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Getting Social: Uniting the Sports Pundit Community 🤝
The greatest advantage that I've generated from starting this newsletter is the network I have been fortunate to build. The launch of Sports Pundit Social Club aims to pass that advantage on to you.
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Last week was arguably the biggest in the sports industry event calendar as more than 3,000 executives descended on Twickenham for Leaders Week.
The event pulls together some of the best speakers from across the industry with this year’s headliners including the NHL’s Heidi Browning, Saudi Pro League’s Peter Hutton, Sony Sports’ Rufus Hack, and FIFA’s Nick Brown and Sarai Bareman.
Such speakers are able provide insight into topics core to their organisations’ strategic vision, and therefore provide attendees with something to think about this week now back at the (home) office.
However, the true value, at least for many of the individuals that I spoke with that attended the event, came from its ability to bring people together. The event has a magnetism which attracts people from all over the industry, and from all over the world, illustrated by the array of nations represented by the speakers.
Having this one week earmarked in the calendar each year provides an opportunity to make new connections, as well as reignite connections with old colleagues or industry peers by providing you with a valid excuse to catch up. Ultimately, the most valuable part of any event will always be the people.
In terms of trying to compete with such an event, there is almost no way. Just as there’s also no way that I could ever publish quality content as frequently as the likes of SportsPro or Sportico. Instead, it’s about finding and operating in the spaces.
This is why I launched the Sports Pundit Social Club last month.
The event, which follows a much less formal agenda than a conference, is simply about providing an opportunity to bring people together (albeit on a smaller scale) at a pub in the city, for free.
The greatest advantage that I have generated from starting this newsletter is the network I have been fortunate to build. By hosting drinks once a month at a pub, not only does it provide me with an opportunity to engage with this network, but it also provides the network I’ve created the opportunity to engage with one another. A win-win.
Hosted at Goldwood Sports Bar near Bank, the first event brought together people from across the sports industry, including rightsholders, founders, VCs, and even the owner of a football club.
Across the room I heard conversations about investing in women's sport, the rise of challenger leagues and content creators, ticketing, impact of working from home, and creating other ways to utilise stadia.
The second event, also kindly supported by Growthdeck, is scheduled for the 2nd of November at Greenwood Sports Bar (next to Victoria station) and will hopefully build on the (relative) success of the opening event. The reaction I’ve had so far has been great, with over 60 people RSVP’d, as well as receiving this very kind message:
I’ve been involved in sport and communications for nearly 35 years. But now, as a consultant and sole trader, it’s hard to justify, financially, being in the room at events like the Sports Industry Awards and Leaders… I joked this week to some ‘industry’ friends that wouldn’t be at Leaders but would be outside with a trailer, sofa and Nespresso machine, looking for conversation. So I’m excited to see that you’ve created this event.
And what’s even more exciting is that it’s a model which is highly replicable - in any city with a pub and at least two people that want to get together to talk about the industry.
Speaking recently to Sports Pundit reader and friend, Drew Rauso, who is based in New York, we asked, what’s stopping us from also launching a similar concept there?
We couldn’t find a good reason not to - with Drew agreeing to step in as ‘host’.
Drew found a pub where it would be okay regardless of if 10, 25, 40 people turned up, we agreed on a date, and I agreed to promote the event via this newsletter (see below for details).
And if it goes well, maybe I can justify flying myself out for a future edition but that’s not a prerequisite for enabling fellow readers to meet.
Additionally, if there are other people reading this that, like Drew, are willing to ‘host’ in their city, it would be interesting to explore those opportunities - particularly in places where I know there are at least a handful of engaged readers, like Manchester, Los Angeles, Toronto, Sydney, and Melbourne. Simply reply to this email or send me a DM.
I look forward to hopefully seeing some of you in London soon, and I’m excited to see how things go for Drew in New York!
There is such a fantastic community of people reading this newsletter and the more we can connect and engage with one another, the richer we will all be for it.
LONDON SOCIAL CLUB
🇬🇧 If you are based in London and would like to RSVP to the event on the 2nd of November, you can do so here.
NEW YORK SOCIAL CLUB
🗽 If you’re based in NYC and would like to RSVP to the event on the 15th November, you can do so here.
Manager, Apple Partnership - Major League Soccer (New York, US)
Sporting Communications Manager - Formula E (London, UK)
Senior Manager, Growth Strategy - Sports, EMEA - 2K (London, UK)
Senior Partnerships Acquisitions Manager - Alpine F1 (Oxford, UK)
Director Player Relations PGA TOUR Pathways - PGA TOUR (Florida, US)
Do you have a job you’d like to promote to the amazing readers of this newsletter? Drop me a note at email@example.com
What is happening in the Sports Industry? 🎱 🤔
Sports Pundit has published 75 newsletters over the course of the year so far... In the process, covering a number of trends from application of AI, to competitive socialisation 📰 🗞
While some examples become dated, many of the lessons written about continue to apply... including these eight stories aggregated below in this free to download PDF 👇