Achieving Balance: Jonathan Licht – Director of Strategy for Sky Sports
‘Thankfully the world is moving forward and we all need to be on-board. It’s not negotiable.’
Hi Jonathan, tell us a bit more about your role at Sky
I am extremely privileged to be the Director of Strategy for Sky Sports. I always think about my role in three buckets – firstly working with the internal team at Sky Sports to ensure we are delivering for our customers across our range of channels and products, making the most of the huge investment that Sky makes in sport. Secondly connecting with the various teams across Sky to ensure that we, in Sports, are doing what we can to help them deliver their own targets and objectives related to Sky Sports. That can be with the CCO team, Sky Media, Sky Business or just about any team here at Sky. Finally there is working with our external partners and potential partners, rights-holders, the sports or the teams themselves to ensure that they are getting more than just a transactional relationship with Sky. We work to ensure that we understand their priorities and to make sure we are truly partnering, for our mutual benefit.
How do you achieve balance in your life?
Good question and one I spend plenty of time thinking about. Sport is genuinely 24/7 and as a passionate fan it’s always “on.” So even away from work, when I am watching, attending, following or reading about a sport, I am more often than not thinking about it in the context of work, and whether a certain outcome is good or bad for Sky. That can be a mild (or warm) irritation to my family, but it’s something I am very conscious of, so more effort to put the phone down/away and take in as many experiences together as possible. Holidays are obviously a highlight of any year.
It’s difficult to ever think you’ve got balance right, but it’s important to remember that’s there is probably more in your control than you might think.
What does success look like to you? Is there anything you’re particularly proud of?
We are fortunate to be involved in so many great events and moments, but often success is closely linked to what happens on the pitch – a dramatic late goal, a winning putt or a final round knock-out. But those moments, which we don’t control (I promise), are the culmination of so much hard work, expertise, passion and collaboration from many individuals and teams across Sky Sports and beyond. These peak moments are what we’re famous for and what lives longest in the memory of fans/customers. A couple of personal favourites are the Agueroooo last day of the PL season, just a perfect moment of uncontrollable excitement, and Joshua vs. Klitschko at Wembley, which was the climax of years of hard work from the team who helped build a sport back and the take it forward to new unseen levels.
Away from the sporting field and back in the office I am extremely proud of the strategy and planning team in Sports. We may not be at the front-line of all the great sport, but there aren’t many big events, rights processes, major rights-holder presentations or audience records that go on here without some and often significant involvement.
Who inspires you?
Experiences inspire me and often because I feel so fortunate about those that my role affords me that it makes me even more committed and passionate about delivering and giving back in my role. At Sky I am always inspired by visiting our contact centres. This is the real front-line and the enthusiasm and expertise the teams show is a huge example to all of is. It is a similar feel in many ways to an Outside Broadcast for Sky Sports. Great commitment, camaraderie and subject matter excellence. I don’t visit contact centres or our OB’s often enough, but when I do they are always inspiring and uplifting.
This year the theme is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change” – what does this mean to you?
Thankfully the world is moving forward and we all need to be on-board. It’s not negotiable. We are not always where we we’d hope to be, but I do strongly believe that the intent is right and genuine. The opportunity ahead of us to be leaders for this change is there and I am committed to play a part in that.
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