Eoin Doyle, Digital Fan Engagement Executive, Sheffield United Football Club
Job title Digital Fan Engagement Executive
Employer Sheffield United Football Club
EducationWaterford Institute of Technology (WIT), International Business 2018
Tell us about your job and what it involves?
Due to Sheffield United’s success over the last two seasons, the club has seen an increase in new fans attending matches and engaging with club’s social media accounts.
This role is a new role and was created to reflect the importance that the club has placed on creating a relationship with their fans that keep them coming back. My role means I will be responsible for the day to day management of the club’s presence online, along with managing the clubs brand, supporting retail and delivering a digital match day experience for fans. Close consultation is needed with all club stakeholders as the clubs marketing strategy must be consistent across all communication channels.
One of the main duties that the role will involve is to formulate a plan to engage both its long-term fans and potential new fans. With Sheffield United seeking to grow their fan base, fan engagement and working towards strengthening the club-fan relationship is crucial. To do this, a brand content plan is essential to strategically increasing the engagement and overall size of SUFC’s audience. By leading the planning and delivering of SUFC’s match day digital experience, it is my responsibility to ensure the fans of club experience digital entertainment in an engaging way.
How did you get your job and how did your degree help?
I noticed the job advert in late March of 2018 and amended my CV to match the job specifications. My degree was a major help as for the 3rd year of the degree there was an opportunity to go on placement. I secured an unpaid marketing intern role with Huddersfield Town F.C. and this experience was essential to obtaining my role with Sheffield United. Of course, all the marketing modules in 1st 2nd & 4rd year gave me a great grounding in marketing and the skills needed to be successful within the sector.
What skills are you focusing on improving and honing before you start your graduate job?
Technical digital skills are something I really want to hone in on, particularly on Adobe Photoshop and After Effect. The reason being that digital engagement, within the football industry, is very much visual dependent in terms of graphics and motion graphics. In terms of “soft” skills, creativity is an area that I will have to focus on as I will consistently have to birth new ideas that provide return on investment for the football club. Another soft skill that I will focus on fine tuning is my communication skills. Because my role is largely technology based, it creates a few challenges. Technology In the modern world is democratizing communication and lessening the hierarchies that exist within offices. Although I may be new, companies in the 21st century need employees that can lead and be entrepreneurial Therefore, communication is essential with this role as I will have to deal with stakeholders who have varying digital knowledge.
What skills are in demand in your sector and how would you advise students to prepare?
The integration of online and offline channels is a skill in itself and is something that is sometimes overlooked. Because you have fans of all ages and backgrounds, this integration is very important. To be honest, it can sometimes be quite unpredictable where potential new fans will hear about your football club or your brand. I think it is essential for digital marketers and markets to promote their ability to use a mixture of online and offline tools when building marketing campaigns.
On the technical side of things being able to show knowledge in an array of digital marketing tools is very important. Marketing analysis and marketing execution are two major areas that marketers should focus on. This means, as a collective, students should look to gain experience in CMS, Google analytics, social sharing platform advertising and in using CRM systems such as Microsoft dynamics.
The best advice I would give to students is to gain as much experience as they can while in their degree. If there is an opportunity to go placement, utilize it and go into an industry in which you enjoy. If it is not option within your course, I would advise students to try and undertake at least one summer internship throughout the duration of their four years in University as it really makes your CV stronger when trying to land your first role as a graduate.