Name: Phil Smith
Company: Phil Smith Communications, a specialist public relations and communications consultancy
Team/age group sponsoring: Thurlby Tigers Orange Under 9s
Thank you for sponsoring the team/club. Why did you decide to do so?
“Our Under 9s needed a new kit for the 2019-20 season and I was very happy to support that with sponsorship. I am in a fortunate position, because I run my own business, that I can decide where I would like to sponsor or advertise. However, there is a common thread running through everything I do professionally and that is supporting organisations which provide opportunities for young people. This is reflected in the clients I work with on a day-to-day basis – universities, schools and education, professional and skills-related businesses – my role at the University of Lincoln as a visiting lecturer, my commitment as a school governor at Bourne Westfield Primary Academy, and also as a coach at Thurlby. I am passionate about young people’s education and using my knowledge and experience to support that. Sponsoring the kit is, in many ways, an extension of these values.”
What have been, or what do you expect to be, the benefits of sponsorship for your business?
“Through my consultancy I work nationally and, in some cases, internationally. However, if through sponsorship, this provides a platform for introductions to new clients or contacts locally and regionally – especially in the education space – that would be wonderful. You never know, there could be a university or school Head of Public Relations cheering their son or daughter on from the sidelines who I meet over the course of the season! However, I think if my business had more of a local and regional customer base, sponsorship would be a no-brainer. The cost of sponsorship is very reasonable, and for local businesses who are able to commit I would expect to see a return on investment in terms of customers. What better opportunity is there to put your company’s name in front of a captive, general public audience, every week? The club is also very committed to promoting its sponsors.”
What services does your business provide, and how can people get in touch?
“PR is about reputation. We all know organisations which have a good reputation, and also organisations that have a bad reputation! My job, in very simple terms, is to help organisations with their reputation and connect with the people they want to reach. There is no business objective that is not dependent to some extent on good communication and relationships. On a practical level, this includes helping organisations I work with get coverage in newspapers, magazines or on radio/TV, influencing policy by building political connections, arranging conference-speaking opportunities, developing award submissions, drafting website copy and advising on social media. I also undertake a lot of training – media training, communications training and presentation training – which is applicable to any organisation, in any sector. You can see more about what I do on my company website – www.philsmithcommunications.co.uk – and this has my telephone and email details on.”
Tell us about your ‘stand out’ Thurlby Tigers moment.
“Well, as a Dad, it would be my son’s first goal for Thurlby at the 2019 Deeping summer tournament. He had done really well all season but the one thing that was missing was a goal. Then, out of nowhere – and from a long way out – he fired in a last-minute goal to help us win 1-0. It was a really proud moment. As a coach, it is having the opportunity to work with a great group of children and watching them implement in training or in games the things we are trying to teach them (and also being supported by a fantastic group of parents). It isn’t all about winning, as we know, and I personally enjoy games where we have really put up a fight and the team have given everything! I must also thank the club for putting me through my FA Level 1 course, which was a great supporting experience.”