Overthinking the sports business, for money.
Welcome to the Conversation
Why Unofficial Partner?
Unofficial Partner specialises in podcasting to cover the business of sport. We offer series on various topics such as sport and technology, digital transformation, private equity in sport, the market for broadcast and streaming rights, and sponsorship.
We love to conduct engaging one-on-one conversations with prominent individuals in the sports and associated sectors. Our podcasts are downloaded 10,000 times per week, year-round, and our Unofficial Partner Newsletter is distributed to over 5,000 sport subscribers every Thursday.
Our audience consists of discerning individuals who value their time, seek knowledge, and dislike being subjected to sales pitches or rehearsed 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.
UP Production Services
UP Productions is a new division with a brief to create different types of podcasts and other forms of sports related content for both business and broader sporting audiences.
UPP is run by Matt Cutler, former SportBusiness editor and Two Circles communications supremo.
The first UPP project is The Pirates vs The Premier League which is a five part documentary series that goes deep in to the worlds of illegal sports streaming.
Our aim is to work with the sports industry to develop and produce sports business stories for all platforms – podcasts, TV, streaming platforms, radio, social media.
And that includes journalists and content creators who have the germs of an idea but need help making it a reality.
It also means organisations that think they have a story to tell that hasn’t been told yet.
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.
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.
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.
Matt Cutler – Producer
Matt is a sports business journalist and specialist communications consultant to the agency sector, best known for his time as editor of SportBusiness International (2010-2015) and Head of Communications at award-winning data-driven sports marketing agency Two Circles (2017-2023).
At Two Circles, Matt created and executed global communications, PR and marketing strategies and campaigns that helped take the company from plucky start-up to global leader. During his six years there, Two Circles won three coveted Sport Industry Agency of the Year awards.
Matt heads up Unofficial Partner Productions, the business’s consumer-facing storytelling arm, and was the writer and co-producer of Unofficial Partner Productions’ breakthrough podcast documentary The Pirates vs the Premier League.
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
The impact of appearing on Unofficial Partner is unmatched in terms of being heard by people who matter across sport and the industries it touches.
Sam Sadi, Livescore Group
Ben Blanco, Heineken
The first place we turn for deep insight in to the European sports market
Steve Horowitz, Inner Circle Sports
Terrific. The best sports business podcast out there
Nick Harris, The Mail on Sunday
The best in the business
Martyn Ziegler, The Times
Pretty much unmissable
Barry Hearn, Matchroom Sport
Charlie Sale, Daily Mail