For the second year running, the University of Liverpool’s Management School is partnering with Sky and Kick It Out for the Kick It Out Scholarship Programme, supporting Black and other under-represented ethnic minorities in the UK applying for the Football Industries MBA.
As well as providing complete funding for four student places on the prestigious one-year course starting in September 2023, Sky will pair the scholars with prominent mentors in the football industry and Sky’s Diversity Advisory Council.
Sky Sports and Kick It Out will also use their extensive networks in the football industries to help accelerate the most talented individuals into jobs at senior leadership level and helping to improve diversity at senior levels.
Dr John Byrom, Associate Dean of MBA Programmes at the Management School, said: “It’s fantastic to once again be working together with Sky and Kick It Out to offer scholarships to students from under-represented ethnic groups who successfully apply to our Football Industries MBA programme.
“This unique programme offers students the opportunity to hone the skills needed to meet the demands of working in the global football industry. It’s been great to see our current scholarship holders engage with the everything the MBA has to offer and we’re looking forward to building on this success providing the same opportunities to four more students next academic year.”
Students who were awarded the first round of scholarships commenced their studies in September 2022. They are already immersed in the programme and on Thursday 13 October visited Sky’s London Headquarters in Isleworth to meet with Participation Lead at Sky Sports, Jack Eatherley.
This visit to Sky HQ is one of three that the students will undertake during their MBA to meet the team, develop mentoring opportunities and help with their future career progression.
Shaun Watson, one of the students awarded a scholarship, on his visit to Sky HQ on Thursday said: “This scholarship has given me an incredible opportunity to work with some great guys at Unique Sports Group.
“I want to take the experiences I’ve gained during the MBA into a Sporting Director’s role within a club to try and bridge the gap between football business, strategy and player recruitment, using my knowledge to bring all the different areas together.”
Yusuf Molade, another student said: “The course thus far has already provided great insight into the football industry – not only through our modules but the high-profile guest speakers we have had.
“I have also taken up the role as club captain for our course football team; whilst Sarah (another scholarship holder) is a course representative. We’re all very much looking forward to deepening our understanding of the football industry throughout the year.”
In December 2020, Sky committed £3m for Kick It Out over three years, in a mix of cash and value in kind support, with Sky Sports pledging to use its powerful voice, extensive reach and established channels to support the organisation at the forefront of the fight against discrimination and the drive for inclusion in football.
In addition to using its editorial reach, voice, and platforms to campaign for change, Sky works on a series of initiatives with Kick It Out, focusing on transparency reporting in football, education in schools including The Edit, which aims to improve media and digital literacy among more than 30,000 school children, and supporting talent into the industry.
As part of Sky’s investment in supporting talent Kick It Out highlighted the need to gain more off-field representation and a particular need in the most senior positions in the football business. This MBA scholarship is one strategy Sky is supporting Kick It Out with in addressing this challenge.
Sky’s partnership with Kick It Out is part of a wider commitment made by Sky.
In June 2020, Sky made a series of commitments to help tackle racial injustice. With a £10m investment each year for three years, Sky also pledged to;
1. Improve Black and minority ethnic representation at all levels
2. Make a difference in communities impacted by racism
3. Use the power of Sky’s voice and platform to highlight racial injustice
For more information on the Kick It Out Scholarship please click here.
For more information about the Football Industries MBA, please visit: Football Industries MBA – Overview – Postgraduate Taught Courses – University of Liverpool