Paul studied BA (Hons) and BPl Town and Country Planning at The University of Manchester, and is now Owner of sales and marketing specialists Solutions for Sport.
After graduation in 1992, I embarked on an 18-month global trip. This gave me time to reflect on my time at Manchester and provided some clarity for my future career.
Despite my Town and Country Planning degree, I decided to embark on a career in the sporting goods industry. In 1994, I accepted a role as Marketing Executive at Head - the global tennis and snowsport brand. Within a short space of time I had become responsible for the sales and marketing of the brand in the UK, alongside management of the independent sales force and product development.
In 1999, at the height of the dotcom boom, I became a co-founder of sweatband.com - the UK's first multisport eCommerce site - before merging the business with, and joining the board of, the AIM-listed Internet Business Group.
Following the successful exit of this business in 2004, I established Solutions for Sport. Since that time, I have driven the UK and Ireland sales and marketing strategies for some of the world's leading sports brands, as well as creating the gloveglu brand.
The diversity of the business ensures that I work closely at all levels within the sporting goods industry - negotiating with sports governing bodies, dealing with sports retailers, and liaising with individual teams and athletes.
I work and live on the edge of the Cotswolds with my wife and two children, and operate the business from a nearby business park.
Studying at Manchester
When I look back at my time at Manchester, I consider the impact to be profound.
I left a sleepy Shropshire village for the bright lights of a city. I gained confidence and maturity, and developed a group of friends who, to this day, remain very close.
On the surface, it may appear that my degree has no relation to my career. However, the skillset that I developed during my time at Manchester has directly impacted on the success that I have achieved in my chosen profession.
Presentational abilities, teamwork, working to deadlines, research, and the discipline to be self-motivated were all skills that I developed as an undergraduate. Throw in the broader educational aspects, such as statistics and law, and one can begin to see that a degree that may not on the surface bear any relation with where one ultimately ends up can, indeed, be highly beneficial to almost any role.