You might think half term is all about resting, revising and perhaps playing the odd game of FIFA or Fortnite. But last week, 14 young people who have just completed the Behind Every Kick Development programme spent an afternoon at the ridiculously cool offices of Two Circles in central London. It was a chance to see what it's like to work for a world-leading sports marketing agency that uses data to connect fans with the sports they love.
The first thing that caught everyone's eye was that this was no ordinary office block. Meeting at the grand entrance at midday, a few in the group clocked that Aviation House had formerly been a church. Once inside, they passed through a buzzing cafe area full of people enjoying their lunch break. There were no pinstripe suits or briefcases to be found here. The 'dress code' was definitely tee-shirts, jeans and trainers. Workers are even allowed to bring their dogs with them.
Two Circles occupy the Seventh Floor. The relaxed, welcoming atmosphere they've created in their space made the young people feel at home as they took in the brilliant view of the city you get from up there. Navigating their way through the staff dart boards and table tennis and pool tables, the group sat down on several comfy sofas in front of a giant projector screen. There Louis Antwi and Lizzy Walsh from Two Circles made the introductions. They explained their roles at the company and their career paths before gathering some crucial data. "Which teams do you all support then?" Louis also revealed the origin of the name 'Two Circles'. One of the company's founders was a former top athlete. He used to run the 800 metres, which is twice around the track - two circles. With that mystery solved, the group heard about Two Circles' work with the Premier League, including their involvement with Fantasy Premier League. (A little tip from those in the know - don't forget to triple captain Mo Salah).
After a spot of lunch and a few quick games of pool, table tennis and darts, the young people were then asked to get into pairs with a BEK Development graduate from a different school and practice delivering an elevator pitch. This was a great chance to apply the models they've learnt this season with Behind Every Kick for effective communication, building trust and dealing with pressure. With this dress rehearsal out of the way, time for the real thing. Gathering by the sofas, a gang of Two Circlers from diverse roles within the company appeared; analysts, developers, designers, finance, marketing - you name it. The young people had three minutes to chat with them individually, learning what it's like to work in their specific position for a company that loves sport as much as they do. They also got the chance to talk about their own personal brands while building their networks - two of the final sessions from their BEK Development programme. It was a lovely way to end a fantastic event.
Reflecting on the day, Sol, a sixth former from Harris Academy Tottenham, said, "Coming here was an amazing opportunity. I learnt a lot and really enjoyed it. Thank you Behind Every Kick and thank you Two Circles." Lizzy from Two Circles echoed the sentiment, "It was an absolute pleasure to have the young people in the office for the day and to have a chance to talk with them about careers within sport. All of the Two Circlers that took part in the event mentioned what a great group they were and how refreshing it was to think about the company from an outsider's perspective. We’d love to have you back anytime!"