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Mich Stevenson Headlines Nottingham Rugby Sporting Apprentice

The Sporting Apprentice is here with a batch of ambitious students from Nottingham's two universities going head-to-head to impress Sport England board member and local businessman Mich Stevenson by packing Meadow Lane Stadium.

Mich Stevenson Apprentice

YOU'RE HIRED: Mich Stevenson headlines the Sporting Apprentice with (l to r) Stephen Jackson from Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Rugby chief executive Simon Beatham and James Devlin from Nottingham University Business School. PIC: Alison Bowden

Contestants assembled for their first 'boardroom' briefing from Stevenson in the middle of the Meadow Lane pitch on Thursday (February 7) where they were given the four week task to sell as many tickets as possible for Nottingham Rugby's RFU Championship clash against Plymouth on Sunday, March 3.

The fury firing finger of Alan Sugar might not be looming over participants, but sparks are sure to fly between Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham with the challenge absorbed into their yearly Varsity Series.

Nottingham Rugby chief executive Simon Beatham will be Stevenson's right hand man to lend his expertise to teams, with the club's marketing and business staff helping provide resources and guidance when needed.

Beatham said:"I'm excited to see what ideas and different ways of thinking students employ to attract a crowd to Nottingham Ruby.

"We have an electrifying sports entertainment product at Meadow Lane that we believe people will enjoy immensely, the challenge is building spectator numbers and exposing more and more people o the experience."

 The students from Nottingham University Business School are looking forward to the challenge of selling as many tickets as possible.

James Devlin, Deputy Dean at Nottingham University Business School, said:"The competition provides the students with the ideal opportunity to apply the strategic and entrepreneurial knowledge and skills that they have learned on their course. The fact that our rivals in the competition are students from Nottingham Trent 'adds a little spice' and makes us all the more determined to do well.

Nottingham Trent has thrown down the gauntlet by opening team nominations to the entire university and going for the cross-disciple approach.

Jonny Ellison, Nottingham Trent Student Union President, said:"By opening up the challenge to all of our students, we have a greater range of skills present on our team.

"We're hoping this approach is going to beat the best from Nottingham University Business Schooland bring Nottingham Trent University another victory over our fierce rivals."

Each respective university will appoint a mentor to lead their teams as they strive to generate the most money from advanced ticket sales.

The victors will get hands on experience in sports business/marketing by joining the club on work placement.

That will be decided when Stevenson wags his finger and points at who is hired in the final boardroom meeting in early March.


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