Having received a hockey stick as a christening present it was inevitable sport was going to play a large part of my life. Today, having just returned from FIFA HQ in Zurich, I realise to what extent I underestimated this.
When you decide to pursue a career in the sports & entertainment sponsorship industry, you do so assuming your days of studying are over. The day I graduated from university was the day I vowed never to write an essay again. Fast forward four years and I’ve accepted my place on the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) Diploma. Needless to say, initial enthusiasm was limited, but as the only qualification in the industry, I knew I could only avoid it for so long.
Yes, as you can probably tell, I saw it as a means to an end, a tick box exercise to achieve that additional line on the old CV…!
What I wasn’t expecting was to be overwhelmed by quality of speakers such as the Commercial Director at British Olympic Association and Head of Partnerships at Arsenal FC. The insights we gained from their stories, experiences and expertise were priceless.
It’s beyond doubt that 2016 has seen its fair share of sponsorship headlines, from Chelsea’s £900m Nike deal and Sharapova’s suspension dividing sponsors to Iceland (supermarket) sponsoring Iceland (country) in the Euros, even a marijuana dispensary seeking naming rights for the Broncos Stadium made it into the press. To be able to discuss each month’s controversies and scandals in a room full of industry professionals across brands, rights holders and agencies was such a unique opportunity.
There are only a handful of qualifications that can genuinely entertain an audience over a pint and the ESA Diploma is certainly one of these.
Havas Sports & Entertainment Cake
On Friday 18th November, the class of 2016 graduates at BAFTA, Piccadilly with Guest of Honour 2008 GB Men’s Hockey Captain Ben Hawes who played in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
Enrolment for the 2017 course is now open: click here for details