In this weeks’ Face to Face, we meet Sport Sales Manager, Stephen Johnston as he shares insights about the consumption of live sport, plus some tips to coaching Under 6s AFL!

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

I started my career in Melbourne at Nine followed by Prime7. I moved to Sydney in 2007 where I was fortunate to lead the Prime7 sport sales team. I transitioned over to the 7Sport sales team about 6-7 years ago.

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

I drop my eldest at school. Catch up on trade press. Meet with my team mates and review ongoing partner campaigns. Present 7Sport opportunities to brands. Commonwealth Games go to market and is currently in full swing. Plenty of external & internal online meetings – looking forward to getting out and about for face to face meetings.

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

Invest in something prior to loading up on overseas travel.

Q4. What has been your biggest challenge from the last year and what do you do to stay motivated?

The beauty of media sales is there is rarely any downtime and there is always a challenge. We’ve come off a massive 12 months from a sport content perspective with Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022, the Ashes, AFL and more. The Commonwealth Games is less than 75 days away so we are full steam ahead planning.

I am lucky to form part of a high achieving Sport Sales team who keep each other motivated.

Q5. Have you noticed a shift with audience behaviour in the way that they consume live sport or sports content?

Absolutely yes over a number of years but Tokyo 2020 on 7plus was a game changer with how the audience was handed ultimate control over which sport they watched, when and on what platform. I’m excited to see how that consumption evolves for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

Q6. We’ve heard you’re a big AFL fan, who is your favourite team?

Western Bulldogs. Slow start to the year for the dogs. My dad in Melbourne isn’t too happy with their performance so far. I enjoy taking my kids to see the GWS Giants and Sydney Swans.

I am lucky – my three young fellas are keen to go to all sport – footy, cricket, supercars, horse racing, anything really.

Q7. Lastly, we learned that you coach AFL on the side (including your kids). What do you think makes a good coach?

Yes the under 10s and under 6s at the mighty Glebe Greyhounds junior club! It’s very serious stuff, especially the under 6s. If we lose a game the Johnston household isn’t a pleasant place to be on Saturday nights. I had hair prior to taking on this responsibility. For proper strategic coaching tips, I suggest you interview my colleague Peter Quinn.

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