Sports management expert Goldwater speaks in Doha
Josoor’s role in moulding professionals praised
BOBBY Goldwater, one of the most respected and innovative executives in the sports, entertainment and facility management industry, has had a distinguished career in the US.
The president of the Goldwater Group and a lecturer at the Georgetown University elaborated on the Sports Industry Management graduate programme, role of Josoor Institute in moulding professionals in the field and the advantage Qatar enjoys when it comes to venue management.
How critical is the role of facilities management industry in maintaining and utilising mega stadiums in a small country like Qatar, after the World Cup?
Professional venue management is essential for the running of any programme, especially for a mega event like the FIFA World Cup. It’s the management and co-ordination of various venues, services, fans and guests who come for the event, and other stakeholders from media to sponsors. It’s a detail-oriented undertaking and people need to know what to do and how to do it.
The primary aim is to ensure the safety and comfort of every person who comes for the event. This understanding is very important and those involved need to know what to do. Venue management is something you learn through experience. I’ve high expectation that it’ll be done in a professional manner after the 2022 World Cup.
From your rich experience, what’re the other ways in which Qatari organisers could put the stadiums to good use and generate revenue?
I think Qatar has got off to a great start with all the events it has already organised or is planning to host. Organising such big events is a great strategy because once the World Cup is successfully organised, people will be thinking of Qatar as a global sports hub.
In the past, there were a lot of cities that haven’t thought through what would happen after a big event. Brazil hosting the World Cup in 2014 is a case in point, building more venues that they needed in faraway cities by spending huge amount with no firm plans after the event.
I think that’s not the case with Qatar. It’s important to have people in place who’re creative, innovative and with connections to create events. Part of what we do as venue mangers is frankly how we create new revenue.
How strongly interlinked are sports and entertainment?
Very interlinked. As I tell venue management students all the time, sports arenas don’t thrive on sports events alone. You’ve to have concerts as well as touring and family shows. There’re a range of other events that take place.
They may be different in terms of entertainment offered, but the details in putting a show or event together are almost similar. So they’re certainly intertwined. Sports is another form of entertainment at its base, hence they’re very connected.
Sports management is developing into a niche area and what advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in this field?
Sports management has grown over the past few years and there’re many more opportunities now. There’re more leagues, more teams, more sponsors involved and the media interest has also grown exceedingly.
Besides, many number of professionals are wanting to enter the industry, making it even more competitive. Getting internships with organisations for experience and developing contacts and relationships are all very important aspects to pursue a career in this industry. Developing communication skills is also a major factor. These’re the kind of things that’re really required to succeed.
How important do you think is the Josoor Institute’s role in building human capital in the Middle East?
Josoor Institute has a very important role. Its curriculum has brought many aspiring professionals and experienced hands, who want to learn more about the sports industry, together through the collaboration of great universities, practitioners and educators.
There’s a great experiential learning that’s taking place here and I think the role Jasoor has in starting to build a foundation of knowledge and experience is going to serve the delegates well.
I hope it’ll serve the country and sports industry well. More people who appreciate, understand and know about the details of what it takes to stage events and run venues.
How impressed are you with Jasoor’s progress so far?
I’m very impressed. We’ve more than 30 delegates in our inaugural course, which’ll end in November. We’ve been adding new delegates to the professional workshop that has been introduced. None of these delegates would be getting this exposure without Jasoor’s initiatives.
It’s only going to grow and we believe the curriculum we’re offering is world-class and based on a practical and experimental learning model. We believe the delegates will’ve a greater understanding of how the sports and events industry actually works when they complete the course of study.
The participants have been very engaging and enthusiastic. Their interest in learning has been very impressive. Having the opportunity to share our knowledge with people who’re wanting to learn and hear about it is great. Overall, it has been terrific. dsp