UCFB graduate Lewis Payne works for EDP Soccer in the United States – a leading youth football tournament organiser. Here Lewis, who studied BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing during his time at UCFB, explains his roles at EDP, what he’s taken from UCFB into the position, and passes on advice to current and new UCFB students…
What is your role at EDP and what does it entail?
My main role at EDP is to plan, prepare and manage the pop up apparel and merchandise store for each of the EDP tournaments. I also assist and work alongside the other departments for other EDP events like Futures, where we run soccer festivals for our youngest players from under-five to under-nine.
What are the necessary skills needed for your role with EDP, how have you developed those, and what have you taken from your time at UCFB into your role?
Communication is a necessity as communication is essential to assuring things run as efficiently and stress free as possible. Communication between all members of staff on tournament weekends allows for the largest potential profit to be made. The most important thing from my time at UCFB I’ve taken into my role at EDP is that the relationships you have with the people you work with are massively important – whether that’s the people who manage me or the people I manage.
How did your degree programme at UCFB help develop you and your skillset?
My degree programme was ideal as it was sport-focused, which kept me interested throughout. However, I do think that the personnel at UCFB at the time of my studies really helped develop me and my skill set. Lecturers like Russell Preston [BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing programme leader] really taught me a great deal about how to conduct myself properly. The great guest speakers such as Neil Doncaster (SPFL chief executive) also taught me valuable lessons.
How different is working within the sports industry away from the UK, and how important is the transferability of skills from country to country?
I believe there is a big difference in the sports industry away from the UK, as there is such a huge market worldwide for sport outside of football. In the UK, football and the Premier League leads the way and other sports and lower leagues have to play catch up all the time. However, in places such as North America there isn’t much between the likes of the NFL, NBA and MLB. You need to be able to transfer all skills not only between countries, but between sports in the same country at times in order to get to the top.
For current and prospective students looking to follow a similar path to yours, what advice would you give them about their studies and how to progress their future careers?
Put your head down and work for what you want once you know what it is. If you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s fine, but working hard will benefit you in any walk of life and in whatever you decide to go into. Also, build solid and mutual relationships with people. Don’t just use people as a connection, build a relationship.