Northumbria University helps TASS build on Olympic success

AN organisation that aims to build on the success of the Olympic Games has managed to double its surplus thanks to expertise from Northumbria University.

Member of the 2012 Olympic volleyball team Peter Bakare studies at Northumbria

AN organisation that aims to build on the success of the Olympic Games has managed to double its surplus thanks to expertise from Northumbria University.

TASS – a government-funded partnership between talented young athletes, universities and national governing bodies for sport – asked Northumbria University for help in developing a strategy to expand its range of support services to elite athletes, coaches and supporting bodies with a view to boosting its income.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) was established which saw graduate Colin Allen employed as an associate at TASS where he worked on a marketing strategy, which saw him carry out analysis of the organisations customer base and integrate marketing.

He looked at how TASS could expand its services through new strategic developments including sponsorship and Continuing Professional Development courses. As a result the organisation was able to diversify income streams.

Guy Taylor, chief executive of TASS, said: “The results of the research carried out during our KTP with Northumbria University have had a significant impact on TASS.

“We have developed new approaches to satisfying customer needs and enhanced the TASS brand. As a result, we can now be sustainable without government funding and have been able to employ new staff.” Allen was able to study for a Masters in Sport Management and has also secured a permanent position at TASS while Marketing student Abbey Foreman has a placement there.

Prof Thompson said: “This KTP was able to provide independent evidence about the strategic direction TASS needed to take beyond London 2012. As such, it has had a major role to play in persuading funders to invest in TASS over the next Olympic cycle.”

Prof McLeay said: “Prior to this KTP, most of the business TASS received was through word of mouth recommendation. By taking a proactive approach and placing marketing at the heart of the organisation, we were able to put TASS on the map.”

One student who is benefiting from TASS is design student and member of the London 2012 Volleyball team Peter Bakare. The organisation provides much-needed support ranging from physio treatment to lifestyle advice and help with the expense of travelling to away games.

While most of his team mates went overseas after the Olympics to follow their sporting careers, Peter chose to pursue his sporting dreams at Northumbria while also studying for a degree.

Peter, who transferred from Sheffield Hallam University and is now in the second year of a degree in animation and motion-graphics, said: “You have to recognize that you have to seize the day in terms of your sporting career because it’s so short-lived but, at the same time, you must never forget that education is important.”

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