Two UCFB students who get paid to talk about the best FIFA computer players in the world have landed funds to grow their fledgling business.
Brandon Smith and Richard Buckley both study BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism at the University Campus of Football Business (UCFB) in Manchester and founded eSports Commentary in 2017 while studying.
When they met in journalism class a year earlier Brandon was already commentating over an online FIFA Pro League – but he and Richard soon teamed up and are now ready to take their eSports Commentary business to the next level after landing £5,000 during UCFB’s Sports Entrepreneur Award competition.
Richard said: “Brandon and I were very pleased to have been given the chance to present our eSports Commentary business concept to the UCFB board – let alone win the competition.
“eSports is a major passion of ours, we are totally immersed in it and have honed our commentary skills over the past two years by commentating on some great matches and tournaments.”
Brandon added: “We now want to become the Ant and Dec of esports as it’s an area that will continue to grow as more and more people play in online and live FIFA tournaments around the world.
“While we are still studying we find time to travel and commentate on FIFA tournaments which is a passion of ours. We have a good internet profile and now want to create further content for online viewers.”
The Sports Entrepreneur competition is led by UCFB chairman Brendan Flood and provides students with an unprecedented opportunity to pitch their sports business ideas to the UCFB panel. This year’s panel included Brendan, Paul Fletcher MBE, Paul Cassell, Sharona Friedman and John Davies.
The runners-up in this year’s UCFB Sports Entrepreneur competition were Football Business & Marketing student Daniel Jones of Represent Soccer & Represent Media and Football Business & Media student Samuel Girven, of The Fan Chain.
Running alongside his representation of players on scholarships in America, Daniel will use the funds won for coming second to set up a media and marketing company to create content for clubs who don’t have the capacity or backing to run a full-time content team. This will include YouTube videos, social media channels and running competitions to increase fan engagement.
Samuel’s company The Fan Chain, an events organisation, now plans to promote local businesses to sports fans by hiring out space in and around a stadium.
UCFB founder Brendan Flood, a director of Burnley Football Club and one of the founding owners of North America MLS side Orlando City SC, said: “Congratulations must go to all of our project and award winners. The field of competitors across both campuses was the strongest yet and the panel had a hard job deciding which was deserving of the funding. Some of the business ideas presented to us were of the highest quality and students fielded our questions with authority and knowledge to support their ideas.
“The fact we awarded more funding than we originally intended is proof of the quality of entrants this year. We look forward to working with the winners over the coming months and encourage all students to keep on developing their business ideas for the future.”