Those of you that know anything about me will know about my love of golf. Since starting Bubble nearly 20 years ago I haven’t found the time to play much … until a couple of weeks ago when I decided to say “yes” to two corporate events in one week. This got me thinking about the relationship between sports, networking and business.
Golf has a clear advantage that four to five hours are spent walking around with the same group of people; however, other sports do exist that can be played together with your clients, colleagues or journalists.
At NAB and IBC, Object Matrix host a well attended sports evening. One participant noted, “None of us are wearing our show shirts or badges so it’s a great way of leveling and meeting people”. An industry friend of mine recently told me that they had fencing lessons at their team kick-off; places like Urban Golf have popped up in major cities; bowling alleys are everywhere, and you never know which sports people might take up after the Olympics.
That’s the participating – how about the watching? Corporate hospitality is worth over $9billion globally, with an estimated half of this amount being sports related. Typical events for hospitality include rugby, tennis, horse racing, football and errr….golf.. These are great events to attend with clients and press and shouldn’t be moved down the budget priority list when times are harder.
But what is it about sport? In a recent study 94% of people in the global C-suite [is this term well known?] of jobs had played a sport at a reasonably high level in their youth. What does participating in a sport give them? Firstly, a drive to practice a task rigorously, even if one does not succeed all of the time. Secondly, they achieve their goals – they might not get them the first time but they will persevere and find different routes if need be. Thirdly, they will work well with partners and teams – even if they have played a solitary sport they will still have had training partners and competitors.I haven’t even had room here to talk about how sport plays a huge role in the industries that Bubble play in or tell you about my two very different golf days but if you invite me for a round or take me somewhere to watch sports I am sure I will say “yes”.