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Overthinking the sports business, for money.

Welcome to the Conversation

Sports business collage for Unofficial Partner

Why Unofficial Partner?

Unofficial Partner specialise in podcasts as the editorial platform to cover the business of sport. Some of these areas merit a series approach, either by sport, business sector or by theme. For example sport and technology, digital transformation, private equity in sport, the market for broadcast and streaming rights and sponsorship.

 

Other podcasts are more personality driven, deep one to one conversations with prominent and interesting people from across the sports and associated sectors.

Podcasts are an engagement medium, where the sports business conversation is now held. Our podcasts are downloaded 10,000 times a week, every week of the year and the Unofficial Partner Newsletter goes to more than 5,000 subscribers across sport, every Thursday.

The UP audience is made up of people like you: they have high expectations, their time is valuable and they are curious to learn, but they hate being sold to, quickly seeing through pre-prepared PR talking points. We take their trust very seriously and so don’t make boring, sales driven podcasts.

Our clients aren’t sponsors, they’re collaborators.  

Chart in the form of a Photo collage representing Why Unofficial Partner
Graph showing smart speaker ownership in the US
Graph showing number of smart speaker in household in the US
Graph showing monthly podcast listening in the US
Graph showing Online audio listening in car through a cell phone ownership in the US
What the numbers say

Your clients are our audience; and their behaviour is changing, driven by technology

Background image of sound equipment in a podcast recording studio

UP Production Services

Podcast production 

  • Research

  • Scripting 

  • Production 

  • Recording 

  • Editing 

  • Post production 

  • Content management 

  • Project management 

  • Bespoke imaging 


 

Design

  • Podcast series identity and design 

  •  Thumbnail design 

  • Audiograms and other social media inventory

 

Distribution 

  • Publication of podcasts to major platforms via all global channels 

  • Publication across the Sport Social Podcast Network 

  • Each episode is promoted via social networks 

  • Audiogram highlight clips optimised for client owned channels, creating debate and conversation, driving audiences to the podcasts.

Unofficial Partner Live logo
Photograph from Unofficial Partner event showing Richard Gillis and Ed Smith
Bespoke micro-events

A new take on sports industry networking

An exclusive VIP event featuring a live podcast recording – we regularly arrange informal networking events for up to 30-40 people.

We work with our clients to draw up a hit list of ideal attendees.

The UP style at these events is informal, relaxed and intimate, which is the best way to build new, productive relationships.

Unofficial Partner Live

We do two types of live event. Small private invite-only networking evenings and big, ticketed live sessions.

The Unofficial Partner Brainstorm is our premier event brand.

How does it work?


We invite smart people to solve a problem, live on stage.

  • Four chairs facing each other.

  • Audience in the round, drink in hand.

  • Rotating guests.

  • Audience members who want to contribute are invited to take a chair.


The result is an evening of high quality and entertaining thought leadership where a mix of guests from inside and outside of sport discuss the big questions.


The audience consists of approximately 100-150 paying customers and VIP guests.


The evening is recorded, edited and subsequently published as an Unofficial Partner podcast. 

The tone is informal and, whisper it, fun.

Richard Gillis – Editor

Richard’s career mixes award winning journalism with a career as a strategic adviser to sports governing bodies, sponsors and agencies. He was listed number 5 in the sport category of PR Week’s Powerbook list of industry influencers.

 

As Cake’s Managing Partner he ran a specialist sport and entertainment consulting group within Havas, the sixth largest marketing group in the world.

 

Before joining Cake, Richard was a strategic advisor to Lloyds Bank on its London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Partnership. He was editor of SportBusiness International and is a regular contributor to sports industry debate across national and international media, including the FT, WSJ, The Observer and The Irish Times.

 

The Captain Myth, his book on leadership at the Ryder Cup, was The Guardian’s sports book of the year.

Picture of Richard Gillis, Editor, Unofficial Partner
Sean Singleton – Publisher

Sean is an innovative, energetic and entrepreneurial media executive with 15+ years’ success in driving business growth. He started his career in magazines, where he was the publisher of SHOOT, World Soccer, Rugby, World and Golf Monthly.

 

Sean founded and ran award-winning digital agency, Skive, for 11 years, which worked with many sports clients. Following that Sean set up his own digital consultancy working with The Telegraph and Wall Street Journal.

 

For the last 5 years he ran the official UK digital agency for Mercedes-Benz and advised many companies on how to grow their client base using digital marketing strategies.

 

Sean has organised and appeared at many conferences, seminars and networking events, and appeared on football podcasts for over 15 years.

Picture of Sean Singleton, Publisher, Unofficial Partner

Meet the team

With a stellar reputation for editorial excellence and informed, entertaining conversations on the big subjects, Unofficial Partner sits at the centre of a private network of some of the most influential people in global sport.

What people are saying...

Listening to Unofficial Partner is a great way of claiming to be working when actually being entertained.

Peter Hutton, Meta​

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There are lots of places to go for the latest news, but Unofficial Partner has cornered the market for intelligent and engaging conversation.

Alexandra Willis, The Premier League

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Compulsory listening for my whole team 

Ben Blanco, Heineken 

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The first place we turn for deep insight in to the European sports market

Steve Horowitz, Inner Circle Sports

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Terrific. The best sports business podcast out there

Nick Harris, 
The Mail on Sunday 

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The best in the business

Martyn Ziegler, The Times 

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Pretty much unmissable 

Barry Hearn, 
Matchroom Sport 

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Different gravy​

Charlie Sale, 
Daily Mail

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