Bournemouth University is the official higher education partner of AFC Bournemouth; the partnership is celebrated each year through the BU Big Match, one fixture in the Cherries calendar highlighted to showcase partnership activity.
This year’s BU Big Match took place against Brentford on Saturday 24 April 2021. Ahead of the match, players including goalkeeper Asmir Begovic warmed up in t-shirts bearing the partnership logo, with a range of activity promoted through social media. BU’s logos adorned the advertising around the pitch and Cherries manager Jonathan Woodgate wore a BU pin in support of the partnership.
On the AFCBTV live stream, Cherries season ticket holders were shown an advert at half time, highlighting partnership activity and showcasing the university’s support of their local team.
Ian Jones, Head of External Engagement at Bournemouth University, said, “We’re delighted to be working so closely with AFC Bournemouth, and supporting our local team, for the benefit of staff, students, supporters and the local community. It was great to be able to celebrate the partnership through the BU Big Match this year and we wish AFC Bournemouth the best of luck with the rest of the season as they push towards the Premier League.”
Amy Marks, Partnerships Manager at AFC Bournemouth, said, “Our partnership with Bournemouth University is one that we are very proud of and being able to connect the club and the local student community through activations such as the BU Big Match is not only rewarding but beneficial to both parties.”
Ahead of the BU Big Match, two first team players engaged with BU students to help them with their education. Cherries midfielder Jack Wilshere took part in a mock press conference with journalism and media students to give students the chance to practice their skills in an ‘as-real’ environment. Multimedia Journalism student James Gray won the opportunity for his write up of the event to be featured on the afcb.co.uk website.
Winger David Brooks also took part in a Q&A with students, talking about how he looks after himself and works with the fitness and nutrition teams at AFC Bournemouth.
BU’s social media channels were full of pictures and videos highlighting partnership activity, including a special message from Jonathan Woodgate. A highlight of social media activity can be found on Instagram Stories.
The Cherries eventually lost the game 1-0, but their place in the Championship play-offs were confirmed later in the weekend as AFC Bournemouth look to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
For more information about BU’s partnership with AFC Bournemouth visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/afc-bournemouth