What is the Hartpury Sports Business Hub?
The Hartpury Sport Business Hub (HSBH) was established in 2020 as a Community of Practice connecting students with a variety of sport and business organisations. Building relationships and establishing partnerships though the Hub, students gain opportunities to engage in ‘real world’ projects, jobs, and placements, which have impact both locally and nationally. These range from consultancy projects, where students aim to collect data to solve organisational tasks, through to digital marketing support where students help manage and create content to increase awareness and engagement. Students can secure placement opportunities as well as deliver various evaluation support also.
As of March 2023, the HSBH has secured £316,000 worth of funding since its inception, which is certainly down to the collaborative approach adopted.
Student success story
Students are embedded at the heart of all activities in the Hub including continuous development and future collaboration. Noah Geltman’s journey captures the Hub’s ethos and impact.
Noah’s first involvement with the Hub was a digital marketing project with a local sports club where he provided services and training for staff which they described as “a real game changer for our marketing activity”. Noah then achieved a placement at a local rugby club, Bream RFC, where he oversaw market research for a new £1million clubhouse project. On the back of his experiences and knowledge gained, upon graduation Noah started his own marketing agency and has collaborated with the Hub as a partner in the Essex LDP £200,000 funding bid, carrying out a social media audit and delivered guest lecturers to current sports business management students. Noah demonstrates how both local and national projects can benefit students in alignment with the University’s strategic goals.
Hartpury Sports Business Hub has provided me with unique opportunities that I did not think was possible whilst studying full time. They enabled me to liaise with real organisations, build upon my skills and knowledge, all whilst gaining networking and industry links that helped shaped my career at such a young age.
“Additionally, upon graduation we have still managed to work together and they have always listened to my feedback and input to help improve their services and offerings. I cannot thank them enough.”
Research and Knowledge Exchange
Our collaborative approach has also led to increased opportunities for staff and even collaboration between industry partners. For example, the Research and Knowledge and Exchange agreement with Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, has enabled us to connect multiple community projects, and allowed staff members to conduct real world research that is both useful for academic publication, teaching, and can shape industry practice. The project links Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, Bristol Rovers Football Club, and local schools to try and increase physical activity in the Gloucestershire area in conjunction with an academic staff member and student on the MSc programme.
Pete Lamb, head of community outreach at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club says:
“Hartpury has opened many doors for us and provided excellent value and insight into different organisational challenges. We find the HSBH easy to work with and they have connected us to many other organisations in the industry.”
A clear benefit of the collaborative practice that enhances the student and industry experience is via the income that has been generated. The range of HSBH skillsets and experiences from across the University can now be pooled together to increase the likelihood of success and add greater value to our applications. An example of this is the Gloucestershire Shared prosperity funding bid (£116,000), which was co-written by the director of business development, associate head of Department of Sport, and two senior lecturers of Sports Management.
Furthermore, the HSBH has helped developed internal collaboration within the other faculties and inspired the coaching department to develop their own version of the Hub.
Dr Martin Longworth, Coaching Centre Community of Practice Lead says:
“It has created a strong platform for other communities of practice to report and engage in Research and Knowledge and Exchange (RKE). Mike and Alex have provided me with a space to discuss how we can maximise our RKE output, aligning to the institution’s strategic plan and highlighting our unique Sports Academy and Curriculum collaboration enabling me to foster a similar approach with the HSCC, with initial engagement having lots of success.”
If any of these opportunities are of interest, or you would simply like to find out more about connecting and engaging students with industry practice, please do reach out to the team at SportsBusinessHub@hartpury.ac.uk or visit our website.
Dr Alex Kay is programme manager for the MSc Sport Management programme, with a strong interest in all things sport, social media and consumer psychology.
Mike Green is programme manager for the BA (Hons) Sport Management programme with a strong interest and publication record within football, social media and sustainability.