For a group of Bournemouth students it was the match of their lives when they stepped into the spotlight at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium.
They were competing in the regional finals of the Premier League Enterprise Challenge, the competition which gives young people the chance to work with their local professional football club on an actual business proposition.
In the end their business idea to help the Cherries break the US market was only beaten to the equivalent of a last minute goal from rival business bidders Spurs.
The judges were very impressed with the Avonbourne proposition and said: “It was a really impressive strategy and we liked the realism of it.
“We could see this idea pretty much being rolled out by Bournemouth tomorrow.”
Avonbourne Trust’s CEO, Debbie Godfrey-Phaure, said: “We are very proud of our students who did an amazing job presenting to top people from the Premier League.
“As a business and enterprise trust all our academies are very much about preparing students for employment and bringing out the entrepreneur in them all.
“This work with AFC Bournemouth has really helped to put their business skills to the test and as far as we’re concerned they are top of the league.”
As part of the challenge AFC Bournemouth held regular workshops with Year 9 and 10 students from Avonbourne and Harewood colleges to hatch their business plan together.
Their final business proposition was to increase Bournemouth’s American fan base by setting up a special USAFCB supporters group, launching a dedicated Facebook page and membership scheme.
AFC Bournemouth’s Head of Community, Steve Cuss, said: “We were delighted to work with Avonbourne Trust and the Premier League on the exciting PL Enterprise project.
“Our lessons provided students with the opportunity to look at the business side of football utilising research and presentation skills, which they used expertly when they presented to the judging panel.”
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