Innovative football fashion and an international training camp were the big winners to secure funding in the 2019 edition of the UCFB Sports Entrepreneur Award.

Groups of students from both UCFB Wembley and UCFB Etihad Campus presented their ideas over two days to members of the UCFB board in the hope of winning up to £5,000 funding to invest in their business.

Following several exciting pitches, Sarah Makki, a BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism, won the Etihad prize after demonstrating her vision to make football more fashionable with her Reperit Apparel brand, which will design apparel featuring the coordinates of sporting arenas around the world. At Wembley, BA (Hons) International Football Business student Jordan Clements was successful after following his pitch for Revolution Soccer – licensed coaching schools for children in Canada. Several further ideas were also awarded funding as runners-up prizes, which can be seen below.

The competition is led by UCFB chairman Brendan Flood and provides students with an unprecedented opportunity to pitch their sports business ideas to the UCFB panel then field any questions they might have. This year’s panels included Brendan, Director Paul Fletcher, Chief Marketing Officer Sharona Friedman, Chief Financial Officer John Davies and Employability & Enrichment Manager Marc Halliday.

As well as winning funding for their products, the budding entrepreneurs will also receive guidance from the panel over the next year to help with their product development.

Commenting after handing out the prizes, Brendan said: “Once again the level of competition across both campuses was very high, with some incredibly detailed business ideas put forward to the panel. Sarah and Jordan were chosen due to the accessibility of their ideas, the potential to grow their businesses and a strong business plan.

“However, the whole panel decided that a number of other pitches deserved a level of investment; so that shows the level of the competition this year. I’m now looking forward to working with the winners this year to help develop and further their ideas and career ambitions.”

Full list of winners

UCFB Etihad Campus

Winner:

Sarah Makki, BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism

Company name: Reperit Apparel

Reperit aims to provide quality and affordable apparel to provide fans with an alternative way to support their favourite teams in a subtler and fashionable manner. The company aims to provide apparel such as sweatshirts and t-shirts with the coordinates of sporting arenas around the world.


Runners-up:

Maria Fernandes, MSc Football Coaching & Analysis

Company: MAF Sports

MAF aims to use the power of football to help the homeless and disadvantaged groups to rebuild their lives. This will be achieved by giving opportunities to play the sport with similar groups and giving access to free or subsidised learning opportunities to build confidence and find employment.


Charlie Dawson, MSc Football Coaching & Analysis

Company name: AS Showcase

AS is a showcase for Asian players across numerous levels to display their ability in front of scouts, clubs and academies. There is still a large, untapped market of Asian talent to be discovered by the European game, and AS aims to highlight the talent available.


Michael Knox, BA (Hons) Football Coaching & Management

Company name: Salford Storm Fc – football club

Salford Storm FC is to be a grassroots club in a deprived area of Salford. Starting with five youth teams and two adult teams, the club will work in partnerships with a local charity named The Veterans Garage, which rehabilitates ex-soldiers back into society. The club will also work with youth and disability groups in the area.


Jack Slinn and Sam Hill, BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance

Company name: UCFB Foundation

The Foundation is a social enterprise that will deliver free coaching sessions, using UCFB students as coaches, to schools across Manchester and surrounding areas. As part of the business, the ambition is to create a UCFB Coaches Club where students will get paid to deliver sessions to grass roots clubs.


Sheriff Tajudeen, MSc Football Coaching & Analysis

Company name: Cloud Sports

Cloud Sports aim to be a digital sports broadcast and streaming platform dedicated to the sports and leagues in Africa. With a population of over 1.2 billion, Cloud Sports want to be the go to broadcaster for African sport.


Max Carlyle, BA (Hons) Football Business & Media

Company name: UCFB Podcast

The UCFB Podcast with cover both sport and education, announcing UCFB news and featuring in depth interviews with UCFB’s partners, such as Nike or The FA. The podcast would be student run, giving students a large platform to show case their work.


Jay Karabel, BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing

Company name: Match Peak Ltd

Match Peak offers media production and data analysis services to under-resourced sports clubs at both semi-elite and amateur level. As a previous winner, Jay’s pitch was for added investment to continue to grow his expanding business, which has made significant commercial and strategic developments since his success in 2017.

UCFB Wembley

Winner:

Jordan Clements, BA (Hons) International Football Business

Company name: Revolution Soccer Canada Ltd.

Revolution is a private coaching company which works directly with football clubs to provide training programs for the club, and also camps for local players. Unlike clubs in England, Canadian football lacks the experience and expertise to provide professional coaching for their club. Revolution will take pressure off clubs to run their own programmes, allowing them to concentrate on other areas.


Runner’s Up

Ilias Pajoheshfar, Bartek Kawczak and Joe Jackson, BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing

Company name: Clash Zone

Clash Zone will be a physical and digital hub for the development of individuals invested in eSports. By maintaining the highest level of coaching and incorporating an open-minded approach using psychology, anthropology and innovative pedagogical techniques, Clash Zone aim to create a holistic view of development for individuals to aid in their personal and professional growth.


Jason Gonsalves, MSc International Sports Management

Company name: Ace Boy Sports Group

Ace Boy Sports Group will provide professional sports management services to the athletes and people of Bermuda, enabling the well-rounded growth and career development of Bermudian athletes and entities of the Bermuda sports industry.


Harsimran Singh Virdee, Aleem Bolkiah and Kieron Leyshon, BA (Hons) International Football Business

Company name: Global Sports United

Global aim to inspire the next generation of British Asian football players from unrepresented backgrounds. They will provide opportunities for young players to be scouted at trials and/or become part of a football club academy where with commitment, dedication and hard work will become professional footballers.


Jacek Jonczyk, BA (Hons) International Football Business

Company name: FUTCEO

Futceo is a project focused on educating, consulting and outsourcing in areas of business management, marketing, social media, HR and more. The main aim is to help less capable clubs to increase their competitiveness in the football industry market by giving them extra managerial skills and expertise.


Nicola Malgeri, BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing

Company name: Footleague

Footleague is a mobile app that makes it easy for people that want to join a five-a-side team and play on regular basis. Players will be able to join a new platform that will organise matches to compete against other teams within existing leagues such as Powerleague.


Conor Walsh, Shaheen Pahlevani (both MSc Sport Management), Sam Adams (MSC International Sport Management) and Luke Dick (BA (Hons) Stadium & Events Management

Company name: Camden Courts

Camden Courts is a four-a-side, fast paced football tournament to be held in the heart of Camden Town every Sunday. Through the paradigm of football, Camden Courts is an initiative designed to help enhance relations and encourage social progress within the community.