Very few experiences can beat the thrill of motorsport, the fast action, the quick thinking and adrenaline rush of a race well raced. While those on the track are often lauded for their performances, they are backed up by a large support team.
That’s where Lucy Owen comes in. The Bournemouth University graduate works for JMI Motorsport Ltd as an Event Marketing Manager. Lucy is responsible for leading all events, hospitality and live race activations for Johnnie Walker at Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Lucy (pictured on the left) explains her role as, “working with an incredibly talented, diverse group of people, and with that, varied experiences, extensive global travel and continued learning.
“In terms of the day-to-day, I am based out of Victoria in London and usually work from 8am until 6pm. Within those hours I frequently have my head buried in operational documents (onsite schedules, freight logistics, ticketing distribution lists) in the lead up to races. I also find time in between to do industry reading, Johnnie Walker brand strategy learning, KPI reporting, appearance briefs for F1 personnel and drivers attending our events and client servicing for Diageo (Johnnie Walker), Formula One Management (rights holder) and the McLaren Honda F1 Team. And because the work is so varied, I can often keep up the energy in the delivery of my work which makes a huge difference. Very rarely do I hit the snooze button in the morning!”
Lucy’s ‘drive’ in her work comes from the preparation she received while studying her BSc (Hons) Sports Management course at Bournemouth University, graduating in 2012. When asked how her degree prepared her for her current role, she quickly replied, “Without hesitation, I'd say the placement year and support from tutors to enter the workplace during that third year of my degree really set me up for the work I do now. I still frequently cross paths with those whom I worked with whilst on placement - one of my earlier connections and previous managers actually helped to bring me into my current role since he now leads the Strategy & Consultancy department at JMI. I think that just proves how invaluable for me the work placement year was in my overall career progression.”
With the skills learned on her degree, Lucy quickly worked her way up to where she is now, travelling the world to attend race events and often appearing trackside with some of the world’s best drivers in the cut and thrust of Formula 1 life.
Lucy credits the variety of day-to-day study during her degree with her career rise, and the transferable skills learned while studying at BU. She said, “Communication in particular - in all formats - verbal and written, is something that was significantly developed during my time at Bournemouth as my confidence grew with the support of tutors and peers, who truly empowered me to make sound decisions about my career and life beyond university.
“Evident from watching my peers succeed within the sports and wider event industry, I believe it is one of few degrees that encourages students to continue their career in the same direction - into the world of Sports Management, Events and Tourism.”
Offering advice to students who want to follow her footsteps into a career in motorsports, Lucy said, “There is a huge amount to be said about networking, but the biggest thing for me is to continue to maintain the respect of those you meet as you'll likely cross paths again. Listen to their advice, show interest in their work and learn from their experiences - you'll soon build a trusted network of peers within your industry. I found this particularly important in the sports industry, and within Formula 1 especially, as they are such tightly-bound communities that are difficult to get into without knowing someone on the inside. And although LinkedIn is great, don't rely on it to build your network. Make connections offline first!”