Motorsport is a serious business. Without the movers and shakers at the commercial end of the sport, there would be no teams, no development, no media coverage, no rules (!) and no money! The business of motorsport has to remain as cutting-edge as the engineering side of things, so the industry demands the brightest minds, the most ambitious candidates and the sharpest commercial skills.
Again, we’ll state the obvious – motorsport is one of the most competitive fields in which to seek employment. But how can you succeed if you’re looking to enter the business of motorsport from another field? How can you make sure that your CV ticks all the right boxes? We asked Genevieve Gordon of global motorsport agency Tactic Connect to give us her top tips for success.
Kickstart Your Career in the Business of Motorsport
Tactic Connect works with businesses, organisations, clubs and athletes to help maximise opportunities and get ahead in this competitive industry. Offering business planning, strategy building, mentorship and business support, Genevieve has worked with some of the top companies in motorsport and knows her stuff.
Network, Network, Network
Growing your network is the key to success in almost any business these days. Whether you network virtually using platforms such as LinkedIn, or physically by attending events, job fairs or seminars, the more people you meet the better your chances of success.
Networking isn’t just about meeting people who can help you find a job in motorsport, it’s about expanding your knowledge of the business. Many approach networking in completely the wrong way. Will this person be a benefit to my career? Can connecting with this person help raise my profile within the industry? You should also be considering what this person can teach you. How can you learn from this person?
Expanding your specialist subject knowledge is crucial and who better to learn from than those doing the job you aspire to. Most motorsport experts and professionals love their jobs and people love to talk about their passions. Rather than approaching networking as a steppingstone to a new job, look at it as a way to educate yourself.
Also, if you’re looking to work within the business of motorsport, don’t limit yourself to expanding your knowledge of motorsport. The more you can learn about business in general, the better. The most successful businesspeople often have a great understanding of all areas of a business but may specialise in just one. For instance, you may be great with numbers but not have a clue about marketing. You might come from a business management background but know nothing about the hands-on side of a business. Take some time to learn new skills and become a good all-rounder. There are entry-level online courses for almost everything these days – social media, accounting, business strategy…almost everything you could think of. If you’re serious about getting into the business of motorsport, upskill. Learn as much as you can about as much as you can. Be the most well-informed candidate in the stack of applications.
Think Outside of the Box
One of the best ways to get into the business side of motorsport is to play to your strengths. Chances are you already have strong skills in something outside of motorsport. Using your hobbies, experiences and skills learnt in other careers to enhance your ambitions will undoubtedly pay dividends.
There are tons of transferable skills which you can port from other job roles into motorsport and hundreds of different job roles which will help you combine your experience with your passion. Some of these include:
Do you blog, run a You Tube channel or have 2k+ followers on Instagram? Regardless of the subject area, this would make you a valuable asset and also show that you’re up to speed with modern marketing methods. If it’s motorsport related, even better!
Law & Governance
You may be a dab hand at drawing up contracts, negotiating deals or drafting health & safety policy. Motorsport is a heavily regulated business; with deep pockets and huge sums being spent, there are always large teams dedicated to ensuring that every penny is accounted for, every contract above board and every workplace dedicated to employee wellbeing.
Supply Chain Management & Logistics
Due to its global nature, supply chain management and logistics are a huge part of the business of motorsport. Managing parts suppliers, freight, travel for teams – the people who keep the world of motorsport turning are some of the hardest working of any industry.
Keep Your Knowledge Current
Demonstrating a passion for the industry will only go so far in helping you to secure a job in the business side of motorsport. Proving that you keep up to date with news, trends, regulations and innovations in the industry will help you not only convince employers that you immerse yourself in motorsport but also help you advance your career when you get there.
Reading industry magazines, blogs, setting google alerts for FIA updates – keeping up to date with anything and everything relevant to the sector will make sure that you put the best foot forward in an interview and give you talking points when you network with industry pros.
Having a relevant qualification that demonstrates your specialist skills in the industry is a sure-fire way to get to the top of a CV sift. Imagine you need surgery on your knee. Would you be happy for your GP to operate or would you prefer to be in the hands of an orthopaedic surgeon?? Put yourself in the place of a motorsport recruiter, where the same applies. Would you rather have someone with a general engineering qualification working on your specialist cars or someone with a qualification specific to the job at hand?
Choosing a specialism proves your passion for the subject area and also allows you to become an expert in a specific field. Choosing a motorsport specific qualification will look brilliant on any CV and it’s also a great opportunity to hone your skills in a certain area or research topics which you think will strengthen your chances of a job at the end of it. If you’re studying for a degree, choose your dissertation or final project topic carefully. Look at what’s currently affecting the motorsport business or how you can come up with new ways to solve old problems.
In short, getting ahead in the business of motorsport requires passion, tenacity, professionalism and above all, a shed load of industry knowledge. When you’re passionate about a subject, it makes learning, networking and researching easy and enjoyable. Reach out and talk to people, share your opinions and listen to those of others in online groups, read and keep reading, learn and keep learning. Immerse yourself in one of the most dynamic and exciting industries anyone could wish to work in!
Ready to Get Serious About the Business of Motorsport?
The National Motorsport Academy are proud to be launching a brand new course for 2021. The Business of Motorsport Master’s Degree* (MA) is the world’s only Master’s degree to focus entirely on the commercial aspects of motorsport. Developed by industry professionals, this professional motorsport qualification can help you transfer any business or commercial degree into a motorsport related career.
*Pending validation by De Montfort University