Welcome to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Chase McCarthy, Partnership Management Coordinator at the PGA European Tour is our latest guest!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
Hi, I am Chase McCarthy and I am a Partnership Management Coordinator at the PGA European Tour. I am a Canadian who has been living in the United Kingdom for 6 years, 5 of which were spent studying at the University of St Andrews and the past year at the Tour. Prior to my current role, I was fortunate to have a number of internships during the summers in-between semesters, including a Partnership Consulting internship at MKTG, a Marketing internship at the R&A during The Open Championship, and an Assistant to the CEO internship at Golf Canada during the RBC Canadian Open.
What do you do in your current role?
The Partnership Management team is responsible for strengthening our global partnerships with Tour and tournament partners and suppliers. My role consists of working, collaborating, and planning with partners, other members of the partnership team, and various departments across the business to ensure we are executing and maximizing partner rights through our digital channels, branded content, marketing initiatives, and event activation. In addition, we will analyze KPIs on the partnerships to evaluate what is working well and where we can improve moving forward.
What does a normal week look like for you?
It’s funny to think of what “normal” is right now, but I’ll try my best. My day usually starts at 5:30, which allowed me to get to the office at 7:45 before the pandemic, but now that I am temporarily working remotely in Toronto it allows me to get online as quickly as possible and start catching up on what I’ve missed being in a time zone five hours behind. Unless there is something urgent, I will spend the first hour of my day reading about what is happening in the industry. I am a firm believer that it is very important to be aware of the current trends – even if something is not directly related to your sport, department, or market, another businesses initiative or campaign often spur’s creative ideas that can provide increased value to the business. There are a number of fantastic platforms, my favourites being SportsBusinessJournal, SportsProMedia, and the newly formed Sportico.
My week consists of meetings with Tour Partners, members of the partnership team, and various departments of the business to make sure we are aligned on forthcoming projects and initiatives. Tournament weeks are slightly different, especially if on-site, as our team will ensure that event activation and on-site branding are finalized and ready for the start of tournament play on Thursday.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
I have always loved sports from a young age and grew up playing golf, ice hockey, and lacrosse. I was fortunate to be exposed to the business of sports too as one of my uncles works in the sports and entertainment industry and another played in the National Hockey League. This showed me that there was big business in sports and an opportunity to make a career in an industry I love.
I attended the University of St Andrews for my undergraduate degree in Management and Modern History and then for my Masters in International Business degree. It wasn’t until my third year when I really homed in on pursuing a career in the sports industry. While my Masters degree was not specific to sports, I tailored the majority of my papers and assignments on the sports and entertainment industry, including my dissertation on The Globalization of the National Basketball Association: The Importance of Utilizing a ‘Glocal’ Strategy.
I was extremely fortunate to get an opportunity with the PGA European Tour after completing my Masters degree, which began as an internship and progressed into a full-time position. It has been a dream working for an organization that couples my passion for golf and the global sports industry.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
As noted above, I am deeply fascinated in the global sports industry, especially market trends and where opportunities lie. So for me, I am most excited about the potential of the African sports industry. You have a continent that will make up 25% of the world’s population by 2050, currently has the youngest median age in the world, and is forecasted to experience rapid economic growth but has a significantly under-developed and under-commercialized sports industry. The potential is boundless in the continent and a developed sports industry can empower and enrichen the lives of so many while being commercially viable for organizations engaging with the market. Some major sports organizations are starting to recognize this potential, namely the NBA and FIBA in their creation of the Basketball Africa League (BAL). The continent has a tremendous number of very smart, driven, and motivated individuals who are working hard to improve the continent through the development and commercialisation of the sports industry. For anyone seeking to learn more, I have written an article about the sports industry’s potential in Africa.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Learn! Continue to learn every day. Consistently read about what is happening in the industry, ask colleague’s about things you do not know or are not fully comfortable with, connect with people in the industry to learn about what they do and how they got there, and regularly catch up with your mentors – a good mentor will teach you so much.
How to follow Chase McCarthy on social media…
Thanks for reading our latest Industry Insider feature with Partnership Management Coordinator at the PGA European Tour, Chase McCarthy!