Sam Pinkham, the Communications Manager at Oporto Sports, has generously taken the time to share the inspirations behind starting his sports career, lessons he’s learnt throughout his time working for an award-winning sports agency alongside how he feels sports content could evolve in the future.
Question 1: Sam, many thanks for joining me in this interview. How did your career in sport begin?
I graduated from De Montfort University in 2013 with a degree in Media Studies, alongside relevant experience in the media industry with local newspapers, radio and PR agencies. In September of that year, I successfully applied to join the communications team at Oporto Sports, where I have since been able to develop my skillset and enjoy some fantastic experiences across a wide range of clients and projects.
Question 2: What are you responsible for in your role at Oporto Sports?
In my role with Oporto Sports, I work closely with several sports organisations to manage their marketing and communications activities. This involved supporting with copywriting, website management, social media marketing, email marketing, general PR and media support, helping our clients to tell stories and communicate with their target audience, using the right channels at the right times.
Question 3: What are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt from working with various clients?
While the expression ‘no two clients are the same’ is true in many cases, especially within the sports industry, from experience, I have also found that lots of work and best practices can be applicable across multiple projects and clients, even in different fields and subject areas, as long as it is implemented in the right way. As a business, we tailor our services to individual clients in a way which suitably meets their requirements, but the fundamental principles behind high quality, accurate and creative work are something that stays consistent throughout.
Question 4: From your perspective, what makes an effective content strategy?
Identifying a target audience and keeping them at the forefront of any plans behind a content strategy is always a good starting point. You can have high-quality, eye-catching content, but if it’s delivered to the wrong channel at a time when your target demographic is largely inactive, engagement levels will always suffer. It’s also important to learn from previous content outputs, assessing what worked well and why it worked well, and how that can be delivered again in a variety of ways to generate the same high level of results.
Question 5: What have been the biggest challenges that have benefitted your career thus far?
Entering this role with Oporto Sports straight after graduating from university and being trusted to manage client relationships, projects and my own workload was a challenge, but it was also the best thing for me at that moment in time. When new challenges come along you don’t always get everything right, but if you can learn and use them to your benefit in the future, then that’s the most important thing. I feel very fortunate to work in an industry that genuinely interests me, with clients I’m passionate about delivering results for, alongside fantastic colleagues who have all helped me immeasurably during the early part of my career in my first full-time role.
Question 6: How do you see content creation in sport changing in the future?
With platforms such as Instagram and TikTok experiencing such popularity and growth in recent years, it’s clear that the appetite for fast-paced, visual content is only going in one direction.
Regarding the delivery of content, more than the content creation itself, I find it interesting how social media platforms use algorithm systems to predict and provide content to users automatically, rather than replying on user input via a search function or similar. Related articles on news outlet websites and suggested videos on YouTube have been around for a while, so the concept isn’t new, but with the development of technology and with the paid advertising space making an impact, we’re seeing more of these practices in place now. Suggested content on Twitter due to a previous Tweet you liked, for example. The ‘For You Page’ on TikTok which delivers content based on how previous content has been consumed – how long you watched the video for, whether you liked it or made a comment, or if, on the other hand, you skipped through before it ended.
It will be interesting to see how this develops in the future, but it’s clear that social media platforms are increasing their influence over content delivery to engage with individual users based on their behaviours and interests.
I hope you enjoyed that interview with Oporto Sports’ Communications Manager, Sam Pinkham, let me know what you found most insightful from this feature.