In edition #244 of Industry Insider, we spoke to Subomi Odanye, CEO & Co-founder of a sports marketing agency Divrse Media about his career in sport so far…


Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?

My name is Subomi Odanye and I am CEO & Co-founder of a sports marketing agency, called Divrse Media. We connect brands to a younger and more diverse audience.

Prior to this role, I was at Converse on a work placement where I learnt a lot about purposeful marketing and executed their first ever UK black history month campaign.


What do you do in your current role?

In my current role, I focus a lot on business development, maintaining and building relationships with current and potential clients.

I create strategies to help us grow our brand awareness and I oversee majority of the marketing campaigns that we put out.


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

The average week looks like attending events, calls and lunch with potential and current clients, putting ideas together for new briefs, and putting out fires.


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

When we first started, we didn’t have a specific niche, we were working across multiple industries.

After working with our first sports client we saw a massive opportunity in the sports industry as they faced/face a massive problem engaging with young diverse audiences.

Me and my business partners are huge lovers of sports and storytelling so it was a no brainer to follow this path.


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

Doing work that will create an impact.


Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?

I tend not to look at missed opportunities as failures as there’s always a bigger picture but we went against a few bigger agencies for a piece of work and unfortunately we didn’t get it. It was disappointing as it was a piece of work we wanted to get involved with.

I learned that we need to keep building our case studies and stand out from other agencies in the space so brands will approach us directly to work with us rather than us having to compete with other agencies for briefs.


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

I’m excited about the increasing initiatives to get young people from ethnic backgrounds into the sports industry.

The sports industry needs people from different backgrounds to avoid group think and to get fresh exciting ideas.

I am a part of the noturningback2020 programme that F1 recruitment set up to create pathways for more BAME individuals to get into the sports industry.


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

There is a lot of gatekeeping and the sports industry is a lot of who you know.

One thing I would change would be that mindset and making people more open to trying and working with new and younger people rather than the same people over and over again because you’ll just end up getting the same results.


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

I find it hard to switch off, I try to find a balance within the imbalance, so I embrace the busy times and when I don’t have much on I try to relax and try harder to not feel guilty about relaxing.


What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?

If you want to work in the sports industry, don’t just wait to get a job role in the industry, it’s highly competitive.

Use your initiative and create opportunities for yourself. Shadow someone, work with a local team, it doesn’t have to be a sport you play or a big team, find a way in!

Once you have some experience under your belt you’ll be more likely to get a job role or have enough experience to start a business.


How to connect with Subomi Odanye…

I have a weekly newsletter where I share interesting marketing stories. You can subscribe here

Connect with me on LinkedIn!

And follow my business page DivrseMedia


Thanks for reading our Industry Insider feature with Subomi Odanye! Join over 1,300 sport professionals who receive our weekly newsletter here.