A Salford lad who grew up dreaming of owning a business has made that dream a reality.
In a year that for many has been put on hold due to Covid-19, it’s been the complete opposite for Ryan Deane who, with his pal Jack Glennon, have spent 2020 starting up their new website Behind Sport.
The website which launched in early 2020 explores behind the scenes of the sporting world with a combination of written stories and audio podcasts.
Ryan grew up in Salford and went on to study Business at the city’s university. He took inspiration as a child from his dad who spent his career in business.
He spoke about the influence his dad had on the road to his own business venture, saying: “My dad has always been in business. I think I’ve been surrounded by my dad listening to business books from quite a young age and it’s always something that’s quite interested me.”
Ryan continued to explain why starting his own business was something he’d always wanted to do.
He said: “I always wanted to work in something I enjoyed, I always wanted to work in sport but I always had an appetite to start a business.
“It was always on the back of my mind that it was an itch I wanted to scratch, so it was a good opportunity and a good time to do it during lockdown because keeping a full-time job is incredibly busy.
“So having that little bit more time here and there to concentrate on it was good so yeah it’s been a good thing to get off the ground.”
In terms of the specific idea to start up a website writing stories, recording podcasts, and producing videos about sport, Ryan said it was something he’d thought of a while ago.
He said: “It’s been an idea we’ve had for a couple of years, initially started as wanting to just post commentary and the things going on in terms of the sports business.
“I used it as a research tool to look at what other clubs were doing and I felt like there was a bit of a niche there in terms of speaking to people that worked in the sports industry and I spoke to Jack and told him my idea.
“It was actually called digital football back then and it kind of evolved from there, so it was probably conversations back and forth for a while trying to understand what it was before we made it into what it is now.”
In the process of starting up their business, Ryan and Jack gained experience on how to run a business through the Launch @SalfordUni programme which Ryan knew about from his MA in Marketing at the University of Salford.
On how they went about finding and joining the Launch programme, Ryan said: “I studied at Salford Business school did a Marketing Masters. Back in 2018, I graduated and I used to work for Salford Business school as well.”
“So I’ve always been familiar with what things it did and I was aware of the Launch programme, I used to know Justinia who runs it.
“So I had an eye on it and I already had quite a good idea on what to do to bring an idea forward and I liked the idea of learning a little bit more about business and how we can go about launching it in the right way.
He continued to say: “Once I’d seen the criteria of what the programme was all about, I spoke to Jack and we applied for it.
“It was really good, we learnt quite a lot as well, it was well worth the time.”
— Behind Sport (@BehindSport) July 13, 2020
Ryan and Jack had expected to have to fund their business venture themselves but they were pleasantly surprised to be given a grant from the Launch programme to help their business get up and running.
On the grant they received, Ryan said: “We didn’t really sign up for it with the idea of getting the grant, it was more the actual programme than anything.
“We just got a grant at the end as part of the pitching, so you had to apply to be a part of Launch, you had to articulate your business idea and what you’ve done so far.
“The programme itself was about exploring your business idea, business development, developing your online presence and then looking about how you would go about getting clients in.
“At the end of that, it was a case of pitching your business and then we got a grant which we used to fund the website because the website was going to be at the hub of everything we did at Behind Sport.
He went on to say: “We already had a good idea what we wanted it to look like and then the funding came available and that was just nice to have because we’d already planned to fund it ourselves.”
It’s been the case for very few people but 2020 marks the start of something new for Deane and Glennon and time will tell whether Behind Sport will prove to be a success.