Former UCFB Wembley SU President and BA (Hons) International Football Business graduate Jordan Clements has been developing and running his football coaching business in Canada since 2017, even using money he won in the annual UCFB Sports Entrepreneur Competition to develop it further. We caught up with Jordan to find out more about Revolution Soccer Canada and the football industry in in the country…

Please can you explain to readers what Revolution Soccer Canada is and how it operates?

Revolution Soccer is a football coaching company which aids players, coaches and local soccer clubs in improving their current levels within the game. We are the ultimate soccer educators and our main operation is football coaching. During the busy periods of the year we have over 1,500 registered players participating every week across the different programmes that we run. We are currently based in the Niagara region of Canada, with locations in other areas opening soon in 2020 and 2021. In this region we have partnerships with two local soccer clubs where we run coaching programmes such as mini kickers, house league development and elite training. We also operate a growing tournament which teams from all over North America attend. We provide work placements for UCFB students throughout both our summer and year-round programmes, where they travel to Canada and coach with our partnered clubs. All students get an extensive training programme to help them understand what to expect and how to coach using our curriculum, whilst they’re also able to enjoy what Canada has to offer.

Why and how did you choose Canada for your business?

The reason that Revolution Soccer is based out of Canada is due to the opportunities available to help improve the level of the game here. The highest participated sport in Canada is soccer, so with this in mind, there is a need for expert coaching as a large number of players are learning from volunteer coaches, most of whom have never played the game before. Therefore, we saw a clear need for coaching development and education in the Canadian market.

You’ve been able to enlist the help of UCFB students at RSC. How has this helped your business?

Being able to have the resources to bring over UCFB students has helped our business grow, as their knowledge of the game is far beyond many of fellow competing companies. They’re also able to gain valuable international coaching experience and understand how a small company operates, giving them the opportunity to learn in new areas such as planning a tournament, as well as the business side of coaching. 

How have the first couple of years in operation been?

Our first couple of years of existence have been thoroughly enjoyable, and hugely successful. We have doubled our operation each year since opening and are on track to triple this in 2020. We have learnt from our mistakes in our early years and have really started to kick on in the market, this has included being featured on the front of ‘Niagara This Week’ (a regional news outlet) for our youth development programmes in the region. Initially, our aim is to establish ourselves as the leading coaching provider within Ontario in the coming years, whilst our long-term goal is to become one of the biggest coaching companies in Canada.

What have the benefits of receiving funding and guidance from UCFB Sports Entrepreneur Award been?

The benefits from UCFB’s Sports Entrepreneur Award has allowed Revolution to reach the next level. We have been able to upgrade and improve our systems, from our payment service through to our website, thanks to the funding we received. This in turn has helped us increase sales and the growth of our brand. The guidance has helped me tremendously as I’ve been able to network with different companies and potential partners within the industry following introductions from UCFB. The advice given by the mentors has helped to ensure that we don't make common mistakes, whilst we’ve also received advice on the areas that we could potentially look into entering. 

How do you see the growth of soccer in North America and MLS, and what do you think it’s down to?

The growth of soccer in North America and MLS is rapid. Soccer is a very inclusive game and is affordable when compared to other sports which can be quite costly for parents and players alike. The MLS has helped this growth with the higher calibre of players that they have attracted in recent years, which has consequently resulted in attendances growing. I think that it has the potential to grow into a big sport in North America, but it does have a lot of competition from other sports.

What’s the future for soccer in Canada and the US?

Our hope for the future of soccer in Canada and the US is that the level grows and with that the MLS and Canadian Premier League (CPL) will also flourish. We hope that we can be part of that future by producing international soccer players. There's a lot of potential here, it just needs the correct steps to be put in place before it can be reached. This could potentially mean implementing a European-style promotion/relegation league structure. 

With UCFB students set to visit Toronto in June as part of the Global Summits series, what can they expect from the city and its sports industry?

The UCFB students that are set to visit Toronto can expect a lot from the city. In my opinion it's one of the best sporting cities in the world with soccer, NHL, MLB and NBA teams housed here. The sports industry is a very exciting area to learn and see first-hand, and the city’s sports team all possess very loyal supporters. Additionally, it’s also a beautiful city which has a host of great cultural spots, restaurants, bars, stadiums and entertainment venues to visit and explore. With a mix of cultures from all around the world, it's a very welcoming city.