49: James McKeown, Head of Global Marketing at UCFB
James McKeown is the Head of Global Marketing at what could easily be described as a start up in the world of higher education. Only formed in 2011 at Burnley's Turf Moor ground, it now boasts 1,500 students spread around 3 campuses. The other 2 being The Etihad Stadium in Manchester and Wembley Stadium.
In the interview we chatted through James' career; why he ended up at Loughborough University when he's from Melbourne and was living in Bern, Switzerland at the time.
From there he decided against a career in sports science and crafted one instead in sports marketing. Interning at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and then back in London for his first f/t role at Braben Media. Where most interestingly he worked on the ill fated Setanta Sports account, a truly interesting first client to have!
We also covered;
- his respect for agencies and the people who work in them, for their work ethic and drive.
- Moving away from the agency side and into a governing body in British Athletics
- Being part of the 2012 London Olympics and some of the memories that created.
- Having a hand in the NGB rebrand from UK Athletics to British Athletics.
- The story behind the forming of UCFB
- How important it is for the industry to have graduates who are trained and educated in their space and not just from generic degrees.
- Why outside of the curriculum is just as important as the studies within. It even has a name in the 'complementary curriculum' - ensuring students have that outside experience that will serve them well.
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