The previous competitions

franz. finals 2016

The winners of franz. 2016 were announced at next. the Sports Future Lab of CAMP BECKENBAUER. More than 250 students from 31 countries took part in the competition with concepts on digital innovations for the sports disciplines figure skating, ice hockey, football, and track and field. The jury (Franz Beckenbauer, Britta Heidemann, fencing Olympic and world champion, Carsten Koerl, CEO of Sportradar, and Marcus Höfl, founder and CEO of CAMP BECKENBAUER) selected “Olympic Dash”, a project presented by four students from Kellogg School of Management in Chicago/USA, as the winning team. At the award ceremony, Franz Beckenbauer explained: “We believe that the concept of the winning team can be immediately implemented and with help of social media, can spread the Olympic spirit throughout the world”. The winning team will have the opportunity to present their idea at the CAMP BECKENBAUER Global Summit. In addition, the jury offered the team from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (project “Cereal Killers” to improve the attractiveness of figure skating) a wildcard to present at the Global Summit, which takes place in Shanghai in October.

ARD presenter Julia Scharf moderated the event. In addition to the distinguished jury, several world champions and Olympic champions attended, which included Maria Höfl-Riesch, Martin Schmitt, Thomas Lurz, Christian Friedrich, Wolfgang Haupt, and Normann Stadler.

franz. finalists 2016

Team Olympic Dash

Team Cereal Killers

franz. finals 2015

On 13. April, the eight best teams, with students from 12 different nations, were invited to the franz. finals, at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Manangement’s Düsseldorf Campus. They developed innovations for five summer and three winter Olympic sports (fencing, golf, gymnastics, modern pentathlon, soccer, cross country skiing, ice hockey, skeleton). All teams had an exceptional day at WHU.

franz. finalists at CAMP BECKENBAUER Global Summit 2015

The three franz. finalists did an outstanding job in presenting their concepts, and Claudia Bokel (former Olympic épée fencer, Member Executive Board, IOC) enthusiastically took the concepts back to the IOC, to discuss further steps.

Our franz. 2015 winning team from WHU proposed a concept for improving one of the most traditional winter sports at the Olympic Games: cross-country skiing. Through franz., they have now received the opportunity to present their concept at the Tour de Ski with a trial of their innovation planned for 2017. Congratulations!

250 guests from 20 different countries participated in this year’s CAMP BECKENBAUER Global Summit, among them Thomas Bach (President, IOC), Nawal El Moutawakel (Vice-President, IOC), Tokyo Sexwale (CEO, Nelson Mandela Foundation), Mark Abbott (President and Deputy Commissioner, MLS), Herbert Hainer (CEO, adidas), Toto Wolff (Executive Director, Mercedes Benz Motorsport), Mikaela Shiffrin (ski racer), Philipp Lahm (footballer), and many more global decision-makers from the world of sports, business, media and politics. The guiding theme and thematic core issue of the international sports summit this year was: “The Future of Sports in a Digitalized World”.

Team OG2020 from WHU

Team ESADE 5 from ESADE Business School

Team Eliminators from WHU

The premiere of franz.

franz. was launched as an integral part of CAMP BECKENBAUER for the very first time in October 2014, with the purpose to build the bridge between current leaders in sports and the second-next generation of leaders.

Students were confronted with the situation where waves of “creative destruction” in Olympic sports produced new sport disciplines with a competitive edge over incumbents, while other sports are losing ground. Polo and baseball for example have been forced out of the Olympic Games. Wrestling, the dinosaur of Olympic sports, lost its Olympic status only to have been re-added for 2020 and 2024 after a long evaluation process and longwinded discussions. Survival of a sporting discipline does not happen by luck or chance but is the result of sustainable modernization. Thus, the task for franz. 2015 was to take any Olympic summer or winter sport and to develop a groundbreaking idea how to take this sport to new heights. Any measures were allowed, e.g., changing rules, simplifying a sport, altering equipment or developing innovative marketing or media concepts.

The response to the premiere of franz. has been way above expectations! Over 260 students participated, with some 60 student teams competing for the finals in Dusseldorf, Germany. 75% of the applicants were students at leading institutions in Europe (e.g., INSEAD, Stockholm School of Economics, ESADE Business School, and University of Oxford), 13% studied in Asia (e.g., Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Rajasthan Technical University) and the remaining 12% were enrolled at universities in North America, South America and Africa. Thus, we received concepts from all six continents!