Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

Ben Woods

Lead Consultant: Two Circles

Ben Woods graduated with a degree in Management Sciences in 2009. Here Ben discusses his passion for Sports Marketing alongside his recent work with students at Loughborough University London.

Why did you choose to study Management Sciences at Loughborough University?

The combination of a degree and an industry placement was a key factor. It differentiated the Business School from others and after visiting the campus during an open day I knew it was the right course for me.

How has gaining a degree from Loughborough University helped you to progress in your career?

Loughborough University has a great reputation for producing excellent, well-rounded graduates. This is down to the “experience” of studying at the University as much as the quality of the teaching and the degrees on offer.

Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study in the University’s Business School?

Make the most of the University’s links with industry and the placement year. The technical knowledge you gain from studying are fundamental, but the interpersonal skills you develop from relevant modules and your placement are invaluable.

Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, what impact did these have on your experience?

I mentioned the “experience” earlier – and it’s difficult to explain this to people who haven’t studied at Loughborough University! I was a Sport Secretary for my hall which got me heavily involved with IMS and forged friendships with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I also loved getting involved with RAG fundraising and I’m still in touch with former members of the Exec Committee who even now get together regularly to raise money for good causes.

Can you tell us more about working for Two Circles?

People join Two Circles because they have a passion for sport – it’s probably the most important criteria we look for when hiring. It’s a fast-paced environment and I’m still learning things every day. We do things differently to others in the sports industry and this is the reason our vision is to “change the game for sports marketing”.

What has been your career journey so far?

I joined Two Circles almost four years ago and in this time the business has trebled in size – from revenue and employees to the number of clients and office locations. I’ve learned a great deal about the commercial side of sports in this time and have started to lead the business in areas related to digital broadcast media.

How have your roles with other companies impacted upon your current skillset?

Two Circles believes data plays a fundamental role in running a successful organisation. My aptitude for analysing data to identify opportunities came from my time at dunnhumby, the company I joined as a graduate. My clients included Tesco, Lego and Coca Cola who invested heavily in understanding who their customers are and the way they behave. The ability to make decisions based on evidence, not just instinct, has become an invaluable trait and one that was instilled first and foremost during my Management Sciences degree.

What does your current role as Lead Consultant for Two Circles involve?

Our work impacts at board level and has provided me with exposure at senior levels within major sports organisations. This has given me the opportunity to turn analytical problem solving into ideas and strategies that achieve our client’s goals.

It’s therefore my responsibility to understand a client’s brief, lead a team of Analysts to derive a data-driven solution and then articulate this clearly to the client.

If you’re interested in a career in sports marketing and doing it in a new, forward-thinking way then please feel free to get in touch.

Who are your favourite kinds of clients to work with?

I love sport. This was the motivation behind joining Two Circles, so to work with organisations that trade in my favourite kind of ‘product’ is amazing. The clients that make this most worthwhile are those that are willing to learn and try new things. Sport has traditionally lagged behind other industries for its inability to think in a progressive way, but this is finally changing.

How have you found working with the Loughborough University London campus and the students there for the Collaborative Project?

Everyone at Loughborough University London has been great to work with and the students were no different. It’s great to see the University actively seeking links with businesses in relevant industries because it’s a great way to put theory into practice. The campus facilities are fantastic and I certainly get a sense of the Loughborough campus when I visit!

Would you like to be involved with the Loughborough or London campus again?

Absolutely. We’re already working with Directors to develop materials and case studies for new modules and hope to provide opportunities for other Loughborough graduates in our business to get involved as guest speakers. I’d like to think the occasional trip to the Loughborough campus will also be an option in the near term.

Where do you see yourself going in the future?

I can see myself at a major sports organisation in years to come, crafting a new approach to the way it grows its fan base globally as well as here in the UK. Technology plays an increasingly influential role in the way we all consume sports content – from fans to brands alike – so figuring out how to harness this in the right way would be a great challenge.

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