How to... train your sports industry staff to be more effective

MeetingAs the sports industry evolves, fresh challenges are facing its leading businesses. Steve Chisholm, Director of Communications at major sports marketing and PR company Fast Track, explains how you can enhance the skills of your team.

Tip 1: Create trust and transparency

The creation of a suitable working environment is a crucial part of encouraging performance.
Chisholm says: "Many CEOs highlight the need for trust and transparency as their biggest corporate challenge in the 24-seven world of global news and digital comms - and we believe that staff in the sports industry need to be better at understanding this challenge and responding to it. Creating an environment in the sports industry where trust and transparency are core values and shape everyday behaviours will produce higher performing and engaged teams."

Tip 2: Be different

Don't stifle creativity by creating an atmosphere in which staff members are wary of attempting something new.
"In seeking to be high-performers, staff should try to be different and be recognised for being brave enough to challenge industry norms," says Chisholm. "No great idea was ever born out of following a tried and tested path. I would encourage all staff to always reject what has gone before in favour of trying something innovative."

Tip 3: Seek relevant metrics

Ensure that your staff, and yourself, are ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest developments in your industry.
"It is imperative for a modern sports business to redefine the outdated view of the industry by developing new metrics for the modern age," says Chisholm. "Brands need to feel that any budget that they invest will deliver a meaningful and quantifiable return. All staff should always seek to establish these measurements up front and adapt as a project evolves."

Tip 4: Call on existing expertise

Training need not be outsourced at great expense. The relevant experience and expertise could exist within your own company.
"The concept of training doesn't always mean expensive training options," says Chisholm. 
"Sometimes the stimulus of being exposed to new thinkers can broaden the mind and challenge traditional approaches. Fast Track has certainly benefited from being part of the wider Chime Communications group in this regard."

Tip 5: Define "more effective"

Determine exactly what you want out of your staff and tailor this to your own requirements, not those of other companies.
"Clearly define the term 'more effective'," says Chisholm. "What exactly does this phrase mean and what is the barometer for success here? For some people it may mean higher-quality work. For others, more engaged staff and lower employee turnover. For too long the sports industry has had a reputation for defining 'effectiveness' only by the delivery of short-term profitability. The truth is that it is all these factors and several more besides. Staff effectiveness comes in many shapes and forms, and recognition of this by an evolving and maturing industry makes the next evolution of the sports industry an exciting place to be."

Top Tip: Invest

Chisholm adds: "Every business must adapt to the current environment. One area that should always remain a high priority however is investment in people. The sports industry only has people and ideas as its real differentiator - and failure to invest properly in the development of staff is commercial suicide in the long term."

Useful links

Fast Track works with major brands and governing bodies to develop and implement strategies that drive business through sport. It is one of the fastest growing international sports marketing agencies with offices in Europe, Middle East and Australasia.


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