Two intrepid first year students are spending their spare time helping to raise the profile of a local football club as part of their ambition to succeed in the world of sports marketing.
James McDonald and Liam Brown are both studying BA (Hons) Sports Management and Marketing at Teesside University.
In addition, they are volunteering at Whitby Town Football Club, using the skills and knowledge they are learning during their degree and applying them to help the club.
The pair are volunteering in the marketing department and have been tasked with raising the profile of Whitby Town FC, as well as increasing revenue in the clubhouse.
Whitby Town play in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League and, with limited resources, are grateful for the assistance of students such as James and Liam.
James, 20, said: “As part of the course we were required to complete 20 hours of volunteering. That really inspired us and gave us the motivation to seek additional opportunities.
“We wrote to Whitby Town outlining how we thought we could help and they were extremely receptive. Liam and I work with the marketing team as and when we are needed and the experience has been a fantastic learning opportunity.”
Liam, 21, added: “We have been talking to local businesses in Whitby to see if they can help to raise the profile of the club and also looking at new and innovative ways to raise additional revenue through the clubhouse.
“It has been a great experience to see how a club is run on a day to day basis and to be a part of that.”
The BA (Hons) Sports Management and Marketing at Teesside University is a unique course developed and delivered in partnership with Middlesbrough Football Club. It offers an unprecedented learning experience through guest lectures, live projects and real life case studies to provide students with the opportunity to pursue a rich and varied array of career opportunities within sports management and marketing.
James said: “The course has been fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for more. The lecturers give us so much encouragement and have been extremely supportive in terms of the volunteering we are doing with Whitby Town.
“The club and the University are already talking about working together to offer more work experience and volunteering opportunities to students. It is a great working partnership which is benefitting everybody.”
Dr Ian Lawrence, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Sports Management and Marketing, said: “James and Liam have demonstrated a commitment and desire to maximise all of the benefits which a university degree can offer.
“Having spent time completing volunteering as part of the course, they sought out additional opportunities and are making a hugely positive contribution to Whitby Town Football Club.
“It is great to see our students so engaged and I am sure it will further strengthen their employment opportunities once they finish studying here.”
Mike Edwards, Marketing Director at Whitby Town FC, added: “We were delighted to welcome Liam and James to the club. We understand the importance of providing students with work experience opportunities and are happy to provide an environment in which they can contribute their ideas and put them into action.
“It is an exciting time at the club and we are sure the students will benefit from the time they spend with us.”