Rugby star uses biz skills to give brewing a try

From prop master to hop master – Leicester Tigers star forward Greg Bateman has used his De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) degree to launch his own beer business.

The 30-year-old rugby player is studying an Executive Master’s in Business Administration at DMU, which has helped him to develop and market his very own American pale ale called People’s Captain.

Greg Bateman

“My Master’s has taught me a lot about the financial sustainability aspect of running a business,” explained Greg, who is in his second year of study. “Some of the modules have proved really helpful, especially those looking at sustainability and social enterprise.”

People’s Captain, described as a “crisp, refreshing, fruity session pale ale with a wonderful citrus aroma”, has been carefully crafted by Greg with help from East Midlands-based Milestone Brewery.

“Working with an experienced brewery like Milestone means they have the expertise and are already set up with their own website so I can sell from there,” explained Greg. “I decided to go down the online route rather than setting up a bar because it means I can avoid licensing issues and not have to worry about a lease on a commercial premise.

“Instead I can focus solely on the product itself and marketing it in the best way to the customer.”

DMU’s Executive MBA is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute and has also been mapped to the Apprenticeship Senior Leaders Level 7 standard, which means organisations can use their apprenticeship levy to pay for their employees to study the course.

The course is well-suited to students who want to set up their own business, providing them with the skills to think critically about complex organisational challenges, and an awareness of their strengths and vision to build into a career plan.

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“The modules at DMU have taught me how to interpret market research and how to develop a business plan,” continued Greg.

“By growing the business slowly and more organically we have stayed true to the brand which means we have created a more sustainable business module for the future. We started by selling in smaller batches and seeing how well it was received by our customers.”

Within the first four days of People’s Captain going on sale, Greg and his team had sold more than half of their stock.

“It flew out! The next step is to build on what we’ve got and start selling in larger quantities,” he added.

Credit-Tiger Images - Greg Bateman resize
Leicester Tigers player Greg Bateman (Credit: Tiger Images)

Originally signed as a hooker but now settled as a prop, Greg has played for Leicester Tigers since the 2015/16 season. He made club history by playing in all three front-row positions during the course of the 2016/17 season.

DMU has a long-standing partnership with the Premiership club, whose home ground at Welford Road is handily located less than half a mile from the university campus.

“Setting up People’s Captain has 100% fed into my studies and vice versa,” said Greg. “One of the reasons I wanted to do an MBA is because I wanted to better understand the theory behind running a business.

“Eventually I’d like to combine running my own business with offering professional coaching and consultancy services. I feel that through my own experiences and education I am always learning so I hope to be able to help others and advise on what I found worked well and what didn’t.”

People’s Captain is available to buy online at:

DMU students can get 20% off their order with promotional discount code CAPTAIN20.

Posted on Friday 13th December 2019

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