International Centre for
Sports Studies

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Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 11 January 2021


Picture: Pia-Alexandra Mackenzie (in the center) who is flanked by two other Alumni of the FIFA Master DK - DongUk Kim (on the left) and Biplav Gautam (on the right)

Current Position: Marketing Manager at the Badminton World Federation

Year of graduation: 2017 (17th edition)

Nationality: German / Scottish

What does your current role involve?

After working in Sponsorship Sales for about seven years around various events and sports, both in agencies and more specifically for a Swiss broadcaster, I got the excellent opportunity to go deeper into the business of one sport, that at that time I knew little about – Badminton. Joining the Badminton World Federation (BWF) in March 2019 as their Marketing Manager has given me opportunities which I could never have dreamed of when finishing the FIFA Master.

The scope of my role is quite broad, which is what makes each day interesting at the BWF. The main focus is working together with the Commercial and Communications Director in developing new opportunities for current and future sponsors, which is vital given how fast the market is moving and the expectations that sponsors have nowadays. One project, which I thoroughly enjoyed, was working with our Development Team in launching new AirBadminton courts in Guangzhou, China. The scope of this project was wide and setting this up in a country I had only been to once, gave me the challenges I look for in a position. Currently, I am handling our integrity campaign – “i am badminton” – which is close to my heart as I was very interested in this subject during the FIFA Master. This project has enabled me to work together with athletes, continental confederations and member associations across the globe in spreading the importance of integrity and what it means to keep a sport clean and honest.

Which aspects of the FIFA Master course have helped you most in your career?

Given the scope of subjects the FIFA Master covers, my year on the course gave me the great advantage of broadening my understanding on what subjects and opportunities there are in the business of sport. This was of great value because I was able to see where my skills and interests could fit in when looking into potential job opportunities after the FIFA Master in the summer of 2017.

Meeting and listening to speakers from different sports, positions and countries gave me an international and broad advantage to use best-practice examples from other sports in my current position and when working before that on a project-basis in motorsports, football, tennis and kickboxing.

Finally, you cannot underestimate the importance of the contacts you establish during the year and through the invaluable Alumni that has built up over the years. During the final months of the FIFA Master, I started to look into job opportunities and was invited to interviews and even received offers, which of course gives you a great reassurance.

However, I decided to work for myself and two of the projects came through FIFA Master Alumni.

What advice would you give to future students on the course?

The most important advice I can give is to use the year to find out what subject(s) you enjoy most within the business of sport and not to set your mind on one individual sport. If you end up taking a position in your favourite sport but where the tasks absolutely do not interest you, the excitement that you are working in this specific sport will soon deteriorate.

If at the time of you finishing the programme there is not the right opportunity, be patient and look into part-time or contract opportunities. Be open to new opportunities that might not have been on your list of considerations prior to starting the course. One of the best decisions I took was to work for myself for a few years, as this developed my skills in finance, negotiation and technology, due to the wide scope of project opportunities.

Furthermore, take the time needed to nourish the contacts you establish throughout the three parts of the programme. This includes both class colleagues as well as visiting speakers, teachers and during field visits. Finally, as many of you will be travelling around the world, you will learn that after a long day during a business trip you will be more than grateful to meet other Alumni for a dinner (thanks again DK and Biplav!).

FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, ranked No.1 Course in Europe 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 by the SportBusiness International global rankings.

Organised by CIES in partnership with De Montfort University (United Kingdom), SDA Bocconi School of Management (Italy) and the University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland).

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