Edition #206 of Industry Insider is here! We spoke to Owen Mawer, Social Media Manager for LaLiga all about his career in sport so far…
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
I’m Owen Mawer and currently live in Madrid, working as a Social Media Manager for LaLiga – where I oversee the output of content across their English-Language streams. Prior to this I was a freelance journalist and social media manager within the football industry.
Born and raised in Halifax, I studied International Business and Spanish at the University of Leeds.
What do you do in your current role?
Building on the first point, I publish posts across the LaLigaEN Twitter feed in the main. I also help build awareness around LaLiga specifically to English-Speaking countries across the world, from African countries to ones in Australasia. In addition, I help translate copy from Spanish into English and aid in updating the GB website.
“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you?
I work from LaLiga HQ in Madrid and every day is different. Midweek I oversee and help manage sponsored posts from LaLiga’s partners and on most weekends I run live coverage of LaLiga Santander matches on LaLigaEN and LaLigaTV twitter accounts.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
As soon as I realised I was nowhere near becoming a footballer I entertained the idea of working in the industry – but never knew how this would look. Then, during the pandemic I had to leave my year abroad in Barcelona and return to Halifax. Here I decided to launch a blog (names ‘Remontada’ ((comeback in Spanish)), which focused on my two passions, football and Spanish.
Here I wrote and received interactions from Spanish Premier League footballers Hector Bellerin and Pablo Hernandez. From here I caught the writing bug and networked with people in the industry, leading to a freelance journalism staff writer role with Marca – Spain’s leading sports newspaper. Then things fell into place and I find myself working at LaLiga.
What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?
Originality. I’m lucky to be surrounded by creative people at work and in my close circle. In a content-focused role you have to experiment and take risks to go against the grain and create something of value.
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
I fail regularly, but that’s part of the fun! One particular memory came from a failed interview process some years back for a football magazine role in London. I placed so much importance on it and inevitably was rejected. However I learned to persevere and remain positive. To brush yourself down, accept criticism and – most importantly – move on with life.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
Further power to customers and consumers of sport means that more is demanded from a digital marketing perspective. This is great as we see broadcasters and federations, alongside clubs, doing more to bring fans closer to the action.
We see stats on LaLiga matches of events which happened moments before, we watch behind the scenes documentaries of our favourite clubs. There’s demand and creativity has to follow.
If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?
I would say, from my experience freelancing, that the respect to freelancers is very poor. Payments are delayed, projects are cancelled last minute and no justification is ever given. This is something that I’ve heard many freelance friends confirm too.
Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?
I try to exercise regularly, go to gigs and speak with family/friends (not about football!)
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Persevere if it is your passion. Always learn and be open to grow. Never let anyone make you feel that you aren’t good enough to succeed in this industry. Carry the good memories with the bad as you go forward.
How to connect with Owen Mawer…
Connect with me on LinkedIn and have a read of my blog although it isn’t too active but feel free to read.
Thanks for reading our chat with Owen Mawer! If you want to read more from our Industry Insider series, you can do so by clicking here.