Career Corner with Patrick Murphy of Atomic Sport

Patrick Murphy, the Director of Atomic Sport, discusses his career to date and gives his advice to aspiring sponsorship professionals in our latest Career Corner Feature.

1. How did your career get off the ground? Were you always focussed on working in sponsorship or did it happen over time?

Luck! I spent a number of years early in my career working at Paddy Power, where I had occasional involvement in various sponsorship initiatives, without being responsible for delivering them. After that, a number of years dedicated to affiliate marketing gave me the chance to work with brands like Nike and the NFL when they looked at the affiliate marketing opportunities in the UK and Ireland. That professional experience, a personal involvement across a couple of sports, and a chance meeting on the Canal one day led me to co-founding Atomic Sport.

2. Has there been a key event or campaign in your career that has been particularly important to you?

I've luckily had the pleasure of working with some huge names in global sport, but coming from a GAA household, the 'We Wear More' ( work Atomic Sport did with the Gaelic Players Association around player welfare was a source of personal pride.

3. What people, brands, rights holders or campaigns have you looked to for inspiration and/or guidance in your career?

People - Lance Armstrong (in his role as a self-promoter and a sponsorship ambassador for Nike, Dicks Sporting Goods and Radioshack) 

Brands - Nike. 

Rights Holders - British Cycling. 

Campaigns - Nike Find your Greatness (not sponsorship, but gets what sport is really about)

Kenny Powers CEO for K-Swiss  (one way to do sponsorship)

4. What advice would you give young professionals who want to build a career in the sponsorship industry?

A couple of things...

People in sponsorship are getting old, but the platforms for activating sponsorship are getting younger. If you are young and digitally native then you know more than I do about platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Collate what you see that works and bring a point of view on how these platforms can work for sponsorship, and in a broader marketing sense.
Secondly, all businesses are constantly scrambling for insight and content - pitch yourself as a solution to this challenge. Write a series of articles or blog posts for an agency or a publication and commit to becoming an expert in an area that interests you.

5. What kind of people do you want to meet/hear from at ISS 2017 and what are you looking forward to about the event? 

Keen to talk to rights holders who don't regard sponsorship as an easy source of revenue.