Neil Bailey, Pitch International Representation CEO, discusses the major developments and events from the business in 2019, and talks through the goals and things to look forward for the year ahead!
Before we look forward to 2020, how would you describe the last 12 months for Pitch International Representation?
It has been a period of huge growth and progression for the business. We have expanded the range of sports that we work with now and represent golfers and rally drivers, which are sports we already have a strong affiliations with through the media rights deals the wider Pitch organisation is heavily involved in. We have also had a massive uplift in the number of athletes that we are working with and have some exciting new talent on board. We’re fortunate as well to have put in place several international collaborations that have expanded the scale and scope of the operation geographically and territorially.
Has there been any standout moments over the last year?
There have been a few headline moments; our cricketers and rugby players involved in world cup finals and semi-finals, being represented in the Champions League Final and also concluding some high-profile transfers. Equally, it’s been just as satisfying to play an integral part in our younger athletes’ careers; securing their first professional contracts and agreeing commercial partnerships. There are different opportunities for athletes at all levels and one of the best parts of this business is playing a part in making sure they’re exploring and maximising those opportunities.
Do you think the representation industry is changing, and is there anything Pitch Rep is focussed on in this regard?
There are some big structural changes with increased regulations and scrutiny across all different sectors, including athlete representation. There is greater transparency, greater business ethics, and greater environmental and ecological responsibility being introduced and we’re continuously striving to make sure we’re ahead of the game. One of the fastest developing areas of the sports business is women’s sport, which was already a focus with us, but is an area we’re targeting further strategic development in this year too.
Are there any other goals that Pitch Rep has for the year ahead?
We want to continue to strengthen the depth and breadth of the relationships that we’ve worked hard to put in place. These include rugby and cricket federations across the globe, as well as top European football clubs in Portugal, Italy, Holland, France, and of course England. We’re also looking at some new ideas to make sure we’re helping our athletes from all aspects of their well-being, particularly mental health, which is often over-looked.
Lastly, what are some of the exciting things coming up for Pitch’s athletes?
A lot - there is always a raft of competitions and formats just around the corner. We’re looking forward to seeing our players participating in the upcoming Guinness Six Nations and it’s U20 age group competition, while later in the year have athletes in action in the Euros, T20 cricket world cup and the Women’s Super League. Like the last 12 months, I’m sure we will see a lot of our young footballers and other athletes take big steps in their career, which is really rewarding to watch. I’m confident it’s a very exciting year ahead for Pitch Rep and our clients!