Welcome to the Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Our latest guest in the series is Global Sports Management Executive and Professor, Deepak Trivedi!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
My name is Deepak Trivedi and I’m a Global Sports Management Executive and Professor specializing in sporting event management. Currently, I am an Ambassador for AMOS Sports business group, Principal of the London Campus and a senior consultant for Tokyo 2021. I have previously had leadership roles for both London 2012 and Rio 2016. These projects include world class tennis events and I have also consulted with the NBA on their Global Games series. I teach sport leadership and executive education programmes in Europe, the United States and Asia.
What do you do in your current role?
I was one of the people that was in charge of the recruitment, training and assessment of the volunteers representing corporations at the Olympic games which was a tough but very important role, I did that for almost 12 years. I also have important roles in an advisory and consultancy capacity where I advise sports governing bodies (Diversity and Inclusion, International awareness, fan experience) and sports events (volunteer engagement and recruitment, event marketing, hospitality). I travel 46 weeks a year in my role as an executive and spend approximately 300 nights a year in cities around the world. It’s a very global and international role. But I believe very strongly in the importance of education. This is why I have devoted a significant part of my professional life in teaching and lecturing. Very recently I have taken on a Global ambassador role for the AMOS sport business group based in France and am principal of the London campus. This role is something that is very dear to me as I get to spend a lot of time with the next generation of sports leaders. I get to give them some guidance and mentor them and it helps me to be fulfilled as I love my students. They give me a lot of purpose.
What does a normal week look like for you?
The thing I love about my position is that every week is different… One week I could be working with the management team of the US open, the next week I could be training volunteers for the Olympic games, the next working with aspiring sport management professionals from France at our campuses. It’s amazing to consider the diversity of my roles and I would not have it any other way. I would say the difficulty or challenge comes in organizing your schedule. In the 12 months before COVID 19, I had boarded no less than 200 flights. So you really have to be ready as your commitments can be meetings in Rio, consulting in New York and teaching in Paris and this for me is all in a typical week!!!
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
I knew I always wanted to be in the sports industry. I wanted to be a professional tennis player but I knew I wouldn’t be good enough. I had a battle with myself as a teenager trying to figure out what I could do instead. I tried many other positions…retail, finance and hospitality but my passion was always sports. I had an opportunity to move to Miami 15 years ago and worked with sport and tennis programmes there. I met some amazing people through my work. I realized that even though I didn’t have the levels of athletic ability to make it in top class sport what I did have was a good business brain, I was able to think strategically. And so I embarked upon a journey in which I believed that even though I could not be on the court or the field, I could manage what happens behind the scenes. So I decided to do my MBA in International Human Resources management in London when I was in my early twenties. This helped to cement my understanding of the business side and how I could apply that to the sports industry. Finally I was in an industry that enabled me to realize my passion. Never would I have ever believed that I would get the opportunities to travel so extensively and meet people from different cultures and backgrounds but I wanted this to be my life, my work and ultimately my purpose.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
The biggest thing I am excited about in our industry at the moment is the opportunities that exist in the sports industry for our students and how they continue to grow as the industry does. Often we make the mistake of thinking the only jobs that exist in sport is that of an athlete or an official. But this industry has grown so much and is really bigger than just the sport itself, it is a massive part of the entertainment industry. So when we look at this from a holistic perspective, it gives our students something to work towards and aim for, it helps them with clarity, focus and direction. And there is no better feeling then watching them achieve everything they have worked so hard for.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
That’s easy… Build genuine relationships with people. It’s something I actually think students studying sports don’t do enough. I truly believe that I have had the opportunities I have had in this industry because I built great and real relationships with people in the industry. I didn’t ask for anything, I was just happy to learn from them, to have conversations with them and to make solid friendships with them. And I realized that many of these people are often pulled in so many directions by others, everyone always wants something from them because of who they are but how many times did somebody actually ask them how they are or about something that matters to them like their family for example? But I also came to know that the importance of human connection means you can actually build great relationships and bonds and often this can also lead to mentorship and opportunities because successful people want to work with people they like, they respect and they admire. I have been very fortunate to understand this and the importance of human connection early on and this has actually helped me both personally and professionally. I had and still have some great mentors that helped me to navigate the importance of business complexities like people management, travel, professionalism and politics. But I have also made some great friends in this amazing industry and this has truly helped me.
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider feature with Global Sports Management Executive and Professor, Deepak Trivedi!
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