My Career Story: Frank Leenders, Director General, FIBA Media and Marketing Services
Published: 23 Nov 2012
Current role: Director General, FIBA Media and Marketing Services
Managing Director, TEAM Marketing AG
Director Sports Rights Acquisitions, Sky Italia (previously Stream)
Director Television, TEAM Marketing AG
MBA – Bocconi University, Milano (Italy)
Degree in Business Administration, University of St. Gallen (HSG) (Switzerland)
Date of Birth: 25 December, 1968
GlobalSportsJobs: When was your big break in your career?
Frank Leenders: “I had the opportunity to join TEAM Marketing at the very start of the company and the inception of the Champions League in the 1992/93 season. This was a unique moment in European sports and media and – looking backwards - a project which set a number of benchmarks in sports marketing at various levels. Many of these are still in place today.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
FL: “Sales is the engine for any organisation. The most important roles in organizations are commercial roles. And then again… in a good company… everybody contributes to sales on a daily basis.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
FL: “Developing new business in a successful single focus company.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What is the most difficult decision you have ever taken in your career?
FL: “Leave a great job to go back to University.”
GlobalSportsJobs: Tell us about FIBA – are you hiring at the moment or are there any plans to hire new talent in the near future?
FL: “At the moment we are in a phase of consolidation and re-alignment. Furthermore, we are focused on the sales of the rights inventory for the next cycle. We hope to be able to look for development in the not too distant future. Focus is on quality.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What sort of qualities do you look for in an applicant for a job at FIBA?
FL: “The required skills and experience levels will depend on the specific job. General qualities are international profile (languages), ambition to deliver results and a passion for sports.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What do you believe is the key ingredient to putting together a successful team of staff members?
FL: “A mix of skills and personalities, with a common sense of direction and mutual respect. A critical, but constructive mentality with loyalty towards the organisation.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What would be your key piece of advice for someone starting out in the sports industry?
FL: “Be very flexible and open minded, curious and especially service oriented – both internally as well as externally. Look for solutions and don’t limit yourself to identifying the problems for others.”
GlobalSportsJobs: What are your future career aspirations?
FL: “Make a visible difference for FIBA and international basketball.”