Welcome back to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Our latest guest is Account Manager for COPA90, Ellie Farrer!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
I’m Ellie Farrer and I’m an Account Manager at COPA90. I’m originally from near Manchester but have lived in London for just over 3 years now. I’ve been lucky enough to work in the sports industry since I graduated from Northumbria Uni. I started out as an Intern at adidas, then went on to work with New Balance Football at ZAK, and then into my current role at COPA90. So yes, football is my thing!
What do you do in your current role?
I work in our client services team, so in my role I manage campaigns across a few of our clients, mostly PepsiCo and Chelsea FC at the moment. We have an amazing portfolio of clients and the work really varies between them, I love it!
What does a normal week look like for you?
Zoom, google-meet, Teams, slack, pick your platform i’ll be having a meeting on it! At the moment we’re in the middle of a few production workstreams, so i’m working with my team to get all the content delivered. With the return of the UCL, we have content going out for Pepsi, Lays and Gatorade weekly. In general, week to week It can range from working on pitches, creative responses, planning shoots, delivering content, media campaigns… it never gets boring I can tell you that.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
Working in sports was always the goal for me, I was sports mad as a kid and obsessed with football. When I was younger I idolized David Beckham, genuinely wanted to grow up to be the female version of him – which I know sounds strange, but at the time there wasn’t the same exposure to female footballers that there is now. Although it didn’t quite work out the way my 8 year old self had planned (playing for Manchester United and England) I get to spend every day working on football so i’d count that as a big win.
My journey to COPA90, and in football from a career sense started when I managed to bag myself an internship at adidas straight after uni. So I moved over to Germany for a few months, working in the Global Sports Marketing Football team. I was then offered an Account Exec role at an agency called ZAK, working on New Balance Football so moved over to London, and spent a few years running around doing shoots for the likes of Liverpool FC, Celtic, Porto etc with a great bunch of people. I’ve been at COPA90 for just over a year and half now, but to be honest the people I’ve worked alongside over the years have made this the most enjoyable journey and helped get me here.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
Honestly, just working as a team to create the best quality, most engaging and relevant content for the partners we work with. One team one dream and all that.
What’s been your favourite moment whilst working in sports?
There’s been a few so I can’t pick one, but I love being on set, working on shoots with players, they’re always intense days but so rewarding. I got to work on a few shoots with Messi last year, which was an amazing experience.
What do you think is next for your industry?
Women’s football is only going to get so much bigger and better. Both from a commercial point, there’s more partners getting involved and supporting the women’s game. But also for fans, I think when we can eventually all return to stadiums, more people will attend the games to get their football fix. I think you’ll see more ex-players as pundits and commentators, like Karen Carney, Rachel Yankey, Alex Scott etc working across both the men’s and women’s games.
What’s it like working for COPA90?
I work with the best in the business, and feel blessed to do so. There are some seriously incredible minds at COPA90 and I’m so proud of the work we create. I just miss getting to kick a ball around the office with them.
In your area of work, what is something you feel most people don’t talk about enough or focus on enough?
We need more focus on women’s football. Don’t get me wrong, we’re getting there, it’s getting bigger, but there needs to be even more coverage on it than there is right now, or around the big moments i.e. World Cup, Euros. Let’s include the women’s players in more campaigns, let’s show their personalities and quality even more than we do right now.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Make connections, who you know will help you more early on. Try and get any work experience you can that could be relevant to the sports industry. If you have a passion, follow it no matter how big or small. Keep tabs on latest trends, whether that’s social media, collabs, sponsorships etc.
Are there any social links you want to plug?
Head to @COPA90 on Insta, Twitter, Facebook and @football on TikTok. AND if you want to bless your ears with some great women’s football chat, give The Players Podcast a listen, with our very own Bex Smith on BBC sounds/spotify/wherever you listen to your podcasts…
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider with Ellie Farrer! If you want to read more from the series, you can do so by clicking here.