An opportunity to move to Hong Kong soon after graduating has led Julian Jackson to build a career working with some of the biggest names in sport and entertainment overseas.
Julian is one of the very first Bournemouth University graduates, having joined Dorset Institute of Higher Education to study business and marketing in 1988 and graduating in 1992 just as BU became a university.
While his first graduate job was in the marketing department of an insurance firm in the City, an offer from a friend to join him in Hong Kong proved pivotal to Julian’s future career. Initially driven by a desire for new experiences, Julian has remained in Asia ever since, forging a career in sports marketing which has taken him across Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and now Malaysia. Today he is the Founding Partner of ResultX Asia, a consultancy helping sports brands to discover new ways to engage fans online, grow their audiences and generate income.
Julian said: “My years in Bournemouth were some of the best years of my life. I learnt a lot, made great friends, and enjoyed living in a beautiful part of the world. I was fortunate to land a graduate role straight out of university and moved to London to work in the City, but I quickly discovered that the world of insurance was not for me.
“A friend from school had gone out to Hong Kong to work as a newsreader and encouraged me to join him. I had always wanted to work abroad, so I started telling everyone that’s what I intended to do, despite not being too sure. Then, before I knew it, the time came to either go, or look like a coward, so I got on a plane, which to be honest was the result of pure bravado rather than any firmly held conviction.”
Having arrived in Hong Kong, Julian secured a role marketing golf and yacht club membership at the recently completed Central Plaza, which was then the tallest building in Asia. He then drew on his marketing skills to do some self-promotion to land his next role.
Julian said: “I wrote up my CV and added a big headline reading ‘Opportunity Knocks’ with a picture of me underneath and faxed it to companies I wanted to work with. It was all a bit of youthful self-delusion, given that I was fairly recently out of university, but it paid off.”
Julian became the Event Manager for the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes, a series featuring big name cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Merv Hughes, before going on to work in sports television – first with Star Sports and then with ESPN in Singapore, where he headed up the on-air presentation department. This developed his expertise in buying and selling media rights and branded content which has led to his current focus at ResultX Asia.
Julian said: “Digital technology has created so many new ways for sports brands to engage their fans, and the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital consumption. It’s a great time to be involved in this area of work.”
When asked for his advice to others starting out, Julian says: “If you’ve got an ambition, just go for it. It’s easy to put your own barriers in the way, but you will be surprised at how easy it is to move overseas, for example. When you’re at the start of your career you’ve got less to lose, so I encourage people to take risks. The same goes for taking on new job roles. Don’t be intimidated by the title or job description and count yourself out. You will learn so much as you go and before you know it, you are performing in a role you thought was beyond you.”