A welcomed glimpse into the digital sports industry
The Diversity in Digital Mentoring Programme was created by LiveWire Sport in late 2019 to support the growth of diverse talent from under-represented groups across the industry.
In September, the cohort was split into two groups and tasked with responding to a hypothetical RFP. Last month, Adam Addicott shared his experiences of the task for Group A. Now, Will Humphrey offers his perspective from Group B...
Since the end of March 2020, the first LiveWire Sport Diversity in Digital Mentorship Programme cohort has been working with their designated industry mentors on their career paths. The individual experiences are diverse, from developing management and leadership qualities to improving their knowledge of specialist tools used within the digital sports industry. At the half-way mark, the group was split into two teams and given a bespoke brief that required them to create a fictitious agency and a brand new football competition.
I am sure the many of you that are currently working in the digital sports industry will remember working on your first ever RFP. The experience is all-encompassing with a sense of fascinating curiosity about the potential finished product balanced alongside trying to keep your nerve-wracked thoughts under control. My group and I were trying to contain our bundle of creative excitement with the collective desire of wanting to get everything right, from the agency overview to the chosen charity partner.
The Brief and Presentation
The RFP task involved me and the other mentees creating a 20 slide deck that covered ten elements that focused on a new football competition that included social media campaigns, an online persona and a detailed plan for commercialisation. The brief was open to our interpretation, and it gave us the freedom to explore how to answer each requirement creatively.
Once we had created our RFP deck, we came together as our newly-formed agency and presented our ideas to a selection of digital sports industry experts. It was an utterly terrifying and generously rewarding experience all at the same time.
Introducing Unscripted Capture and Street Samba
Our five-week planning process consisted of late-night sessions, wacky brainstorming chats and a continuous stream of Whatsapp chatter. By the end of it, we went from being six individuals to a creative marketing agency, and our mixture of interesting thoughts became a brand new seven-a-side footballing extravaganza.
The Unscripted Capture agency focused on content creation, audience engagement and social media management – all key aspects that our proposed client needed help with for their tournament. Our Street Samba competition featured strong gamification influences from the FIFA Street franchise with the matches playing out at landmark locations in major UK cities with historical footballing heritage. We mixed the traditional brilliance of the beautiful game with our innovative ideas – the last goal mentality and sin bins for in-game fouls - that centred on engaging new and existing football fans.
Broadening My Industry Knowledge
Before the RFP task, my DIDMP experience had been primarily focused around content production activities and building my social media skillset with the help of LiveWire Sport’s Dan Warren (Co-Founder & Director) and Fi McCrindle (Community Manager). However, I used the RFP presentation as a valuable opportunity to develop my digital and social media skillset in other areas. I took responsibility for the presentation introduction and final crescendo, the agency overview and campaign timelines. For our agency, I created a mission and vision statement that highlighted our collective love for action-packed sport and our team’s expertise that could deliver the justice that every sporting moment deserves.
I also produced a set of agency values that were focused on creating an authentic reflection of us as a group and brought our notable differences to the forefront. Our campaign timelines for awareness, growth and monetisation consisted of specific dates in the footballing calendar. We looked to perform social/digital activities on these dates (e.g. international breaks) to make Street Samba an unequivocal success.
Diversity of Thought
From the outset, we were actively encouraged to draw on our existing skillsets and individual experiences with our embraced differences to demonstrate a diversity of thought and bring a fresh perspective on the RFP process. Our team consisted of six unique talents with varying levels of editorial, creative and community-focused experience, and we were all able to learn new things and highlight our industry specialisms simultaneously.
“The biggest thing I learnt was how critical it is to have a streamlined process across the team when it came to our ideas and actual presentation. We couldn’t have six different people doing six different presentations, we had to become one which was challenging via video calls,” said fellow cohort member Jordy Gray.
“My favourite aspect was creating the online persona part. I felt that I got to unleash all my knowledge to create a fun, unique personality, and a persona that reflected what we wanted to achieve as an agency for the competition.”
The RFP allowed our cohort to take a break from our individually-focused mentorships and work collaboratively to put our distinctive DIDMP stamp on each step of the process. The experience reinforced my ambitions to succeed in the digital sports industry, allowed the group to celebrate our embraced differences and featured an impressive selection of diversity of thought. The diversity of thought allowed each cohort member to demonstrate their own interpretation of the brief, intertwine their different life experiences into the presentation and provide a fresh perspective on an established industry process.
This article is written by Will Humphrey, a Bristol-based creative writer and a member of LiveWire Sport’s Mentoring Programme. Will has been working with Dan Warren (LiveWire Co-Founder and Director) and Fi McCrindle (Community Manager) over the past six months on content production activities, from conducting social media audits to crafting his own match updates for live PL fixtures.