What to expect from a career at the BOA
With less than a year to go until Team GB competes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the British Olympic Association (BOA) has been working with GlobalSportsJobs.com to strengthen key areas of their team.
But what is it like to work at the BOA, what are they looking for in new team members and how do they assist in career development from one Games to the next?
As part of our #MYSPORTSJOB series, we caught up with Leah Davis, Head of Marketing at the BOA, who offered her unique insight on life at the national Olympic committee:
In my role as Head of Marketing for Team GB I am responsible for the overall marketing strategy, which drives our marketing and brand communications, fan engagement strategy, supports commercial partnerships, licensing and athlete engagement.
Currently, my main focus is on our Rio 2016 marketing campaign and on the Team GB branding strategy in the UK and Brazil. Our Campaign for Rio 2016 is called ‘Bring on the Great’ and we want the nation to help inspire our athletes to extraordinary achievement at Rio 2016 by creating an outpouring of support for Team GB, leading up to and peaking at the Games in Rio. Our campaign will be a rallying call to both the nation to bring on great support, and to our athletes to bring on their greatest performance.
Campaign activation responsibilities involve driving the fan engagement strategy with the public via partners and our Team GB fan base, campaign asset development and management, quarterly brand research, managing budgets and developing strong, collaborative relationships with sponsors, NGBs, IOC, media and the public.
Before the BOA I did a Bachelor of Commerce degree in University College Dublin, then continued my studies with a Masters in Marketing. I do think a solid education is the best platform from which to progress your career, so I have continued to develop my skills with other studies and diplomas over the years in conjunction with a working career.
I started on the agency side of the marketing industry. Coming from agency side initially I got great experience in a wide range of industries and accounts - from Guinness to Cadbury, Aga to Barbie there was always something to keep you interested! I was an Account Director at Ogilvy & Mather advertising in London for a number of years before I decided that I wanted to get into an industry that had a real passion for - sport. A move to the BOA followed in early 2011 as I joined the team to prepare for the experience of a lifetime!
My role requires high levels of organisation, with strong planning and strategic skills as well as the ability to prioritise a large workload according to changing business requirements. I think you need a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit to really uncover the best opportunities in our industry. More and more we are seeing how creative thinking is re-shaping the sponsorship industry as sponsors are seeing the importance and value of being where the fan is, rather than relying on the traditional principles of sponsorship. I think you also need to have effective communication skills as I deal with other team and organisations on a daily basis.
You also need to be able to work effectively under pressure and deliver solutions quickly. We work in such a fast paced environment in particular in a Games year, that the ability to retain a level head and clear thinking is vital.
I absolutely love working on a brand that the public feel such a strong affinity to. Team GB is a brand that is close to the hearts of many of the British population which makes it a privilege to work with, but also comes with big responsibilities. People are never short of an opinion at a dinner party about what we should or shouldn't be doing!
The BOA is a fantastic place to work as there is a real team spirit and collaborative mentality across the teams. We are a relatively small team, given the scale of the brand and exposure we get so there is always a supportive feeling amongst colleagues.
Career progression is encouraged and we all have a personal development plan which enables us to continue to develop and learn as we move from one Games to the next. From my point of view, there is also the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from my marketing colleagues in other National Olympic Committees.
Although I don't play competitive sport any more, I enjoy keeping fit with a mix of boxing, reformer pilates, tennis and gym classes. Other than that I love travelling, and catching up with friends and family. I can often be found at a local lunch spot or restaurant with my husband or group of friends - you only live once, so best to work hard and play hard!
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