In this weeks’ Face to Face feature, we talk to Steph Kirkman from the 7Sport team based in Melbourne. We chat about this year’s biggest sporting event, of course it’s the much anticipated Olympic Games. As well as other exciting content coming up in the sporting calendar.
Q1. Tell us about yourself and your career to date.
I always knew that I wanted to have a career in media and have always had a passion for sport.
Although I completed my university degree in Journalism, I was always intrigued by the commercial/advertising side of the media industry and started my career as a Sales Coordinator nine years ago.
My last six years have been at the Seven Network, and I am currently lucky enough to be part of the 7SPORT team; working with clients and brands to be part of huge sporting events such as the AFL, Cricket, Supercars and Olympics.
Q2. What’s your favourite part of the job and why?
My favourite part of my job is working with clients and brands that are just as passionate about sports as we are at 7. Being able to partner with brands across our sports and work with them to create strong campaigns and content is so rewarding, especially when you see it all come to life across our broadcast and digital channels!
Q3. What motivates you and what would you say has been the key to your success?
Having such a strong support team around me that I work with daily has been a key factor – there’s so much I’ve learnt over the years from great people across the Network in various roles. Seeing the success and passion that people have at Seven has really motivated me to really push myself outside of my comfort zone and have a go at everything to the best of my ability, but also inspire others to do the same.
Q4. The Olympics is set to be the most streamed programme in the world. How do you think it will compare to previous years without a physical audience presence?
The Tokyo Games will be the first global event post-COVID that will really bring the world together.
While the Olympic stadiums may be empty in July, there will be ways to ensure that the viewing experience for fans is enhanced (e.g we saw the introduction of crowd noises across 2020 in the AFL during COVID with empty stands).
Although fans may not be able to unite in the stands, there is no doubt people will be huddled around the screen to cheer their country on – making it the biggest multi-screen event we see in a long time.
Q5. I’ve heard you’re quite the sports fan. Tell us more.
Yes, I’m a huge sports fan – I love the footy (all codes), tennis, soccer and follow the F1 religiously around the world (if you haven’t watched “Drive to Survive” on Netflix – I highly recommend it!)
I love everything about sport – from the elite skills displayed by the athletes, to the passion of the fans in the stadiums – nothing beats the atmosphere and adrenaline rush you get when watching live sport!
Q6. How do you keep on track with current trends in the market and update your knowledge on the industry?
There is so much good content out there these days from podcasts, virtual events to industry sites – one of my favourites is the Ministry of Sport website – which gives good insights on trends, partnerships and exclusive interviews with key commercial leaders in the sporting industry.
Q7. What’s in the content pipeline this year that you’re personally excited about?
Outside of the Olympics – it is going to be a huge year for 7SPORT. I’m looking forward to seeing the AFL Grand Final back at the G, 7’s first Ashes Series on Aussie shores in November, and the Bathurst 1000 being back on our screens in October.
Sport aside – I’m looking forward to seeing The Voice on 7 and the return of SAS Australia – definitely one of my favourite shows of 2020.
Q8. With Easter coming up, what have you got planned? Are there any Easter traditions in your family and what’s on the menu?
No huge plans for Easter yet. My Mum’s side are Japanese and Easter isn’t a huge tradition over there, however I do plan to enjoy relaxing over the long weekend, have a hit of tennis and watching some Easter weekend Footy!