The Fishbowl: Seth Hart, Footballco
The Media Leader’s interview series asks the media industry’s top salespeople revealing questions, drawn from our fishbowl. The questions will be drawn at random and contain some tricky posers set by the commercial chiefs themselves.
This week is Seth Hart, SVP sales at football content and media company, Footballco.
Seth Hart has been senior vice-president for sales at Footballco since 2022.
Prior to that he worked at Twitter for more than six years in brand and tech leadership roles.
Hart also worked as global business director for Publicis Groupe agency Starcom for more than four years.
What was your first paid job and why did you do it?
Blessed to start my career working at one of the best Civil Rights Law Firms in the US. I loved the action and the work. The meaning and the pace.
What was the last movie you saw at the cinema?
Super Mario Bros at the Camden Curzon. Birthday present from my kids to me. Totally over-delivered.
**Peer question** What job in the industry do you LEAST envy and why?
Tough one. Every job has its “something.” But in 2023, I think creative is harder than ever — it’s never been harder to keep someone’s attention.
** Question from Craig Tuck, chief revenue officer at Ozone.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
“Know more, care more, have better ideas.” I think about that phrase daily.
Which advertiser would you love to work with (but don’t already) and how would you sell Footballco specifically to them?
I would love to work with Whoop (known for their wearable health tracker), mainly because I’m a user and a fan and there would be so many cool ways of bringing that value to different parts of the football fandom.
**Peer question** From a work perspective, what were you most proud of last year?
It’s hard to pick one element over a 12-month period that’s seen a Women’s Euro and World Cup as well as a men’s World Cup. It’s the perfect platform for us to show what we do best in connecting brands to fans through football.
With the men’s World Cup in Qatar, as a company, we doubled revenue compared to the Russia 2018 tournament. That was a great achievement.
The Women’s World Cup was a huge success in terms of audience for Goal, Indivisa and our other brands, and we worked with great brands like Google and Clear, It was also a great example of how our Insights team are using research to identify data that is core to our planning for clients.
We’re then leveraging those insights to make great creative that drives results for the brand and the fandom. I’m as proud of the process and the value it is creating as any specific piece of work.
** Question from Kelly Williams, managing director commercial at ITV.
What key thing has changed in conversations with clients this year compared to last year?
Recently had a chat with a CMO who said: “Seth, 2023 was the year of efficiency, performance, and LTV. ‘24 will be the year of brand.”
That conversation has been representative of the year in most parts of the world.
**Peer question** How is your business driving the change? Do you have any best practices or obstacles you confronted to share?
Constant evolution. We’re always in a state of experimentation and thinking “now what?” Delivering for a client and for the football fandom is a duty, and the only way we stay ahead is by getting better every day. Trying new things every day. And being hyper customer-centric.
** Question from Emma Newman, chief revenue officer EMEA at PubMatic
What is one important skill that you think everyone should have?
Sales for sure — it encompasses so much, such as communicating value clearly, overcoming rejection, being proactive, listening well…the list goes on.
What’s your favourite ad of all time?
There is an MJ ad called “Michael’s Failure.” It’s a banger.
Read more Fishbowl interviews here and see what media’s top salespeople say about working in the industry and what concerns their clients. To suggest an interviewee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.