Recommended age group: 14–19
Time required: four to five 45-60 sessions or off-timetable day.
Equipment: The winning pitch activity sheets.
There are a series of tasks for the students to complete which could be tackled over several lessons or run as a special off-timetable/Enterprise Education Day. Your local Education Business Partnership may also be in interested in working with you on this project.
The activities and processes are flexible and easily adaptable for a range of ages and abilities. Younger or less able students could be given longer to complete the whole process, or leave parts out, for example, the business plan, and will need more support with calculating the detailed costs. Older or more able students would be expected to tackle a basic business plan, to look beyond a company logo itself and think more deeply about branding.
- creates a company name and a logo/brand identity – ask them to ensure that they consider the Values they want their company and their brand to represent which should aid them in developing their logo
- researches the countries where major sporting events are due to take place
- decides what exactly their company will be selling and to whom
- prepares a basic business plan with costs and timelines, which reflects a company mission statement and a commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Values
- prepares and delivers a presentation, as if to the organisers of the sports event, to become an approved supplier.
The 'Winning Pitch' challenge is designed as a competitive challenge, so you will be looking for a winning 'company'. Ideally, you will be able to ask at least one other adult such as the headteacher, chair of governors or a member of the local community to act as a judge with you to decide which team should win. To add to the sense of realism, you could invite a local athlete in to talk to the students and to become one of the 'judging panel'.
Each member of the team should take on specific roles and responsibilities and must make an active and positive contribution to the team and the project as a whole. You may wish to add points or make a note in order to praise individual students at the end of the challenge for demonstrating one or more of the Values such as determination, excellence, equality, friendship or inspiration for coming up with a great idea.
Older students can decide for themselves which roles to assign and who from their team would carry out specific tasks best, e.g. a team member keen on art and design might make a good creative director, while someone who likes working with numbers could take responsibility for preparing and presenting the financial aspects of the project and a highly organised, well-motivated team member could take on the role of project manager or CEO. Students may find the Get Set for Community action roles and responsibilities activity sheet useful for dividing roles.
It may be more appropriate for you to a) select the teams so that there is a range of strengths, skills and personalities in all of them, b) assign team roles to individuals.
The following roles work well:
- project manager/CEO
- creative director
- finance manager
- research consultant.
If more appropriate, students could work in pairs on each of the above roles.
The end result
Each 'company' is working towards a final presentation to a panel of judges. Their presentation must include as a minimum:
- the name of the their company
- a company logo
- a vision and mission statement reflecting a commitment to one or more of the Olympic or Paralympic Values
- a succinct description of their new product or service
- some visual content such as drawings, images and plans to help the judges understand what their product or service will look like
- a spreadsheet or chart of projected costs and profit.
Older or more able students - certainly those on business and finance related courses – should include all of the above, plus a more detailed business plan.
- Before dividing into company teams and embarking on the different tasks, show students the film London 2012 – it's everyone's business which shows how the organisers of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games had to work very well together as a team, and the enormity of the task they undertook.
- As they watch the film, ask the students to put their 'business heads' on to think about the potential business and enterprise opportunities major sporting events such as the Games provide. Can they think of a good and different kind of product or service that spectators, athletes and/or volunteers might buy?
- Think and talk about the merchandise that 'spins off' from major sporting events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games and suggest the students bring in and display any merchandise or souvenirs they may have collected.
- Ask each student in the whole teaching group to write down their first idea for a new commodity that might sell well at large spectator events. They should start from the premise that whatever it is, it needs to generate a profit. They can then take this idea to their first team meeting, where the whole team should agree which idea to go for.
The activity sheets below can be used to help support students with initial product ideas and budgeting for the project.