Hi, my name is Sem Visser.I am a Dutch student of sports marketing based in London, England. The aspects I specifically like to focus on are storytelling, the customer journey, social media engagement, brand P.R. and fan engagement.
Seven years ago, I started a four-year sports studies program called CIOS that would ultimately teach me how to become a ‘leader is sports’ which meant I was learning how to become a PE-teacher.
During the first two years, I was utterly fascinated by the world of sports. At the end of the second year, a good friend from the program died in a car accident. Research subsequently indicated that he was overworked and too tired to drive.
What made it even more sorrowful was that he, a week before his death, had been offered a contract to become a professional football player.
This experience, the tragedy of his death had a lasting impact on me. It made me realize the importance of time management, especially since I had learned that someday, none would be left to manage.
As I began to question what I wanted out of life, I began to search for a way to redefine it. I started solo-travelling across Europe and to the United States; taking these journeys showed me new perspectives on life. Upon my return home in 2016, I became conscious of the fact that I wanted to do more than solely focusing on sports itself. A commercial interest emerged in me, an interest I was about to take a deeper delve into.
Besides majoring in becoming a PE-teacher and minoring in golf at CIOS, I began a micro- and macroeconomics course. Accordingly, markets, brands and commercial campaigns started to fascinate and inspire me. In 2017, after I went on a two-week (short) internship/project in New York assisting in running events, I chose not to continue my studies in becoming a PE-teacher
I was looking for something that could offer me greater depth in the world of sports. I decided to focus on the utilization of my passion for the power and emotion that sport embodies, in branding and marketing activities. Therefore, SPECO sports marketing at the Fontys University of Applied Sciences was the best choice for me. The next two years, SPECO would provide me with newly found passions within the sports marketing field, such as the customer journey, personal branding, sponsoring, data analytics, and others.
After working on various sports marketing projects in the Netherlands, I decided to focus on the Olympic Games, which are globally considered the greatest sports events in the world. After researching the next Olympics in Japan, I applied and got selected for a semester of economics and commerce studies at Chuo University in Tokyo. This made me feel ecstatically happy.
In Japan, my life revolved around studying, working as an English teacher, playing football in the university team and travelling. To shorten the long Japan story which I do love telling, I will just say that the most compelling lessons I learned in Tokyo did not regard academics, economics or commerce.
The classes that I took, such as game theory, international business, children & young adult media and global economics, taught me a lot and provided new insights. Aside from classes, the uniquely intriguing opportunity to get extremely close to, and in touch with the Olympics was delightful. I learned about their brand marketing activities, city marketing and more which I presented in my final analysis in front of an audience in Chuo’s lecture halls.
However, despite the academics and Olympics, I must admit that the most important lesson was the experience of everyday life in Japan. Being submerged in a culture almost alien to the one in my home country. Learning about real cultural differences, and the importance and love in a friendship that I got to experience in Japan were the most important lessons.
Following the fantastic semester in Japan, I now planned an internship. At first, I was looking for an Olympics related traineeship in Japan. But after several interviews with sports marketing agencies, I realized that they were not able to offer me what I desired. A startup called J-Global offered me a non-sport related paid internship in Tokyo. My role would be to help Japanese companies by implementing Western business policy qualities. The one thing missing for me was the critical factor of sports. So, when an internship proposal from Sports Impact emerged, I immediately said yes. Sports Impact is a P.R. agency based in London that is highly accomplished in branding their golf clients. Golf was a sport I became quite familiar with during the CIOS program.
Now it’s my job to produce monthly coverage reports for ten leading golf brands (clients), assist in social media engagement campaigns, assist in writing press releases, designing the media landscape, and execute social media analysis.
Starting at Sports Impact in March meant working full-time weeks from the office in London. However, after ten days, the coronavirus ‘took over’ in the U.K. Fascinated and highly interested in the company, I decided to stay in London for optimal focus on my work that was contributing to the marketing agency.
I now pursue the internship from my student flat in London, which is a radically different experience than I had imagined but not necessarily less appealing. Due to the fortunately digital nature of my job, I can work from home during this pandemic.