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11 April 2014

Where are they now? George Woffenden, Account Director, Clifford French Ltd

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Meeting Usain Bolt and David Beckham on the same day is a highlight of my career so far. I’m also chuffed to have worked in every sport I love – football, rugby, cricket, horse racing, athletics and tennis.

I got in touch with f1 the moment I decided that a career in sports marketing was for me. Straight after university it found me work experience at Ketchum, Fast Track and Benchmark Sport. My first permanent job was with Arena International working with E.ON and the Barclays Premier League – a fantastic first job for a football fan. Since then f1 has found me every career move.

I worked with Synergy on projects like the RBS 6 Nations and Betfair’s partnerships with Manchester United and FC Barcelona, then at Weber Shandwick for clients like the Jockey Club and PUMA. We also launched Sainsbury’s partnership with the 2012 Paralympics. Then f1 introduced me to Dan French at Clifford French and I’ve been here for two years. I’m an Account Director in a very broad role, which appeals to me because it brings together everything I’ve done in my career to-date. We work across all marketing disciplines, including communications, social media, sponsorship and PR, to produce market leading campaigns for clients like EA SPORTS, Brother, and IBML brands Slazenger and Dunlop.

I really enjoy my work, which I think is quite rare in industries outside ours. I’ve always tried to do what I enjoy in life and I try to work for companies that suit my personality and skill set. But this business isn’t about who you are it’s about how good you are. Getting ahead is about working hard, applying your skills and taking the opportunities to progress when they come.

The emphasis of our industry has changed in one way, but not in another in my eyes. This industry is always about communicating to consumers via media platforms. It’s important as new platforms come along that we understand them as quickly as possible: to embrace new media. It’s that which has changed considerably, the media landscape. We all get to grips with what comes next (for example twitter launched during my career, which is funny to think now) but the basic principles of reaching and engaging with an audience remain the same. It’s a testing environment and the competition keeps you on your toes. My top tip for getting the best start in sport is to work hard, learn fast and don’t make enemies –it’s a very small industry.

My top tip for getting the best start in sport is: work hard, learn fast and don’t make enemies – it’s a very small industry.