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Northumbria students impress the press with World Cup legacy plan

22nd October 2015

Student teams from Northumbria University’s Newcastle Business School have presented marketing plans to the region’s media on how to capitalise upon the success of hosting the Rugby World Cup within the region and create a lasting legacy.

With three matches staged at St James’ Park and tens of thousands of fans from South Africa, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa and Scotland, it has been estimated that the tournament benefited the local economy by more than £40 million. Key stakeholders in the success of the World Cup included Newcastle City Council, BBC Radio Newcastle, The Newcastle Falcons and Northumberland Rugby Football Union. The 5 student teams were tasked with presenting their ideas with a supporting marketing plan to these stakeholders aimed at maximising the financial returns and legacy impact from the competition. This included raising awareness, interest and participation at all levels in rugby, and the numbers listening to matches on BBC Radio Newcastle.

The judging panel included BBC Look North presenter Dawn Thewlis, former Falcon’s player Andy Buist, BBC Radio Newcastle’s Ian Smith, Nick Barnes and Dean Gray, Total Sport presenter Simon Pryde and Doctor Nicola Patterson from Newcastle Business School. Students were measured on team work, research and presentation structure, with the winning team due to have part of their presentation broadcast on BBC Radio Newcastle.

Student Faye Wood, from the winning team Coegi, said: “Our group was very excited to be presenting to such an important panel so we were quite nervous the morning of the event. We have learnt that team work and communication is the most important aspect in getting projects done to a high standard. Together we have learnt each other’s strengths and weaknesses and utilise these when necessary, as well as pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. Speaking to fans and doing our research on the Rugby World Cup has given us a true sense of the sport and helped us understand all of the planning and the legacy that can be left for hosting such a big event.”

Dawn Thewlis said: “The quality and delivery on show here has been extremely high, with some great ideas for ensuring the benefits from hosting the World Cup continue.” Addressing the students directly she added:  “Just like broadcasting on radio or TV, delivering a presentation like this can be hard no matter how experienced you are. What really helps is to speak as clearly as possible, look at your audience so you can engage fully, and be conversational.”

Doctor Patterson said: “I’m extremely proud of all the students that took part. They are all from our BA (Hons) Business Leadership and Corporate Management course, which is extremely popular with our business partners because of the innovative 2-year internship programme, and because of the quality of the students who take up these internships. Presentations such as today’s can seem intimidating at first, but it has provided the students with a fantastic opportunity to work on a live business project on the international stage which has a regional impact. Projects such as this accelerate the students learning as they continually combine theory and practice which will add value to the businesses they join as part of the course.”

Click here to listen to Team Coegi’s winning interview clip used in their presentation.

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