by Amanda Fone
The European Sponsorship Association Diploma is going from strength to strength and is now attracting a worldwide participation.
The ESA Diploma was started four years ago and is the only professional qualification for the sponsorship industry. The 2015 course, which is now under way, has 66 people on it from a variety of backgrounds. Eight different sport bodies are represented together with people from agencies, sponsors and rights holders. A quarter of students are doing the course long distance and nine of these are from overseas – from Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Dubai, South Africa, the USA and Switzerland. There are also some graduates on the course, preparing to start their careers in the industry.
The increase in numbers and the diverse experience of people taking part demonstrates how the course is catching on – not just for its educational content but because the sponsorship industry has recognised that it needs educating. Sponsorship requires a number of skills brought together – strong analytics with strong selling skills, for example, as well as the ability to think creatively and be strategic in order to conjure and execute the very best campaigns. It’s an environment where people with equally strong left and right brain tendencies flourish and the appetite to professionalise and to open up the industry is growing all the time.
At f1 we champion the ESA Diploma to our clients and candidates and would like to see it become a key qualification for everyone who wants to carve a career in sponsorship. As the current holders of the ESA Diploma move up their careers the qualification will become increasingly important for the top jobs in sponsorship.
We wish this year’s ESA Diploma class all the very best for the rest of the course! Their final projects will be based on the topic “Women in Sport” which is something we also feel strongly about. We support the work of the Women’s Sport Trust and I’m delighted to have been asked to join the judging panel for its Be a Game Changer Awards, which recognize individuals and organisations doing the most to progress women’s sport. You can read more about the work the Trust is doing here.
Read our recent blog about playing sport and succeeding in business here