Step into the WePlay dugout and meet our Players - on their own terms.
Senior Business Development Manager
Welcome to Episode Four of our ‘Meet the Player’ series. Here, we take a look behind the scenes at the Players that make up the WePlay team, exploring who they are, their stories, and their experiences.
This week, we sat down with Senior BDM and WePlay stalwart, Rich Baker, for a quickfire Q&A.
Rich – over to you.
Q. Take us through your professional experience – where did you start?
I have been working in business development for the past nine years across a variety of sectors. I originally started my career whilst working for a leading global financial advisory practice in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, for three years.
Upon returning to the UK, I spent the following three years working for a business intelligence organisation. It was during this role that I became familiar with the brilliant work WePlay was doing and jumped at the chance to join the agency.
Q. When did you join WePlay?
I would describe myself as part of the old guard at WePlay, having joined the agency over three years ago. I met with Luca hot off the back of our “first” Agency of the Year award at the Football Business Awards and was brought in to spearhead the growth of the agency.
Q. So, what does your role actually entail? How would you explain it to Mum and Dad?
My role involves building and managing relationships with prospective clients. I take a consultative approach when speaking to prospects to uncover root challenges in their business and understand what outcomes will have a significant impact on their organisation. It is then my responsibility to manage a project team to propose the most suitable solution to that challenge.
Q. What do you love most about your job?
You will probably get a similar answer from most of the agency here – we all love sport! The opportunity to interact with the world’s leading sports organisations and actually see the impact we have is brilliant.
Q. What’s been your favourite moment at the agency so far?
This is a tough one. As a salesperson, winning any new client is always amazing – especially when it includes the likes of FIFA, the UFC, The Ryder Cup, or AC Milan. However, winning Agency of the Year at the Football Business Awards for the second year in a row was such a good feeling, so that takes the biscuit.
Q. How do you think the sports industry has changed since you entered it?
With the disruption of COVID, we have seen the importance of sports organisations moving away from the reliance on traditional revenue streams and instead placing greater emphasis on direct-to-consumer (D2C) revenue opportunities and owned audiences.
Q. Which challenges or opportunities are you most excited about in the next 12 months?
We have already seen a shift in the momentum of market confidence and I am excited to speak to more sports organisations about how they can grow and monetise their global fanbase.
Q. If you had to describe yourself with an emoji, what would it be, and why?
🌏 – If I was to pick, it would definitely be a globe, having lived in four countries and traveled to over 30.
🍪 – But, if my colleagues were to pick, it would without a doubt a biscuit – it’s kind of a guilty pleasure.
Q. Which sporting experience is top of your bucket list?
As a Southampton FC fan and, after seeing the team lose 9-0 two years in a row, I have to be realistic about what I think they can achieve! So, seeing them win the league is probably a no go! Therefore, I’m going to go with a World Cup Final, what more could a football fan want?
Q. If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
It’s OK to not be sure about which career direction you want to go in. There is nothing wrong with trying as many different options as possible until you find the right one.