Skip to content

University of Bradford students take their own pitch to Bradford City AFC


Seven people stood pitchside in a football stadium

Bradford City AFC knows exactly what makes a good pitch - and we're not just talking about the grass kind. The partnership between the University of Bradford and Bradford City AFC has given five students a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to take their own pitch to the football ground - a presentation of their marketing strategies to the Bantams' Director of Brand, Marketing and Media Luke Flacks.

Luke was invited to give a guest lecture to the School of Management students last year as part of the partnership between the two Bradford institutions, where he provided an insight into real-world industry experience in the sports marketing sector. The students were able to use this insight to strengthen their projects, with the five best presentations invited to the University of Bradford Stadium. 


Luke said: “I was delighted to host students from the Digital Campaign Planning and Content Management course and staff from the University of Bradford in the Jack Tordoff Boardroom. 


“The enthusiasm and professionalism the students showed was a credit to themselves, their tutors, and the university. They really rose to the challenge of the assignment we set in November, with the report submissions and presentations being of a really high standard.


“I hope the insight and experience they gained from this assignment gives them the confidence that they can achieve their goals throughout the remainder of their education, and when they make the step into industry themselves. 


“Not only was it a great opportunity for students to gain industry experience by presenting in a boardroom environment, but it also gave me a lot of food for thought about learnings and ideas that we can take forward at Bradford City. 


“We look forward to working collaboratively on more projects like this, as our partnership with the University progresses.”


Life-long Bantams' fan Thomas Kirkby, 21, was one of the students presenting his strategy, and felt that the visit was the highlight of his University experience: “Working with Bradford City was a once in a lifetime opportunity.


“As a huge Bradford City fan myself, having the opportunity to deliver my marketing strategy in the Jack Tordoff Boardroom at the University of Bradford stadium was incredible. It was fantastic presenting to Luke, who provided some invaluable feedback on my plan.


“I’ve gained so much confidence through this experience which has helped me to picture what a career in sports marketing might look like.”


The initiative is just one of the ways in which the University is ‘future-proofing’ their students, with Clinical Sciences students recently taking part in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event, pitching their ideas to a panel of visitors.


Course Leader Rachel Sammut says that the students will be able to take a lot from their experience: “This future-focused assignment provided students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of marketing theory in an exciting, relevant, and practical manner. 


“Having a real-life problem to tackle allowed for a deeper understanding of concepts, incremental learning, and the attainment of in-depth industry insight around what marketing actually looks like outside of a university context.


“We are incredibly thankful for all the hard work Luke Flacks and the Bradford City AFC team put into this collaboration. The experience was invaluable and is one that many students will take with them into their future careers!”


The University of Bradford began sponsoring Bradford City AFC in July 2022. The deal means the Bantams’ Valley Parade home is now known exclusively as the University of Bradford Stadium until at least the end of the 2025/26 campaign, with a four-year investment signifying a commitment to improving social and economic mobility across the Bradford district.