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Mark Stevenson - Mansfield Town Football Club

Mansfield Town Football Club has origins that can be traced back to 1897. Recently reaching the play-offs for promotion to League 1, the club is going from strength to strength.

I’m the Head of Media and Communications and have worked at Mansfield Town Football Club for 14 years. The origins of the club can be traced back to 1897 and the club are the occupants of the oldest professional football ground in the world – Mansfield Town’s Field Mill ground, now known as the One Call Stadium. It has been used as football ground since 1861 (and a cricket ground for a few years before that).  Recently, times have been exciting for us as we reached the play-offs for promotion to League 1 at Wembley. Unfortunately, the game didn’t go our way, but I’m extremely proud of what the team has achieved to get there.

I found out about the business support available at NTU through a former colleague, who was a student there. He was our Digital Media Editor around six years ago and it was his idea to approach his former course leader at the University to source match day camera operators on a voluntary basis. When he moved on, I took over managing the relationship and continued to source student camera operators for match days from the Centre for Broadcasting and Journalism.

Nottingham Trent University has a very good reputation in Mansfield and Ashfield. I would definitely recommend exploring ways in which the University could help businesses in the local area. It’s always worth taking a look at what is on offer, no matter which industry your business is in.

Prior to Covid-19, we had students come to work with us every other week, which was really beneficial to our business because if their footage was good enough it would be published on our pay-per-view channel and on our social media platforms, which helped to promote the club. It was also beneficial to the student because they were able to learn on the job, sharpen their skills and add to their work experience.

During the pandemic, like many other professional football clubs, there were no crowds allowed in the stadium and no crowds meant no income, so it was a challenging time for us. We still had to pay our staff wages, which the furlough scheme helped with, but we still needed to pay the football players. Since then, however, we’ve progressed very well on the pitch, finishing in the play-off final this season. Prior to that, the progress was mirrored in the stands with increased attendances, so I feel that things are definitely on the up now.

Mansfield Town FC is an ambitious football club, which continues to be at the hub of the local community. The club constantly strives to progress and develop in every single sector and be the best it can possibly be. The club has ultimate aspirations of reaching the Championships, as well as further increasing its links and partnerships with the local community.

Mansfield Town FC have really benefited from being able to utilise NTU’s students for our media production on ‘Home Wednesdays’. It’s not only benefited the football club’s quality of output but also the student’s experience, where they are able to operate in a first-hand professional environment. We look forward to enhancing our partnership with NTU going forward – it has really benefitted both the club and the students.

Nottingham Trent University has a very good reputation in Mansfield and Ashfield. I would definitely recommend exploring ways in which the University could help businesses in the local area. It’s always worth taking a look at what is on offer, no matter which industry your business is in.