Octagon Account Director, Simon Hearn, answers ten questions designed to offer insight into his role and responsibilities within the team, which historic events ignited his love for sport, what inspired him to pursue a career in the sports industry, what advice he would give to someone wanting to work in sports marketing, and much more besides.
Here is what he had to say:
1. Describe your role in a tweet:
Leverager of #AIG #CATechnologies & #TurkishAirlines sponsorship assets. Considered an #eventsspecialist and #contentking.
2. Favourite event and/or activation at Octagon:
The Rugby World Cup (not just my Octagon highlight, but a career highlight). Working with AIG, we delivered a very successful multi-faceted campaign based around their sponsorship of the All Blacks. The Haka 360 Experience, AIG House, AIG Touchline, 28 hospitality events, 10 x player appearances, 50+ ambassador events across 80 odd events. It was eight weeks of incredibly hard work but incredible fun with phenomenal results.
3. Proudest career achievement:
During the RWC we took four All Blacks including captain Richie McCaw down to the heart of Canary Wharf at 5pm on a September Friday. We’d set up AIG Touchline (a rugby fanzone) for the day and had brand ambassadors telling passers-by that Richie was coming down. We had an overwhelming turn out, with fans arriving hours before to get a good spot to meet their heroes. By 5pm, we had in excess of 1,500 fans stood watching and we brought Canary Wharf to an absolute stand still. The players, and Sean Fitzpatrick, did their bit; interviews with journo’s, fan engagement, signed autographs and posed for photos. The crowd numbers were so far beyond expectations it made it an incredibly daunting experience. But we got through it, players unharmed and in good spirits. High fives all round!
4. Standout sporting moment:
I have three… Wilko’s drop goal in Australia 2003; Solskjaer’s 93rd minute winner against Bayern in the 1999 UCL Final; thirdly scoring a brace for Pitshanger Dynamo FC in the County Cup Final, the second was a 35 yard belter/lob.
5. What are you most looking forward to over next 18 months?
The Lions Tour to NZ. I need to book my ticket out to Auckland!!
6. What would be your song in the dressing room?
Pre match: Jungle by Jay Z (remix) - remember that song from the Beats by Dre 2014 FWC song.
Post match: Build me up buttercup - was a crowd favourite when I was a kid.
7. Which 3 people from the sports world would you invite to a dinner party, and why?
David Beckham; What a man! I grew up watching him as a footballer and generally seem him grow as a person. Now he is an icon and just so damn cool.
George Best; I’d bring him back from the dead as he’d be a fascinating man to have at a dinner table. And he’d polish off a few glasses of vino, so will make a great socialiser.
The Rock (I’m counting Wrestling as a sport); man of 2015, The Rock is a legend and right up top on my list of people to just hang out with. The Peoples Champ.
8. Most inspirational person you’ve heard give a talk… or someone you’d like to hear talk:
I’d have loved to have been in the dressing room with Sir Alex Ferguson. He is the greatest manager ever and I’d love to understand more about his management techniques and how he treated his dressing room (aside from throwing boots). An inspirational man, who I think would have incredible stories and insights.
9. Earliest sporting memory:
Euro '96 is the one I can remember most vividly. I was fortunate enough to go to a few games at the old Wembley during the tournament. That goal by Gazza against the Scottish, Seaman on fire in between the sticks, Baddiel and Skinners’ 3 Lions, Southgate’s paper bag moment…. It was a tournament of highs and lows but one I’ll always remember. And back when England had a hope of success.
10. What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in sports marketing?
Build your experience early! Don’t spend your 3 years at University permanently in the pub, sleeping or seeing the inside of a library 2 days before an assignment is due. Go out there and get some relevant work experience that will help you in sports marketing or any career. There are lots of companies out there looking for brand ambassadors and managers to activate for them throughout the year. Red Bull are the kings of it. Apply for internships during the summer and be proactive at asking agencies like Octagon for work experience. If we can get you in for a couple of weeks to help boost your CV, we’ll definitely try. Not only does it boost your CV but it can also help your bank balance so when you do have free time, it can be spent in the pub.