Business of Sport

Charlie & Harry Stebbings

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Business of Sport Ep.15: David Buttress, Owner @ Dragons RFC & Just Eat Co-Founder, ‘Rugby is one of the greatest sports, but it must adapt to maintain its relevance’
06-02-2024
Business of Sport Ep.15: David Buttress, Owner @ Dragons RFC & Just Eat Co-Founder, ‘Rugby is one of the greatest sports, but it must adapt to maintain its relevance’
Today, we are delighted to welcome David Buttress. David was the co-founder and CEO of Just Eat, launching the UK business in 2006 and taking it from startup to Europe’s largest technology stock market floatation in a decade in 2014. In the world of sport, David is the owner the of Welsh United Rugby Championship club, Dragons, as well as acting as Non Executive Director of the Welsh Rugby Union’s Professional Rugby Board.  It’s a crucial time for club rugby. The international game, underpinned by tournaments like the Rugby World Cup and 6 Nations, is hugely successful. The club game is far more precarious. Investment, structure, packaging, distribution, governance: these are all issues that need addressing and David delivers as honest and transparent a view on what needs to be done to ensure the sports long term future.  In today’s show, we discuss: What makes rugby special: ‘Rugby is one of the last gladiatorial sports’ - there is so much to love about the game that needs to be protected and utilised to safeguard the future of the sportThe passion of the fans is unrivalled but are the tournaments and clubs structured correctly to maximise the value of audience?International vs. club rugby - why is it hard to translate the success of the international game to the domestic leagues?Having the opportunity to own a club that means so much to its community is a privilege and the drive to achieve success is enhanced when the ownership aligns strategy on the pitch with development off it. The problems rugby faces: The competition for eyeballs has never been greater and the sport needs to innovate and develop more appealing offerings and products to stay relevant.The governance of the game is laborious and too slow in its decision making. What needs to change at the top of the sport to ensure opportunities to create value are not missed? Are the right people managing rugby?Packaging and distribution - utilise media more effectively to drive engagement and create a celebritization of the players? Sport after all is increasingly creatively packaged media.Player welfare is an issue and the game needs to continue to work to provide a safer environment for its players.The finances of the game depend too much on the willingness of ownership groups to invest in the clubs they own. Can a more sustainable and reliable model be created? The future of the sport: What can be done across the clubs and the leagues to create a more engaging product at club level?CVC have spent a lot of money investing in the rugby ecosystem. What could they or another investor do to drive commercial and participatory development?Does more budget need to be allocated to off field development as well as creating more value on it, and if so what are the priorities for investment?Building a team behind the scenes capable of driving new revenue streams across content and partnerships is crucial but doesn’t exist in the majority of organisations.
Business of Sport Ep.14: Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Olympic Gold Medallist & Founder @ Jennis, 'I realised you can have a family & still compete at the highest level'
22-01-2024
Business of Sport Ep.14: Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Olympic Gold Medallist & Founder @ Jennis, 'I realised you can have a family & still compete at the highest level'
Today, we are delighted to welcome British Olympic legend Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill. An Olympic gold and silver medallist, European champion and 3x world champion, Jess competed at the highest level in the heptathlon for over a decade. Under the pressure and expectation that came with being the face of London 2012, Jess’s gold medal at the Games will forever be one of the most iconic moments in British sporting history. For all the achievements on the track and in the public eye, there is so much more to her story. From starting a family while still competing, to founding her business, Jennis, developed off the back of her experiences as an athlete, Jess demonstrates how the role of the modern sportsperson is increasingly about far more than records, medals, and trophies.  In today’s show, we discuss: The focus of the athlete: From starting out in athletics camps to entering elite competition, how the origin story can shape the outcome.Coping with pressure: what does it take to retain absolute control over performance when the outside noise gets louder.An athlete's relationship with winning and managing the disappointments when the result doesn’t go your way. From winning a first major medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games to the disappointment of missing the Beijing Olympics through injury.London 2012 - from face of the games to winning gold, how did Jess deal with the pressure of public expectation while balancing the commercial duties that surrounded the build up to the Olympics. Motherhood & athletics: Marriage, children, performance: how do you fit all these together while ensuring you don’t let the ball drop? Is it possible or do sacrifices need to be made?It is not expected that female athletes have children while competing, so what happens when you have a baby and don’t want to retire? What did Jess have to do to get back the elite level of performance she was so used to, and how did she have to adapt her regime to accommodate the changes she had gone through?The sports industry has a lot to learn when understanding the impact of pregnancy on the female body and challenges it presents when returning to elite competition. Why is this? Modern day role of the athlete: The value of the athlete has extended well beyond the field of play. How do professional sportspeople play an extended role in society today?How does Jennis seek to empower women at the elite end of sport and in the wider community? Why is it so important to build this education into the industry and beyond?The role of social media and exposure to brands is something that plays a significant part in the lives of the most successful athletes in today’s world. Is this something they just have to learn to deal with or do they need additional support to manage effectively?Seeking investment in companies around women’s health is a tough business, and educating the financial community on the opportunity to develop women’s healthtech is crucial.
Business of Sport Ep.13: Tom Beahon, Co-Founder @ Castore, 'How we built a billion dollar British sportswear brand'
09-01-2024
Business of Sport Ep.13: Tom Beahon, Co-Founder @ Castore, 'How we built a billion dollar British sportswear brand'
Today, we are delighted to welcome Tom Beahon. Tom is the co-founder and co-CEO of Castore, the premium British sportswear brand which he runs with his brother Phil.  Having started his career as an aspiring professional footballer at Tranmere Rovers, Tom's love of sport and passion for business led him to setting up Castore with his brother. They currently produce the kits for the England Cricket Team, Aston Villa, Red Bull Racing, and Rangers Football Club to name a few.  From convincing Andy Murray to both invest in and promote the brand, to recently completing a £140m funding round to drive the next stage of growth for the business, Tom talks us through their incredible journey over the past seven years and why it is so important there is a British sportswear brand competing at the top table. In today’s show, we discuss: Building a sportswear brand: Where did it all begin? How did the concept and vision for Castore get off the ground to become the company it is today?How the lack of British sportswear companies to compete with Nike, Adidas and Puma provided an opportunity to create a unique and modern sportswear company.From giving up careers in football and cricket to go on this journey, to taking jobs in finance to fund the first few years, what did risk and sacrifice look like to Tom and Phil?Figuring out a strategy to catch the attention of their initial customer profile, ‘The Goldman Sachs Man’.  The value of partnerships: To make it big, there needed to be a big name: the story of attracting Andy Murray and getting him excited about the business, the ambition, and the product!A move into team partnerships and kit manufacturing: what did this look like from a business perspective and how did it change the demands on the business?The focus of the major apparel companies on the ‘super league’ teams meant there was an opportunity to unlock a huge amount of value for organisations who were not receiving the care and attention from their current providers.‘If we’re two hours late launching a shirt, bad things will happen’. The pressure of servicing the sports industry is unlike any other in the fashion industry. From the surreal moment of watching England walk out in the Ashes wearing Castore kits, to being there when Rangers won their SPL title, how the partnerships between brand and team develop. Competing with the biggest brands: Nike, Adidas, Puma, New Balance dominate this market. Why is there not a British brand to compete at the top table?Understanding where to focus your strategy to break into the market and carve out your niche is important at the start, but hard to stick to when opportunities arise. How crucial is it to stick to your core vs. stretch into multiple new areas?How the growth of Nike and Adidas in particular has shaped the sportswear industry and influenced companies attempting to disrupt the ecosystem.With the largest brands placing so much focus on the biggest global sports assets, there is is lot of opportunity left behind for companies similar to Castore. Can you use this as a platform to compete for the biggest deals while providing a first class service to each partner?
Business of Sport Ep.12: Manoj Badale, Owner @ Rajasthan Royals, 'Why I bought the Rajasthan Royals'
19-12-2023
Business of Sport Ep.12: Manoj Badale, Owner @ Rajasthan Royals, 'Why I bought the Rajasthan Royals'
Today we are delighted to welcome Manoj Badale. Manoj is the Co-owner of one of the Indian Premier League's most notable franchises, Rajasthan Royals. One of the founding members of the tournament in 2008, the Royals went on to win the first iteration, cementing a special place in franchise cricket history.  Since then, the IPL has become one of the most followed and valued sports leagues in the world. From preparing meticulously for the iconic auction, to tribalising an infamous national fanbase, this behind-the-scenes account of how the IPL and its franchises are built is not to be missed.   In today’s show, we discuss: The value of investing in sport and how to do it successfully: Media rights - sport is about investing in eyeballs, and the increasing availability of content on multiple platforms has created huge value across sports and by extension, those that own, operate, and invest in it.Salary caps and cost controls - you have to be able to manage your costs to make a sports asset a valuable business proposition and not just a trophy asset.Creating a level playing field - if there is an equal chance of victory, the competition is more exciting. If the competition is more exciting, it is likely to attract more interest. ‘The essence of sport is unpredictable outcomes’!The existence of a closed league - no promotion or relegation means security of value for a franchise. You can build long-term plans knowing you don’t have the risk of dropping out of the competition.  The origins of the IPL tournament: How did the IPL come to be? Opportunities explored in cricket before this move was made. What did the opportunity to purchase a franchise slot look like? The decision to make an investment in this tournament from day one What did the financials of the opportunity look like and how has that changed over time? One of the biggest concerns at the start was creating a ‘tribal’ fanbase to follow each franchise. Has that been achieved?  The state of cricket in 2023: Tournaments like the IPL have changed the cricketing landscape. How does Manoj view the co-existence of short-form and test-match cricket?You need to provide a product that fans want to engage with. Does the IPL provide the blueprint for doing this? Can it be replicated?What does proper disruption look like? Is it just creating a new tournament, or is there more to it? The appeal to the players of short form cricket makes it hard to ignore disruptive movements within the game.  A background in business applied to sport: How does Manoj view the Royals alongside his other business ventures? Does he apply the same rules to decision-making, or does emotion play a bigger part? What is the role of an owner? Is there increased pressure on this group in an age driven by media demand? The opportunity to expand a sporting portfolio and the key drivers that investors tend to look for when deciding where they want to put their money. There are plenty of options in 2023!
Business of Sport Ep.11: Maheta Molango, CEO @ PFA, 'Why fixture congestion is the biggest issue in football'
28-11-2023
Business of Sport Ep.11: Maheta Molango, CEO @ PFA, 'Why fixture congestion is the biggest issue in football'
Today, we are delighted to welcome Maheta Molango to the show. As Chief Executive of the PFA, Maheta has one of the biggest jobs in football, leading the union that represents 55,000 current and former professional players in the UK.  A former professional footballer for the likes of Atletico Madrid and Brighton, Maheta has been involved in all aspects of the game. Before taking up his current role, Maheta trained as a lawyer while finishing his professional career, working both in and out of the industry while also spending a number of years as CEO of the Spanish club Real Mallorca.  Taking us through one of the most unique and impressive professional journeys in the sport, this is an incredibly open and honest conversation with one of the most influential people in football. In today’s show, we discuss: From player to executive: A self-professed journeyman on the pitch, how did the experience set Maheta up for a career after football?How the opportunities for education for players are now more available, but the time to do studies away from sport has become harder to find.The importance of setting yourself up for life after football and grounding your future opportunities in proper education. How do footballers currently do this?The challenge of moving into an industry away from sport and building a network for legal firm Baker Mckenzie in the industry when there was no existing traction.Appreciating the transition is not always smooth and you have to strike while the iron is hot. You are in the public eye when playing, but when retired you become another ex-professional alongside many others. The role of the PFA: What does the organisation do? Who does it support? How do they look to help players and their families?The challenge of having a huge number of people to support with a limited pool of resources. What can be done and needs to be done to improve this and therefore improve the support network for players?How is the organisation funded, and what control does it have in the wider footballing ecosystem to influence policy, strategy, and decision-making?The PFA Business School - how the organisation set up a number of opportunities for members to attain an education and apply that to their life beyond football. Football’s biggest challenges: What are the things that concern Maheta the most in football today, and what vulnerabilities do the PFA have to provide support for?Overcoming the huge challenge of fixture congestion and the impact that has on players' health and wellness.Maheta’s belief that the overcrowding of the football calendar risks reducing the quality of the product and damaging the reputation of some of the biggest competitions.Trying to disband the often unfair belief that footballers are not smart enough or aware of their role in society. Today’s players are highly in tune with their surroundings and often do a huge amount of work away from the pitch that goes unrecognised. What is Maheta most proud of when looking at the developments made within the community under his tenure so far?
Business of Sport Ep.10: Tom Cleverley, Former Manchester United, Everton & Watford Midfielder, 'It's a new world where players hold all the power'
10-10-2023
Business of Sport Ep.10: Tom Cleverley, Former Manchester United, Everton & Watford Midfielder, 'It's a new world where players hold all the power'
Today, we are delighted to welcome Tom Cleverley. Tom is a former England, Manchester United, Everton and Watford midfielder. Tom played over 300 league games, winning the Premier League in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season with Manchester United in 2013. Having retired in the summer, Tom has taken his first steps into management, taking charge of Watford’s U18 team.  In today’s show, we discuss: Life as a young footballer: Growing up in the Manchester United academy and managing the pressures that come with elite performance and expectation at a young age.Tom’s experience being away from home living in ‘digs’ with other families while he trained with the youth team.The key attributes beyond outstanding talent that play a significant role in determining which young players make it to the first team.Being in and around world class players and management, and how that lifts the levels of everyone at a club.Motivations vs money: how to ensure you keep your focus and don’t get distracted by the outside noise that comes with being a professional. Balancing performance, relationships, and expectations: What it was like to earn the opportunity to play for Manchester United and win the Premier League with Sir Alex.How Sir Alex shaped the teams he managed and had the ability to continually achieve unprecedented results and drive standards.The learnings that you pick up when developing as a player stay with you and shape the way you approach dressing rooms and in Tom’s case, management.What goes into getting transfers done? The process a player and their representatives go through to get a move and that factors at play in influencing decisions.How honest conversations with Van Gaal and Koeman ensured Tom knew when the right time to move had come.Playing for England: what does it mean to players who get called up and how does the team gel when together? Beyond the pitch: The importance of having a great agent: how an influential team and stable support network is crucial to your off-field development.Managing your finances and preparing for a future beyond the game.Preparing for management and utilising the experiences learnt as a player to develop emerging talent.Tom’s love for the game and how important it is to be in a place where you feel confident in your ability to deliver results.
Business of Sport Ep.9: Ryan Smith, Owner @ Utah Jazz & Real Salt Lake, 'We're going to bring the NBA Championship to Utah'
26-09-2023
Business of Sport Ep.9: Ryan Smith, Owner @ Utah Jazz & Real Salt Lake, 'We're going to bring the NBA Championship to Utah'
This week, we are delighted to welcome Ryan Smith. Ryan is the owner of the NBA’s Utah Jazz, and co-owner of Real Salt Lake in the MLS. He is also founder and executive chairman of Qualtrics, an experience management software company he built from the ground up, and the co-founder and chairman of Smith Entertainment Group. Ryan and his wife Ashley purchased the Utah Jazz in late 2020 as part of the launch of Smith Entertainment Group (SEG), which also includes the Delta Center, SEG Media, Real Salt Lake (MLS), the Utah Royals (NWSL - coming in 2024), America First Credit Union Field, Salt Lake City Stars (NBA G League), Utah Jazz Gaming (NBA 2K League), Real Monarchs (MLS NEXT Pro), and other Utah-centric business ventures. On today’s show, we discuss: From tech to sports ownership: How to apply learnings from business and entrepreneurship into a sports environment.What does it take to buy an NBA franchise and how to make sure you can run a sustainable organisation without compromising on success?Building a culture everyone can get behind and the importance of passion to drive performance.What are the responsibilities of an owner? How to build a team on and off the court to match your ambitions.  Utah Jazz and the NBA: The business of the NBA and franchise development: is team ownership a good way to spend your money? Ryan’s passion for sport in Utah and using it to build value in the state.How the ownership model has changed: a rise in price means we are seeing more ‘group’ acquisitions rather than wealthy individual control.Fan experience is everything. The importance of building an occasion that is tailored to exceed the expectations of everyone in attendance.New media deals at the local level to take control of content distribution and access. The rise of MLS Messi’s contract with Inter Miami has changed the game for MLS. How are the other franchises gaining from his participation?A new age of athlete contracts: how a deal with Apple and global promotion takes the product to a new level.From owning the Jazz to Real Salt Lake. The importance of David Blitzer to Ryan’s ownership and how he manages his time between the two.The opportunity offered by the security of the franchise system vs the open league that is great for competition but not for overall asset value.
Business of Sport Ep.8: Frank Smith, CEO @ Matchroom Boxing, 'We feel the pressure to deliver the biggest fights'
12-09-2023
Business of Sport Ep.8: Frank Smith, CEO @ Matchroom Boxing, 'We feel the pressure to deliver the biggest fights'
This week, we are delighted to welcome Frank Smith. Frank first worked within Matchroom as a 14-year-old on work experience, and started full time in September 2008 after he left school. Having worked across many of the sports that Matchroom promote, Frank joined the Boxing department full-time in 2011 and worked his way through the ranks to assume the post of CEO in April 2018. Frank was appointed to the main board of the group’s parent company, Matchroom Sport, in December 2018. In today’s episode, we discuss: From internship to CEO: How chasing down Eddie Hearn’s car led to a job at Matchroom.As CEO of the boxing department, what are Frank’s key roles in the business and how does it complement Eddie’s work?The value of working in a family run business with a culture that encourages you to push yourself, try new things, and not worry about failing.How to be taken seriously as a young CEO in an industry that places huge demands on  leaders.Lessons from working with Barry and Eddie Hearn. Putting on the big fights: Why it is so important for boxing to put on the biggest fights and give the fans the match-ups they want.The challenges associated with agreeing deals and pre-fight negotiations: purse splits, media rights, location.How Anthony Joshua doesn’t let the details stop him from agreeing to fight and why more boxers need to worry less about the small print and more about the overall value.The rise of Saudi Arabia has presented new opportunities to take boxing to different audiences and drive more revenue for all involved.How governments are using boxing fights to promote their countries on a global stage.What happens when a fighter fails a drug test, and how does that impact the wider business?  The future of boxing: The rise of influencer boxing and the new opportunities it provides the sport.Does Frank view it as a corruption of the professional end or opportunity to build new audience and brands?Influencer vs. influencer is better than professional vs. influencer, but the pay packets are now often too large to turn down.How Matchroom had the opportunity to build an influencer division but chose to focus on professional boxing.The rise of women’s boxing: new audience, grassroots development, commercial growth.What next? How does the company keep innovating and ensure they are representing the best talent and putting on the best shows.
Business of Sport Ep.7: Chris Smalling, Footballer @ AS Roma & Co-Founder @ The Players Fund, 'Living with no regrets in football and business'
29-08-2023
Business of Sport Ep.7: Chris Smalling, Footballer @ AS Roma & Co-Founder @ The Players Fund, 'Living with no regrets in football and business'
A plant-based athlete and investor, Chris Smalling is dedicated to creating a more sustainable future for the planet. Chris currently plays for Serie A giants AS Roma, moving to Italy in 2020 from Manchester United, having played over 200 games for the club, and winning 31 caps for England in the process. Chris set up ForGood in 2020 to play a key role in accelerating the ecosystem that actively invests and champions the next generation of responsible businesses, with the ambition to drive a movement of doing things for good. Chris is also a Patron of Football Beyond Borders, a UK-based nonprofit that uses the power of football to change the lives of young people, and has recently co-founded athlete-led venture vehicle, The Players Fund. In today’s episode, we discuss: His pathway to football: How finishing school and a prospective place at university gave Chris a decision to make when it came to turning professional.How can the industry provide more opportunities for academy players to finish their education and still play top level football?What did having options do for Chris’ mindset when it came to handling pressure and potential failure in football?How does Chris use his experience in dressing rooms and high-performance environments to benefit his business ventures? The key influences in Chris’ career: From agents to family to financial advisors; the key team who support players and the importance of getting the right people around you.What it was like to have Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger trying to sign Chris and what influenced his decision to join Manchester United.Playing with your idols and the nerves of walking into a dressing room with Ferdinand, Vidic, Giggs, and Scholes.The challenges with balancing family and intensive travel commitments, and the speed at which your life can be uprooted to another city or country.How being welcomed to Roma and a love of the city and people made the transition so enjoyable. Business and Sport: What does Chris do away from the pitch and what are the motivations behind his business ambitions?Are business opportunities available to all athletes or do you have to go out and find them? The Players Fund: a joint venture between Chris and a number of other sports stars, what is the purpose of creating a vehicle driven by athletes?Whose responsibility is it to provide an environment where footballers in particular feel prepared and able to get into business and trust the environment?A life after football: what to do when your identity is wrapped up in your profession and how to put a plan in place for the ‘next step’.
Business of Sport Ep.6: Ivan Gazidis, Former Arsenal & AC Milan CEO, 'Money talks: How to manage billion dollar brands'
15-08-2023
Business of Sport Ep.6: Ivan Gazidis, Former Arsenal & AC Milan CEO, 'Money talks: How to manage billion dollar brands'
Today, we are delighted to welcome Ivan Gazidis to the show. One of the most respected executives in sport, Ivan began his career in football as one of the founding members of MLS in America, laying the foundations for the now hugely successful league. He became Chief Executive of Arsenal in 2009, spending 10 years at the helm of the Premier League club before taking the same position at AC Milan, delivering a much coveted Serie A title in 2022.  In today’s episode, we discuss: Football in America: Founding the MLS - creating the foundations for success and integrating ‘soccer’ into the US sporting environment. The importance of infrastructure, from community to football-specific stadia, in creating value and long term success.How did Inter Miami sign Messi? MLS as a group of teams searching for collective value and the requirement to work together to facilitate a move like this.‘For Major League Soccer, really the question is not how do I get baseball fans to be soccer fans, the question really is how do we get a bigger piece of the soccer pie’.How the value of an MLS franchise has gone from $5m to $1bn. From League to Club Management: How the opportunity to take over at Arsenal came about and adapting from running a league to running a Premier League club.Installing a commercial structure to build the best partnerships and experiences for partners who help drive the financial success of a club.How do you manage a transfer process and what things are considered when making bids or accepting/rejecting offers for players?The genius of Arsene Wenger; a unique and incorruptible romantic view of football. ‘Football is like playing with rocket fuel’. How did Ivan execute the responsibilities of his job while ensuring the emotions of the fans were always considered.The most special Serie A: The story behind Milan’s historic title win, returning one of Europe’s biggest clubs to its peak. Leadership in Football: Football is unique as a business; it is often not clear who is really in charge. How do you operate effectively as a CEO in this environment?Why creating an open and inclusive environment for people to thrive is essential in football and what needs to be done to make this more commonplace?It’s a team game: sustainable success is about everyone and never down to one component in a single department.‘When you're in the center of a club, you are living that football club with your whole life.’ Don’t underestimate how much CEOs care!
Business of Sport Ep.5: Steve Pagliuca, Co-Owner @ Boston Celtics & Atalanta BC, 'How to finance a sports franchise'
25-07-2023
Business of Sport Ep.5: Steve Pagliuca, Co-Owner @ Boston Celtics & Atalanta BC, 'How to finance a sports franchise'
Today, we are delighted to welcome Steve Pagliuca. Steve is a co-owner and Managing General Partner of the World Champion Boston Celtics and serves on the NBA Board of Governors. In 2022, he became co-owner and co-chairman of the Serie A football club, Atalanta. Away from sport, Steve has helped to build Bain Capital into one of the world’s leading investment companies. In today’s episode, we discuss: Football club ownership: Why was Steve interested in buying Atalanta in Italy and how has he found life as a football club owner?The importance of qualifying for European competitions and the financial opportunities it creates.Steve’s love for the passion and fandom that drives Italian football and the unique community environment it creates.What does the process look like when buying a player and Steve’s role in recruiting star striker Rasmus Hojlund. How has Steve applied his experience in business to the world of football and how does he work with the club to set budgets, buy players, and drive new revenue initiatives? Boston Celtics & the NBA: How Steve became part of the ownership group that bought the team for $350m that now has a market value of over $4bn.The pressure of bringing success back to the joint most winning team in NBA history, and the importance of that championship win in 2008.The opportunities created by the NBA’s 50:50 partnership with the players, and the possibilities of the model being replicated in football.Taking the NBA on the road and the drive for international expansion. The process of buying clubs and franchises: How do you buy a club? What has been Steve’s experience of identifying and negotiating deals to acquire assets and the finances required to do so.The Chelsea sale: Steve’s role in the bidding process and the huge numbers behind the sale of a top Premier League club.Steve’s views on the challenge presented by competing with clubs owned by sovereignties.The importance of making sure that not only is there enough financial backing to buy a club, but also the reserves to run it so the long-term goals can be achieved.
Business of Sport Ep.4: Steve Bruce, former Manchester United Player & Football Manager, 'How the Premier League changed football'
11-07-2023
Business of Sport Ep.4: Steve Bruce, former Manchester United Player & Football Manager, 'How the Premier League changed football'
This week we welcome Steve Bruce to Business of Sport. Steve played over 700 games for some of England’s biggest teams, most notably captaining Manchester United in the 90’s, winning multiple league titles and FA cups. After retirement, Steve made the move into management, taking charge of over 1000 games with the likes of Newcastle, Aston Villa, Birmingham and Wigan. In todays episode, we discuss: Life as a player: How Steve found his way from early beginnings at Gillingham to the heights of Manchester United. How did contracts differ from what we see in the market today, and what did the finances look like? Sir Alex Ferguson: what made the former Manchester United manager so special and what was it like to play under him? How to captain the likes of Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs, and what did the team do to support them? Steve’s leadership style and the importance of managing the individual in a team environment.  The move into management: How did Steve leverage the experiences as a player to become a successful Premier League Manager? After four jobs in two years, Steve talks through the importance of finding stability and consistency at Birmingham. The difference between playing with big personalities and managing them, and how to get the best out of the ‘maverick’ player. Managing up and down and the relationship with the owner: from falling out with Simon Jordan to being coveted by Dave Whelan. The hiring and firing process: what actually happens in the crazy employment cycle of a football manager?  A life in football: How did Steve balance a young family with the demands of professional football? From supporting Newcastle to managing them through a difficult time in the club’s history. How did that impact Steve and his family? The responsibility associated with ensuring players reach their full potential, and the biggest reasons some don’t manage to. What is next? 40+ years and not stopping yet, what is in store in the future?
Business of Sport Ep.3: Michael Doughty, Former Professional Footballer & Co-Founder @ Hylo Athletics, 'Why I gave up football to follow a different passion'
28-06-2023
Business of Sport Ep.3: Michael Doughty, Former Professional Footballer & Co-Founder @ Hylo Athletics, 'Why I gave up football to follow a different passion'
This week we welcome Michael Doughty to the show. Michael was a professional footballer for over a decade, playing in the Premier League for QPR followed by a successful Football League career, most notably at Swindon, until his retirement in 2020. He has since set up sustainability focused sporting goods company Hylo Athletics, with the mission to ‘protect the future of running and sport’. In today’s episode with Michael, we discuss: Coming through the academy system: What is it like to begin a ‘career’ at the age of eight and deal with the constant pressures associated with a performance driven system?How did Michael deal with the disappointment of being released by Chelsea and the subsequent transition to QPR?What are the sacrifices required to be successful in this environment and what are the longer-term impacts?Can more be done to protect individuals who fall out of the academy system and help them secure opportunities elsewhere in football and beyond? The challenge of finding a sense of belonging in football: ‘Footballers are somewhat different but very simple human beings in a great way’. How did Michael manage external perception with his reality?Having taken the unusual path of private education and professional football, how did Michael find an identity in two contrasting environments?The highs and lows of the loan system; when are opportunities presented and when do they need to be manufactured?How did Michael’s relationship with his father Nigel shape his ambitions to become a professional player? A career at the top of the game: What was it like for Michael to achieve his ultimate goal and make his first Premier League appearance at such a young age?How to handle disappointment when Michael was told by QPR manager Harry Redknapp that he wasn’t in his plans for the 1st team.How did Michael accept the transition from being a Premier League player to playing in League One and Two?What are the true economics of football contracts and how difficult is it to manage money as a young player? Making the transition from football to business: How did Michael make the decision to give up his football career and pursue Hylo Athletics full-time?What is Hylo and how does it differ from other sports brands in the market?The importance of having a clear goal and mission for the team to get behind when tackling sustainability.Why is it important for athletes and people of influence to use their platform for good?
Business of Sport Ep.2: Pat Cummins, Australia Test & ODI Captain, 'The Ashes is still the pinnacle of test cricket'
13-06-2023
Business of Sport Ep.2: Pat Cummins, Australia Test & ODI Captain, 'The Ashes is still the pinnacle of test cricket'
This week we welcome Pat Cummins, captain of the Australia Test and One-Day team. Pat is about to lead newly crowned World Test Champions Australia into a hotly anticipated Ashes series against England, his first as captain.  In today’s episode with Pat, we discuss:  The responsibilities of a captain: How Pat became Australia captain and the key principles he sought to imprint on the team. The importance of building a culture that is inclusive and fair while ensuring the highest standards are maintained. Pat’s philosophy on leadership and how it differs from previous regimes. What does Pat do to balance his relationship with the players and management to ensure the responsibilities never come into conflict? Managing the personal and the professional: ‘We play over 100 days of the year for Australia’. How does Pat balance family life with professional commitments? How to manage the highs and lows of professional sport and the importance of forming strong relationships in a team environment. The importance of routine and consistency when not on the pitch; find the habits that work and repeat them. How does Pat deal with pressure? How does he handle the increased scrutiny that comes with being captain? The emergence of franchise cricket: The rise of T20 cricket and the demand that places on the schedules of players. The financial opportunities franchise leagues like the IPL offer and how that has changed the sport. ‘We want our best players playing for Australia as much as we can’. How does international cricket compete against franchise leagues? What is Pat’s decision-making process when choosing which tournaments to play? Interests outside of cricket and exploring the investment world: How important is it for Pat to have passions away from cricket? Pat’s experience as an angel investor and the transferable skills of professional athletes. Founders want increased brand awareness and content. Pat’s desire to change the expectations placed on athlete investors. The opportunity to build more media value and sustainability around longer-form cricket to accompany the success of the short-form game.
Business of Sport Ep.1: Jamie Reuben, Co-Owner @ Newcastle United FC, 'From fighting relegation to competing in the Champions League'
06-06-2023
Business of Sport Ep.1: Jamie Reuben, Co-Owner @ Newcastle United FC, 'From fighting relegation to competing in the Champions League'
Jamie Reuben is the Co-Owner of Newcastle United FC and Owner of Arena Racing Company. Since their takeover at the end of 2021, Newcastle’s journey has been incredible, surviving relegation before pushing on and achieving an extraordinary Champions League qualification this season. In today’s episode with Jamie, we discuss: His plans to build a club challenging at the top level: How Jamie became part of the consortium to buy Newcastle United and the process they went through to complete the takeover. What are Jamie’s thoughts on the value of Premier League football clubs and how the reported £300m deal compares in the current market? Newcastle’s dedication to abide by Financial Fair Play while trying to attract top talent and improve the playing squad. Jamie’s views on the role of football club owners and different ways to engage and connect with their fans   The importance of hiring the right people: The story behind Eddie Howe’s appointment as manager and how he won over the board.  Why having clear and defined roles across operations and performance created the best environment for success and development.  Newcastle’s desire to sign the best players who fit the culture of the club and who put ‘team’ at the heart of everything.  The role data is playing in uncovering talent and the edge he believes this gives when building a squad capable of competing for the league.   The commercial opportunities that make the Premier League so formidable: Why media rights are so important to the total revenue generated by Premier League clubs and how that allows them to spend more on the team. ‘It’s a big aspiration of ours to build our brand globally and attract more fans from around the world’. How does Jamie plan to achieve this? Is there room to improve the equally distributed international media rights package and which regions can be targeted to achieve this? Does a commercial opportunity ever come into conflict with the fans?  How the commitment to distribute finances from top to bottom creates a more competitive product.   The value of a sporting portfolio: Jamie’s passion for horseracing and how their ownership of Arena Racing Company fits into the wider sporting portfolio. How does the business of racing compare to the business of football, and do the key financial drivers differ? Can more be done to improve the media and content around racing as we have seen in Formula 1 and football? Jamie’s ambition to add more assets to their sporting portfolio.