Welcome to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Our latest guest is Andy Marston, Research & Insights Executive and founder of the sports business newsletter, Sports Pundit!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
I graduated from Loughborough University last year and started work as a Research & Insights Executive at CSM Sport & Entertainment. You could say this was the start of my career in the sports industry. However, I’ve technically been working in sport since I was 15 – when I used to coach at my local cricket club.
I’ve since coached at schools and clubs in the UK and Australia. While I never had an ambition to follow a career in coaching, it has been brilliant for my personal development. Coaching encouraged leadership and communication qualities that I’ve transferred across to other areas of my life.
The next role I got in sport came whilst I was studying abroad in Sydney. The job was as a team leader for a brilliant events company called Bike n’ Blend. The company hired out smoothie bikes for events, usually as part of a marketing activation. I learnt a lot on the job. However, the less I talk about driving the van the better…
View this post on Instagram
What do you do in your current role?
I conduct data research and insights, identify commercial trends around sport sponsorship and assist on new business pitches across high profile accounts, such as the ECB, European Tour, and The Ocean Race.
Due to this work, I’m constantly reading about what is happening across the sports industry. This led me to create my own SportsBiz newsletter over the summer, called Sports Pundit.
What does a normal week look like for you?
Mondays usually begin with research – identifying deals that have happened, as well as important brand and industry news. This often gives me plenty of food for thought that can also be applied across my newsletter. After I clock off at 6pm, I edit and schedule the Sports Pundit newsletter, which goes out at 8am every Tuesday.
The rest of the week is typically spent prospecting. This means going through industries and identifying the relevant companies for each rights holder. I also help with more in-depth research requests, too. As well as jumping into a few ad-hoc calls to offer an R&I perspective.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
As long as I can remember I’ve been sport obsessed. My friendships have almost all been born from sport. It’s a cliché, but it really does break down barriers in a way little else does. That said, I didn’t decide I wanted to work in sport until I was applying for University and I was 50/50 between studying Economics or Sports Science.
Once at Loughborough, my desire to work in sport was quickly reaffirmed. In terms of getting the specific role at CSM, I had interned there in February of my final year. A position opened up in August, just after I had graduated and I applied (and got it!).
View this post on Instagram
What’s been your favourite moment whilst working in sports?
Launching Sports Pundit is my favourite moment to-date. I wish there was a more exciting story behind its creation – but it was built from my bedroom during lockdown!
I’ve had to learn a lot while developing it and I’ve met (virtually) a lot of great people – it’s already opened the door to so many opportunities.
What do you think is next for your industry?
I think the future for sponsorship is very exciting for a number of reasons – namely data driven insight. As rights holders get a better understanding of their fans, the value and frequency of sponsorship deals will increase (including more short-term deals).
A lot of this is already well documented by industry experts far smarter than me, such as Jason Steele.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
If you want me to elaborate, try reading this article I wrote for LAPS.
How to follow Andy Marston on social media…
Newsletter – Sportspundit.org