Increasing Innovation for Southampton FC

Southampton FC wanted to increase innovation in their team. So we had 360 people build their own free kick machines!

When Southampton FC approached us, they told us they needed a bespoke indoor team building activity that aligned with their new Corporate Strategy. This needed to be a 1 hour session to form part of a corporate conference at St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton. We put them through our 5 step process to tailor a solution to their unique needs.

Finding the Purpose

Our consultants identified 3 elements that Southampton FC wanted to make a key focus of their event:

  1. Innovation: Their team needed to innovate more with the skills and resources available in order to maximise marginal gains.
  2. Unity: They wanted their team to work towards a collective goal by using everyone’s unique skills to best effect.
  3. Relevance: The chosen activity theme needed to be relevant to the 360 employees of a world class football club.

Tailoring the Event

We decided to base Southampton’s team building solution on our Construction Project format. This is because it can be adapted to require a large team to work together as a unified whole, while generating innovative ideas and managing resources effectively. This ticks off key elements 1 and 2.

To address key element 3, we decided to change the machine being built. Rather than have teams design and build a catapult or bridge, as in our off-the-peg format, we tailored the activity to Southampton FC. We had their teams build football free kick machines!

Delivering the Team Building Event

On the day, 360 people in 40 teams were given limited resources from which to build a machine that could ‘kick’ a ball to the next team’s conference table. Their resource packs and briefing documents were branded to reflect Southampton FC’s theme for their corporate event. And teams had to innovate to use the skills and talents available to overcome a challenging brief.

To encourage overall team unity, we gave the 40 teams a collective goal. If the conference room achieved 20 ‘passes’ between tables, everyone would win a prize!

With 360 people in one large room, we wanted to ensure engagement stayed high. So we liaised with the client’s AV supplier to project all the action onto a big screen for all to see. Our professional hosts and facilitators also circled the room to make sure teams were on task and schedule.

Successful Outcome

The activity went brilliantly. The finale free kick challenge was highly engaging and energising for all 360 employees. The whole room achieved a great score of free kicks and earned several collective prizes.

The timing was exactly 1 hour as per Southampton’s requirements. And the event team captured lots of photos and videos to share with them after the event. The club’s feedback speaks for itself:

“Just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and the team yesterday. Another great delivery and activity. Everyone really enjoyed it! I’ll look forward to working with you again,” Southampton FC.


Want to talk to us about one of our events? Get in touch on +44 (0)1905 330660 for an obligation-free chat about what you’re looking for. 

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“EML were great to work with, really responsive & flexible. Our team was in need of some quality time together having been working from home for so long. Neil’s excellent facilitation helped us to learn more about each other, strengthen our connections, and build some shared goals in a really fun and safe way.”

Amy Taylor | Clinical Lead | NHS

Professional, knowledgeable and friendly team to work with from beginning to end. Thank you for making our day a great success!
Caroline Greenfield | Aramco Overseas
You actually listened to the criteria I asked and followed up with a call to discuss options, out of 4 contacted no other company did that.
Michelle Duberry | Galliford Try
Really enjoyed working with Jon, Ruth and the team, exceptional customer service and support, would definitely work with you again.
Nicola Newman | The AA
Great day had a wonderful time thank you to all the team for making it such a successful event with many happy memories.
Mark Hoggard | Depuy J&J
Very professional and engaging company to work with. Great ideas and energy on the day resulted in some excellent staff feedback.
Jenny James | RoSPA
Just a big thank you again for a brilliant date. So well organised from start to finish and the team on the day were all amazing. Everyone had a great time and the feedback has been brilliant.
Laura Heaton | Hazlewoods
We have had lots of positive feedback from many members of staff. They really enjoyed all the activities and felt that it allowed them to have fun and to get to know colleagues better. Thank you!
Sonia Johnson | Bracknell Forest CC
Brilliant facilitation, really understood our needs and worked with us to create something amazing. Feedback from staff has been really positive. They were engaged, and it really did support us in our messaging. Thank you!
Clare Salerno | Saints FC
Many thanks to Neil and Ruth for leading our virtual team building exercise... Many laughs were had while scrambling to collect the twenty items...!!! The Murder Mystery was my favourite and my team winning was the icing on the cake. The Haka showed how uncoordinated we are but the laughs ...just proves what an enjoyable experience we all had.
Suzanne Mitchell | Beckton, Dickinson & Co
Our team really enjoyed the event - they are already asking when we can do another!
Karen Wilson, | Zhero
EML delivered a great virtual training afternoon for our new Graduates, Undergraduates & Apprentices. Everyone found it to be a fun and engaging afternoon.
Victoria Goodwin | Croudace Homes
Thanks for organising and facilitating our online Christmas social. I've had some great feedback from the participants and it was lovely to do something together even though we couldn't meet face to face.
Michelle Hammersley | GKN Aerospace
Great fun had by all. Both inclusive and engaging. We will be looking to use EML again next year.
John Williams | ECCTIS

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