Will Lloyd, founder and CEO of this digital talent and media platform, tells us about his company, his concerns and the needs of the sports sector
With a commitment of more than 20 years to the world of sport, what fascinates him most about his work is being able to continue to making a difference, and that’s what Will Lloyd has been doing since 2010 when he founded GlobalSportsJobs, a digital platform and network supporting career development in sport globally.
This Englishman, at one time manager of great Olympic athletes like Linford Christie, Colin Jackson and James Cracknell, was able to capitalize on the growing influence of digital technology to create his own company, a globally focused network that anyone wanting to be part of the sport business industry would do very well to know. Will Lloyd, founder and CEO of GlobalSportsJobs, tells us about his company, what led him to create it and what, in his opinion, are the needs of the sports sector.
How and when did the idea of creating GlobalSportsJobs arise?
I’ve worked in the sports industry since the mid-90s and founded a traditional recruitment business in 2001 that focused on the sports industry. The following ten years saw a number of developments in the recruitment space, in particular the rising importance and influence of digital. I could see the digital disruption occurring across a number of industries outside of sport and felt there was a huge opportunity to develop this model for the sports industry and provide a more transparent and informed way of acquiring talent in a rapidly evolving industry. I sold my stake in the recruitment company and founded GlobalSportsJobs in 2010, with the first platform, GlobalSportsJobs.com going live in October 2012. Over the last three years we have subsequently launched platforms serving the German, French and Asian markets and our jobs reach a sports industry audience totalling more than 1.2 million.
Does your interest in supplying the sports industry with talent come from your time as an agent of great athletes?
The sports industry is close to my heart and I feel very blessed to have spent so much of my career working in an industry I love. My early career in talent management made me realise the importance of carefully managing careers both on and off the pitch. You need to control your career not be controlled by it. Interestingly, many former athletes build careers in the sports industry so I have found myself dealing with a lot of the same people in my role at GlobalSportsJobs.
What is needed in the sports industry?
With the increasing attention the sports industry received and heightened focus on governance and commercialisation, the industry requires a greater level of both transparency and professionalism. It has come a long way achieving this but this has created a subsequent need for a greater diversity and quality of talent. The traditional recruitment model of engaging executive search or head-hunting agencies, or hiring within their own networks to fill vacancies has been engrained in the industry for so long that is has been a real challenge to change mind-sets. Perhaps 25% of the industry world-wide understands that going digital is the only sustainable approach, but a lot of work still needs to be done, and that is the mission of GlobalSportsJobs.
What qualities do you think a person who wants to work in this field should have?
It’s really important that individuals looking to break into sports business recognise that it is a business. A passion for sport makes careers in the field extremely rewarding and fulfilling, however more important is a specialist knowledge and experience within your chosen function, whether it is data analysis, nutrition, or negotiation. To be successful take hard-working, commitment and a willingness to learn and develop the required skill-sets. Participating in a Master’s degree can be a great way to become accustomed to this approach, as can building up experience in other industries and applying the skills to the sports industry at a later stage.
In terms of management and image, what do you think is currently the best sports competition?
GlobalSportsJobs work with many federations, LOC’s and events agencies, so it is extremely hard to choose one, but when working with both the Local Organising Committee and global governing body World Rugby on the recent Rugby World Cup 2015, I was very impressed with their organisation, activations and approach. It adds extra challenges to sporting events when the host nation is eliminated early, but I felt the tournament grew from strength-to-strength throughout. Their approach to sponsorship and the other records they broke have raised the bar in the industry and left a legacy for other major events.
How does GlobalSportsJobs work?
GlobalSportsJobs has a number of facets. Primarily, we are network of platforms and channels, serving sports industry opportunities to English-speaking, French-speaking, German-speaking and now Mandarin-speaking audiences. We partner with organisations from all 10 sectors of the sports industry, from sporting goods brands such as Adidas and NorthFace, to agencies, federations and international events including UEFA Euro 2016 in France and promote their vacancies and organisation to our audience. We publish career and market insights to help showcase the industry and give applicants the tools they need to make informed career choices. The network also offers sporting organisations the opportunity to demonstrate what they’re like to work for and ultimately why candidates should choose to apply for their vacancies. It’s easy to apply for vacancies through our websites or to register for job alerts so that you’re made aware when new opportunities arise. Over 500 vacancies have been advertised on our network this year.
What does GlobalSportsJobs have that a platform like LinkedIn doesn’t have, apart from specializing in a particular industry?
Since 2011 the GlobalSportsJobs network has grown to include 1000s of clients, affiliate partners, academic partners and event partners which together make up the foundations of the international sports industry. It is now widely regarded as the largest B2B network dedicated to sport and we’re growing exponentially to include new territories and specialist functions. LinkedIn has an important role in helping you build a personal network and promoting your personal brand to other professionals, but GlobalSportsJobs is specifically designed to help you accelerate your career in sport.
And what is the profile of people who apply for jobs through GlobalSportsJobs?
One of the great things about a digital platform is the diversity of applicants that come through, from different industries, cultures and back grounds and this diversity is what the industry is crying out for. We’ve found the most successful applicants are those that really showcase their relevant education, experience and knowledge for the roles they apply for, both through their covering letters and CV’s. For enthusiastic individuals, it is often tempting to apply for every job going, but the most important thing to remember is that you have to build a career, you should focus your applications on roles that are relevant to your interests and experience. Future employers what to see your appropriateness for the role, therefore your must have the experience they require and tailor your application to showcase this.
What are you really passionate about in the world of sports?
I’m passionate about making a difference. I love to understand how people have achieved their goals and how that knowledge and experience can be shared to the benefit of others, so that they too can realise their objectives.
If you are looking to take the next step in your sports industry career, click here to view all vacancies, setup automated email alerts and explore the ‘Inside Track’ content hub on GlobalSportsJobs.com.
To view vacancies that require specific language skills and for local market insight, please visit their German-language, French-language & duel-language English/Mandarin Asia platforms.
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