Ten years ago at Turf Moor UCFB Burnley opened its doors for the first time. From Burnley to London and Manchester, then Melbourne and Miami, the past decade has seen the rapid growth and expansion of UCFB, including the launch of its Master’s arm, the Global Institute of Sport (GIS).

As UCFB has grown and progressed with time, so to have the careers of those who started out in the first cohort in 2011. Here, we take a look at some of the impressive and wide-ranging career paths of our graduates and how their time at UCFB helped shape their working lives.

Danny Stroud, Partnerships Manager at Liverpool FC

After studying BA (Hons) Football Business & Finance, Danny worked as Business Development Manager, and then Account Manager, at a fan engagement company – a growing area that focuses on the experience and entertainment around the sport itself.

18 months later, he progressed onto Blackcastle Sport Management, another agency, where Danny worked as a Commercial Analyst, identifying relevant and engaging properties for clients across the sports industry. He was promoted to Senior Commercial Analyst during his time there.

Having this experience was, he said, vital when starting out at Liverpool: “Knowing how agencies work and being ‘on the inside’ of a rights holder now, it really does go a long way. They both work hand-in-glove, so to speak, in several business areas, so knowing the ins and outs of certain processes in both lines of work has its benefits.”

This current role, Partnerships Manager at Liverpool FC, is one that Danny struggles to call work. Monitoring the global partners of one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the game, Danny is immersed in the world of football, with the experience of working across multiple agencies up his sleeve.

He said of his current role: “I began my role at Liverpool FC in the summer and have loved every minute of it – long may that continue! I am the day-to-day contact for my partners, helping them to exercise their contractual rights with the club and add value wherever I can to the overall partnership, with the aim of hitting and surpassing our joint objectives.”

Asked whether he’d be where he is today without UCFB, Danny’s reply was instant: “Of course not. UCFB helped me not only in an educational sense during the three years, but also in life as a graduate and an employee of the sports industry. My degree gave me the foundation from which to build my career and with the experiences gained from work-based placements and knowledge from guest speakers, my journey into sport began.”

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Jacob Harrison, Business Development Manager at Manchester City FC

Jacob Harrison, a BA (Hons) Football Business & Media graduate, began his journey with Premier League champions Manchester City in 2015, starting out as Premium Seat Executive, the exact role he landed at Turf Moor for Burnley FC throughout his degree.

Leaving the club to explore other areas of the sports industry, he then worked for StreamAMG as a Digital Executive, a global sports streaming service that deliver to audiences worldwide, contributing towards their online marketing. After two years at the Manchester-based company, Jacob moved back to where it all started – Manchester City.

Initially placed in the Business Development of the club’s hospitality sector, then gaining a promotion to Business Development Manager, Jacob is now responsible for overseeing the growth and expansion of VIP hospitality. Working in and amongst football’s elite, it’s safe to say he’s thriving in the new role.

Commenting on what he gets up to, Jacob said: “Essentially, my role is to generate revenue through the sale of matchday hospitality packages, VIP experiences and a few other commercial bits and pieces. I’m fortunate that the last few seasons have been some of the most successful any club could hope for.”

But it’s his personal highlight at the club that’s the standout answer of the day. He said: “If I had to single out one particular game, I’d pick the 2018/19 FA Cup Final. I was helicoptered down to Wembley with a client to watch us beat Watford 6-0 to secure the domestic treble. It was really quite surreal!”