Welcome to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. This time around we’re speaking to Guido Leugering, Digital Marketer for SportsVibes and the Dutch Grand Prix!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
I’m Guido Leugering, 30 years old and I am currently working as a Digital Marketer at SportVibes, a sports marketing agency located in Delft. Together with TIG Sports, a sports marketing agency in Amsterdam, and Circuit Zandvoort, we organize the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix. The role of digital marketer in the Dutch Grand Prix team is quite varied, but mainly focused on the Social Media, Marketing and Communication.
Before I became a digital marketer at SportVibes, I worked as an online marketer in the retail industry and as a PR & Online Marketing advisor at a content marketing agency, giving advice on online marketing campaigns to companies such as VodafoneZiggo, bol.com and the Dutch football association KNVB.
What do you do in your current role?
Since I work for an agency, I have many different responsibilities and work for a bunch of different clients and brands. My work varies from developing marketing and communication strategies to creating content for the client’s website or social media platforms.
What I like about my job is the fact that I get to be creative. It takes creativity to stand out in today’s digital world. If you want sports fans to interact with your brand on social media, make sure you show them quality content, whether you’re doing a 6 second video or a 30 minute documentary.
What does a normal week look like for you?
As with many other sports marketing jobs, no week is the same at SportVibes. I usually work about 2 days a week for the Dutch Grand Prix, developing content ideas, maintaining the website and social media channels. In addition, me and my team work for beautiful brands that want to associate themselves within the world of sports, like Gillette, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and the Coca Cola Company.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
From an early age I have been fond of sports and writing. As a ten-year-old I wrote match reports for my own uninhibited football team. I therefore decided to study journalism, and as part of the study I did an internship for Helden Magazine, a Dutch sports magazine in which sports heroes share their stories. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to work in sports.
Luckily, in October 2019 I got the opportunity to work as a digital marketer in sports. SportVibes offered me a job, exactly with 2020 approaching: a year which was supposed to be packed with exciting sporting events like the Tokyo Olympic Games, EURO2020 and to top it all off, the Dutch Grand Prix, that we would organize ourselves. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has caused all these events to be postponed, but at the same time we see this as a great challenge to come up with beautiful, creative content and campaigns during the corona crisis. Especially now that sports fans cannot be physically present at sporting events and sports competitions, they are craving content and storytelling formats in sports. For example, for the Dutch Grand Prix we still found creative ways to engage with our fans and ticket holders by organizing a Heineken 0.0 drive-in Grand Prix viewing experience and live-streaming a one hour set of DJ Don Diablo at Circuit Zandvoort.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
During lockdown we have seen that many sports fans have started looking for alternatives to live sports. Long form content, such as documentaries like The Last Dance, was particularly well received during the lockdown. I really like sports brands which want to make an impression by truly telling a story. Nike’s most recent “You can’t stop us” ad is another example of a piece of content which includes the richness in storytelling. It is good to see that football clubs like Tottenham Hotspur “All Or Nothing”, Leeds United “Take Us Home” and Juventus “First Team: Juventus” also using storytelling effectively and providing fans with behind-the-scenes documentaries. As organizers of the Dutch Grand Prix, we also want to offer our fans a look behind the scenes of Circuit Zandvoort. That is why we recently launched the first episode of our documentary ‘Back On Track’.
Besides long-form content, I think nowadays it is more important than ever for brands, companies and sports events to get to know their customers and fans. It’s time to assure you have the tools and data needed to truly know and understand your customers’ experience and behaviour. Fortunately, there are huge resources and channels to build a close relationship with your customers. For example, for the Dutch Grand Prix we used WhatsApp to find out more about the favourite transportation options of our ticket holders. We gave our ticket holders the opportunity to interact with an intelligent chatbot, the so called Race Engineer, through WhatsApp. Besides the Race Engineer informing our ticket holders about the various transport options by means of voice messages, images and text messages, we also used the customer data that we collected via WhatsApp to also send transport information through other channels, such as through e-mail and social media.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
The tip I want to share to everyone who wants to work in the sports industry is learn by doing. Start your own blog and pick up a pen if you want to become a sports journalist, start your own YouTube channel if you want to become a content creator. The best way to learn is to do and experiment a lot. It is therefore very important to find a good internship position that is in line with the job of your dreams.
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Thanks for reading our Industry Insider feature with Digital Marketer, Guido Leugering!