Community Trust's BTEC Group Receive AccoladeBlackpool FC Community Trust's BTEC group won the 2015 Premier League Enterprise Challenge final in London yesterday.
The group, consisting of Nathan Kirk, Elliott Knight, Dylan Nagliati and Jordan Huddart, impressed a judging panel featuring Theo Paphitis, Graeme Le Saux and Peta Bistany with their ticket initiative to attract more families to football.
Teams representing seven Premier League and Football League clubs pitched their ideas, proposals and financial forecasts in response to a brief set by Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore.
"It was an incredibly high standard, so the judging was incredibly difficult," Paphitis said. "We got it down to two teams and there was some soul searching at the end to decide which of the two was going to be the winner. We analysed it and we got to the right decision.
"What is very clear with all of these youngsters is that they have got it. It's in them. They wouldn't be here otherwise. Their mindset, their thinking is entrepreneurial and that's what shone today, through all of them.
"Schoolkids or no schoolkids, I treated them no different. There is no question that some of these presentations would be comparable to some of the people we get on 'Dragon's Den'. A couple of these might have got those Dragons to put their hands in their pockets and say 'I'm in'.
"The judges were impressed by Blackpool's idea of The Seasiders' Ticket, which links the club and matchday tickets with the town's leisure attractions, such as the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Tower and the Sea Life Centre.
"We went for Blackpool because it was an incredible idea," Paphitis continued. "It answered the question. It used the unique opportunities within the Blackpool area and it was practical. It was also adoptable by the club, they could put it in tomorrow and the business case was compelling."