. Alongside the positive results on the field, there are various projects taking shape in the university environment. This team-university cooperation model involves disciplines such as physical education, sports management, journalism and nutrition. Ties will be expanded soon,” Chávare said.
Regarding ties and relationships, Baltoro Group established an office in London in September last year. Having a foothold in England has helped to create solid relations with sports clubs and related professionals, to help promote cooperation in the soccer world.
What is more, on January 9 of this year Baltoro Group announced the official launch of the Elm City Express, a soccer club based in New Haven, Connecticut. The Elm City Express will compete in the National Premier Soccer League’s Atlantic Conference and will play its home matches at Yale University’s Reese Stadium. The season will run from late April through August.
By having the same entrepreneurial and managerial DNA, Elm City Express and Clube Atlético Tubarão will be natural partners in several areas, opening multiple avenues for cooperation involving sports relationships, business models, community engagement and educational exchanges. Toward that end of bilateral cooperation, a handful of Brazilian players are expected play on the Elm City Express squad this season.
“This is all part of our strategic plan. In just two weeks we will receive an Elm City Express delegation to develop and set our goals and objectives for 2017. Our goal is for effective cooperation. We launched the club in the US in early January, and just a month later we’ll receive top management and key members of the technical team, including club President Zack Henry and General Manager Brian Neumeyer. The idea is to exchange know-how and ideas, to lend players there, to welcome players to Tubarão, and to explore the professional market in the US as well as partnerships between UNISUL and Connecticut-based universities. There’s really no limit to what we can do. I’m eager to share my professional experience to help enrich the broader project and to help us achieve our ambitious goals. Our overarching goal is to help promote the growth of the sport on as many fronts as possible,” Chávare concluded.