Catherine Stanley – BSc Sports Management Placement Experience at Octagon Athletes & Personalities

We have been beginning to share with you news from our students who undertook a placement year this year. Today we share Catherine Stanley’s experience of working at Octagon Athletes & Personalities:

“I wasn’t sure what to expect from a placement, but when I was offered a job working for the global leaders in Sport’s Marketing and Management, I couldn’t turn it down!

Although my placement was unpaid (even expenses weren’t covered), my experience has been incredible, and I can enter my final year of University knowing that I have career options when I graduate.

As an intern at Octagon, I was given the responsibility of a Client Manager, which allowed me to work one on one with athletes and sports personalities, managing their day to day media requests, as well as seeking new sponsorship and endorsement deals. I worked with sportsmen and women from a variety of sports including football, tennis, cricket, swimming, boxing and athletics. Attending athlete appearance days and photo-shoots were common, and it was a great chance to get out of the office and experience something different.

As my skills and confidence developed, I was given the opportunity to work with a number of brands, helping them to activate sponsorship of sportsmen and women. On one occasion, I was asked to contract a number of legendary footballers for a television advert and attend the filming as the representative from Octagon.

During the Wimbledon Champions 2012, my role was to help manage the hospitality programme that we run for an external company. I was given an access all areas pass, which meant I could enjoy the Tennis whilst working! We hosted a number of parties in the evenings for players and sponsors, including Pam Shriver’s 50th Birthday, which was a real honour to be involved in.

Soon after Wimbledon came the Olympics. As some of our athletes were competing, my role was to help arrange media appearances, which I was able to attend at various Olympic venues. To be involved in the Olympics was truly amazing, and to have experienced the Olympics from an Athlete’s perspective was even more incredible.

Out of everything that has happened this year I have two highlights.

  1. Meeting Frank Lampard at a Sport Relief filming day
  2. Running at the Olympic stadium, in the first ever 4x100m relay race

My advice to anybody seeking a placement would be to go for the experience and to take every opportunity given to you, regardless of how big or small it may seem – you never know where things might lead!

The placement is only one year, and it is the most important year of University, as it creates the foundations of your career.”

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