Personal Branding

Froth Beer Mag: Crafty Careers: So You Want To Work In Craft Beer?


Crafty Careers: So You Want To Work In Craft Beer?

There’s never been a better time to get involved and start a career working in the Australian craft beer industry as the market continues to grow daily on the back of exciting trends including changing consumer tastes and an increasing loyalty from a passionate fan movement for locally produced, high-quality independent craft beer.

So if you’re looking to get a start in the industry could a career in craft beer be just for you?

This article explores why Australia’s craft beer industry is a thriving space to work in, the diverse roles on offer at breweries, my personal experience from having recently started at a Victorian craft brewery as well as providing some advice from experienced and knowledgeable industry leaders regarding the skills that are essential and how you too can get a job working in beer.

The Beer Boom

It’s an exciting time across the country as the craft beer sector continues to boom with new craft breweries opening in both regional and inner cities on a near-weekly basis while more and more artisan bottle shops, brewery tours and beer festivals are also being established to cater for the new wave of consumers who are passionate about experimentation, quality, freshness and knowing the source of their beer. The impact of this boom has led to positive outcomes including more jobs, the rise in craft beer tourism especially in rural parts of Australia, increased government support, record hop crop yields, new educational courses as well as creative innovations and sustainability initiatives that are collectively delighting craft beer drinkers and bringing local communities closer and closer together across the country. Furthermore, while the industry faces many challenges such as increasing market access, competition from multinational breweries and a global downturn in beer consumption, the positive contribution that these craft breweries add to local Australian communities and our economy is both significant and to be applauded.

From Beer Nerd To Brand Ambassador

My career path has involved working across the education, sports, music and tech sectors but as a craft beer nerd I’ve also been trying to champion the scene wherever I can such as through my writing, however at the start of the year I finally decided to follow my passion for Aussie craft beer and look for a start in the industry. Fast forward to the present day and working at Two Bays Brewing Co as a brand ambassador has been both a phenomenal learning experience and the best career decision that I’ve ever made. In the past six months I’ve regularly been out of my comfort zone learning new skills and insights about beer and while I’ve managed our events and got our beer into venues it’s been the small things like cleaning the beer lines, helping out on the canning line and learning about the brewing process hands-on with our brewers that have been the most rewarding to me.

Working at a craft brewery is challenging and rewarding but it’s also plenty of fun and while my perspective is based purely on working across sales and events, career pathways in the industry are diverse and can include many roles like brewing and marketing to venue management and accounting. Careers in beer can be for anyone that’s just starting out or wanting to pivot their skills but it’s essential to have a positive attitude along with a willingness to jump in and help out in other aspects of the business. This is exciting as you’re bound to learn plenty of new hands-on skills about beer along the way with Bad Shepherd venue manager Jenny Watts noting “having a passion and desire to learn is essential and I encourage anyone looking to get into the industry to have an open mind, be prepared to do the hard yards, start at the basics with a mind to work your way up and enjoy the journey because the Australian craft beer industry is an amazing network of fantastic, supportive like-minded people”.

Getting Started

There are plenty of simple things that you can do to give yourself a greater chance of securing a role such as volunteering at beer festivals, creating content such as blogs, attending events and workshops, researching and reading up on the industry in trade publications to building your knowledge and connections by networking with the industry either at the taproom, bottle-o tastings or festivals which are all effective ways to gain deeper insights into working in the craft beer industry. As head brewer at Stone and Wood Caolan Vaughan highlights on roles in brewing for instance “you should ask and volunteer at your local brewery. You never know what they will say. Go and study something related to brewing like chemistry or even better go and do a specific brewing qualification. There is plenty on offer around the world via correspondence and some are available right here in Australia.” From my own perspective I wrote stories, created infographics and educational content, built up my networks while on my craft beer road trip adventures, went to trade shows and workshops and even started a fun little Instagram blog showcasing Aussie craft breweries. All of these things went a long way in making connections, learning more about the industry and eventually getting a gig in the craft beer world and they’re also quite simple things that anyone else can do too to get a head start on their journey in beer.

Industry Advice

Having an understanding of some of the general skills and attributes required and how to get involved in the industry is vital when looking at a career in beer and so for this story I asked a handful of experienced and knowledgeable colleagues from across diverse roles in Australia’s craft brewing industry to provide some advice on what people can do to get started.

Up in the northern beaches of Sydney and Modus Operandi sales rep and certified cicerone Becky Centeno states that the best advice she could give anyone “is that it’s all about attitude in the sense of staying positive and fiercely determined. Getting involved in the industry takes a lot of dedication, time, and putting yourself out there, but also being humble and cooperative along the way is massive” while down in Melbourne at Hawkers, Cellar Technician Melinda Foulkes notes that “the ability to` problem solve and think on your feet are probably the most valuable skills when working in the beer industry”. Green Beacon’s Ella Gasparini provides further useful advice and reaffirms that anyone can forge a career in this industry by highlighting that “Obviously the starting point for a lot of us is a passion and love for beer but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the only thing. There are so many skill sets that add to this industry. Finding your place and a role that suits you is key. This is becoming a more and more diverse industry and a lot of roles are opening up that were previously non-existent”.

What Are You Waiting For?

The rapid growth of the industry illustrates that if you’re passionate about good beer and thinking about a career in this space then there’s never been a better time to get started. With new and diverse roles becoming available on a daily basis, breweries are on the hunt for creative, enthusiastic, dynamic and passionate people to help capitalize and continue this exciting momentum. The Aussie craft beer industry is a fun and challenging space to work in that has been built on the back of the positive and passionate people that comprise it and hopefully the insights provided here helps anyone out there whose currently looking to get a start in the industry. So, could a career in beer be for you?

Bio
Blair Hughes works in events and sales for gluten free brewery Two Bays Brewing Co in Dromana, Victoria. You can follow him on Twitter at @MrBlairHughes or at www.MrBlairHughes.com.

Macquarie Sports Radio Interview: Does Blair Hughes Have The Best Job In The World? (16/3/2019)

Radio interview with the Macquarie Sports Radio team back in March.

No I don’t have the best job in the world or in sport but I’m happy and have put myself out there over the years to create experiences, learn new skills and meet people all over the world. Everything I’ve done in my life across sport, education, digital and the music industry to now loving life working in craft beer has been about experiences, learning, networking and trying new things.

Anyone can get out and do what I’ve done. It’s nothing special. I’m nothing special. I’m lucky with what I’ve been able to achieve and there’s still a lot more I want to do. I love meeting people, learning and trying to challenge myself. My legacy is that I want to be able to sit down with heaps of grandkids one day and recite all the amazing experiences I’ve had and be proud of that. If people like what I do or learn something small from me then thats a bonus. 

Thanks for listening and supporting me.

Interview here: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/overnights/fun-police-curbing-sport-fan-behaviour/11233648

 

2017 NRL Fan Engagement

With the 2017 NRL season starting on Thursday night I thought I’d quickly put together a series of posts looking at what each of the clubs are doing for their fans this season. 

Be sure to check out my Fan Engagement Pinterest page which showcases 5000+ fan engagement ideas from teams across the world 

Check back over the course of the week to see what the other teams are doing as I’ll be updating this at 6pm every day til kick off on Thursday night.

Thanks for reading and bring on the 2017 NRL season.

NRL

New trading cards out this Thursday. 

2017 NRL Trading Cards

2017 NRL Trading Cards

 

Brisbane Broncos

  • Auckland 9’s Kiwi inspired jersey
  • Name the new mascot
  • Free posters for fans
  • Broncos Stable Mates
  • University Open Day visits
  • Trivia night with fans for the Club World Challenge
  • ISC Super Hero kits
  • 2017 Member’s Day Photo

 

Canberra Raiders

 

Canterbury Bulldogs

 

Cronulla Sharks

 

Gold Coast Titans

 

Manly Sea-Eagles

 

Melbourne Storm

 

NZ Warriors

 

Newcastle Knights

 

North Queensland Cowboys

 

Parramatta Eels

 

Penrith Panthers

 

South Sydney Rabbitohs

 

St George Illawarra Dragons

 

Sydney Roosters

 

Wests Tigers

Goodbye to audioBoom and on to the next challenge…..

audioBoom

audioBoom

Today represents my last day at audioBoom as I’ve made the decision to move on from leading the company in Australia after three fulfilling years.

It has been a wild ride that has enabled me to travel the world and work with the Australian Open, Cricket World Cup, AFL and Netball World Cup along with major radio networks and podcasters throughout Australia.

I’m taking a career break now for a few months to focus on kicking off my PHD into fan engagement and to study the psychology of fans on a deeper academic level.

I’ll be looking for roles in fan engagement/fan experience, marketing and digital media around May/June/July.

I’m keen for a new challenge and would primarily like to spend some more time in the USA under the Visa E3 program where I can be employed via my degrees in behavioural studies and education that directly relate to working with a team or stadium in fan engagement under these rules.

I’m on the hunt for a club or stadium in the US to take me and my enthusiasm, life experience and background in adolescent teaching, music business, sports industry and passion for fans on. Jump? Well how high can we jump together? Heading back to London/England to work with a team is also an option I would strongly consider.

Please hit me up if you have an idea about how we could work together.

I’m also really excited to be starting a podcast soon around the topic of fans, which is something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time and I’m going to throw myself into some volunteer work around helping unemployed people get back to work through personal branding.

Fans Podcast

Fans Podcast

Thanks to audioBoom for the opportunity to represent the company down under as it’s been a dream gig for the past three years.

Best wishes to all of our content partners who are in good hands with my colleague Alana here in Australia and the rest of the Boom team in the US, UK and India.

All the best, thanks

 

 

My Kind Of Scene: The Brisbane Sounds Project 10 Years On

Brisbane Sounds Logo 2010 (Moonshine Madness)

Brisbane Sounds Logo 2010 (Moonshine Madness)

Launching Brisbane Sounds 2008

Launching Brisbane Sounds 2008

 

September 9 2006: Brisbane Sounds is born at approximately 2am on the back steps of the Zoo Nightclub after an Iron On gig. With a scrapbook in one hand and a cold Cooper’s Green in the other and the smell of rock and roll (a delightful mix of vom, sweat, sugar soap and beer) in the air after the clean up I took the first steps in putting together a project that was designed to promote Brisbane’s exceptional music talent.

I became a fan of the Brisbane music scene in the late 90’s as a teenager hooked on Aussie alternative music of the time thanks to Brissy bands like the Gurge, Custard, Powdies, Gota Cola, Rhubarb, Screamfeeder, Butterfingers and well the list goes on. I always had such a great time hanging out with mates supporting local bands at The Zoo, The Arena, The Step Inn, X and Y Bar, The Troubadour and The Tivoli while grabbing local bands merch and records at Skinny’s, The Record Exchange and Rockinghorse. In my opinion Brisbane music and the history of where it came from was something to be commended and promoted and I was always looking at ways in which I could do that and get people from home and far away places in to our music history.

10 years ago to the day and I was finalising an education degree and getting set to take up my first teaching post in Mildenhall, England which was due to start in December. Having also wanted to do something to promote the Brisbane music scene while living in the UK, I decided I’d make a compilation album and give copies out to local radio stations, PR agencies, A&R reps, venues and anyone who would listen to me talk about Brisbane bands throughout my travels. I owe a lot at this point to the crew I was working with at The Zoo Nightclub in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley who offered up a lot of ideas and support to make Brisbane Sounds happen. From Joccy, Jase and Vicki to Bridget, Roger and Chris and Matty and Will- you guys were all such legends and I was extremely lucky to have learnt many skills and life experiences from you.

The Zoo Nightclub Crew 2007

The Zoo Nightclub Crew 2007

The first edition of the Brisbane Sounds record titled ‘Brisbane Sounds 2007‘ was made out of supplies courtesy of in-kind support from one of my jobs at the time in the department store Target in Buranda, Brisbane, a budget of about $100 and a six pack of our go to post Zoo shift beer (Cooper’s) for ideas generation. The CD lacked any real design unless you can call the word doc printer ink DIY job I did a design and was pressed completely unprofessionally without any mastering or any real idea of what I was doing. I literally had no skills in anything to do with production, marketing, PR, social, design but I did have a vision. I had my heart in the right place and was just trying to do something positive to promote Brisbane music from back home which I was so proud of.

Brisbane Sounds 2007

Brisbane Sounds 2007

While hardly a professional start, the first edition of the album and the subsequent learnings that took place as I networked with music industry reps in artist management, PR, marketing, social media and venue operations across the UK, Europe, USA and Australia paved the way for improving Brisbane Sounds year after year as well as developing my skills in these areas in what was always a very kinaesthetic and practical way.

Promoting Brisbane Sounds in Amsterdam, 2007

Promoting Brisbane Sounds in Amsterdam, 2007

Brisbane Sounds lasted a solid six years and produced some really beneficial outcomes for the Brisbane music industry locally and globally for which I’ll always be proud of. On a personal level it was also one of the greatest things I ever did to invest in myself and learn as much as I could about the music business and also about fan engagement, marketing, social media which has helped me get to where I am now in my current role. While tertitary educational music business courses (and any study for that matter) are worthwhile, nothing will ever compare to investing your own money, taking calculated risks, getting your hands dirty and throwing yourself passionately into a project you love in order to make a difference. I found it so important to make mistakes, learn from those mistakes and come back stronger with my skills every time and I’d often go on to talk to my students about this and why resiliency is so important in our lives. That is the power of life long learning and in more simple terms, getting off you’re arse and making awesome shit happen.

Over the years I was privileged enough to have a chance to work in the industry at venues in Brisbane and London (Hammersmith Apollo), promoting gigs and putting together and executing the BS vision which was always to shine a light on our local music industry.I worked my butt off for those years traveling the globe on my teacher salary and some grant funding and doing whatever I could to be a spokesperson and advocate for the Brisbane scene. I owe plenty of thanks to everyone who helped me along the way from street press, radio, record stores and graphic designers to photographers, website designers, venue managers, bands and artists and of course our fans all over the world who helped our team. I must have worked with hundreds of different individuals over the years so it goes to show how large the arts scene is and why its important for our local and federal governments to continue to support it.

Without throwing myself into Brisbane Sounds I wouldn’t have been able to work at QPRFC or now have a dream gig at audioBoom where I get to talk about fan engagement all day long (to the chagrin of many I bet). But alas I love everything to do with fan engagement with looking after and going the extra mile for people, customers and fans and always will.

Here are some stats to recap on the Brisbane Sounds project:

  • Showcased 100+ artists on the five compilation albums and associated gigs.
  • 100+ events from nightclub gigs, school showcases, music industry workshops and of course our Pop-Up shop.
  • 13,100 FREE Compilation albums produced and distributed worldwide.
  • Received 21,000 in grant funding. Thank you BCC, Brisbane Marketing, QMusic and QLD Government as well as any one who bought a copy or came to the gigs which all helped with running costs
  • Developed the first ever Australian gig guide app, BRISSOUNDS in 2010 (Thanks DevGeeks)
  • UK/USA/Europe showcases along with a 15 date tour for SEALS in 2011.
  • Close to 20K fans across various social media platforms
  • 27 music industry job starts given to young music business/arts students or kids trying to get a start in the industry.

Along with this some of my favourite memories were:

  • Flood Bank. Raising $15,000 for QLD flood victims in 2011 and Violent Soho smashing out a great set at the end.
  • Having fans download our app in far off places like Russia and Afghanistan.
  • Getting to learn from leaders in venue management in Joc at The Zoo and Heiko at The Hammersmith Apollo in London.
  • Booking and touring a band around the UK for a 15 date tour
  • Getting Brisbane Sounds records into Amobea Records LA and Rough Trade Records in London. There’s possibly still stock there too.
  • Talking Brisbane music with Spencer Howson on a weekly ABC Brisbane radio spot to showcase the latest in local music news.
  • Attending major music showcases and festivals like SXSW, Liverpool Sound City, The Great Escape and BigSound.
  • Getting copies of the albums into the hands of major artists like Tegan and Sara and B.R.M.C to The Kills and Emmy Lou Harris who then helped to promote BS.

I certainly had my battles with the blatant bullshit nepotism of the music industry along the way and I might not have always been the easiest to work with (I hear my graphic designers agreeing here) as I wanted to always stay out of cliques and do things professionally by the book because I wanted to help everyone I could and never play favourites to uphold the professional integrity of the project. Brisbane Sounds was always about promoting the artists, the venues, the arts scene workers and the fans but I do apologise If I ever pissed anyone off along the way as I put that down to being young and thinking I knew it all. I didn’t know it all but you learn from that with age and life experience.

Thank you to everyone who shared my passion and enthusiasm for Brisbane music and helped along the way. It truly was a collaborative team effort from so many in the Brissy music community and you all deserve praise for helping along the way. I never could have started or continued to improve the project had it not been for all of your skills and it’s been great to watch so many of you continue to support the Brisbane music industry in your careers as well as go on to bigger and better things.

Brisbane Sounds was a very professional project that delivered a lot of successful outcomes for the Brisbane music scene for which I’ll always be immensely proud of and this week I finally got around to sorting out the framing of the five compilation albums as well as some of the gig posters. Whenever I look at it, I’ll think of you and what we achieved, thanks.

All the best,

Blair Hughes

9th September 2016

Blair Hughes interviews Sean Callanan on Sports Geek Podcast

Sports Geek Podcast

Sports Geek Podcast

Blair Hughes interviews Sean Callanan on Sports Geek Podcast

Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing Sean from Sports Geek for the Sports Geek Podcast.

Sean has helped on my journey from teacher to sports business so it was a pleasure to talk to him about his personal brand, his story into sports and digital as well as his lessons for young people looking to craft a career in the sports industry.

In this episode we discussed:

  • Where Sean’s passion for sports comes from
  • How Sports Geek business card idea came about
  • How Sean nearly started working in sports in 1993
  • Why Sean was behind the first AFL Club TV show – Bulldogs TV
  • How a USA sports trip was a big reason behind #SportsGeekTrip
  • A look back at Mountain West data analysis project
  • Why Sean barracks for Collingwood
  • How Sean secured first Sports Geek clients back in 2010
  • Please count how many times Blair says Fan Engagement
  • How the skills of digital teams has seen Sean working more with ticketing and sponsorship teams
  • How community radio helped build skills for podcasting and radio
  • Why Sean is thrilled that Sports Geek clients are amongst the most avid listeners to the podcast
  • Why Sean is blown away from listener emails
  • Why podcasting is getting so much press right now
  • How Sean is looking forward to pushes more into podcasting
  • What exactly is CHUNKY media?
  • Wait for Sean’s rant on fan engagement

Read the latest in sports business news and sign up here to the Sports Geek newsletter Sports Geek HQ

Listen here:

150 Fan Engagement and Fan Experience Articles for January 2016

FE Monthly Round Up Articles

FE Monthly Round Up Articles

Just in case you missed any of the key stories from the world of fan engagement and fan experience during January, sit back and have a read through some of these articles from sports business sites including Sports Geek, Sport Techie and We Play to name but a few.

Each month I’ll try to collate a list of some of the fan engagement/fan experience articles that I think are worth having a read.

There’s a whole host of interesting content in here from leagues such as the BBL and NFL to what’s happening in the area of drones, virtual reality and ibeacon tech.

Dive in and take a read.

All the best.

  1. Super Bowl party starts early with opening of downtown fan zone
  2. University of Tennessee plans renovations at Neyland Stadium
  3. The Cameras That’ll Make the Super Bowl Way More Interesting This Year
  4. Eaton’s New Ephesus LED Systems to Illuminate NHL and AHL All-Star Games
  5. ESPN set to debut ‘Virtual 3’ technology for NBA broadcasts
  6. WHAT’S THE VALUE OF LOYAL FANS? [INFOGRAPHIC]
  7. The Fan Experience is Changing as Tech is Making Game Interactive
  8. Gaming the Six Nations
  9. Silicon Valley rolls out red carpet for Super Bowl
  10. ESPN Virtual 3 Technology Is Being Introduced Today To Literally Highlight 3-Pointers In NBA Broadcasts
  11. One Step Beyond into the WBA Fanzone
  12. NHL Fan Fair presented by Bridgestone opens Jan. 28
  13. Topgolf To Reimagine Sports Entertainment For Millennials With World Golf Tour Acquisition
  14. Miami Heat take the fan experience outside the arena with digital signage
  15. Wallace and Selfeo Look to Fully Immerse Fans into NASCAR Experience with Daytona Partnership
  16. Fan Fair provides perfect start to All-Star Weekend
  17. Sacramento Company’s App At Heart Of Super Fan Chase Event
  18. The Drone Racing League Makes Its First Mainstream Play
  19. If the Raiders move to Las Vegas, we’d like to see a few of these features worked into their home games
  20. Scottish football fans unite against SPFL’s bid to bring in facial recognition cameras: ‘Plan will drive punters away’
  21. South Carolina Seahawks Fans Enjoy “Surreal” Experience at Divisional Round Playoff Game vs Panthers
  22. Cardinals’ use of virtual reality technology yields record season
  23. Sacramento Kings To Premiere NBA’s First 4K Ultra HD Center-Hung Video Board Featuring Largest Screens And Highest Resolution In The League
  24. The world’s first live VR boxing match promises to be a knockout
  25. Big Bash League 2016: How BBL is attracting kids, families and females to cricket
  26. The Australian Open is getting increasingly creative on social media
  27. Government fan plan on club strategy will be written into league rules
  28. F1 bosses want fans to vote for “driver of the day” at each race
  29. SPFL discusses face recognition system for unacceptable conduct
  30. Australian Open details data analytics improvements driving digital engagement
  31. Orlando Magic keen on UK specific partners as it looks to fuel international expansion
  32. Australian Open details data analytics improvements driving digital fan engagement
  33. Sporting Innovations has a new name
  34. Manchester United boost fan engagement in India with Adidas involvement
  35. Panthers president special message to fans: ‘Keep Pounding’
  36. Now Anyone Can Play Goalie for the New York Rangers
  37. LIVERPOOL FC PARTNERS WITH SKYPE TO BOOST FAN ENGAGEMENT
  38. Australian Open crowds aren’t all for the tennis
  39. Sports Teams Running Out of Fans
  40. Why should clubs use Snapchat?
  41. Suns Launch “Shazam with the Suns” Contest
  42. 2015 NBA World Champion Golden State Warriors Select SignalShare To Deploy Arena Wi-Fi
  43. Lucas Oil Stadium ranked first in NFL stadium experience for fifth straight year
  44. Super Bowl 50: Your Haute Guide to Nine Days of Festivities
  45. Lyon set to debut swanky new £186million stadium this weekend – see inside the Euro 2016 venue here
  46. THE KEY TRENDS SET TO SHAPE THE DIGITAL SPORTS INDUSTRY IN 2016
  47. Editorial: Team finds one more way to enhance fan experience
  48. Every Alabama And Clemson Player Will Have A Player Tracking Chip In Their Shoulder Pads Tonight
  49. The Sacramento Kings Are Building the NBA’s Techiest Arena, a ’21st Century Coliseum’
  50. How College Football Playoff Optimizes Fan Experience On Championship Game Day And Throughout The Year
  51. Kiswe Mobile Teams Up With Monumental Sports Group To Give Fans More Control When Watching Sports Broadcasts
  52. Sensoria Launches New Products To Create Full Body Wearable Platform
  53. Fans’ View: The Fans’ View experience
  54. Letters to Lambeau connects Packers fans
  55. The Whole Nine Yards: What The NFL Can Teach Marketers About Brand Engagement
  56. STRIVR Labs Launches Fan Experience and VR Production Division
  57. Report excerpt: New Wi-Fi at Ole Miss
  58. Notre Dame Stadium rated best college football experience in the country
  59. What the Minnesota Vikings’ terrible temporary home can teach Seattle, Chris Hansen
  60. Rangers adding new scoreboard, foul poles to Globe Life Park in 2016 (Photos)
  61. Miami’s Sun Life Stadium to Enhance Fan Experience and Energy Efficiency with Eaton’s Advanced Ephesus LED Lighting System
  62. English Soccer Club Manchester United to Launch 24-Hour TV Channel in China
  63. NBA Twitter is Changing the Way We Watch Sports
  64. How Periscope Is Building A Community In The Midst Of Twitter’s Turmoil
  65. Snoop Dogg On Why He’s Investing in GameOn
  66. Three Sports Technology Trends Emerged In 2015 That Will Change Sport Forever
  67. Wildcats color Memphis purple at pep rally
  68. Video: Watch the Melbourne Renegades celebrate the Indian community and culture
  69. Melbourne Stars’ import Kevin Pietersen says he is honoured to be part of BBL
  70. Washington Capitals And Wizards Owner Ted Leonsis On Big Data And The Future Of Sports
  71. Jason Guarente: Flyers alumni game will light up Reading
  72. New York Jets Add Virtual Reality Experiences For Fans
  73. NBA New York Knicks Use Ridiculous Giant Minigun-Style T-Shirt Launchers
  74. Influence Mobile geared to female sports fans
  75. Halifax Hurricanes Boxing Day Home Opener
  76. NBA And NHL Teams Use Unique Smartphone Experiences To Attract Millennials
  77. Visit Tampa Bay announces Vols fan winner of Outback Bowl VIP Experience
  78. Atlanta Hawks Eye Better Retail Customer Experience with New Partner
  79. Utah Jazz have brought the fans back with exciting players and hope for the future
  80. IBM launches consortium for sports venues
  81. Panasonic presents video featuring large-screen solutions
  82. Browns tight end Gary Barnidge rents entire theater, joins fans to see ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
  83. Silicon Valley tech companies jump on the Super Bowl bandwagon
  84. FB as fan engagement medium
  85. Grandstand Offers Hot Take-Free Football Highlights, Bowl Season Simplicity
  86. Cowboy Stadium ranked as Southland’s top venue by Stadium Journey
  87. CSN Bay Area and CSN California to Launch “Authentic Fanuary” on New Year’s Day
  88. College Football Playoff National Championship using Super Bowl XLIX as blueprint
  89. Chelsea and England forward Eni Aluko eyes growth of women’s game
  90. U.S. Bank Stadium Setting Up for Easy Fan Navigation
  91. Fusion Sport Timing Systems Support Michael Jordan Brand For Fan Engagement Event
  92. The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience Celebrates the 2015 Hall of Fame Class in Atlanta on Dec. 30
  93. Wi-Fi to the RV: Oklahoma brings Wi-Fi services to RV parking lot
  94. How The Kansas City Chiefs Use Social Media To Enhance The Fan Experience
  95. Texas Rangers Add to Visual Experience with New Daktronics LED Display
  96.  Football fans’ ‘manifesto’ launched at Scottish Parliament
  97. World Sailing taking the sport to the masses in 2016
  98. Formula E Teams Up With Gigya to Drive Fan Engagement
  99. Packers fans invited to enter Associated Bank’s “Keys to Lambeau” Sweepstakes for exclusive tour of Lambeau Field
  100. STRIVR Launches New Division To Create Virtual Reality Content And Experiences
  101. Brand our beer and name our ale!
  102. Feature: Breaking Down The Sensory Barrier
  103. The Skill Set: Loic Remy
  104. The Magic Was Real | Portland Timbers 2015 MLS Cup Champions
  105. NBA, MLB COMMISSIONERS STILL BELIEVE IN FAN EXPERIENCES AMID TECH WORLD
  106. Cascade High nominated for Statesman Journal’s Fan Experience Award
  107. Silver Spurs Arena Improves Visual Experience with Daktronics Products
  108. Cuban: Fans shouldn’t look at phones ‘while the ball is in the air’
  109. Vikings’ growing media network takes game to fans ‘365/24/7’
  110. Technology Firm From Israel Set To Upgrade Real Madrid’s Mobile App
  111. College Football Playoff Fan Central in full swing
  112. Sydney Thunder: Kids Eat Free
  113. ‘All over the UK’: NFL’s growth in Manchester ‘phenomenal’, say Inside the Huddle duo
  114. Super Bowl 50 bound Denver Broncos partner with PrimeSport as their official fan travel partner
  115. Feschuk: The future of sports will look like this
  116. Silicon Valley Is Commandeering San Francisco’s Super Bowl
  117. Broncos use technology to deepen fan support
  118. Facebook needs more friends in its new Sports Stadium
  119. Here’s what Broncos, Panthers fans will shell out for their Super Bowl experience
  120. Super Bowl 50 and fan events: Locations to know in the Bay Area
  121. Why Every Marketer Should Be Watching Virtual Reality
  122. Snapchat’s linked with the NFL to sell big-name brands for a Super Bowl Live Story
  123. Top 10 Sports Business Trends to Watch in 2016
  124. Super Bowl 50 puts tech in its starting lineup
  125. Why Australia’s Big Bash League Is Changing The Professional Sports Paradigm
  126. Baylor Enhances Fans’ Gameday Experience at the Ferrell Center
  127. A San Francisco Super Bowl Experience, With or Without a Ticket
  128. Fan experience key to fun at CareerBuilder Challenge
  129. AHL commissioner talks league, ‘Hogs, outdoor games
  130. Mark Hollis gives his take on fan engagement at MSU sporting events
  131. How to maximize your experience at Braves FanFest
  132. Islanders moving to Metro Bank Park
  133. 49er fans aren’t thrilled with the stadium that’s hosting Super Bowl 50
  134. 5 BURNING QUESTIONS THAT SPORTS MARKETERS HAVE ABOUT FAN DATA
  135. Uber gets exclusive deal to pick up and drop off passengers at Super Bowl 50
  136. Fox Sports will offer live virtual reality along with regular broadcast of Garcia-Guerrero title fight
  137. Nuggets rank 21st on Forbes list of most valuable NBA teams
  138. U.S. Bank Stadium’s High-Res Video Boards in Place
  139. Are Texans, NRG ready to go wild on Wi-Fi? Why, yes
  140. The NBA’s Least Engaged Fans
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15 Steps to Career Reinvention.

On Thursday morning 27/2 at 530am Brisbane time (1.30pm EST USA 26/2) I’m speaking about my career reinvention through personal branding with the University of Boston, Massachusetts in their emerging leaders program. If you would like to register for free and watch then here is the link:http://www.leaders.umb.edu/index.php/leaders/webinar_reinventing_you/

It goes for an hour and features Dorie Clark who is the author of the book which has revolutionised my life, ‘Reinventing You’

Below are the 15 steps which I will be talking about that I have gone through in my own reinvention.

15 Steps to Career Reinvention

15 Steps to Career Reinvention

London Sports Business Internship Blog #1: How I Scored An Internship at Queens Park Rangers Football Club

9.10am. Queensway tube. Hunters & Collectors ‘Talking to a stranger’

Match Stats:

  • Born in Brisbane, Australia in 1984
  • Graduated with degrees in Behavioural Studies and Education from the University of Queensland in 2006
  • Have worked as a high school teacher since 2007 in Brisbane, Central Queensland as well as in Newmarket, Cambridge and London.
  • Currently employed in the tertiary sector in Australia teaching event management, communications, marketing and artist management.
  • Have extensive music industry experience from managing bands, booking gigs, planning events, international tour management, venue management and maintaining digital media strategies.
  • Previously worked at the Brisbane Cricket Ground (The Gabba) from 1999-2006 managing stadium hospitality services as well as at music venues The Zoo in Brisbane and The Hammersmith Apollo in London.
  • Undertaking Masters of Business (Sport Management) through Deakin University, Melbourne in 2014 (online).

Teaching AFL at a school in London

Teaching AFL at a school in London

At SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas

At SXSW Music Conference in Austin, Texas

Presenting a speech at a Brisbane Sounds event

Presenting a speech at a Brisbane Sounds event

With my primary school students in Mildenhall, Suffolk.

With my primary school students in Mildenhall, Suffolk.

The Pre Game: How I got an internship at Queens Park Rangers Football Club.

This is one hell of a crazy story. However if you know me, you’ll know that my whole life is one crazy story after another. From teaching in challenging London high schools where I’ve had a knife put to my neck to tour managing bands around the UK and running a PR and events business that has taken me all over the world promoting the Brisbane music industry, I don’t sit back and wait for things to happen. I get off my butt, seek out opportunities and live out my dreams as well as actively encouraging and inspiring my students to do the same.

Brisbane Sounds Logo

Brisbane Sounds Logo

SEALS UK Tour 2011

SEALS UK Tour 2011

Flood Bank 2011 Disaster Appeal Gig

Flood Bank 2011 Disaster Appeal Gig

Brisbane Sounds 2010 Event

Brisbane Sounds 2010 Event

This is why 100 days before I turn 30 I’m about to embark on a life changing trip back to London to reinvent my career by working in the sports business. From December to January 2014 I’ll be working at global football club Queens Park Rangers in Shepherds Bush, London where I’ll be completing an internship in event management, communications and marketing with the aim of refining and improving my skills in these areas and bringing that knowledge back to Australia and securing employment in the sports business (or trying to get sponsored and work in the UK/Europe). However, the whole process to get this amazing opportunity sorted out has not been easy and is an example of my strongest qualities with those being dedication, positivity and enthusiasm. But how did this all come about?

Queens Park Rangers logo

Queens Park Rangers logo

Loftus Road Stadium

Loftus Road Stadium

Player Biography

Going back to early 2012 and I was getting very disillusioned with working in the music industry, particularly in my hometown of Brisbane where I had worked tirelessly since 2006 promoting 1000+ artists, building a 16K strong online community, networking internationally, running events and spending over $85,000 of my own money on the business. I cut my event management and communications teeth with my business, Brisbane Sounds during this time but I also learnt life lessons in business as well. It’s a ruthless and stressful industry to work in and I kept feeling that my morals were being tested and knew I had to get out so made the decision to finish up the business in April 2012 and direct all my focus on improving my practice as a teacher.

Brisbane Sounds 2008 Gig

Brisbane Sounds 2008 Gig

Brisbane Sounds 2010 Compilation Album

Brisbane Sounds 2010 Compilation Album

Around the same time as working at a high school part time, I also started working as a teacher part time at a tertiary institution. It had always been a bit stressful going from one job to the other each week, packing and unpacking my bag each Wednesday over the past two years and managing 100 odd teenage and adult students. However this year I had a student I was close to pass away through illness, a past student in England also died and I’ve had multiple learners with challenging diverse needs to support so it was probably one of my most stressful years as a teacher.

In this same period I had to reapply to keep one of my jobs, complete an extensive four month training course for the same job and then someone maliciously damaged my beloved 4WD. Things just kept going from bad to worse but I had to radicalize positivity and get on with life. I was finding that when I took students to see the counselor I’d be feeling as though student issues and teaching were starting to really weigh me down emotionally. It was very difficult being this super positive teacher for my students and helping them through their own personal troubles so I knew I needed change and I knew I was the only one who could do something about that. Therefore decided to focus all my efforts to get back into marketing, branding, event management and communications but this time with a focus on the sports business and not the music business. I do wonder how other teachers cope sometimes with all the pressures in their own lives but also wanting to do everything they can for their students in times of need.

My 4WD

My 4WD

Usually every year I would take myself off to the UK or USA and set up professional development and networking opportunities with people I admire and want to learn from while mixing my passion for sports and music by seeing gigs and games at stadiums and venues around the world. So in February of this year I decided to head to Europe for my 29th birthday as one of the teams I support,  West Ham United were playing on the weekend of my birthday and my favourite band, who I’ve done some work with in the past, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were playing in Brussels on my actual birthday two days later.

West Ham vs West Brom at Upton Park

West Ham vs West Brom at Upton Park

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gig in Brussels

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club gig in Brussels

This time around though, I decided to set up meetings with key players in the UK football industry. I emailed, sent letters or called every London club from the Premier League to the lower divisions and eventually got meetings with Fulham, West Ham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and QPR along with a few other clubs throughout Europe.

Meeting at Allianz Arena, Munich

Meeting at Allianz Arena, Munich

Meeting at Arsenal

Meeting at Arsenal

The meetings that I set up were to talk about the roles these people had, careers in the sports business and how a global club is run. At the end of each meeting I asked all of them for an internship and told them about myself, my skills and how they could help me achieve my dreams of a career in the sports business. As luck would have it QPR agreed to an internship for December. I walked away from the stadium telling myself that nothing was set in stone and to go with the flow with whatever was to come. To this day I owe the lady who set this up so much gratitude and admiration as in just a short 45 minute chat she could see my potential.  There is no doubt that she is on the Christmas shopping list!

Over the next few months I continued to focus on teaching however by July I had made the decision to resign from one of my teaching posts and focus all of my efforts into reinventing my career in the sports business by looking at what I’ve done up to this point in my life and looking at where I wanted to go. I realized that I needed a break from teaching young adults, parents, paperwork, marking assessments and all the stressors that go with that life.

Game Day Strategy

From July to now I really began getting into personal branding and started reevaluating what I wanted to do with this next phase of my life. I found this amazing book called ‘Reinventing You’ by US based author Dorie Clark which hit me like a soccer ball to the head in terms of how life changing it was. I started writing out a list of all the personal branding and career reinvention jobs I had to achieve before I left for London. The list started out with a few simple things like getting new business cards and a website to networking and completing volunteer work.

'Reinventing You' by Dorie Clark

‘Reinventing You’ by Dorie Clark

I have been adding to the list on a daily basis and intend on writing a book about this experience but for now the list is up to 33 elements which I have ticked off. These include:

 

1. Creating a personal brand statement: ‘I’m a creative and ambitious communications and event management professional with seven years of experience visualizing, developing and facilitating major events and communications projects with a high success rate of delivering exceptional outcomes for clients in both local and international markets. I’m a leader, networker and life long learner skilled in social media, marketing and public relations with exceptional interpersonal skills and a proactive and passionate approach to executing outstanding results.’

2. Refining my LinkedIn with a focus on key word optimization.

3. Setting up a website  www.mrblairhughes.com which sells my personal brand and story.

www.MrBlairHughes.com

www.MrBlairHughes.com

4.  Setting up a logo.

Blair Hughes Logo

Blair Hughes Logo

5. Having a professional photo taken.

Professional Photo

Professional Photo

6. Setting up all the same branding on social media sites.

Social Media Branding

Social Media Branding

7. Networking through social media with leaders in the sports business.

8. Producing a personal infographic that sums up my story in a visual form.

Personal Infographic

Personal Infographic

9. Completed volunteer work in my new field to get my name out there.

10. Had testimonials and endorsements from past clients and colleagues written.

11. Defined my title in a few words.

12. Created content for my website and social media sites such as infographics.

Infographics

Infographics

A-LEAGUE Infographic

A-LEAGUE Infographic

A-LEAGUE Infographic

A-LEAGUE Infographic

A League Infographic for Brisbane vs Melbourne

A League Infographic for Brisbane vs Melbourne

13. Went to conferences in this new field.

14. Participated in Twitter live chats.

15. Continued to learn from listening to 100+ TED Talks, instructional videos, online workshops and webinars along with reading countless articles.

16. Made a new email and email signature.

17. Created business cards.

My new creative sports business themed business cards

My new creative sports business themed business cards

18. Participated in Skype sessions with leaders in this field.

19. Bought 20+ books on personal branding, sports business, leadership, marketing and event management.

Renegades Write the Rules

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20. Crafted my stories and storytelling from my past experiences.

21. Subscribed to industry magazines and publications.

22. Bought new clothes and completely revolutionized my wardrobe and style to match this new career.

23. Started to blog and share ideas.

24. Worked on helping others with this knowledge of personal branding. Found that I would be offering advice not only to students but also other adults in the area of personal branding.

25. Sought out the leaders I wanted to emulate and went about setting up meetings both locally and internationally.

26. Created a Pinterest account to share ideas on sports fan engagement and marketing ideas.

Pinterest site

Pinterest site

27. Investigated study options and chose a course in Melbourne to study in 2014.

28. Talked to people and friends about what I wanted to do. Started selling my brand more vocally because you never know who is listening and who can help you on your journey.

29. Found mentors in my field who I wanted to assist me.

30. Expressed my ideas and plans.

31. Did a career path self assessment.

32. Started work on a short film showcasing my skills, dreams, goals and past work experience.

33. Developed a new elevator pitch.

Leaving the Sheds

Getting to work at a major football club in London was not easy though. Around early September I was contacted by the club and told that I would need a visa for the trip as the UK immigration department deemed what I was doing as ‘work’. As I had already completed my working holiday visa from 2006-2008 the only available option was to get an immigration lawyer involved at a cost of $1000AUD and figure out what visa options were available to me in this unique situation. Acquiring the services of an immigration lawyer was probably the best money I spent though as the lawyer was exceptional from start to finish and really helped me out with some of the problems I faced in getting back to the UK.

Ready to send my Visa application to UK Immigration.

Ready to send my Visa application to UK Immigration.

What problems though? Well, having put together the 50 pages of documents (CV, bank statements, cover letter, return airfare ticket, letter from my employer about when I was due back for work in 2014, letter of offer from the club, accommodation details, passport, passport photos and visa application forms) for my visa application I then had to call the $15 a minute UK Immigration hotline in Canberra after their online system charged me $140 twice for the biometrics payment.

On calling to sort this out I was questioned about my visa application and told in no uncertain terms that my lawyer had got it all wrong, the visa I was applying for was wrong, my visa application would be refused, I wouldn’t be allowed into the UK and every time I travelled I would be hauled off for questioning due to having had a visa application refused. I was told that they had never heard of an Australian going over to work at a club before, that it probably wouldn’t be worth wasting my money on the visa application and also that the majority of times most people just rock up at the gate at Heathrow and state their case and 9 out of 10 get allowed into England. I politely told her that I had a lot on the line here and I did not want to risk being the 1 out of 10 which was denied as I had invested a lot of time and effort into all of this.

She also happened to mention that she was a Chelsea supporter….

The crisis was averted when the lawyer got involved to further explain the situation and immigration decided to check with their Manila office regarding my visa queries and got back to me 35 minutes before my biometrics meeting in Brisbane city to advise that it was all ok and good to go. Phew!

Kick Off

So here I am, 7 days out from heading back to London to start this new period in my life. I’m absolutely buzzing as my mind is in a better place especially from the cardio boxing sessions I’ve been doing over the past three months which have prepared me for the fight ahead while also losing a total of 23KGs. The future is unwritten and I’m out to carve my name in the sports business. Exciting times await so thank you for reading this lengthy first post about my upcoming adventure.

Contract Negotiations

I’m obviously on the look out for employment opportunities in marketing, fan engagement, event management and communications in the sports business either in Australia or abroad so if you would like to learn more about me, link me up with people who could help me on my journey or better yet offer me a job then please get in touch.

Thanks

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