See how Leah combined sports and marketing with a CSM apprenticeship

By Future TalentEd

Leah Wattley’s passion for sport has led to an apprenticeship as an event assistant at CSM Sport & Entertainment.

Leah, what’s great about working as an event assistant at
your organisation?

CSM Sport & Entertainment is a global integrated marketing and brand experience agency working across sport, entertainment, media, social impact and more. As an event assistant on CSM’s Grassroots Apprenticeship Scheme I’ve had the opportunity to work on a range of accounts and teams across the business, with  big clients on a variety of projects.

I’ve been involved predominantly on accounts delivering events and campaigns for sponsorships in football and motorsport and have also been able to work abroad.

Starting as an event assistant was a great introduction to the
business and the wider sports marketing industry. I was able to make the most of the rotational scheme, getting stuck into a number of different accounts, developing my workplace skills and understanding of the wider business.

What sort of person would a sports marketing apprenticeship suit as a career?

Someone passionate about the sporting world! You need to be able to come up with and present ideas, have a keen eye for detail and be able to complete a range of tasks. You must be able to work well under pressure and deliver work to tight deadlines.

Each day is different, so you must love variety and getting stuck in wherever you can.

Working for an agency is extremely sociable, so enjoying working with and meeting new people are also key qualities.

What subjects would it be useful to study at school and what practical experience is beneficial?

No specific subjects are required. Passion for the work you’re
doing is key, as well as some prior knowledge and interest in the world of sport. People from all different academic backgrounds work successfully in sports marketing and events.

If you are looking to make yourself stand out, you can give yourself a head start by getting involved with events that might be local to you. There are volunteering opportunities to work at festivals or sports events (even if some of these are virtual for the time being) so this would be a good place to start and will be useful when proving your passion in interviews.

Could you outline the routes into entry-level events roles in your field at your organisation?

The best way into an events role at my company is through the Grassroots Apprenticeship Scheme. This is an opportunity to rotate around teams in the business, learning on the job while completing the apprenticeship qualification at college one day a week.

There are also internships available which are a great way to get some experience and develop your understanding of the business and wider sports marketing industry.

What personal skills and qualities would you need for sports marketing jobs?

The most important skills and qualities for this role are written and verbal communication skills which you will use daily in your teams and when working with your clients and other partners.

It is important to be hardworking, driven and willing to learn new things in order to succeed in your role.

How could your career develop as an event assistant at your organisation or beyond?

Starting as an event assistant gives a great initial platform to move into a number of roles in the events and sports marketing industry.

Whether it be freelancing as an event manager running a stage at a festival, planning and executing mass live events as a part of an agency, or working in social media management running sports digital marketing campaigns – there are many exciting opportunities that the role can lead into.

What has been the highlight of your job so far?

The live events. Whether it be an experiential marketing campaign at Chelsea FC or a driving experience at Audi’s technical development centre in Germany, the events are fun, fast-paced and always a great learning experience.

Being a part of a team and watching all your hard work come together is always a great moment! Many have been on pause this year, but I look forward to working on new ones in future.

These insights were brought to you by Future TalentEd magazine.

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This piece was first featured in our Autumn/Winter 2020 issue of Future TalentEd magazine for careers leaders, parents and students.

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