By Rebecca Hawksworth

Having won the UCFB Sports Entrepreneur Award 2017, BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student Jay Karabel takes a look back at his last year in business and the progress that he and his newly established company has made…

Jay won the competition, which sees students put forward their business ideas to a Dragon’s Den-style panel of experts, with his idea for the company Match Peak.

He explained how his idea for Match Peak came about and what his organisation aims to offer the sports industry: “Match Peak offers media production and data analysis services to under-resourced sports clubs at both semi-elite and amateur level. I did a good few months of research to look into the idea and assess whether there was a gap in the market. By outsourcing to a business like Match Peak, sports clubs and organisations can reduce their operating costs, free up internal resources and streamline their match day focus.”

With only 1% of all sports matches and events in the UK and Europe being filmed, Jay described why an organisation like Match Peak is needed in football and how he is making his business a success.

He said: “We essentially eliminate the need for clubs to invest in expensive camera equipment, complex software and most importantly their time. Clubs can be provided with both extensive and professional match day highlights, as well as data analysis reports for coaches to utilise for training and development purposes, all with a quick turn around.”

Delving into why he chose to enter the UCFB Sports Entrepreneur Award, Jay said: “The whole experience on the day of the competition was exciting, but I can’t say I wasn’t a little bit nervous. It was essentially months of preparation and research which all relied and came down to a 30-minute pitch, in front of some of the sports industry’s top executives and entrepreneurs.”

Jay added: “Brendan Flood has been a huge help to Match Peak. Within minutes of sitting down with him in my first mentoring session, I learnt a life lesson that many entrepreneurs don’t often realise – everything in business takes twice as long as you expect it to, and most likely will cost twice the amount.”

Winning the award not only meant that Jay was privileged enough to receive business mentoring from Brendan, but it also meant he was the recipient of £5,000 investment to help establish his company.

Jay went on to speak about how his business has grown in the last year and how he has been able to offer out internships to fellow UCFB students:

He said: “I quickly learnt that the journey of building a brand and a business is often long and painful. I have spent the last 12 months standardising our service offerings and also building a strong team of fellow UCFB students, who will soon be able to consistently gain experience in media production and sports videography or performance analysis.”

Jay finished off by giving us an insight into the path which he believes Match Peak is veering down and what his hopes are for his business moving forward: “Now that I have the appropriate infrastructure in place, I can begin to expand our services and gain more regular clientele.

“In the short-term, I’m hoping to begin to create more long-term partnerships with sports clubs and organisations. In the long-term we essentially want to create a brand which encourages coaches to begin to review and analyse performance more regularly, whatever level of sport they are at.”

Find out more about the UCFB Sports Entrepreneur Award.