In this weeks’ Face to Face, Joshua Tanner from the Melbourne office opens up about juggling family life during lockdown, how viewer behaviour is changing in the way sports content is consumed and what he’s most excited for in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Q1. How did you venture into the world of Sport sales?

Sport has always been my passion and this led me to a Sports Marketing course at Uni.  When I finished the course, I was lucky to have a family friend who was EA to the Melbourne Sales Director now Head of 7SPORT (nepotism at its best). It was a case of right place, right time and Adam Elliott who was running sport at the time needed some support and signed me up to book spots and billboards into the old NTS system back in May of 2005. Here I am, 16 years later and still loving it.

Q2. Tell us a about a typical working day for you.

A tricky one to answer as there is a lot of variety to my role, which is why I enjoy it so much.

The week usually kicks off listening to Tim Hunter talk at volume about how good or bad the Saints were on the weekend, then we delve into a lot of analysis of weekend sport ratings, inventory analysis and reporting for the purpose of developing sales strategies and market comms to our sponsors/clients.

There is typically a handful of presentations to clients which at the moment is a mixture of AFL integration pitches, Tokyo Olympics opportunities and soon to be Ashes Cricket & Winters Sponsors opportunities.

A lot of time is spent workshopping solutions with the Sport Sales team, Production team and 7Red Campaign Team.  The constant dance of finding an angle whether it be via inventory or in-program idea to make our partners feel like they are valued and to ultimately build their brand and sell their product.

I also regularly work on building relationships with our sporting body partners at the AFL and Racing who we collaborate with on co-partner and are important to our success.  Often this happens at a major sporting event or two which is a nice part of the job.

Q3. If you could give your 20 year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Buy Bitcoin early.

More importantly though, respect every person you deal with and be authentic in your approach.

Q4. You experienced one of the lengthiest lockdowns in Australia being based in Melbourne, what was the biggest challenge and how did you stay motivated?

Biggest challenge was finding ways to manage the high workload that came with an ever-changing AFL season with trying to support my amazing wife who was attempting to run a primary school and kindergarten in our living room for our 4 young kids.  I became a part-time PE Teacher! Some interesting times indeed, but I also have very fond memories. During this time, I witnessed and learnt more about my kids than ever. They were my motivation pushing me to dominate my Seven duties so I could be present with them when they needed me.

Q5. Are there any trends you’re noticing with audience behaviour or different viewing habits in the way that they consume live sport or sports content?

Covid 19 expedited the growth and scale of audiences streaming sport and seeking out more social/sport doco style content. Fans were desperate to delve deeper with their passions and feel connected to sport which gave them a taste of normal.  Whilst Seven has some rights limitations with some of our sports in the streaming space it also bodes well for future growth into the areas we do like Supercars, Horse Racing, AFLW and the Olympics. Also, the opportunity to develop a new flavour with new social shows and content allows us to engage our sport fans in different ways with new opportunities for brands.

Q6. We’ve heard your quite the AFL fan, who is your team?

I’m a proud North Melb Kangaroos member (There aren’t many of us). The whole family are Roos as my Dad was fortunate enough to be a premiership player with the Kangas back in 1977. North are a long way last at the moment, however I did enjoy a successful era in the 90’s when I was lucky enough to be at the MCG to witness two premierships.

Q7. What sport are you most excited to watch in the upcoming Olympics?

I love watching the High Jump and Javelin as they were events I loved to do back in High School.  Other than this the BMX is a great watch as its fast and physical.  Favourite team to watch will be the Matildas led by Sam Kerr who is an absolute jet. Curious to catch Speed Climbing as well as it looks very cool.  I’ll be watching it all!!

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