Client appreciation, finding solutions: life as an EA in sport
Please tell us a bit about yourself: Who do you work for? What does your role entail? How long have you been there?
My name is Claire-Louise Hinde and I work for Wasserman Media Group, we are one of the largest Global Sports Management companies in the world. I have been with Wasserman since 2006, I had previously been with SFX Sports Group and we were acquired by Wasserman. My role has lots of different parts to it. I work for an EVP Managing Executive in Global Football whereby I look after him, his business and he has a team of Football Intermediaries who I also help to look after. For him I cover most of the usual EA responsibilities, arranging meetings, travel both domestic and international, expenses, booking restaurants, corporate gifting and any general administration he might require around his football business and help with his personal family needs as well. I also organise our annual Global Football Conference each year and run our corporate suite at one of the football stadiums. I support his team as well with similar needs. On top of this I also act as an EA concierge service to all our talent which is a whole other role in itself from booking concerts, holidays, personal shopping the list goes on. Over the years my role has really evolved. What started out as a traditional EA role many years ago taking shorthand, sending letters has now turned into doing everything and anything that is required.
What inspires you at work and what do you love about your job too?
What I love about my job is the interaction with clients and people. I love fixing things, coming up with a solution. Getting someone into that impossible to book restaurant or managing to get them to a destination when there aren’t any flights. Being able to pull off an event in wo days. It's when I’m asked to do something quite complex and I get it done. Then when you get the client appreciation and thanks it means a lot.
What are your greatest challenges?
The greatest challenges would probably be supporting so many different people and keeping them ticking over. My job is not a traditional 9-5 so can be a lot of work out of hours. You need to be available at all times. Even when you are on holiday. This job is all about managing relationships and is not one for the faint hearted. Where I have been at the company for such a long time I tend to be the go to person in my department for a lot of things!
What kind of training have you received? Personal or skills training?
Wasserman is a brilliant company to work for, they offer all sorts of training and personal development for employees. I personally sat my GCSE’s, then A Levels and then I went to college and completed an HND in business and office management and alongside that I took all of my secretarial qualifications (typing, word processing, audio typing and shorthand). I also put myself through night school and sat my Italian language GCSE.
What kind of budgetary responsibility do you have? Where is your greatest expenditure?
We are given budgets for company social events and corporate gifting for Christmas and you have to stick to them. Christmas Gifting for clients is always a great expenditure and its fun to research and get the gifts.The biggest expenditures would be our Global Football Conference and our Wasserman Christmas Party which covers all of our European offices as well. I’m always looking to find new venues and outdo the year before.
Why do you visit The PA Show and what is it you love about attending?
I love to meet with new suppliers in all areas as you just never know what you might need in the future so meeting brands is great whether it be a hotel, a gifting company, travel firms. These events always are brilliant to beef up your black book of contacts which are a godsend!
How have you found the last year with the Covid situation?
For me its been tough. I’m not used to working from home. I have missed being around my colleagues on a day-to-day basis. I miss networking and going to try out new restaurants and seeing hotels to book my clients into. I miss being around people. It makes it much harder to do my job.
Do you have any advice for other assistants?
For any good assistant you need to have your finger on the pulse. You need to know the best restaurants, the best hotels, what the latest trends are, where is everyone going and how do you get booked in. Your network is key. Stay on top of your game.