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SOCCER ALUMNI LOVE SPREADING


FOR THE SPORT


Friends since age 10, Alex Isern ’12 and Marc Segarra ’13 said their close friendship has been the foundation for their multi-million dollar sports business.


SPRING 2020


network and motto – that are meaningful for their clients.


And they recognize the strengths that each brings to the company. Isern is organized, professional and amazing with numbers. Segarra is the people person with a sales and creative mind.


Isern remembered that their first event took place while they were still Winthrop students. They offered a winter camp in 2012 where Spanish football team members from UECornella worked with 80 players in Rock Hill. The two then set up their limited partnership in 2013 and opened a Charlotte, North Carolina, office.


They based their business model on organizing summer camps with Spanish coaches and trips to Barcelona. Two years later, ISL signed a partnership with FCBarcelona and grew the business to become its largest partner for youth programs. They run more than 40 camps a year, operating seven academies and bringing more than 4,000 people to Barcelona annually.


ISL has continued to evolve and expand into six new business lines to offer seasonal events, annual programs, travel management, talent management, tours and exhibition games along with sponsorship, and a foundation.


The Barcelona, Spain, natives united at Winthrop where they played soccer and observed the status of the sport in America. “Our whole purpose was to complement the interest, continuous growth and resources of soccer in North America with the experience, eagerness to expand and knowledge of the biggest football brands in Europe,” Segarra said.


They recognized the versatility of the sport, its accessibility to all children and its international


appeal. They resolved to bring the best of European football to America with the formation of their company, ISL.


They point to a Winthrop class for when their business idea took off. Isern said they worked on a project in business faculty member Barbara Fuller’s entrepreneurial class and were recognized for having the best business plan. They point to the values they bring – their friendship, humility,


Alex Isern ’12, left, and Marc Segarra ’13


The headquarters is now in Miami, Florida, for its Americas business dealings and in Barcelona for its European dealings.


Looking to the future, the pair envisions becoming a relevant player in the sports management and marketing industry. Over the years, they have had the privilege to work with such outstanding sports professionals as Luis Suarez, Neymar da Silva Santos Jr., Rob Gronkowski, the Dos Santos brothers, Marc Barta and others.


Once a two-employee business in 2013, ISL has grown to more than 150 employees. “ISL has been growing organically from day one and has no debt,” Segarra said.


About a dozen of the company employees are Winthrop graduates.


Alex Isern, from left, retired Winthrop Head Soccer Coach Rich Posipanko, Marc Segarra and current Winthrop Head Soccer Coach Daniel Ridenhour at the Alumni Reunion & Awards luncheon.


“For us, one way to pay Winthrop back is to continue to employ Winthrop students. Especially because we know the kind of people they are.” - Marc Segarra


SOCCER ALUMNI SPREADING LOVE FOR THE SPORT


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