Warwick’s Matchday Society recently hosted an informative talk for its members on how to pursue their prospective careers in the football industry. The event receives a healthy turn-out every year, and has been reliably beneficial to Warwick students past and present, with past attendees receiving work at high profile football clubs as a result.
Football is an evolving industry and is booming with the abundance of jobs on offer, ranging from journalism to marketing. However, the footballing business often deflects many career paths towards goals that are more accessible and reliable; as having a job evolved around the sport you love seems too good to be true for many students. In reaction to this stereotype, the three guest speakers at the event expressed the versatility of football as a business and inspired their audience to pursue an occupation they will love. The football fanatics present eventually vacated with a belief they could form a career based on their favourite sport…and rightly so.
the football industry invites the skills and talents of graduates with any degree
The first guest speaker, Devesh Mangtani, works for a sports marketing company called Two Circles, which helps sports organisations grow relationships with their audiences and business partners. The prestigious company is based in London and often aims to make sponsorship money and increase attendances for a variety of sporting clubs and organisations. Devesh, an ex-Warwick student who studied a degree in Civil Engineering, illustrated how the football industry invites the skills and talents of graduates with any degree. He was a late starter in regards to transferring his love for cricket and other sports into an occupation, thus providing a perfect example on how a change in career can occur at any time in your life. Devesh concluded by advising students to learn about the sporting industry early and not to be afraid to try things, as his own gambles paid off. The underlining message suggested to form relevant relationships when possible and to figure out what you love and do it, because the decision will be one that you won’t regret.
‘if a job’s not competitive, it’s not worth doing’
Another former Warwick student spoke next, offering an insight into the competitive world of sports journalism. Ed Higgs, a graduate of acclaimed journalist school News Associates and junior editor at Sky Sports News, gave an incredibly useful talk on his journalistic experience and described the format of a typical day in the Sky Sports studios. For an aspiring journalist like myself, Ed shed an informative light on how journalism is an evolving industry and an accessible choice for promising writers. Ed encouraged reading news daily, blogging, learning valuable skills such as short hand and attending free workshops that many journalism schools offer. Contacting local and national newspapers for work experience is an optimistic approach, but is a method that could be the catalyst to your successful career as a sports journalist. He disregarded the excuse that journalism is “too competitive” and said ‘if a job’s not competitive, it’s not worth doing’. Ed’s valuable experience of writing for The Boar, the Telegraph and Sky Sports News taught him that nothing is too insignificant for your portfolio. Ed finalised with the cliché that ‘practise makes perfect’ when it comes to being a talented writer, but considering his track record, it works!
the footballing industry has numerous layers and can appeal to students of all talents
The final guest speaker was Ryan Bahia, an employee for the football analytics industry Opta. Opta provides the data and statistics visible on screen during live football matches, and holds a close partnership with the most popular televised football shows (Monday Night Football and Match of the Day). Ryan reiterated the positive influence of blogging on employers and emphasises a background in statistical analysis is not needed. Opta also works directly with football clubs by offering performance analysis, opposition analysis and recruitment services through scouting. This particular company proves the footballing industry has numerous layers and can appeal to students of all talents, from computer technicians to enthusiastic marketeers.
Having a diverse range of speakers at the event treated students to an array of priceless advice. The event emphasised how football is an increasingly promising industry with a number of routes available. Any illusions regarding the football industry as a career gamble were dismissed and replaced with an aura of excitement. The grateful audience offered their thanks with an illustrious round of applause to symbolise their confirmed career paths.