Posted on 16/05/2016 by Darren Simmons
Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos once announced “In business, what’s dangerous is not to evolve.” A famous soundbite that really resonates as the sports recruitment landscape is very different today from the one we entered in 2012.
Back then, as a fledgling agency, we focused much of our efforts on knowing the very best commercial and marketing talent in sport. Most of the people we’d place into sports teams, governing bodies and agencies were in sales or marketing and it was relatively easy to map out where the most talented individuals in sport were plying their trade.
Fast forward to May 2016 and just under 30% of the people we place go into sales and marketing roles, a seismic shift from the early days. In the last couple of weeks we’ve placed an iOS Mobile App Developer into a major European football club, a Head of Fan Experience within a global sports venue, and we’re in the final stages of securing a brilliant new role for a Risk Manager with a governing body. You really couldn’t get more diverse!
The sheer breadth and diversity of the roles we’re being asked to resource mean that we, as sports recruitment consultants, have had to evolve and adapt to keep pace with the ever changing sporting landscape.
First and foremost every week is a learning curve, in terms of understanding the needs of our clients, and how they may look to grow and evolve their organisations. I’m sure we’re all on board with the ‘digital revolution’ and it’s clear that many of the sports businesses we work with are starting to bring ‘big data’ and CRM in house, developing deeper and more meaningful fan relationships. It’s thus crucial that our Research Team build a great understanding of where the most talented digital / loyalty / CRM experts currently ply their trade, especially if it’s not already in sport. We’re definitely seeing our clients’ views evolving as they become more open to candidates working outside of sport with a strong set of transferable skills.
One of the key decisions we made, midway through 2015, was to evolve our team of sports recruitment consultants, recruiting a couple of people from both technical and professional services backgrounds. It goes without saying that anyone we recruit must have an innate ability to build great and lasting relationships with our clients and candidates (And a love of sport!), but underpinned with a “technical mindset” that allows us to confidently take on assignments where we know we’ll be speaking to the likes of iOS / Android Mobile App Developers, SQL Data Analysts and Construction Project Managers for new stadium builds!
Our clients are evolving…so must we!