The coronavirus pandemic that has shook the world in recent weeks has had a huge impact on the sports industry. Competitions across different countries and different sports have come to a standstill, and we’ve even seen the postponement of the likes of this summer’s Olympic Games in Japan and Euro 2020.

To find out more about how the sports industry is being affected, we spoke to a number of our graduates working around the world to see how much impact the crisis is having on their work on a day-to-day basis. Here, we speak to Jordan Clements, a BA (Hons) International Football Business graduate, who runs Revolution Soccer in Canada…

In the current climate sport has almost come to a standstill for the first time since WW2. What has been the direct effect on your job and what you do?

The current pandemic that we face has affected a large chunk of our current work here at Revolution Soccer. By being a soccer coaching company that provides large training sessions to local clubs, teams and private groups, the pandemic has forced us to cancel all of our training programmes which are face to face for the foreseeable future.

Running your own business comes with many challenges. How are you dealing with those right now in such unprecedented circumstances?

The unprecedented circumstances have meant that I have had to think strategically. Most businesses and companies are looking at streamlining and reducing their workforce; I see this as an opportunity to be aggressive in our market. With the current situation we have been able to focus solely on our products and the services that we offer, creating systems to help us manage scaling and for myself recruiting top quality employees who can work remotely to help grow the brand.

Jordan's idea for RSC impressed judges during the UCFB Sports Entrepreneur Competition.

How have you found the response in Canada to the crisis?

Thankfully the response from the Canadian government was very early. We were near full lockdown way before most countries decided to respond and we are hopeful that this has shortened the curve.

Do you think the business operation of sport will change in any way at all once this current crisis is overcome, or do you feel things will return to how they were?

I think there will be changes, and I feel that the professional sports industry as a whole will suffer from the crisis. Stadiums won’t be getting filled because people will be afraid of large crowds once everything re-opens, and the cost of live sporting events may also be a big factor in whether people will help the industry. I feel that it will shift even more towards streaming events. It will be companies who create 4D experiences for people on their sofas that will be the next big thing.

Do you think football and sport has an important role to play in the current climate to emphasise the message to the public about safety?

Being the most popular form of entertainment in the world, sport has an important, if not the most important role, towards helping the public understand the measures needed to help improve the current state of the world. I think they need to make calculated decisions when deciding how and when they are going to start running events, and also the messages that they are portraying if they do.

Coaching from students from UCFB gain great experience working with Jordan in Canada.

What was the immediate reaction of yourself, colleagues and the organisation when the news broke that firstly, sport was effectively coming to a stop, and secondly, that working from home was essential for the health and wellbeing of individuals?

My immediate reaction I feel was like many other people, I thought it would blow over in a week and be gone. After two days of it first hitting the news, everything was shut. Monday I was planning sessions for the rest of the week, by Wednesday my whole programme was out of the window. The measures looking back now were fantastic, and I think working from home early in Canada saved countless lives.

Now you are working from home, how are you organising your day and what would you recommend to others in a similar situation who are maybe struggling not being in their usual work environment? How do you work from home as a coach?

Working from home now has allowed me to focus on other areas of the business which I feel gets caught up when you are coaching full time. It has come at a great time for us a company to really look at our vision and how we are going to achieve that. My advice for people is just go for it, call that CEO or player that you want to work with, email that company and offer them some value and something may come out of it. This has worked for us; I have connected with more clients and potential customers in the last two weeks than I did in our first two years as a company as we have to think outside of the box.

We have also done that with our coaching. Now working from home we are offering online coaching mentorship with coach and player analysis sessions, including lots of free online training and live-streamed ball skills training. We look at everything long term; with being a small company we have to look for ways that we can eat away at the larger ones and currently we are drawing more and more away from the bigger companies.

What impact do you think football and sport will have on people when things hopefully return to normal in the coming months, and do you think it can be a positive one?

Sport returning will be massive; I think people will appreciate the return when it gets back to normal. I’m trying to count down the day/weeks/months that it will be when recreational soccer returns here, and at this present moment I have my fingers crossed that it will be July 1st!