Antony Todino (BSc Managerial and Administrative Studies, 2006) consultant and founding partner of recruitment agency Sporting Appointments tells us how his experience at Aston has helped shape his career and how the Olympic year is impacting on his role.
What does your role with Sporting Appointments involve?
Sporting Appointments is a recruitment company which recruits for sporting organisations, such as governing bodies, sports sponsors, sports clubs, sporting venues etc. We basically provide these organisations with commercial candidates, like Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Company Directors and PR Managers.
My role focusses on working with organisations in the UK, but we also have an international division as well.
How did you come to be a founding member of Sporting Appointments?
When I left Aston I stated working for a marketing agency, and then quickly moved to onto a marketing recruitment company. It was at that company that the Managing Director had an idea for starting a recruitment company working in the sporting arena. Having worked closely with him I was very keen to get involved, so I moved across from the marketing recruitment agency, and we started up this specialist sporting recruitment agency from scratch. So I was able to be there from day one and help establish the company and help get our name and brand out there and build our reputation in the sports industry.
How is Sporting Appointments as a business contributing to the delivery of the London 2012 Olympic Games?
Sporting Appointments is working with a number of Olympic sponsors and governing bodies, as well as Olympic sports marketing agencies, which have been sourced as suppliers to help with the delivery of the Games in various different ways. We are recruiting for positions like Sponsorship Managers, Event Managers, HR Managers, Health and Safety Managers and Sales Managers. Some of those clients include Badminton England and England Netball, two governing bodies.
Another example is a company called Prestige Ticketing which is going to be selling corporate hospitality to the Games so we are finding specialist sales people for them. We are working with Olympic sponsors like Proctor and Gamble and Samsung recruiting specialist marketing roles to help them deliver their sponsorship campaigns in relation to the Games. We also work with smaller organisations, one example being Gold Challenge, a charity looking to create legacy form the Games by getting young people to participate in sport whilst raising money for charity.
How will the Olympic year impact on your role?
In a normal year a lot of the roles that I fill are traditionally permanent long term vacancies, whereas during this Olympic year my role has involved looking to find candidates available to work on shorter fixed term contracts. This year the companies we work with have the challenge of persuading people to leave the comfort and security of a permanent job to work with them up to the period of the Olympic Games, after which they might not have the option of a permanent job. So, I’ve been working to find candidates who are happy to do that, and then finding them potential opportunities to follow on from the Olympics. So it’s not a typical recruitment brief at the moment.
What do you hope will be the legacy of the Olympic Games?
For me personally, I’d like to see long term a global legacy for Britain. Hosting the Olympics gives global credibility for any country and puts them on the map in sporting terms, and I hope that we will be recognised as a great sporting nation.
Also, within the UK it would be great to see more young people going into sports at a younger age and really raising the participation levels. The Olympics are great because the sports that are shown are not always shown on a regular basis so you get to see a wide range of sports that you don’t always get to see, which people might become interested in and get involved in.
Where does your passion for sport come from? Did you play sport during your time at Aston?
I’ve always been passionate about sport from an early age. I’ve always played sports like football and cricket at school, and I’ve watched sport from as long as I can remember. At Aston I was lucky enough to play for the third and fourth teams in football, and I also played basketball and badminton in the Gem Sports Hall, whilst also being a member of the gym.
How has your Aston degree helped you in your career?
I was particularly fortunate at Aston, as I did a BSc in Managerial and Administrative Studies. The first year was very much a core year with set subjects, but then in the second year I got to pick the subjects that I would study afterwards. I was very interested in subjects like entrepreneurship, marketing and consumer behaviour, whereas I was less interested in subjects like finance and accounting for example. So I was grateful for the opportunity to specialise in subjects that I enjoyed and was good at, and today I’m using the knowledge and skills form those subjects, so I was glad of the flexibility available during the course.
Secondly, I was grateful to the support from Aston in finding my industrial placement. I did one year at National Express as a Marketing Assistant which was a fantastic experience. So when I left Aston as a graduate, as well as having my degree I also had a year’s work experience with a national brand, which really helped me find my first role.
I also found that all of the extra-curricular activities outside of the course and on campus really helped me to develop. I met so many different people and I think one important thing that Aston gave me was relationship building skills, people skills if you like, which you have to have to be successful in a job. Now I’m in recruitment I use all those people skills when dealing with Chief Executives and Chairmen right down to young entry level candidates. I speak to a variety of different people and my time at Aston has really helped me to do that.