When a team is doing well on the pitch or on the track, its athletes are the first to be praised shortly followed by their coach. Fair enough, we can’t argue with that.

But what about the team behind the team? The media department, the finance arm, the retail team? How much does their hard work help contribute towards the success that is visible to all?

One man who knows exactly what it takes to be part of a winning team is Dave Callan, Team INEOS’ Head of Partnerships and Business Development. Callan, a delegate on VSI’s CEO of a Sports Organisation programme, joined Team INEOS in 2016 when they were Team Sky, and as now, dominating the cycling scene. Before that, he was at Manchester United as the club’s Associate Relationship Director.

As part of two hugely successful sports organisations, we asked him how the performance of the athletes influences the work he and his team does.

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“I think it’s quite a unique framework within sport because you’ve almost got two worlds colliding,” Callan told us. “What’s important is that there has to be a high performing culture driven through the organisation that normally is set by the leadership downwards, and I think actually there are learnings both ways.”

He added: “From the business standpoint there is definitely inspiration you can take from the performance side of any team, but equally I think the way a sports organisation is structured from a business side standpoint can enable winning performances and it can certainly enable an organisation to perform better in a race or on the pitch.”

He admits the “high performing” nature of both organisations is what attracted him towards working for them in the first place.

Callan adds: “I certainly think it’s a two-way process and it’s a challenge for sure within a sporting context to have these two areas working in unison, but I think it’s down to the leadership of those organisations to make sure a winning and high performing culture transcends through the whole organisation.”