Welcome to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Our latest guest is Graphic Artist and Content Creator, Dylan Baker!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
I’m Dylan Baker, 33, and currently I’d describe my role as a freelance Graphic Artist and Content Creator, though 2020 has been a bit light on new content for obvious reasons!
I previously worked for BT Sport as a Digital Producer, and as the Social Media Manager for Marathonbet (a sports-gambling company).
What do you do in your current role?
The basis of my job is predominantly creating graphics and assets for social media and marketing for various sports-based clients such as the NFL, Formula One, ITV Sport and Spartan Race. I also do private commissions, mainly poster designs for amatuer athletes, as well as non-sport related works such as company logo designs.
As far as content creation goes, my role is usually that of a writer and presenter, with content capture and social media production something I dip into occasionally. I work alongside the excellent guys at Creative Bungalow to produce one-off pieces or full campaigns for clients. Being freelance, my role is often about short-term individual jobs, such as social media production and content capture for the Laureus World Sport awards in Berlin earlier this year.
I guess that’s what I do, it’s often a bit random to describe!
What does a normal week look like for you?
A normal week is working from my home office in the loft, making my way through whatever assets each of my clients wants, communicating with partners/colleagues/clients to keep on top of requests, and doing my best to advertise my services and bring in new business. I split my day up with the gym or walking the dog, as well as running (I started it last week in fact!) a twitter channel dedicated to showcasing Non League football. So my ‘normal’ week isn’t very exciting really, but that’s made up for by the more adventurous jobs that come up periodically!
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
Honestly, I was 28 years old and working a job I hated, with no experience or any qualifications in the sports media industry. I began by writing a blog about the NFL (my first love) and then pretty much sent out emails and Twitter messages to anyone in the industry I could think of who may be able to point me in the right direction of unpaid/voluntary work to get a foot in the door. I was fortunate to have Nat Coombs (at the time the presenter of Channel 4’s NFL coverage) reply with the details of Pranav Soneji at Livewire Sport, and he pretty much changed my life by offering to let me work on a few projects with his company. After a couple of months of working full time during the week and then weekends with the guys at Livewire, I quit my job and looked for a role in the sports world. I got the job at BT Sport and never looked back.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
In mid 2020? Just getting crowds back one day!
But seriously, my excitement comes from the fact that if I look back at where I was just a few years ago, and continue to improve at what I do and continue to build great connections in the industry, there’s so much awesome content to create and be a part of going forward. Brands and companies understanding how advertising has changed and being more willing to put money into individual, bespoke content produced by smaller entities is something to be excited about. Everyone has a platform, and If you’re talented and forward thinking you can get seen and heard, build a portfolio/showreel and get paid to do something you love.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Don’t be afraid to ask and don’t be scared to take on something you aren’t sure you can do. Network and reach out to people you admire or are in a position you’d like to be in one day. I believe I’m good at what i do, but I can 100% say there is no way i’d have the career I have without the help of people I reached out to who decided for one reason or another to be cool and help me, give me advice or give me work.
How to follow Dylan Baker on social media…
Lastly @wearenonleague on Twitter for my fun little side project!
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider feature with Graphic Artist and Content Creator, Dylan Baker!