As a graduate of the BA (Hons) Stadium & Events Management programme, Luke Dick has landed a role as Commercial Marketing Executive at Oxford United. Having started out as an intern for the League One club, he’s now secured a full-time position ahead of next season. Here, Luke tells us about the job and his time at UCFB Wembley

Tell us about your role at Oxford United and how you landed it.

I am a Commercial Marketing Executive at Oxford United, where I play a key role in the management and coordination of the club’s partners and sponsors. This can vary from planning and delivering partnership activations to increasing the awareness of partner brands to the Oxford United fanbase. I also produce marketing content for anything commercial for the club, such as promoting business Golf Days and coordinating the creation of the club’s commercial brochure.

I landed this role through networking. Networking is a word I once underappreciated. Someone I met at UCFB had contacts at Oxford United, and during the first 2020 lockdown I reconnected with him to see if he’d be able to put me in front of the right person for some work experience at my local club. From there, I managed to gain an initial two-week work placement with Oxford, which then led on to a six-month internship with the marketing department. The opportunity then escalated to a full-time role, which I’m extremely grateful to have been offered.

What have been the highlights so far?   

There have been too many so far to be able to pick one – but I’d say one of my personal highlights was leading my first partnership activation from initiation to delivery, with the club’s new front of shirt sponsor. The planning and hard work that went into the whole activation was merited on launch day, where we received some very positive feedback from both EB Charging and the Oxford United fanbase.

What have you brought to the role from your time at UCFB?

The main asset I’ve brought into this role from my degree at UCFB has got to be the power of planning and preparation. No matter how small or large a project is, the ability to plan your approach and ensure you’re prepared for all eventualities, will make the output the best it can be.

I’ve also developed some soft skills that were initiated at UCFB. The ability to work hard and put yourself out there is the reason why I am in the position I am now. Being able to say yes to every opportunity that arises, will show potential employers and your work colleagues some significant credentials and will put you in front of the right people and lots of different opportunities.

You've also worked for the FA and UEFA. What did these roles involve and how did they build your knowledge and connections in the industry?

I was part of the FA Events Team before the global pandemic, where we were preparing for the busy spring footballing calendar in 2020. For obvious reasons this role was postponed, however while I was there I created some fantastic connections with some great people at the FA which enabled me to be invited back to work at some of the England games during lockdown at Wembley Stadium.

I also had the opportunity to work as a Doping Control Chaperone for the FA as a representative of UEFA. The role involved hosting the Doping Controller for UEFA prior to the match kicking off and during the game, where we then would have to meet chosen players off the pitch at full-time who were randomly selected for doping control. I was to escort these players for the duration of the testing.

I was also fortunate enough to travel to Stoke City for a few days to work for the England Lionesses game against Canada, which was an exciting experience. I was then supporting the pre-event preparation for the FA Cup Semi-finals, FA Cup Final and Non-League Finals - all at Wembley stadium.

The nature of working at such a large organisation like the FA meant there were so many different stakeholders and departments we were working with for one event. The opportunity to network with some great people in the industry has ensured I have some close contacts who I will hopefully cross paths with in the future.

 How did you find your time at UCFB?  

My time at UCFB was an unforgettable experience, where I met some friends for life. The opportunities available through UCFB were second to none, which have contributed to gaining employment in the football industry since graduating.

The trips UCFB were able to stage were also once in a lifetime opportunities, including our trip to Doha, Qatar in 2019 to meet with the key stakeholders of the forthcoming 2022 World Cup.
Having also visited the stadiums and other infrastructures in Doha has further developed my passion to work on major sporting events in the future.

What advice would you pass on to anyone looking to study at UCFB?

The advice I’d give to students wanting to study at UCFB would be to be prepared for hard work. Hard work isn’t only needed when studying at UCFB, but it’s also pivotal in gaining valuable work experience and job placements. No opportunity will be given to you on a plate, but the proactive work you put in will be rewarded with some amazing experiences in the sports industry.