Football Industries MBA, 2004
After graduating with his first degree, Garry spent time working at Unipart as a graduate trainee. Garry then moved onto work in management consultancy roles within the automotive sector before deciding that he wanted to take his marketing and customer service experience into the sports industry.
Why did you choose the Football Industries MBA?
I initially researched the options on line and liked the specialist nature of the Football Industries MBA as it focussed specifically on football. I knew that football was the leading sports industry and so whilst it was narrow, I was sure that any learning would be transferable to other sports. I had always wanted to complete an MBA so the generic element of the course was also very important to me and the reputation of the course was good in this area. A key element of the course for me was the opportunity to make contacts and network within the football industry and the way that the course included guest speakers and a placement was something that really appealed to me.
How did MBA study fit into your life?
I decided to take a year out of work to focus on the course full time which was a bit of a luxury but well worth it. It was great being a student again and I moved back to the north west (where I am from originally) and enjoyed Liverpool as a city.
Did you undertake a work-based project? If so, can you give us some detail about what the placement entailed?
A key element of the course for me was the opportunity to make new contacts so the placement was crucial. I wanted to make sure my dissertation was focussed on a hot topic, something that would help me become attractive to a football club so I decided to ask! I wrote to around 50 football clubs to ask for a short meeting with senior staff and I was delighted to receive positive answers from around 25 of them. So I met with lots of leading football clubs to discuss their current issues and at the same time make new contacts. I was pleased that the topic of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) kept cropping up as this was an area I had previously worked in. Whilst I was having a meeting with Reading FC’s CEO, the same topic came up again as they were embarking on a new CRM initiative. They offered me a placement to help them with the project which would also provide valuable research for my dissertation. It was an amazing opportunity to work with a fantastic club which then led to an actual role once the placement had finished.
Which aspects of the MBA course do you think will be most beneficial to your career development?
The chance to make contacts with the significant alumni from the industry and great opportunities to build an impressive network within the industry. It was the MBA and the University of Liverpool name which allowed me to get my foot in the door of the clubs I interviewed—this led to my placement and my first role in football.
Can you describe your current role?
I set up my own Sports CRM & Data Marketing company – 4Sight Sport & Leisure – over 3.5 years ago. Our offices are in Leicestershire and we work with leading sports organisations such as West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Sussex Cricket, St Helens and Harlequins. We have also worked with clients from abroad including AS Monaco, Montpellier Rugby and Figueirense FC. We offer an outsourced CRM solution, data related services such as insight, segmentation, profiling and targeted fan marketing and engagement campaigns such as
e-communications, personalised websites and loyalty programmes.