I am an undergraduate student at UCFB (University Campus of Football Business) studying Football Business and Marketing at the Wembley campus. This summer I spent six weeks working as an intern at rEvolution’s London office. During this experience I learnt various skills which enabled me to enhance my understanding of the industry whilst acquiring knowledge about rEvolution’s five key sports: golf, tennis, motorsport, rugby and equestrian.
I applied for this internship because rEvolution offered a role that included a high-level responsibility at a global company with the opportunity to work alongside creative specialists and experienced professionals. The ambitious culture at rEvolution was clear with the acquisition of Centigrade (Detroit-based integrated marketing agency) earlier this year and the involvement in a diverse portfolio of sports. This unique and fast-paced environment made working for rEvolution particularly rewarding.
The main skills included communication and teamwork. Firstly, the importance of communication was clear throughout the experience as the London office consistently communicated both internally and externally. For example, regular meetings with clients were followed by an internal debrief alongside various calls and emails to ensure operations ran smoothly. Secondly, teamwork was evident throughout as the London office and the US offices were working collaboratively to meet the demands of existing clients in addition to pitching new business ideas. This working style and mentality of ‘one rEvolution’ was a concept that allowed employees to remain aligned with the company’s overarching objectives.
The company culture at rEvolution consists of a positive work life balance whilst aiming to meet the annual and monthly targets. For example, rEvolution have continued, to an extent, with the working from home approach, with a schedule that comprises of three days in the office and two days of remote work per week. Over the course of the six weeks, the London office held social events after work to provide a break for employees and celebrate the success of ‘big wins’ such as landing a new long-term client.
My role consisted of assisting the implementation and management of the day-to-day account programmes for clients. During the first few weeks, I had individual meetings with multiple Account Directors from rEvolution to help gain an understanding of each client and an insight into the sport in which the client wanted to target. Attending external meetings allowed me to learn about the client’s vision and targets for upcoming projects or events.
The first month of the internship involved a range of tasks such as new business research, sponsorship activation, communication plans and media partnerships. For instance, I collected information about potential clients which Account Directors could use to support their creative pitch. Additionally, I compiled research about the existing key sponsors in rEvolution’s five main sports and explored ways to build a connection with that brand.
I contributed to sponsorship activation by creating questions for media interviews and gathered background information about players to form a sponsorship deck, and I helped track and report coverage of major sports events to help rEvolution and the client assess the success of the project. These large-scale events included extensive interviews with brand ambassadors which I helped transcribe to meet the client’s deadline.
The last two weeks predominately involved delivering a strategic project for a client, I was able to assist by researching examples of ‘best practice’ in the industry, suggesting ideas for the document, along with contributing to the formatting and graphics for the final version. This level of responsibility gave me the confidence to develop new skills and understand the attention to detail required to deliver a project.
The main learning point throughout this experience would be that it is important to ask questions, especially when needing assistance with a task. The general culture at rEvolution involves using the theory of ‘failing fast.’ This helps improve efficiency as feedback is received instantly and changes can be made to fit the client’s needs. The ability to adapt and take a different approach is just one way rEvolution stands out compared to other sports marketing agencies.
Prior to the start of the internship, I was looking forward to seeing how a sports marketing agency operates on a day-to-day basis. Over the six weeks, I found that the industry is very demanding, and every day presents a new challenge. However, I embraced this with the rest of the team and enjoyed working with the clients to overcome these challenges. The most rewarding part of the internship was working with people passionate about sport and receiving feedback from work that was used internally and externally. The feedback from new business research and sponsorship activation allowed me to evaluate my own work and improve the content in the future.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my internship at rEvolution and appreciate the support from the London office who were extremely welcoming. This experience has definitely confirmed my desire to work in the sports industry in the future!