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The SportsGrad Podcast: The Ultimate Guide to Make it in the Sports Industry

Each week we learn how people made it in sports and tease out their career decisions, work habits, skills, everything they do that makes them great. All so you can learn how to get in, get promoted, and get thriving in the sports industry.


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  • #289: How to move from London to Australia and work in sport with George Ludlow

    47:38
    Interested in making the move to Australia to land a job in sport? Meet George Ludlow, an Account Manager at Gemba who has just made the move from London!George has transformed his life from leaving behind a career in property he wasn’t passionate about, to now working on some of the most lucrative partnerships in Australian sport, including Toyota’s sponsorship of the AFL, Australia’s biggest sport. To arrive at what he describes as his dream job, George started his quest for a role in sport in Australia almost 8 months ago and has been extremely proactive in his approach.Today we dive into exactly how he made the move overseas, what he did to stand out, how he felt taking such a big risk, and his best tips on how you can take your career around the world.Enjoy the episode!We cover:(00:32) Who is George Ludlow?(01:53) Hello and welcome to the SportsGrad Podcast!(03:25) What’s going on inside the SportsGrad Community?(07:46) Welcome to the SportsGrad Podcast George(09:10) Quick-fire questions(13:56) What is George’s role at Gemba?(15:45) George’s career journey post-university to when he decided to move to Australia(19:54) What made George initially choose the property industry over sports?(21:06) How did George decide to make the jump to work in sports overseas? Was he nervous?(22:08) How did George find out about SportsGrad whilst in the UK, and how did it benefit him once he arrived in Australia?(26:49) What was the interview process like at Gemba?(30:17) How have George’s feeling towards moving overseas changed now that he has landed a job?(31:20) What has he loved most about being in Melbourne?(32:21) Was it easier for George to find roles when he arrived, or was it possible while it was overseas?(34:18) What can people be doing to reduce the time job hunting in a new country?(36:59) George’s advice for someone who is thinking about moving overseas(41:52) ASK SPORTSGRAD---Additional episode you may enjoy:#251: How to move to London and land a job in sport with Chris Dobson---Want a weekly dose of career inspo? Get industry stories, upcoming events, and the latest sports jobs in your inbox each Friday.👉 Subscribe to the SportsGrad NewsletterThe SportsGrad Community connects Members to peers, professionals, events, jobs, and development opportunities. Join as a Rookie or Pro Member.👉 Become a SportsGrad MemberWant our recruitment insights? Hiring Managers, get the SportsGrad Talent newsletter👉 Subscribe to SportsGrad TalentFollow us on Instagram and TikTok!This episode is brought to you by Deakin University, the Official Education Partner of The SportsGrad Podcast. Find out why their Master of Business in Sport Management is not one of, but the best one in Australia ranked at #1 at www.deakin.edu.auThanks for listening! You’re all legends.

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  • #288: How to be a Champion Data Competitions Coordinator with Ashleigh Newton-Spence

    57:16
    Meet Ashleigh Newton-Spence, the Competitions Coordinator at Champion Data. If you’re not familiar with Champion Data, they’re the company behind the statistics of some of your favourite sports - think the AFL, Netball Australia and LIVGolf! Ash has been with Champion Data for over 8 years, and previous to this worked in radio production, and at Channel 10 as a Production Assistant. She’s also one of our beloved SportsGrad Pro Members, so make sure to connect with her inside the Community.Lots to look out for including how to manage people effectively, how to grow within an organisation, and the ins and outs of coordinating match days. Make sure to have a listen, it’s a good one!We cover:(00:32) Who is Ashleigh Newton-Spence?(01:42) Hello and welcome to the SportsGrad Podcast!(02:32) What’s going on inside the Community? Community info night, events and wins.(05:42) Welcome to the SportsGrad Podcast Ash!(06:34) Who is Champion Data and what do they do? (09:04) Quick-fire questions(18:13) What does the Competitions Coordinator do at Champion Data?(23:07) What makes a great data capturer?(25:21) Do you have to be good with statistics to work at Champion Data?(27:56) How does Ash continue to develop and grow whilst being at an organisation for 8+ years?(30:32) Challenges Ash faces at work(33:05) How did Ash develop her ‘people skills’ and how did she practice it?(37:31) The essential skills to work in a role like Ash’s(41:01) What other departments are there at Champion Data?(43:54) Why Ash got into the SportsGrad Pro Community, and what has she gotten out of it?(48:38) What advice would Ash give to her younger self?(51:35) ASK SPORTSGRAD---Additional episodes you may enjoy: #206: How to get into sports analytics with Libby Owen (Champion Data)#210: How to be an AFL Commentator with Brian Taylor---Want a weekly dose of career inspo? Get industry stories, upcoming events, and the latest sports jobs in your inbox each Friday.👉 Subscribe to the SportsGrad NewsletterThe SportsGrad Community connects Members to peers, professionals, events, jobs, and development opportunities. Join as a Rookie or Pro Member.👉 Become a SportsGrad MemberWant our recruitment insights? Hiring Managers, get the SportsGrad Talent newsletter👉 Subscribe to SportsGrad TalentFollow us on Instagram and TikTok!This episode is brought to you by Deakin University, the Official Education Partner of The SportsGrad Podcast. Find out why their Master of Business in Sport Management is not one of, but the best one in Australia ranked at #1 at www.deakin.edu.auThanks for listening! You’re all legends.
  • #287: How to work in Sports Sponsorship with Jeffrey Leong from MKTG Sports + Entertainment

    51:54
    Meet Jeffrey Leong, the Sponsorship Manager at MKTG Sports + Entertainment. He has over 5 years of experience in Sports Marketing, currently managing brands such as Great Southern Bank and Cadbury. Through this, he leverages their partnerships through rights-holders such as the Brisbane Heat, Carlton FC, Football Australia & Rugby Australia. Lots to look out for including how to work in sponsorship management and what it’s like working in sports marketing!This episode is what we call a ‘Career Q&A’ and is a taste of the online events you get access to as a SportsGrad Member. If you like what you’re hearing but want to learn more, we have a Community Information Night on June 12th coming up, in time for the Community officially opening on August 13th. You can register for the free event here.Enjoy the episode!We cover:(00:28) Who is Jeffrey Leong?(01:43) Welcome to the SportsGrad Podcast! Here’s what’s going on inside the Community… (13:50) Welcome to the Career Q&A Jeff!(16:01) Jeff’s introduction - who is he and what is his career journey?(19:13) What is MKTG Sports + Entertainment and what do they do?(20:19) What does Jeff do as a sponsorship manager? (23:22) What does a day in the life look like in Jeff’s role?(28:39) How does Jeff work with large brands such as Cadbury? (32:32) The benefits Jeff sees in professional development and additional studies(34:14) Challenges Jeff has had in his role and how he overcomes them(35:10) Jeff’s long-term goals in the industry(36:59) What does career progression look like at MKTG?(38:39) How Jeff stood out in his interview at MKTG (42:37) How does Jeff stay passionate in his role?(44:09) The logistics between clients and rights-holders and how they manage business relationships---Additional episodes you may enjoy:#244: Event Management at Cricket Australia with Katie Staniforth#253: How the AFL analyse their data with Penny Privett---Want a weekly dose of career inspo? Get industry stories, upcoming events, and the latest sports jobs in your inbox each Friday.👉 Subscribe to the SportsGrad NewsletterThe SportsGrad Community connects Members to peers, professionals, events, jobs, and development opportunities. Join as a Rookie or Pro Member.👉 Become a SportsGrad MemberWant our recruitment insights? Hiring Managers, get the SportsGrad Talent newsletter👉 Subscribe to SportsGrad TalentFollow us on Instagram and TikTok!This episode is brought to you by Deakin University, the Official Education Partner of The SportsGrad Podcast. Find out why their Master of Business in Sport Management is not one of, but the best one in Australia ranked at #1 at www.deakin.edu.auThanks for listening! You’re all legends.
  • #286: Inside the GWS Giants Social Media strategy with Jacob Gaynor

    01:02:38
    Meet Jacob Gaynor, the Social Media Manager of the most followed club account in the AFL, the GWS Giants.They have attracted attention this season by taking an approach that some see as a little bit edgy, however the numbers speak for themselves. The Giants have topped the list for follower growth in 2024, gaining 10k more than second place, Collingwood FC.The Giants have been very deliberate about their challenger brand, and Jacob holds nothing back about what goes into what you see on the surface.Plus, for those Social Media Managers who want to be the most responsive and engaging, you’re going to absolutely love the level of preparation Jacob puts into hitting you with the right meme at the right time. Strange that meme skills are a thing in 2024, but it’s working, and we think you’re going to love hearing from Jacob who’s on top of the AFL social media world right now.Enjoy the episode!We cover:(00:47) Who is Jacob Gaynor?(02:08) Welcome to the SportsGrad Podcast!(04:08) What’s going on inside the SportsGrad Community?(06:44) Welcome to the SportsGrad Podcast Jacob!(07:27) Quick-fire questions(14:10) What are the series of jobs that lead Jacob to the Giants?(17:15) Who are the Giants trying to target on socials, and how do they do so?(21:20) What type of brand are the Giants wanting to build, and how do they continue ‘being the disruptor’?(27:12) How does the media team plan and prepare their content and memes?(36:15) How does Jacob save and organise future content?(39:40) Do the Giants look at their metrics and how does the reviewing and reporting work?(45:19) How does the social team work with commercial partners to mutually align?(47:26) How Jacob builds relationships with players at the Giants(51:13) Who does Jacob look up to in the industry?(54:57) Jacob’s advice for other social media managers(58:50) ASK SPORTSGRAD---Additional episode you may enjoy:#124: Hamish McLachlan - How to commentate the AFL grand final---Want a weekly dose of career inspo? Get industry stories, upcoming events, and the latest sports jobs in your inbox each Friday.👉 Subscribe to the SportsGrad NewsletterThe SportsGrad Community connects Members to peers, professionals, events, jobs, and development opportunities. Join as a Rookie or Pro Member.👉 Become a SportsGrad MemberWant our recruitment insights? Hiring Managers, get the SportsGrad Talent newsletter👉 Subscribe to SportsGrad TalentFollow us on Instagram and TikTok!This episode is brought to you by Deakin University, the Official Education Partner of The SportsGrad Podcast. Find out why their Master of Business in Sport Management is not one of, but the best one in Australia ranked at #1 at www.deakin.edu.auThanks for listening! You’re all legends.
  • #285: Journey to Team Manager of a Super Netball Club with Leigh Southern

    58:04
    Meet Leigh Southern, the Team Manager of the newest professional team in Melbourne, the Melbourne Mavericks Super Netball Club. If you’re looking to work in operations in sport, team management, or want to know how people have made career changes into sport, you’re going to love Leigh’s story. Leigh started his career in the tourism industry, but after a while realised it just wasn’t for him. Not one to sit back, he did his research and came across a company called Stage & Screen, and began working on their Cricket Australia account to look after all their travel. This led to roles with the Melbourne Renegades and the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup, before landing at the Mavs. If you think you’d love to travel week in and week out with a professional team, listen to how Leigh made it his career. Lots to look out for including the skills you need to work in a similar role, the behind the scenes of what goes on during a game day, and how to go from being a babysitter for a WBBL club to a team management role.Enjoy this episode!We cover:(00:29) Who is Leigh Southern?(01:48) Hello and welcome to the SportsGrad Community! Here’s what’s going on…(05:15) Welcome to the SportsGrad Podcast Leigh!(06:11) Quick-fire questions(13:43) What does Leigh do as a Team Manager with the Melbourne Mavericks?(15:59) How Leigh manages all of his various responsibilities(20:33) What’s it like being part of a new professional sporting club?(25:53) What does a game day look like versus a regular day?(32:00) Leigh’s experience prior to this role (Flight Centre, Stage & Screen (working with Cricket Australia/Cricket Victoria), WBBL, Melbourne Stars, Indian Women’s Cricket Team, T20 World Cup, and more.(45:50) Challenges Leigh has faced and how he has overcome them(49:15) Top skills needed to work in a team/operations management role, and advice he would give to his younger self(54:43) ASK SPORTSGRAD---Additional episode you may enjoy:#284: Journey to Football Operations Manager at the Sydney Swans with Steph Maiolo---Want a weekly dose of career inspo? Get industry stories, upcoming events, and the latest sports jobs in your inbox each Friday.👉 Subscribe to the SportsGrad NewsletterThe SportsGrad Community connects Members to peers, professionals, events, jobs, and development opportunities. Join as a Rookie or Pro Member.👉 Become a SportsGrad MemberWant our recruitment insights? Hiring Managers, get the SportsGrad Talent newsletter👉 Subscribe to SportsGrad TalentFollow us on Instagram and TikTok!This episode is brought to you by Deakin University, the Official Education Partner of The SportsGrad Podcast. Find out why their Master of Business in Sport Management is not one of, but the best one in Australia ranked at #1 at www.deakin.edu.auThanks for listening! You’re all legends.
  • #284: Journey to Football Operations Manager at the Sydney Swans with Steph Maiolo

    33:59
    Meet Steph Maiolo, the Football Operations Manager at the Sydney Swans Football Club.Over the past 6 years, she’s climbed her way up the ladder at the Swans, starting as an intern, to a coordinator, to now a manager! Lots to look out for including how to work in football operations and the skills you need to do so.If you enjoy this chat with Steph, come along to the Sydney SportsGrad Meetup on May 16th, where she’ll be one of our guest speakers! You can grab a ticket via our website linked below.Make sure you tune in, it’s a great one.We cover:(00:42) Who is Steph Maiolo?(01:40) Welcome to the SportsGrad Podcast! Here’s what’s happening inside the Community…(04:47) Welcome to the podcast Steph!(05:50) Quick-fire questions(11:28) What does it look like being a Football Operations Manager in the AFL?(12:14) How Steph went from an intern at the Swans through to a Manager(13:46) What was Steph doing that made her stand out for promotions?(15:41) Advice Steph would have for interns looking to stand out(16:22) Steph’s favourite parts of working in football operations(17:33) What a match day looks like versus a regular day and how Steph stays organised(20:24) What does the off-season look like for those working in the AFL?(22:30) Challenges in Steph’s role(24:04) Times Steph has had to navigate mistakes at work(25:19) The top skills needed to be a Football Operations Manager(28:17) If you want to work in a similar role, this is what Steph recommends you do…(31:14) Advice for networking events---Additional episodes you may enjoy:#193 - Suzie Rhydderch (Sydney Swans) - How to be a psychologist in the AFL#244 - Katie Staniforth (Cricket Australia) - Event Manager at Cricket Australia---Want a weekly dose of career inspo? Get industry stories, upcoming events, and the latest sports jobs in your inbox each Friday.👉 Subscribe to the SportsGrad NewsletterThe SportsGrad Community connects Members to peers, professionals, events, jobs, and development opportunities. Join as a Rookie or Pro Member.👉 Become a SportsGrad MemberWant our recruitment insights? Hiring Managers, get the SportsGrad Talent newsletter👉 Subscribe to SportsGrad TalentFollow us on Instagram and TikTok!This episode is brought to you by Deakin University, the Official Education Partner of The SportsGrad Podcast. Find out why their Master of Business in Sport Management is not one of, but the best one in Australia ranked at #1 at www.deakin.edu.auThanks for listening! You’re all legends.
  • #283: How to get your first full-time role in sport with Hayley Gorman

    39:12
    Meet Hayley Gorman, the Workforce Coordinator at UniSport Australia, and one of our beloved SportsGrad Members!We met Hayley last year in October when she joined the Community, and was working part-time for the Bicycle Network. Since then, she’s gone to land her first full-time role, as well as become a super active and well-known member within SportsGrad.Lots to look out for including how to land your first full-time job in sport, tips to improve your networking and leadership skills, what it’s like moving interstate for a job, and how being a SportsGrad Member has helped her career.Enjoy this episode!We cover:(00:39) Who is Hayley Gorman?(01:37) Welcome to the SportsGrad Podcast! Here’s what's going on in the Community…(03:59) Welcome Hayley!(05:28) Quick-fire questions(08:48) What does Hayley do at UniSport Australia as the Workforce Coordinator?(12:37) The roles Hayley had before her first full-time role in sport(14:42) How does Hayley balance FT work and travel/fun(18:21) How did the application at UniSport work and how did Hayley stand out?(20:01) Why did Hayley become a SportsGrad Member?(23:30) How Hayley has found confidence within herself(27:28) What are the skills most important in people-facing roles, and how does Hayley practice them?(29:59) How Hayley decided to make the move interstate and tips she has if you’re thinking of doing the same(32:42) When has Hayley utilised her network in sport?(36:33) What is something Hayley wishes she could tell her first year of uni self?---Additional episodes you may enjoy:#168: Geordie Miles (Spark Event Group) - How to turn casual work into a full-time career#231: Clayton Henderson (Golf Australia) - Journey to Commercial Partnerships Coordinator---Want a weekly dose of career inspo? Get industry stories, upcoming events, and the latest sports jobs in your inbox each Friday.👉 Subscribe to the SportsGrad NewsletterThe SportsGrad Community connects Members to peers, professionals, events, jobs, and development opportunities. Join as a Rookie or Pro Member.👉 Become a SportsGrad MemberWant our recruitment insights? Hiring Managers, get the SportsGrad Talent newsletter👉 Subscribe to SportsGrad TalentFollow us on Instagram and TikTok!This episode is brought to you by Deakin University, the Official Education Partner of The SportsGrad Podcast. Find out why their Master of Business in Sport Management is not one of, but the best one in Australia ranked at #1 at www.deakin.edu.auThanks for listening! You’re all legends.