Month: January 2014

London Sports Business Internship Blog #27: Sports Business Insider Feature Part 1

With a background in PR and media, I was always going to use those skills while over at QPR to generate some news in order to get my brand and name out into the sports business.

Here’s one of the first pieces from the amazing guys over at Sports Business Insider

Sports Business Insider Blog

Sports Business Insider Blog

‘Are you where you want to be professionally’ was the tag line of a book on personal branding that I happened to glance over in a book store about a year ago. It stuck out like Maradona at a beauty pageant, it made me question if I loved what I was doing with my career and ultimately it changed my life as I set about reinventing my career.

For the past seven years I have worked two careers side by side which is a testament to my hard working nature. I worked as a high school teacher and as a venue, tour and artist manager in the music industry where I ran a successful PR and events business. With both jobs I was able to travel the world. I taught in a small village in Suffolk and in challenging classrooms in London, worked in the famed London Hammersmith Apollo, Brisbane’s iconic Zoo Nightclub and trekked across the globe to 40+ countries promoting Australian music artists. However by the end of 2012 I realised that I had accomplished everything that I set out to achieve in the music industry and then sadly in early 2013 with the deaths of two students I was close to, I could see that the emotional weight of dealing with seriously diverse adolescent issues was really bringing me down and I knew I needed to take a break from the stress of teaching. When I was running my business in the music industry from 2006-2012, I would travel to various countries a few times a year and conduct meetings with key industry leaders and at the same time take in sporting and musical events in order to learn how they run these major shows.In March I decided to do another professional development trip and headed back to Europe where I set up meetings with major football clubs from Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and RSC Anderlecht to Bayern Munich, West Ham and Queens Park Rangers. The aim was to learn as much as I could about how these major businesses facilitated their fan engagement, marketing, social media management and operations. These are all the areas which I’m keen to work in within the sports business. At the end of every meeting I asked for an internship and as luck would have it QPR saw something in me and agreed to take me on later in the year.

The process wasn’t easy with visa and immigration not believing the offer from QPR and I even got a bit of stick and warnings from a UK Immigration officer who made it clear that she was a Chelsea fan and oddly warned me against applying for the business visa. Still unsure if that was some unique pommy joke but eventually it all worked out and I resigned from one of my jobs and made it to London the day after school broke out.

Therefore as I knew I needed a change I went through a career reinvention which included reevaluating what I was passionate about and of course sports, event management and fan engagement were top of my list. Along with setting up the internship, I set up a website, created a unique physical business card in the style of a football jersey, had professional photos taken, cleaned up my linkedin, read books, subscribed to sports biz publications, wrote a personal brand statement, created a logo, networked over social media with people I wanted to emulate and overall set about redefining and reinventing a career in the sports business.

Fast forward to mid December and I’m now in London having completed my first full week of this incredible two month experience at Queens Park Rangers football club undertaking a sports business internship in the fields of fan engagement, operations, marketing and operations.

In the first week at the club I was tasked with researching the e-cigarette polices, membership schemes and season and match day prices at all EPL and Championship stadiums. I was able to call the Premier League and various major clubs to gather research and at the same time make valuable contacts at these clubs. I helped facilitate a QPR fan forum, sat in on the operations room on the match day against Leicester City to learn about crowd safety and footballing policing, learnt about the rising issues of flare and smoke bomb mules and saw first hand how a stadium should deal with animals on the pitch after a squirrel ran onto the field and ended up stopping play in the game against Leicester City. Getting my official AAA QPR staff card was also pretty sweet.

Everyone at the club has been incredible by providing me with resources, advice and most importantly their valuable time and it’s been great to get stuck in to any work I’m given and be treated as one of the team from day one. In the first week I also travelled up to Aston Villa, down to Southampton and across the Thames to West Ham for both meetings and matches. I’m networking in the Premier League, does it get any better? The sports business is where I need to be!

The end goal is to use all the life experience I have gained through working in the education and music industries and putting my skills to game changing use in the sports business. One of the main goals I have with this internship is to research how fan engagement is used over here and bring that knowledge back to Australia and work with an A-League club or the FFA to help improve and add a creative spark to their fan engagement strategies. I’m also going to be pushing hard to secure a full time gig with QPR but I also have meetings lined up with about 15 Premier League and Championship clubs so the future is truly unwritten and I’m out to carve my name in the sports business with my unique personal brand.

 

London Sports Business Internship Blog #26: QPR v Huddersfield

Wow.

What an experience I had today at the QPR home game against Huddersfield.

Another great day at QPR.

Top 2-1 win.

Met the owner Tony Fernandes which was amazing.

Got to talk to the TSG who are London’s Territorial Support Group. I watched as they professioanlly manouvered the Huddersfield fans from the train station to the away pub and then to the ground. The supporters are placed between two huge police vans. All very interesting how its done.

Learning lots of interesting operations stuff

A great win for the R’s.

QPR

QPR

QPR

QPR

QPR

QPR

 

London Sports Business Internship Blog #25: West Ham Meeting

Had a great meeting at West Ham United’s Boleyn Ground on Friday with their fan engagement officer Esha.

 

WHU meeting

WHU meeting

WHU meeting

WHU meeting

WHU meeting

WHU meeting

WHU meeting

WHU meeting

 

London Sports Business Internship Blog #24: Meeting at Arsenal

Had a fantastic 2 hour chat with Jill Smith at Arsenal today. Jill is a life time Arsenal supporter and knows the club inside out and her role is the support liason officer who works with the fan engagement officers.

I’ll post up the meeting notes soon

 

Meeting at Arsenal

Meeting at Arsenal

 

London Sports Business Internship Blog #23: Premier League Visit

Had the opportunity to visit the Premier League offices on Friday and have a chat with head of suppporter services, Cathy Long.

A brilliant chat which I’ll go into a bit more about in a future post.

Some great ideas on how to tackle the issues of flares in the A-League as well as lots of talk about fan engagement.

A great new contact in the sports business.

Visit to EPL Offices

Visit to EPL Offices

London Sports Business Internship Blog #22: QPR Kit

My time at QPR is nearly up but the staff have just given me a signed players and staff jersey.

I’ll have to get these framed to remember the great experience I have had at the club and all the sports business tips I’ve learnt.

It’s been such a great experience with amazing people to work with so I’m very grateful to QPR for all they have done for me.

QPR jersey

QPR jersey

London Sports Business Internship Blog #20: QPR Community Trust

Got all kitted up in my QPR gear and did a 14 hr day today by working in the QPR community trust which is a charitable and community group part of the business. Started the day with a session on nutrition for elite athletes delivered to the academy players followed by a player welfare session about careers after football.
Theres a team of 20 staff separate to the marketing, commercial and operations side and today I went out to a school for afternoon sports run by QPR. Basically imagine if the Broncos had a team branded group of teachers, disability carers, social workers etc.
Its all pretty interesting to think where this could go in Australia. I got to deliver some coaching clinics to high schoolers and remembered how hard it was teaching high schoolers in London.
I then went to a special school where I taught a few football classes to the most amazing down syndrome and paralyzed kids. One kid on asking my name said, ‘oh thats such a gay name, wanna be my friend?’ then gave me a hug, held my hand and we dribbled the ball. Hilarious but heartwarming stuff. Absolutely wrecked and need a berocca and a lie down.
They also have a kids fan area which is in the stadium and open on match days.
A pretty cool fan engagement experience.
QPR KIDS ZONE

QPR KIDS ZONE

QPR KIDS ZONE

QPR KIDS ZONE

QPR KIDS ZONE

QPR KIDS ZONE

QPR KIDS ZONE

QPR KIDS ZONE

London Sports Business Internship Blog #21: Charlton vs Oxford United FA Cup

Went out to The Valley for the Charlton vs Oxford United game.

Freezing night but a good experience at this classic ground. Seen better days since they were in the EPL but at least the chips were good!

Not much on offer in terms of fan engagement but it was a game that had been rescheduled twice already!

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

CHARLTON v OXFORD

London Sports Business Internship Blog #19: Qatar Stars League Visit

Had a really interesting meeting with marketing reps from the Qatar Stars League on Thursday.
Found out some very interesting insights in terms of their fan engagement at their games.
This is the nice gift they left for QPR.
QSL gift in QPR reception

QSL gift in QPR reception

 

 

Brisbane Roar Infographic Round 14 Vs. Adelaide United

Here is this weeks updated high res A-League Brisbane Roar vs Adelaide United infographic featuring new aditions in an injury list, club mid year record, goal tally for Brisbane players.

I’ve been very busy with QPR this week so have not had a chance to update the ladder as a result of the two games already played this round.

Thanks for viewing.

Brisbane Vs Adelaide Infographic

Brisbane Vs Adelaide Infographic

 

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