Sam Bailey

Thoroughbred Horseracing Industries MBA, 2017

Before starting my MBA I had recently began my role as Head of Sales for The London Region of the Jockey Club. Previously to that I was Commercial Director for ARC.


Why did you choose the Thoroughbred Horseracing Industries MBA?

I wanted to further my knowledge of the Racing industry in order to ensure I have the right qualifications for future senior/board level roles within The Jockey Club.


Why did you decide to study THIMA at the University of Liverpool? 

Following the University's success of their football masters, I knew they would be able to put together a fantastic programme with racing as the focus. The course was recommended to me by several industry professionals and also, importantly, was supported by the BHA and RCA. 


What skills and knowledge do you feel you developed?

I think I have learnt the most from my fellow cohort who brought a wealth of knowledge from various areas of racing right through from Owners and Bookmakers to someone who was a racing manager at Ayr Racecourse.


Have you made use of the MBA alumni network?

I still speak regularly to my cohort and meet up at racing events throughout the year, I certainly think as time goes on I’ll be able to make even more use of the wider alumni connections.


Did you make use of the careers support available?

I personally did not have the need to utilise the support, as I had just started my new role heading up the Commercial lines for Epsom Downs, Sandown Park and Kempton Park Racecourses. However, I know several of the graduates found the support really useful.


What aspects of the programme did you most enjoy/find most useful?

I thought the calibre of guest speakers were really superb, I particularly enjoyed the session with Nick Rust. I also enjoyed the behind the scenes tour of Haydock Park and the talk given by John Baker, MD of Aintree Racecourse on the business plan to grow their Ladies Day operation Fabulous Friday!


How did you manage to juggle MBA study with work commitments?

This was probably the hardest part, for two year juggling studying and 110 race days and 900 events that we organise and deliver across my three busy London racecourses. Time management was very important, but I was incredibly lucky to have such a supportive manager and capable team.


Where are you working now, what is your job title and what does your role entail?

I’m still working as the Head of Sales for London, I look after all the commercial opportunities for corporate hospitality and sponsorship for 110 race days for the three London courses and also the events we organise for non-race days from weddings to exhibitions. Last year we ran 900 events.


Do you feel the MBA has helped your career progression?

I certainly think it will help with my career progression, I wanted to broaden my skillset outside core sales and team management which I feel I have done.


What knowledge and skills gained on the MBA programme do you use in your current role?

The first thing I was able to use straight away in my current role was the piece around dynamic pricing for sporting venues, which along with the sales and marketing for successful sporting events was what I focused my research on as part of my dissertation. I’m really pleased that I’ve been able to use some of my key learning’s and also share these trends and findings with my wider team at The Jockey Club.


MBA programmes