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News > LoOK > Adam Crothers: from sports-mad kid to F1 exec

Adam Crothers: from sports-mad kid to F1 exec

Adam (OK 1987-93) achieved his dreams by building a career at FIFA, the NBA and Formula 1. He talked to us about memorable sports teachers, the importance of networking and adapting when crisis hits.
25 Apr 2021
United Kingdom | Ireland
LoOK
Adam at the F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi
Adam at the F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi

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When were you at Kellett?

I was at Kellett until the end of Year 4, when my family left Hong Kong in the summer of 1993 to move to Ireland.

What did you do after leaving school - did you go to university and if so, where?

After completing secondary school in Ireland, I went to Trinity College in Dublin and studied Economics.  

What are your strongest memories of Kellett - any favourite teachers?

I adored my time in Hong Kong and especially at Kellett. Just writing this, I have many fond memories of my time there and the friends I made. One teacher in particular stands out - Mr Nevin, given I was football-obsessed, and he was the brother of Pat Nevin, the former Scottish international footballer!

What attracted you to a career in sports media, and how did you get your first break?

As a sports-mad kid, it was always an early childhood dream of mine (ever since seeing the movie Jerry Maguire!) to try and forge a career in the sports industry. As I learned more about the industry and the areas of opportunity and growth, I quickly realised that the world of sports media appealed the most. After I finished my MBA, I was fortunate to get a job with FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland to work in their global media rights team which gave me my first real taste of the media world. From there, I went to the NBA for three years which was a fantastic learning experience for me and I now find myself at Formula 1 where I have led the Digital Media business for the last 3 1/2 years. 

What advice would you give our students who want to work in sports media?

Have an open mind and don't be afraid to network like hell! Whereas careers in finance, law, engineering etc. all have fairly structured paths into those industries, the path into the sports world is slightly less formatted. As a result, it's important to try and build a network early on with folks who work in the field to get an understanding of the various opportunities that might be of interest. Sports media specifically is growing rapidly, hugely exciting and ever-changing, given the disruptive nature of tech and its impact on consumption habits. As a result, there are myriad opportunities and angles to explore - you just need to find the one that appeals the most and then set your sights on gathering as much relevant info as possible and building the network.

Has the pandemic changed how you work?

Its impact on our business has been profound given at heart, we're a media and entertainment business built around live events. We've had to take a fairly pragmatic approach to the challenges that have presented themselves and remain fluid in order to find workaround solutions that keep our stakeholders happy. But its also presented us with some amazing opportunities to double down on our original content offerings like the Netflix series Drive to Survive, as well as launching the successful Virtual GP Series. These two initiatives in particular ensured we remained relevant at a time when live sport was off the radar and equally, helped build our brand amongst a digitally grounded audience, an important focus for our business. 

Do you think the season will look very different for fans this year because of Covid-19?

Initially, yes, I think it will mirror how the season looked in 2020 where unfortunately, we weren't in a position to welcome fans through the gates. But we're hopeful that the second half of the season may present a chance to get fans back in, provided it's safe to do so.

Below are some pictures of Adam from his time at school.

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