Welcome back to Industry Insider by Behind Sport. Jamie McMillan, Content Manager at Scottish Rugby is the latest sports business professional to tell us all about his career.
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
I’m Jamie McMillan and I am Content Manager at Scottish Rugby. I’m from a small seaside town called Largs on the west coast of Scotland and moved to Glasgow to study TV Production. I’ve been at Scottish Rugby for around 7 years. I started out as a production assistant, then producer and for the past two years I have been Content Manager. I grew up in a rugby loving family so it’s quite apt that I have ended up here! Before I joined Scottish Rugby full time, I was a runner on a show called ‘Secret Removers’ for Channel 4 and worked freelance for a couple of games for Rangers FC and the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).
What do you do in your current role?
My role is to oversee all video content across Scottish Rugby. In a nutshell, anything that you see or hear on our channels comes from the content team that I lead. I cover content from everything to National Team access, interviews and filming in the Six Nations to internal meetings for employees, stakeholders and sponsors. It’s a pretty wide remit but I love it! On top of that I manage a team of two Content Producers who help us achieve all our goals for the season and make sure we cover all aspects of the business. I also host the Official Scottish Rugby Podcast with Al Kellock, Chris Paterson and Rachel Malcolm which is great fun.
What does a normal week look like for you?
Working in sport, no two weeks are the same. Currently we are preparing to go into the Six Nations, so we are currently working on all our activations and plans for that. We plan loads of content weeks in advance so at the stage before a tournament, it’s all about planning and preparing. Out-with tournament times, we fall under the marketing umbrella, so our aim is to help promote, entertain and educate all our fans. We are now a video led business, so we are always in demand from some element or arm of the business which makes every week different. I also travel with the squad for Six Nations and Summer Tours so working abroad and to different time zones and deadlines makes every day different but hugely enjoyable and rewarding.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
I always wanted to work in sport. I used to love watching the montages at the end of a broadcast on BBC or Sky and think how cool it would be to do that for a living. The fact that I now do that for Scottish Rugby is pretty cool! I gave up a lot of my time to volunteer and get my foot in the door at the start. Glasgow Warriors (where I got my foot in the door) are owned by Scottish Rugby so I had a lot of exposure to the people I now work with.
What’s been your favourite moment whilst working in sports?
I’ve been at some huge games! I was trackside at BT Murrayfield when we beat England for the Calcutta Cup and also down at Twickenham when we scored six unanswered tries and ended up drawing with England. Those moments stick out. Being involved at two Rugby World Cups (England 2015 and Japan 2019) was an amazing experience but in all honesty, my favourite thing now as a manager is seeing my team thrive in difficult circumstances, push creative boundaries and excel in the roles they have. It makes me proud!
What do you think is next for your industry?
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the future of this industry in so many ways. We’ve seen Premier League Football move back onto the BBC, Amazon Prime making a leap into the international rugby market and we’ve seen Sky Sports give up key assets (Scotland’s European games for Euro 2020) for free. At Scottish Rugby, we’ve seen a huge surge in content for our commercial partners. They now more than ever see us as a “production company” that they can work with to get the right content for the right channels. That’s a whole new side to the business for us.
When you look at the wider sporting landscape and what the US is doing in the NFL for example (just search NFL Nickelodeon coverage, it’s great) it’s clear they haven’t taken a step back with live sports coverage but instead brought new technologies and initiatives forward which I think is really exciting and hopefully we will see adapted in the UK market.
What are some of the main focuses when creating content for Scottish Rugby?
It really depends on the purpose of the content I’m producing but it can be narrowed down to these three categories. To entertain, educate or inform. Three very basic pillars that help shape our organisation.
In content creation, what is something you feel people don’t talk about enough or focus on enough?
I think people still get excited and pressured to deliver content as soon as is humanely possible around live matches. Some of it has its place but what we have found is that by taking a step back and putting a lot more time and effort into something can really help enhance our outputs and ultimately deliver a much better product. Instant clips around live matches will always have its place but long form content with strong narrative will also do a great job of showcasing our brand. Quality over quantity!
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
I know it has been said before, but it is simply patience. Everyone is so keen to be at the top of the mountain but not everyone is willing to climb it. Use the time at the start to ask questions, learn and lean on others. It’s an exciting time and all that hard work at the start truly pays off later on.
How to follow Jamie McMillan on social media…
Always keen to plug a brand! I’m @jamiemctv on Instagram and always looking to connect with new people. If you’re keen to learn more about Scottish Rugby then check out scottishrugby.org or follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@scotlandteam)
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider with Jamie McMillan! If you want to read more from the series, you can do so by clicking here.