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Q&A with Sharon Fuller

Name:   Sharon Fuller

Position:    Chief Content Officer

What have you enjoyed about your previous roles?  

I have been very lucky to have the opportunity to grow and develop new projects and initiatives in businesses to help them progress, which is a great position to be in, and I am constantly learning. In BBC Sport, I was able to work across so many different projects and events; having the support of Barbara Slater, to try things out and push things forward, was something I will be forever grateful for – whether it was live streaming early stages of the Rugby League Challenge Cup, or creating participation campaigns with the FA and Sport England, or working on some of the biggest Sports Events in the World, I felt incredibly lucky.

In Red Bull, working in the Media House, it is an entrepreneurial environment, which encourages innovation, and that’s the sort of thing that hugely appeals to me. When I took over the ‘Digital Enhancements’ unit alongside events content, it really opened my eyes to the possibilities of how sport can be covered in a way which creates strategic, long-term engagement, and I realised that thinking differently, rather than trying to fit in, is something to be embraced.

What have been the highlights so far? Bringing the idea of a partnership with Public Health England on an app, which became Couch to 5k, and seeing the impact it continues to have on people really makes me proud. On the other hand, to have the opportunity to develop how Red Bull does event coverage, creating new techniques and innovating within an organisation like that really helps widen your horizons. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the UCI Mountainbike World Cup, a great sporting series with brilliant characters and a partnership with a Sport that listens and wants to progress the sport as well as the coverage.

If you ask my mum, it will be that I was nominated for a Sports Emmy. She still likes to remind the neighbours about that.

Tell me more about the new / current role as Chief Content Officer at eSkootr Championship (eSC)

At eSC I am leading all Content Creation, Content Strategy and Distribution.

We are inventing a new sport totally from scratch, so we are doing everything that you would sensibly do with what you know about the World now.

It’s sustainable from day 1. It’s gender neutral. It will be financially accessible via the grassroots racing programme, which will launch in year 2. It will have a positive impact on real people by driving forward safety standards and policy for micromobility in cities – that’s just how things should be.

As no one has seen what our events look like yet, it is also a chance to question and progress sports coverage from every angle, and you can bet we will have a great digital and social experience for our fans.

What made you interested in going into this type of work (when you first started out in your career)? 

My first love was Formula One. It was an aspirational World that seemed far away from where I grew up, and I feel so lucky that I got the chance to work on the BBC’s coverage. But I always liked how sports content was always pushing the boundaries and progressing – more than other genres of content – and that always appealed to me.

What do you find are the down sides to the job (travel/long hours / missing family events/etc)? 

Working in sport you do expect to work on weekends – and often evenings with people in different time zones. At eSC I am lucky that they believe in remote working, I have actually recently moved to France and I will take the train to London when I need to work from there.

In the past, it has been a lot. Where possible my husband has travelled with me or joined me in a location, and we tried to book a couple of days off before or after an event, especially where it is overseas. We don’t have children, but I know for colleagues who do that is particularly tough.

I come from a less well-off background, and I had to move away from my family to get my start in my career – I’m lucky I’m quite independent, but I did have to move around for roles, so I think you have to be prepared to do that.

What advice would you give women wanting to do what you do?  

Don’t be afraid to be ambitious but always be humble and take advice. Sport is the most amazing workplace and, if you are passionate and work hard, you deserve to be there irrespective of your gender. Always lift your head up and look around at the wider context. Having an international view and learning from others has hugely helped me.

What advice would you like to give the 25-year-old you?  

When I was younger, I was less aware that being female was different; however, as I became more Senior I was treated differently, like I somehow had to work harder, or my opinion mattered less and it dented my confidence quite a bit. In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t been so worried about speaking up or saying the wrong thing, and had challenged people more in some situations. So my advice would be  – don’t be afraid to speak up.

What hopes do you have for the women working in the sport business industry in the future? 

That we are all just people who work in sport, and being female isn’t somehow different or needing to be pointed out.

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