Team GB Olympic torch

Student’s Olympic-themed app leads to exclusive prize with Team GB

The winner of a University of Hull marketing challenge with Team GB has shared insights from her exclusive prize – a special Q&A session with the British Olympic Association’s Head of Marketing.

Rose Thorley, a second-year International Business student, won the prize for the best overall marketing plan, judged by the British Olympic Association’s Head of Marketing, Ed Jones.

Rose said: “The partnership between Team GB and the University of Hull is such an amazing opportunity for us as students. I originally chose to come to Hull because I felt that the staff had a genuine concern for their students’ wellbeing and development, and securing an exclusive partnership with such an organisation is concrete evidence of that.

“To win the challenge – and the chance to engage with Team GB professionals – has been incredible.” Rose Thorley, second-year International Business student
rose thorley, second year international business student

Rose Thorley, prize winner for the 'best overall marketing plan'

The challenge saw students focusing on creating a marketing strategy to keep fans engaged after this summer’s Olympic Games (now postponed until summer 2021) right through to Paris 2024.

The challenge is just one of the opportunities offered to students through the University’s exclusive, six-year partnership with Team GB.

As a result of her winning concept, Rose won a Q&A session with Ed, providing the opportunity to hear about his career path and to discuss how she could progress her own marketing career. They were joined by Luke Harman, Team GB Commercial Manager, who also provided advice about Rose’s career aspirations.

They also outlined a brief history of Team GB’s marketing strategies, with useful tips on how one of the nation’s largest organisations keeps its fans constantly engaged, before presenting Rose with the exclusive opportunity to ask them direct questions and expand her marketing knowledge.

“The chance to have an in-depth conversation with professionals so accomplished in their field was so exciting,” said Rose. “Ed and Luke are responsible for marketing an organisation that consists of some of this country’s most popular, elite athletes. They were perfectly placed to advise me on the best marketing practices I can use in my career both during and after university.”

Team GB Marketing Event

The challenge saw students focusing on creating an olympic-themed marketing strategy

Rose’s winning concept consisted of an Olympic themed app, offering athletics advice, tips and hacks for all levels of skill.

For example, keen sprinters looking to minimise their 100m sprint times could seek advice from top athletes, in which they give detailed expertise on the techniques they use to get off the line quickly. At the other end of the scale, for those with a more casual approach to running, a simple walkthrough of the benefits of running from a professional might prove the catalyst for a more focused and committed approach.

Ed said: “What really impressed us about Rose’s concept was its potential longevity – an app like that could exist for Team GB fans for many years to come, keeping engagement levels high with their favourite athletes.”

Rose said: “I felt that if people wanted advice about sports and athletics, then where better to get it from than the top professionals.

“The Olympic Games continuously inspire more and more people to become involved with sport, and hopefully by receiving expert advice through this app, it would enable them to feel more like the sporting heroes they adore.”

Dr Fannie Yeung, Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Hull, kept in close contact with the students who took part in the challenge, and was delighted with the creativity and commitment shown by all the students involved.

Dr Yeung said: “Working with Team GB has been an incredible opportunity for our students. The creativity that each of them has shown in their concepts is a testament to the hard work they have put in throughout this challenge.

“They had to adapt how they work in challenging times, but this process has given them a solid foundation of marketing skills that they can take forwards with them into their future careers.

“For Rose, in particular, the chance to focus with Team GB professionals on her career goals and aspirations – is really an exceptional opportunity.” Dr Fannie Yeung, Lecturer in Marketing

The calibre of students that took part in the marketing challenge greatly impressed Ed Jones: “Every student who presented to us had clearly taken great care with their concepts, and understood perfectly our desire to engage Team GB fans between Olympic years.”

“It was very humbling that the partnership between the University of Hull and Team GB means so much to them, and this translated through into the work they produced.”

The marketing challenge is the latest example of the exciting range of Team GB activities that have taken place since the partnership began in January 2019. Earlier this week, the University announced double Olympic Champion, Max Whitlock, as a new ambassador. Other activities include an ongoing research project exploring British Olympic Champions of the past – the aim is to inspire current Team GB athletes to achieve success by connecting them to their athletic heritage – as well as a series of Team GB appearances where athletes have shared their personal goal-setting and medal-winning experiences with students, and a family sports event for local schools and colleges. In November 2019, one lucky student went to Tokyo to assist with a virtual reality project to help prepare athletes for Tokyo 2020.

The University’s partnership with Team GB includes the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic Games, and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The partnership is borne out of a synergy between the University’s ambitions and beliefs, and those of Team GB.

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