Attracting and keeping commercial partners is crucial for sports organisations of all shapes and sizes, and this Business School graduate has a true breadth of experience across sport—from a local club to global powerhouse.
Evie Chamberlain, who graduated with an MSc in Marketing in 2014, is Promotions Manager at world football's governing body, FIFA. Before she joined the overarching organisation for the world's biggest participation sport, Evie supported the commercial and marketing development of an Edinburgh curling club.
From local, footfall-focused marketing, Evie moved to FIFA whose membership currently comprises 211 member national associations and global football governance. It aims to increase the standards of professionalism in the sport as well as increasing global participation in football.
Originally from America, Evie explains the stepchange moving to FIFA: "On my first day, I arrived at FIFA's office in Switzerland. On the second day, I was sent to France for the start of the Women's World Cup.
"It was a bit of a crazy way to start a new job, but it immersed me in the scale of what we were hoping to achieve.
"My role at FIFA is to protect the FIFA brand, ensuring assets like ticketing, mascots, emblems, and stadia are consistent. At Murrayfield Curling, the marketing requirements were completely different.
"For me, curling was a totally new sport in a new environment. Instead of being focused on awareness campaigns, the emphasis was heavily on driving footfall—getting people through the door and engaged in the sport."
There are multiple sports, multiple teams, and multiple ways of consuming sport, so what makes individuals choose who they support?
Evie's interest in sports marketing was sparked during her time at the School when her dissertation focused on how baseball teams fostered brand loyalty among supporters.
"Like all areas of business, consumers have a choice. There are multiple sports, multiple teams, and multiple ways of consuming sport, so what makes individuals choose who they support?
"It's all about the consumer's experience. Sports marketers are particularly attuned to that concept and go to great lengths to enhance fans' experience.
"Unlike other businesses, fans often feel ownership over sports brands. Most teams actively foster that connection with their fans. They build cultures and communities around clubs which people often use to build elements of their own identity on to.
"While having such a committed consumer can be very beneficial to brands, it also pressurises clubs, teams, and individuals to meet their expectations. Social media tends to be the main vehicle through which fans relate to teams and players, particularly as the global reach of football continues to grow.
"We're increasingly seeing people emerge as fans of players, rather than teams, perhaps because we get to know players more through their social media and identify personality traits we appreciate and admire. That poses potential risks and opportunities for clubs and where commercial partners invest their money, but I think it will be interesting to see how that continues to develop."