Sport Industry NextGen


A new wave of 30 rising professionals from across the UK sports industry have been announced as the Sport Industry NextGen Leaders for 2019.

The group, which presents a diverse and exciting future for the sector, is the fourth annual cohort to be selected for the prestigious professional development programme, which was launched by Sport Industry Group in 2015.

A record 43% of the 2019 Leaders are women, following a more even split of applicants than any previous year.

The Sport Industry NextGen programme is aimed at industry professionals aged 30 and younger. It is designed to better equip emerging talent for leadership roles within sport – and in turn to ensure the industry itself is fit to face the challenges of the future at a time of rapid change.

Successful applicants benefit from a year-long Leadership Package which includes money-can’t-buy training, personal development and networking opportunities, in addition to the powerful, lifelong network the Leaders form together.

The Sport Industry NextGen Leaders of 2019 bring an unprecedented range of skillsets ranging from commercial partnerships and sales, content production, digital and data expertise, esports, finance and participation to sponsorship strategy, sports policy, talent management and emerging technologies. The range of organisations represented includes AEG Europe, BT Sport, EA Sports, ESL, Facebook, F1, Hawk-Eye Innovations, Saracens Rugby Club, Sport England, Wasserman and more. 

The Sport Industry NextGen Selection Committee - which was formed of Sport Industry NextGen Coaches, partners, and industry experts – selected the rising stars both for their existing ability and their future potential.

After being announced in October, 2019's Sport Industry NextGen Leaders will be officially unveiled as a group for the first time at Sport Industry NextGen Unlocked on 7th February 2019 at Village Underground, London. 

Read more about the 2019 event here and view the highlights below: 

Throughout the year, the Sport Industry NextGen Leaders embark on a 12-month Leadership Package, which includes legal insight from Howard Kennedy, a leadership workshop from Loughborough University London, a 24-hour experience with IDG at Sandhurst, a membership to the Sport Industry Breakfast Club, and additional networking and learning opportunities, as well as personal development and an introduction to an expanded and powerful network of likeminded peers. 

Here's what some of this year's Leaders had to say about the application process, and taking part in Sport Industry NextGen in 2018:

Dan Smith, head of track & field, cross category and operations sports marketing, Nike, said: “Just the process of applying teaches you a lot about your self. It takes you out your comfort zone and it was such a useful process to go through.”

“Take your time over the application form," said Joanna Gomer, senior consultant - partnerships, Lidl UK. "Be honest, and don’t be afraid to show what you’ve got because you’re probably better than you think you are."

Minal Modha, research manager, Nielsen Sports, agreed that it was a process worth committing to: “Take the time to fill out the application properly. The whole year has been so good and above all it’s been fun. The people you meet along the way are amazing.”

“Take a risk. Why not?" said Lauren O’Sullivan, national football development manager, AoC Sport. "The process takes you out your comfort zone and it’s an amazing opportunity to broaden your network, meet new people and think about what contribution you can make to the sport industry.”

Emily Clark, recently appointed head of marketing at Surrey CCC, concluded: “It’s such a valuable process for self-evaluation. You learn so much about you, what direction you want to take your career, and also you get the opportunity to meet such a valuable network. You meet so many interesting people and you can make the most of meeting people you would never otherwise meet. It’s all set up to enhance and progress you and your career. There are not many other opportunities out there at all, let alone targeted to the sport industry."

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