Pupils from partner schools of Manchester United Foundation have been working towards the annual Enterprise Challenge, which was launched by Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, in November 2013.
The Challenge tasks students aged 14-19 with developing possible solutions to real-life challenges that football clubs face and is the annual highlight of the Premier League Enterprise Academy, a programme which gives young people a unique insight into the business side of professional football clubs.
This year’s task required students to explore ways in which to attract new fans to their football club and develop new revenue streams from the rapidly growing international markets of Africa and the USA. They were also challenged to create fully-costed business plans to support their ideas in order to encourage their club to invest in the initiative.
The Burnage Media Arts College students winning idea included setting up soccer schools in Africa and America and also developing a mobile app, enabling fans who cannot physically visit Old Trafford to go on a virtual tour of the Theatre of Dreams.
This idea particularly resonated with judge Ian Fox, head of digital media operations at Manchester United: “They had some great ideas, some of which were aligned to the club’s strategy going forward; a club app is right on the money and I would like to discuss their presentation with the media team at Manchester United.”
Fellow judge, Professor John Davies from the University of Salford Business School, added, “The winners were very confident, had some catchy slogans and had linked their ideas into Manchester United corporate partners. They were also one of the few teams to have properly considered the risks associated with their ideas.”
The winning team, made up of classmates Razwan Iqbal, Mubarak Mohammed, Ish Haaq Khan, Zaigham Ali Shan and Nabil Khalid (pictured L-R), were delighted that their hard work has paid off and ‘ecstatic’ to have won the Manchester United heat of the competition. However, their eyes are firmly on the national prize:
“It’s marvellous but we’re now focusing on the national semi-final; we have that winning mentality and hopefully it will all fall into place,” said 15-year-old Zaigham. “I’m going to expect all the other groups to be very well prepared so we need to make sure our group is beyond immaculate and that there are no mistakes.”
The team will submit their presentation and executive summary to the Premier League in preparation for representing the club in the semi-final at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on 13th March, and if successful they will progress to the final on 3rd April at the Department for Business Skills and Innovation in Westminster.
Team mate Nabil concluded, “To do something as a team, to accomplish such an award is very good for us; it helps a lot with your confidence and your social skills. This is a victory in itself but if we win in London that would be a very, very big victory for us all and be a big helping hand in life in what we want to do in our futures.”
Find out more about the Premier League Enterprise Challenge.
Find out more about the Foundation partner schools.