Team GB Marketing Manager Ed Jones

First-year students work through lockdown for Team GB challenge

First-year students at Hull University Business School have welcomed the opportunity to work on an exclusive, real-life project with Team GB during lockdown.

During what would have been the countdown to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, more than 250 students have been adapting the ways they put their marketing skills and academic study into practice by holding virtual meetings and practising to deliver their presentations online to Team GB.

This week sees the culmination of their experiences of working with one of the UK’s best-loved brands in the annual marketing challenge - in which their creative thinking, innovation and advanced knowledge of marketing theory are put to the test.

British Olympic Association’s Head of Marketing, Ed Jones, who set the challenge earlier this year and heads up the panel of judges, said:

“This is a really exciting opportunity for students to work with

The challenge has seen students focus on creating a marketing strategy to keep fans engaged throughout the lead up to the next Games and right through to Paris 2024.

Student Rebecca Sausby said: I feel excited to be given the opportunity to present my idea to Team GB because it allows me to apply the concepts we’ve learnt in lectures into a tangible idea which could be used in the real world.

“Throughout the challenge, I’ve developed many skills such as time management, communication and presentation skills which will benefit me in my future career.

“I believe being able to take part in this project during my first year has benefitted my skills, confidence and deepened my knowledge of marketing concepts; I wouldn’t have been able to experience these benefits to this extent without being tasked with a live project

“I feel privileged to have this amazing opportunity of working with Team GB.”

Rebecca Sausby, University of Hull student

Rebecca Sausby, University of Hull Marketing student

Fannie Yeung, marketing lecturer at Hull University Business School, said:

“This is such an exciting opportunity for students to work on with Team GB. It has been an extraordinary effort all round especially given that this has had to all be done in the midst of a global health crisis and lockdown.

“I am immensely proud of our students who have admirably taken on this live project and lived up to the challenge particularly their incredible adaptability to working and presenting virtually.

“At Hull University Business School, we pride ourselves in offering these kind of live projects to students because they are an excellent means for them sharpening, and developing new, employability skills.”

The marketing challenge is now in its seventh year, with students previously working on projects for McCain Foods, one of the world’s largest manufacturer of frozen potato products, Beverley Building Society, Rix Petroleum, Greencore, AAK, and Whitby Seafoods.

Through workshops, tutorials and teamwork, students will conduct research, develop their ideas and marketing proposals throughout February and March, submitting a 4000-word report in April, with the best teams presenting their work to Team GB in June.

Student Rose Thorley said: “Being able to have this opportunity at such a young point in my business career has allowed me to learn so much that you can’t always teach in a classroom.

I started off feeling nervous as it is something I’ve never done before. But having such supportive staff around me from uni has allowed me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I have really got to grips with every aspect of this opportunity, from getting all my ideas on to paper to presenting them in a way which allows me to get all my best points across.”

team-gb-partnership-launch

Peter Andrews, Head of Marketing & Business Strategy Subject Group, said: “Hull University Business School has a long history of setting real-life challenges for its students as part of our unique approach called Authentic Business Learning (ABL) – this means that our students are applying their newly found skills and knowledge with organisations including Young’s Seafood and Pipers Crisps. For this year’s students, working on this project for Team GB will surely be one of the highlights of their first year studying business.”

The marketing challenge follows an exciting range of Team GB activities on campus including a series of Team GB appearances where athletes have shared their personal goal-setting and medal-winning experiences with students; a research project in which academic staff and students have focused on the history of Team GB as a way to drive success; and a family sports event for local schools and colleges. In November 2018, one lucky student went to Tokyo to assist with a virtual reality project to help prepare athletes for Tokyo 2020.

All these opportunities for students are the result of the University’s exclusive partnership with Team GB. Announced as the first University to be an Official Partner of Team GB, in January 2019, the partnership covers a six-year period and includes the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

It includes opportunities that will benefit the University of Hull’s students, staff and communities, as well as presenting opportunities for joint research and enterprise projects, delivered by the University in support of Team GB. This will include participating in Team GB events, developing courses and CV-boosting opportunities such as work experience and volunteering.

The unprecedented partnership is borne out of a synergy between the University’s ambitions and beliefs and those of Team GB.

Whether it’s in a lecture theatre or on the field, a lab or on the track or in an operating theatre or the ring, our joint belief is that everyone can achieve extraordinary things.

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