The Wolves word has spread further across the world recently, with students studying University of Wolverhampton business programmes in Mumbai working on projects set by the club to help bring football to the South Asian city.
The first project saw the students developing fan clubs, with one officially being launched and featured on Premier League World, while the current project is challenging students to design a fashion range suitable for the Indian market.
The request for a real-life business brief project came to Joshua Whale, lecturer in enterprise and entrepreneurship and transnational education, from colleagues at the Podar World College, where the university’s business management and international master’s of business administration programmes are on offer.
Mr Whale approached Wolves and Russell Jones, general manager, marketing and commercial growth, agreed to be involved and created a brief looking for the students to work on.
The students were challenged to look at how Wolves could grow their brand in Mumbai, including setting-up a fan club.
The project was launched with a session in Mumbai, alongside an online pitch-side session at Molineux with Jones and the director of the University of Wolverhampton business school professor Claire Schofield.
Jones said: “Being able to work with the students at Podar World College is a real treat. Not only are they an incredibly engaged and intelligent group of students, but they offer the club a fascinating insight into a young, technologically savvy audience in India.
“Whilst I’m pleased to see the fan club go from strength to strength, I’m particularly excited to see how the students interpret the latest fashion brief. Wolves are working hard to diversify our brand, with fashion being one of our key brand verticals, alongside music and esports.
“This is a great opportunity for the students to really push the boundaries. I fully encourage them to think like a fashion designer and not a football club. Be brave, be disruptive and have fun!
“On behalf of Wolves, I’d like to thank Mr Whale, the University of Wolverhampton and Podar World College for this great opportunity. I hope this is just the start of a long-term working relationship.”
Whale said: “The involvement from the football club has been great and the feedback they’ve provided to the students has been really helpful and constructive.
“The project has really benefited the students who have taken part; giving them the opportunity to work in teams, dealing with a real client and brief and the challenges that presents, time management, marketing skills along with networking.”
25 students were involved in the project’s first year, ranging from first year undergraduate to master’s students. They worked in small groups for the four-month duration to not only create their marketing plan but also network and secure a venue for their fan club’s meetings.
Following the project, the students decided to launch an official fan club which currently has 50 members. The club has even been featured in a video by Premier League World.
This semester, 60 students are working with Wolves to explore the options of a new fashion line which is suitable and attractive to the Mumbai market.
It is seeing them identify potential partners to design the clothing, and this is made even more challenging in light of the pandemic as it is all has to take place online.
The students will be sharing their work through an online fashion show later this year.
Nael Khan, a participant of the first project, said: “After putting in considerable time to research the club, I was impressed with its history and during researching for this project, I fell in love with the team.
“What started off as a project became something much more than that; I made a connection with the club for a lifetime. Ever since that day, I have not missed a match.
“The best part about this project to me was the experience that I gained and the connections that I made, because in the end, these things are what matter and enable you towards making a holistic development for yourself.”
Manan Beriwal, also a participant of the first project, said: “The main benefits of being a part of the Wolves project were that I firstly, got the opportunity to understand and learn closely the way in which an international football club works and how Wolves being a successful football club requires a full-fledged business model.
“I personally cherished the time when we worked as a team and get acquainted with like-minded people who were either working with me or were the guiding light throughout our journey.
“This project also helped me interact with Mr Whale and Mr Jones. Their way of looking at things and questions really helped us push our limits and really got our minds into this project!”