Development of the sports industry cluster in Catalonia


“One of the most successful cluster initiatives worldwide defined from the market in an innovative and transversal way”


Starting point: the Sport General Secretary of the Catalan Government sets out to Cluster Development how to help develop the industry related to the sport sector. From this challenge, the methodology to develop a cluster initiative in the sport industry was applied using its 5 main stages: industry mapping, vision and future strategy, action plan, model of governance and implementation of the actions.

The project involved mapping more than 400 companies with a total revenue of 4.000M€. We carried out interviews, working groups and public presentations with more than 70 companies to define the main future challenges and an action plan. Cluster development coordinated the entire process during the phase of mapping, future vision and action plan (2009) and acted as cluster manager of the Initiative during the first year (2010), being in charge of the constitution of the organization, the attraction of members and the implementation of the first actions.


  • It was a very innovative cluster definition based on a common client (the sports practitioner). The common challenge of the companies was the client and not the internal processes (as it uses to be in traditional industrial clústers such as textile, food or automotive).
  • Although it was a very heterogeneous sector in terms of manufacturing processes and products (sportwear, event organizers, sports facilities manufacturers…), it was possible to create a “sector spirit” coming from a rigorous strategic analysis that brought together companies around common challenges.
  • It was a pioneering Cluster Initiative worldwide in its sector, it has been the subject of many international benchmarkings and initiatives in other countries have been inspired from it.
  • It started in 2010 with around 30 members and it has had a sustained membership growth since then (more than 75 members in 2018). It has implemented more than thirty projects during these years.
  • It has led an European Network of Sport Clusters (EU4Sportclusters Alliance) together with a French cluster from Rhône Alpes) and one from the Netherlands that was beneficiary by the EU for an internationalization project of cluster for a total amount of 750.000€. The EU cluster area presents INDESCAT as a successful cluster with an innovative and transversal definition created from the market.
  • Its governance structure has been a complete success and it has already exceeded than 10 years of life. The key successful factors are a leading tractor group of 10 companies and institutions, an additional group of member that participates in projects (75 members) and a professional cluster management structure that has been growing over the years.
  • In parallel, Cluster Development defined a model to carry out projects, rules of work for the members and a scheme of public-private funding, where members provide funds to finance the structure and projects. All these actions have guaranteed the long-term continuity of the Initiative.