Edition #163 of Industry Insider is here and we’re speaking to Mathew Newton, Head of Digital & Content for Scottish Premiership side, Hibernian!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
My name is Mathew Newton, I’m 27 years old and I am the Head of Digital & Content at Hibernian Football Club in Edinburgh. Prior to that, I have worked for Leicester City and Celtic FC as well as rugby league club, Hull FC.
What do you do in your current role?
I joined Hibs in July after nearly four years working at Leicester City. We have a brand new Content & Communications team in place and our aim is to put the club’s output right up there with the best in Scotland.
My main experience in past roles has been in social media management and content production, so that’s two key areas I’ll be looking to improve at the club.
“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you?
An “average” week for myself and the team would involve two matchdays, so those games tend to shape what we do. Our time is generally split 50/50 between Easter Road Stadium and Hibernian Training Centre (HTC), with some remote working when needed.
Mondays start with a meeting between stadium-based staff to discuss business for the week – this is important for different departments to let us know what is needed from them, as well as for our team to discuss what we’re hoping to produce that week.
We’ll be at HTC for press conferences and capturing training content, plus any dealings with the manager, players or staff down there. After that, we’re either at Easter Road hosting a home game, or we’re on the road following the team across Scotland and beyond.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
I’ve always loved sport, particularly football and rugby league, and knew that I was interested in working in the industry when I was in sixth form. When I was applying for university, I started writing news pieces and match reports on amateur teams for local newspapers.
I studied sports journalism at the University of Huddersfield, the course there helped me get work placement with Bradford Bulls which was my first taste of working at a professional club. On the weekends, I worked for League Weekly, which at the time was a rugby league newspaper, and in my final year I balanced this role with my studies and a placement at my boyhood club, Hull Kingston Rovers.
I was fortunate to find full-time work before I’d finished my studies and started at Hull FC as a Media Executive in May 2015. After a year there, I moved to Glasgow to join the multimedia and marketing team at Celtic FC. It was during my 18 months there that I became more involved with social media and content, and I moved to Leicester City in January 2018. Now I’m back in Scotland!
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
To enjoy what I’m doing. It can be stressful at times in this industry, but also very rewarding. My main aim is to have fun while working hard. Hopefully that is reflected in what we produce.
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
Too many to pinpoint just one! Social media is the place for making mistakes, in my opinion.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
I think there’s loads of exciting opportunities out there just now for young people to get into sports media, which is really exciting for those starting out.
Every day I’ll see a new job on LinkedIn that will make me think ‘wow, that looks amazing’. With digital, social media and content production changing all the time, newcomers to the industry constantly bring fresh ideas, methods and technical skills.
If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?
Working in social media, you can’t help but notice a lot of negativity online. You have to be fairly thick-skinned as most of the feedback and comments you’ll see will likely be non-constructive – particularly on Twitter. So, yes, it’d probably be that.
Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?
Watch more sport! It is hard to get away from it, but I still enjoy watching my teams when I can, especially getting back home to watch Hull KR at Craven Park.
It’s also nice watching games when you’re not working as you can relax and actually see more of what’s going on, without having your head buried in your screen.
Other than that, I’ll play football when I can, go running, cook and play my fair share of Football Manager as well.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Do as much work experience as you can, as varied as you can, to make contacts and get published – for free. It really is crucial.
How to connect with Mathew Newton and Hibernian…
The club are new to the game but we’re having some fun with it.
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider with Mathew Newton! If you want to read more from the series, you can do so by clicking here.