Our latest Industry Insider sees us sit down with the founder and CEO of Goal Click, Matthew Barrett. Goal Click are experts in original sports storytelling content, curated through its global storyteller community, working with the likes of adidas, UNICEF, Concacaf, the Premier League, and more.

Matthew Barrett
Qatar 2022 – GOALS Exhibition
Tell us about yourself, what do you do in your current role and what roles have you done previously?

I would describe myself as curious, calm, outgoing, and collaborative. Born and raised in London / Essex, son of a singer turned psychotherapist and a policeman.

I am the Founder and CEO of Goal Click – I turned my passion project / side hustle into my full-time job!

Goal Click creates original sports storytelling content. We find people from around the world to share real stories about their own sporting lives and communities – through photography, written word, video, and spoken storytelling. My day-to-day role is to find new partners for Goal Click (who will commission us for projects), build our global network of storytellers, and look at the future opportunities for Goal Click.

Previously I worked in communications for Hill & Knowlton and sponsorship sales / consultancy for ESP and Two Circles. Although my first ever job was as a platform announcer (with a megaphone) at Highbury & Islington station on the London Underground. That job probably taught me more about people than any other role!

 

What three words would you use to describe your role?

Global (genuinely)

Stimulating (intellectually)

Meaningful (honestly)

“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you? 

Goal Click has always been a fully remote organisation. So, my week is a mixture of working from home for a few days each week and spending some days in London hopping between meetings, coffee shops, and coworking spaces. Our business is truly global, so on just one day there could in theory be calls with Australia, Qatar, Europe, and both coasts of the USA!

I try to attend an event of some kind once a week, whether it is networking, a match, or an industry event. I prioritise actively building a network of great people making real change and impact in the sports world.

 

How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?

I started Goal Click as a passion project in 2013 whilst I was working for Hill & Knowlton. I worked for sports agencies (also ESP and Two Circles) for nine years, until I made the decision to work full-time on Goal Click in 2018.

At university I studied History and specialised in sport, politics, and conflict in the 20th century. The moment my university professor introduced this concept to me, I knew I wanted to work in the world of sport – and tell stories about the world through the lens of sport. It was not immediately obvious how I would do this, so I started my journey in the world of communications and sports sponsorship. But I feel that I have ended up where I wanted and needed to be.

Goal Click

 

What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?

Finding the right people to collaborate with. Whether it is a potential partner/client (a club, brand, federation, or league), an NGO making a great impact in their community, or an individual with an incredible story.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career so far?

Good things take time. Building a solid organisation, having a unique offering, and creating a network of great people cannot be rushed or faked. It took more than two years of conversations before we found the right project with Concacaf, our biggest partner in 2023. Almost everything we have done can be traced back to a meaningful connection with someone that was real, not transactional.

Goal Click
Goal Click’s very first story from Sierra Leone, featuring the Single Leg Amputee Sports Association football team.

 

What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?

The rise and evolution of football in North America, with United 2026 zooming into view.

If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?

The default of panel Q&As at events and conferences. We recently hosted our first spoken storytelling event in Miami as part of Art Basel FC and there was not a phone in sight. All eyes were firmly fixed on the stage and the storytellers.

Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?

By not watching sport. I mainly watch TV series (dystopia, sci-fi, espionage), listen to podcasts (comedy, storytelling, World War Two), try to keep fit (yoga, gym), and listen to a lot of music.

If you were to give a piece of advice to someone wanting to do your role, what would you say?

Don’t be scared to take risks if you have a great idea. Especially when you are young – now is the time! Also quite frankly, anyone who says they truly know what they are doing is lying. We are all just making it up as we go along to the best of our ability and making decisions based on the available information and life experience we have. We should all be growing and learning the whole time.

Despite many giving the impression they know all the answers and the secret to their success, founders are NEVER geniuses and often either lucky, determined, or good at collaborating with others – or ideally all three.

How to connect with Matthew Barrett and Goal Click…

@goalclick on Instagram, goal-click.com for a deeper dive and full archive of our series’, plus LinkedIn for news and insights.

 

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