Sports Recruitment, Executives in Sport
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Josh
Hershman

 

Managing Director, Ten Toes Media

1. How did you get your first opportunity in sport?
I always wanted to work in sport and try and do something I enjoyed doing. After I graduated with a history degree I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I was keen to go to sports events and give my view on them, so journalism appealed. I did a postgrad diploma in multimedia journalism in three months alongside some work experience with Sportsbeat, covering everything from second tier rugby to match reports. That was a good grounding. I also did some work experience at UEFA.com and that’s what sparked my interest, and I was very lucky that they gave me my first real opportunity, and then backed me. I kind of fell into social media at UEFA but I also took ownership of it. 

2. What is the best sporting event you’ve ever attended?
This is a really tough one to answer. I'm lucky enough to have been to some amazing events through my line of work and as a fan, so I'm going to cheat and name a few. The Cricket World Cup Final at Lord's last year was incredible – the whole day, the drama and England winning on home soil. I love my cricket, so that was special. Seeing a Ferrari driver win an F1 Grand Prix in Monza and having incredible pit lane access was a once-in-a-life time experience and one I'll never forget. I'm also fortunate enough to have worked at three Champions League finals – Wembley, Munich and Madrid – all incredible for different reasons. And finally, for my sins as a Spurs fan, I was at the Man City away game where Peter Crouch headed in the winner to book us a top-four spot for the first time, and the Ajax game the season before last to seal a final berth – that doesn't need any explanation. 

3. Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
Without a doubt Kevin Ashby at UEFA. He gave me my opportunity when I was fresh out of uni and had completed my post grad diploma in multimedia journalism. He constantly opened doors for me and put me forward for experiences and meetings which allowed me to learn so much in my time there. He was always firm but fair, and as long as you worked as hard as possible then you knew where you stood. Kev was also great with me when I decided it was time for me to move on to Spurs. He was very understanding and we still speak occasionally now. 

4. I’m a big brand with a hefty sponsorship budget – what sport or event should I invest in?
That's a tough one to answer without understanding the values of the brand, the audiences they are trying to engage with and what they're trying to achieve. For pure scale and reach then it's hard to look beyond the popularity of football and the diverse range of sponsorship options globally across federations, leagues, tournaments, clubs and players. Of course, it tends to be more expensive relative to other sports and is a very saturated market, but I still see lots of brands activating terribly in the football space so there's definitely scope to do it much more effectively than your competitors. The right investment aligned to a clear strategic approach and crystal clear KPIs can reap great rewards. If you are a big brand with a hefty sponsorship budget make sure you use the right people to activate it for you – they have to 'get it' in football and how to speak to a football audience. We can certainly help with that at Ten Toes :-) 

5. Who are three people from the sports industry you’d invite to your dinner party?
Paul Rogers is the first. The work he's done at Roma to transform their approach to digital has been innovative and admirable. Then there’s Jim Lucas, whose work on England and transforming the image of the team and how fans viewed them from the disastrous 2016 campaign through to the whole nation throwing their beers in the air in 2018 was terrific, so understanding more along the way about that journey over a couple of cold ones would be great. Serena Williams would be my last guest. She's so much more than a tennis player. As someone who manages the digital strategies for talent she'd be brilliant to talk to about how she approaches everything she does off the court. Obviously, what she's done in the game of tennis speaks for itself as well! 

If you'd like to read more from Josh, please click here

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