But he also worked for a marketing agency, dealing with clients like UEFA and Team Sky, and that first entry into the sports industry gave him the opportunity to invoke his passion for sport, stretching back to the days he first started supporting Coventry City as a child.
James picked the University of Liverpool Management School as he was after an MBA degree that would gear him up for sports management jobs, an education that would extend his knowledge of the football industry and help him specialize in one area.
Current student James says that on the course students get the best of both worlds—a grounding in the football industry’s current trends and challenges, alongside a strong MBA education in leadership, finance, and marketing.
The city of Liverpool itself is a global sports hub, and those connections are what drive both the FIMBA program, as well as the Thoroughbred Horseracing Industries MBA (THIMBA), the University of Liverpool Management School’s other sports-focused MBA program.
From the CEO of Liverpool FC to the head of governance at UEFA
An MBA is all about building connections, finding that network that will help you build and sustain a successful career after graduating.
On the Football Industries MBA, students are given guest lectures by key industry figures, from the CEO of Liverpool FC, to the head of governance at UEFA, to past graduates who have launched a career in sport after the MBA program.
Indeed, these connections are what can make the difference to your career post-MBA—James, in fact, is due to spend this summer working for a major football club in Italy, an opportunity he says wouldn’t have been possible without the MBA.
“The connections are probably the USP,” he says, “every week at least one guest speaker comes in.
“FIMBA grads have gone on to have senior roles in whatever their walk of life might be—they are people who have taken the MBA over the course of 20 years, and their success gives credibility to the degree.”
The impact of field trips to Celtic, Manchester City, and Liverpool
Travis Clutter (pictured), a FIMBA graduate from 2017, explains that during the course the field trips students undertake are of huge importance to landing sports management jobs after graduating.
His cohort visited Celtic F.C., Manchester City, Liverpool, and Everton, as well as taking a module across the River Mersey, on The Wirral, at Tranmere Rovers. The module, Becoming a Football Executive, tests students on a multitude of different situations that could arise at a club on matchday throughout a season.
“Those sorts of experiences, having that exposure, and building your network is really valuable,” says Travis. “I know for sure it landed my fellow classmates opportunities with various clubs.”
Travis himself reaped the rewards of Liverpool’s connections with the sports industry—he landed a job with one of the English Premier League’s behemoths.
Roles were opening at Manchester City while Travis was a FIMBA student. The recruitment head came to campus, interviewed interested candidates, and Travis was ultimately one of two students hired by the club.
He joined the hospitality sales side of the club, and credits the Football Industries MBA for his career acceleration.
“It impacted it massively,” he says. “Just being on the course in general gives you a great exposure to the world of football and the sports industry. I wouldn’t have had that opportunity [with Manchester City] if I wasn’t on the FIMBA course.”
In the same way, graduates from the Thoroughbred Horseracing Industries MBA experience modules taught at Newmarket with industry leader Godolphin, and have since gone on to land jobs with industry heavyweights Ascot Racecourse, and the British Horseracing Authority,
Travis adds that for a career in sport, the Football Industries MBA was a no-brainer. Having had a passion for the industry since he was a child, playing baseball throughout school, as well as football and basketball, he’s now on a career path that runs in lockstep with his passion.
He currently works for Topgolf, in business development, after a brief stint at New York City Football Club as a business development executive, after he moved back to the US.
“It’s done wonders for my career currently, but also my career down the road,” he says, “five-to-10 years from now I think it’ll hold a lot of weight.”
University of Liverpool School of Management
My experience in UOL
Well I won't tell you about all the great things about this university. But I'll just tell you my honest experience about it. I have visited almost all the places here. This university knows how take care of their students. Be it any aspect, be it career and placement department, be it societies, be it organising committees, they know what all issues a student can face and they are ready with the solutions already. Professors here are so welcoming. You can literarily bother them ample number of times but they will still be so nice with you. They actually put a lot of efforts to make letures more fun. They try their best to focus on each and every student and check if they are comfortable or now. Coming to the offerings. They know that there will be a lot of international students and there will be a lot of issues they will face in adjustment over here. So they organised a lot of events, distributed a lot of free vouchers just to make students feel welcomed over here. Trust me if you are looking for a Uni for yourself or for someone, do add this one on your priority list.
The lecturers are incredibly experienced in their field of study, and it shows when they teach. They know what they are talking about, and that instills a level of trust that you have made the right choice coming to this university. They are supportive and charismatic - exactly how lecturers should be! The accommodation is all fantastic too. Homely, comfortable, so close to campus. Even Greenbank, which is a 15 minute bus journey from campus, has its perks (heavily discounted bus pass - from £400 to £60 and free gym membership). There are so many societies too! Literally one for everything. During the society fair, they were all so welcoming which is so great to see. The lecture theatres are all top-notch too. It feels so modernistic. It really feels like I have had a big step up from sixth form to university. I made the right choice by coming to UoL!
Original RedBrick Review!!
The Marketing Course at this uni a great course with exceptional industry connections - for example a brand assessment centre from The Hut Group and an assessment centre at Anfield Football Stadium! The campus is great as it is all connected and everything can be found there - so whether you are a Starbucks or Cafe Nero kind of person the campus has everything. Freshers is great with campus tours, city walks and course talks to connect you with fellow coursemates. Halls was also a great experience - I loved the halls packs where you can get free tshirts, baking kits and we even got free dominoes pizzas!!
Enjoyed every aspect of it!
My experience studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool has been amazing! All the lecturers and students have been so lovely and helpful. The management school building is my favourite place to study. I would recommend studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool because the content is so engaging and the assignments are creative.
Perfect learning methodologies and curriculums, the most i liked about my learning experience with University of Liverpool is the professionalism, in delivering the subjects and helping the students gaining more knowledge.
The marketing course at UOL is great the lecturers are helpful and provide in-person and online resources to succeed in assignments, and the careers department is extremely helpful. The modules are all relevant and have expanded my understanding of the marketing industry and consumer behaviour, social media and so on
The Best Experience
Currently in my Second Year studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool. Due to the big student culture in Liverpool, you soon feel completely at ease and at home. Staff are extremely helpful - there is always opportunities to ask for additional support/guidance. Each module is clear and well organised - this definitely helps in first year when it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the new workload. It’s very easy to find your way around due to it being a campus university as everything is in close proximity. I lived at Greenbank accommodation in my first year and the staff are so helpful and make you feel very well settled. There is a huge community feel and the modules are interactive meaning making friends is much easier and a lot less intimidating. If you’re considering attending this university and I honestly couldn’t recommend more - you’ll have the best experience!
One of my favourite things about this university is the diversity of its people. I met so many different people during my time here, from all different backgrounds and experiences. Not only did these people provide me with insight and knowledge into their own cultures and beliefs, they also allowed me to learn about and understand different ways of life that I would have otherwise never been exposed to. The tutors were also incredibly supportive on this course and allowed me to excel.
I did my undergrad in film studies at LJMU and I honestly could not recommend it enough. It has the perfect mix of practical and theory work that prepares you for any job possible in the film industry, from lighting tech to AD. The university lecturers were also very attentive, and I felt comfortable enough with them to seek their help if I ever had an issue or concern, academic or personal. LJMU gave me experiences I would not have got anywhere else, offering summer placements completely free that broadened my horizons. The fact the campus is interspersed around the city also makes it very convenient.