Last year Ilias Pajoheshfar won the UCFB Wembley Sports Entrepreneur award, taking home £5,000 to help grow and expand his business idea Resolve Esports, which coaches and develops Esports players via a physical and digital development hub.

Continuing to rapidly grow as a business, Resolve Esports recently employed Joe Jackson, a BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing student at UCFB Wembley, as the company’s Marketing Executive. Here, Joe tells us about the role and his time at UCFB so far…

Tell us about your role at Resolve Esports, how you landed it and what it involves.

I was searching for a job and I was lucky enough to know a previous student at UCFB who is the founder and CEO of Resolve Esports, Ilias Pajoheshfar. He was looking for someone to work as the head of the marketing department, so I offered myself up. The role is highly flexible and entails marketing research, public relations, sponsorships, digital marketing and helping with the creative content team. The advantage of working at Resolve Esports is that although I will no longer be in London, I can still help and work for Resolve virtually since everything is done online.

How do you think Esports will grow and develop with time?

Personally, I think that Esports is a new market for many people but despite that it is extremely saturated and very difficult to grow successfully. I think Esports has evolved throughout the years from being about pure gaming and entertainment to nowadays a catalyst for mental health and wellbeing. Resolve Esport’s unique selling point is that it prides itself on developing players through a traditional sporting sense therefore incorporating coaching on health, nutrition and in-game performance.

In what ways do you think Esports will shape the sports landscape in future years?

I think that COVID-19 has really helped the growth of Esports as it shows its versatility of being both offline in local area network (LAN) events and online. My prediction is that despite everything starting to become normal again after COVID-19, gaming and Esports will rapidly develop to become something that is mainstream for the younger population – similar to traditional sports now.

How has your BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing programme helped with the role?

My degree has been extremely helpful for my current role at Resolve and will continue be useful throughout my career due to the wide range of marketing skills that can be applied to any business. Currently I’m working on a sponsorship package that will be given to future sponsorship partners to give them the opportunity to customize their own ‘package’. The three years studying at UCFB has given me the confidence to be able to suggest ideas to others and build upon others ideas to create something brand new.

Tell us about your previous role as Head of Business Development Asia Specific at Crawley Town and what you got up to.

My former role as Head of Business Development Asia Specific at Crawley Town was focused upon getting sponsors and marketing to the Asian market. I was lucky enough to work with some of my classmates from UCFB on the same degree, Steve Willis and Lasse Boettcher. Together we searched for sponsors that fit Crawley Town’s demographic. As well as this, we conducted market research and suggested creative ideas that could help raise Crawley Town money during COVID-19 with no fans in the stadium.

Has working in different sectors in the sports industry helped you understand it in greater depth?

Working in different sectors in the sports industry has given me a greater understanding of how the different organisations or clubs can operate on a day-to-day basis. I think if I am to work abroad in the future, these are experiences that are highly valuable to other companies and can be used in fields outside of the sports industry.

What advice would you pass on to any prospective students looking to study at UCFB?

My advice would be first and foremost make sure you do the best you possibly can in your degree as that is what you get at the end when you graduate. However, it is equally as valuable to meet people around you at UCFB and look for internships within the sports industry or relevant to your degree.