“We have received an extremely positive reaction from the industry and the students who have taken the diploma in its first five years. It is clear that the qualification is now recognised as a rite of passage for anyone wishing to practise in the sponsorship or sports marketing industries. Each year, ESA surveys the students and their mentors and continues to diligently take on the comments received to ensure that the next course is even better – see some of their comments below”.
Peter Raymond, ESA Diploma Course Director
Testimonials from 2016 graduates
We managed to chat to a few of our graduates at the 2016 ESA Diploma graduation ceremony, held at BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) in London.
Having entered the sponsorship world through an insight and strategy team, I tended to evaluate only one aspect of a partnership, either evaluating assets prior to a deal or calculating the ROI at the end of a campaign. One of the great things about the diploma is being able to see the bigger picture, realising how all the different facets (PR, experiential etc.) collaborate with each other. Secondly, while the course notes were incredibly detailed, the opportunity to share, discuss and debate the sponsorship controversies and scandals hitting the headlines with a room full agencies, rights holders or brands, was priceless given the variety of perspectives. To those thinking about enrolling for the course I would say definitely do it. If you go in with an open mind you learn so much more than you expect, and the guest presenters share genuinely inspiring experiences and stories! (Natasha Cabral)
I don’t currently work within the sponsorship industry but it’s something that I’m truly passionate about.
So being able to translate that outside passion into something more tangible, and into something that I can use in my career, is an incredibly positive thing. I’ve learnt about the latest trends that are taking place within the industry, and this means that I can take this knowledge back into my workplace and bring the rest of the team up to speed with what’s happening. Being a part of this year’s cohort has been incredible. Meeting people from various walks of life, who all have a knowledge and an interest in sponsorship, has allowed me to really delve deep into the theory of sponsorship. It’s been an amazing experience. (Charlie Dewhurst)
I learnt a lot about research. It’s something that’s often forgotten in campaigns. Many people devote a lot of energy to planning campaigns, and a lot of energy to activate them, but there’s a whole research area where there’s some really interesting stuff going on that people are neglecting. The diploma gets you thinking about how it all ties back into the business and brand goals. It teaches you how to look at the bigger picture. Having people in the room that you can learn from, leading industry figures, is also really valuable. These people are on the front line and have done it before on some of the biggest campaigns, so being able to pick their brains of the knowledge they have is invaluable. Finally, listen to Peter! If you stick to your quota and do two essays a month you’ll be fine. But don’t underestimate the workload. The deadlines are there for a reason. Make a study plan, stick to it and you’ll be more than fine. (Florian Kogler)
I’ve really enjoyed learning about the theory of sponsorship. I have some practical knowledge through my career to date, but I’m now able to apply my knowledge in a much more meaningful way than I’ve ever done before. The diploma teaches you to examine and understand what the sponsors and rights-holders are looking to gain from a partnership. You’re then able to cultivate a rights package and wider structure in the most effective way. There’s no denying that the ESA Diploma is tough! But then the most worthwhile things in life usually are. Stick with it because, when you graduate, you fully realise that it was totally worth all the hard work you put into it. (Luke Roberts)
Feedback from 2015 Diploma students
Every year our students feed back through an anonymous survey and here are their comments:
“Positive experience, a good overview of all key elements in the industry, high quality presenters, very well organised and run course”.
“Great for networking with like-minded professionals. The course content has boosted my confidence and credibility (internally and externally)”.
“A real career changer – impressively delivered”.
“360 understanding of sponsorship and not just from an agency’s perspective”.
“Fantastic course, I feel very lucky to have allowed by my company to participate. Partly as a result of my learnings on the course, I was promoted to manager level!”
“Wide breadth of topics which gives a good foundation to sponsorship”.
“I found the whole experience very useful, very demanding yet extremely beneficial to my learning and career”.
“Learnt a lot, seminars added value as the majority of presenters were excellent. Feel more confident in the industry now. Great to have so many examples to hand”.
A distance learning graduate describes their experience:
“I completed the ESA Diploma as a distance learning student and believe the course is designed exceptionally well for distance learning. Sure, I would have enjoyed attending the seminar and networking with classmates, but students abroad were able to extract significant value from the seminars. The study notes are useful resources that I can reference in the future. Peter’s routine correspondence was helpful to keep us all on track, and his flexibility in skyping with someone in a different time zone was very much appreciated. The course was very rigorous and the word count demanded the student take a very organised approach to writing. Taking the same organised “bottom line up-front” approach to work will surely benefit students in their professional careers. I couldn’t be more pleased with the experience and, because the course was challenging, I’m very proud to have completed it”.