An eager student on the MSc Football Communications & Digital Marketing programme, Joseff Tinkler has been busy getting a taste of the football industry by working as a match day announcer at FA Women’s Championship side London City Lionesses. Here, the UCFB Wembley student tells us more about the role and his time at GIS so far…

How did the opportunity to work as a match day announcer at London City Lionesses come about?

I was very fortunate getting the opportunity to work with the Lionesses. A classmate of mine offered the opportunity on our WhatsApp group chat and I decided to put myself out there and send her a message asking if the opportunity was still available. She was sceptical at first due to my lack of experience but I showed my enthusiasm and how much I wanted experience in the world of sport. So I sent over my CV which she passed on to the team and about a week later I received a message from the team asking if I was available to work on their Continental Cup match against Arsenal. It was a fantastic experience where I was able to get the Arsenal Women’s head of marketing’s email address. We are currently arranging a date to have a Zoom call where I can learn more about the world of marketing first hand from a professional team.

What do you hope to bring to the role from what you’ve learnt at GIS so far?

As the match day announcer, my role is focused primarily on speaking clearly when doing the announcements before the game, during the game – such as goal scorers – then the announcements after the game. Fortunately, I have attended several summits hosted by Mark Clemmit who pushes the importance of public speaking and how to come across confident and calm. With my role I am not talking in front of a room full of people and, due to lockdown, I’m not talking to fans either. However, the club’s head of marketing is always in attendance so I need to be sure to stay professional throughout the match, and of course the players on the pitch will not want to be distracted by an unprofessional announcer.

Similarly, what do you hope to achieve and learn further while working for the club?  

Whilst working for the club I hope to continue learning about the day to day running of a football club and just grow my knowledge of the world of media in football. During the match I sit next to the team’s head of social media who’s live tweeting updates from the match; I also give my input such as language to be used and my own opinions of how the team is playing – as someone who would love to work in sports media this is great first-hand experience. As I mentioned earlier, I was able to get the Arsenal Women’s head of marketing email and this sort of networking is what I want to build on. GIS put on plenty of great events where networking is possible and emphasised, but networking at the Lionesses is fantastic as I’m doing it all myself. No one expects for a student to be there and come up to them asking for a chat or information about the business, so that pro-activeness can leave a lasting impression.

What other work experience opportunities have you completed or taken part in while at GIS? 

There are several events I have taken part in whilst at GIS. I have already mentioned the summits hosted by Mark Clemmit, with several guests from all over the world, including Toronto and Melbourne. At one of these events I was able to meet a member of The FA who is heavily involved with NFL UK, so getting his contact details was a great addition to my dissertation portfolio. I have also attended several online webinars featuring some big names from the world of sport, such as Nigel Clough, and other members of the sports marketing world that were more than willing to answer any questions we had about the industry.

The webinar I was most recently involved with was with two members of the NFL UK who gave us great insight into the London games and how they were able to transition from the European sports world to the American one, which is a path I would love to follow.

How has your time been at GIS so far? 

My time at GIS has been very positive and productive, but full of challenges and hard work. I decided to join this programme as it was time to focus on my career. The shift from a degree in history, which I graduated from in 2018, to moving away from Cardiff to London and studying a whole new topic in a year, was a huge obstacle to overcome but one which I have worked hard at and have grown into immensely. Although the first term was tough it was definitely the right step for me as building for my future is my main goal right now. Looking at the bigger picture, with the opportunities joining this course and moving to London has given me, this is overall a very positive experience.

What advice can you pass on to any potential students looking at coming to UCFB to study on the media pathway?  

There are many aspects of this course that seem too good to be true, such as guest speakers, webinars and the doors a course like this can open, but through what I have already experienced they are all true. Already two people from my course have gained jobs/placements at Premier League clubs, and I’m working with a football team which is something I would never be doing if I hadn’t joined GIS.