Meet the Team | Bill Hawes

team IMG

Bill Hawes

What is your role at IMG and how long have you been at the company? 

I am Senior Director and Head up IMG’s Global Archive team. I have been with the business for just over 4 years.  

What does your role entail? 

As a division, we manage and licence content on behalf of some of the world’s largest sports rights holders such as the International Olympic Committee, Premier League, Wimbledon and more. Our main customer base includes production companies, platforms and broadcasters that are licencing material for major sporting docs, or brands looking to use archive material for ad campaigns. I head up our fantastic team to ensure this all operates as efficiently and as successfully as possible and ensure we are adding as much value as we can to the rights holders that we represent.  

What drew you to work specifically within our archive division?   

I have a huge passion for sport which obviously helps, but not only that, I find the subject matter we’re discussing and working on every day truly fascinating and the productions that we’re able to have a relatively small part in are incredible, such as the recent Beckham Documentary on Netflix & Hatton on Sky. So, it is nice to work in a world where you have genuine interest and enjoyment in the work and can also appreciate the fruits of your labour.  

Are there any memorable or iconic moments that you’ve personally come across while working on the archive? 

There are so many incredible untold stories out there and the beauty of what we do is being able to help unearth these wacky and wonderful events of the past and give people the opportunity to relive their most memorable sporting moments! From a personal standpoint and as a Newcastle fan, I could relive all 260 of Alan Shearer’s Premier League Goals every day if allowed.  

Could you provide an example of how the archive is utilized in day-to-day life, and how individuals might encounter it? 

We work with some of the world’s most renowned sports rightsholders and their archive content is in high demand by content producers worldwide. It is likely that you have watched any number of programmes, documentaries or adverts that IMG’s archive team have been across, but you probably never even realised. Whether it’s a sporting guest being introduced on a talk show, or a huge sporting doc like ‘Beckham’ on Netflix…. if it features archive content for a rightsholder we work with then we will have licenced that material.  

Over the years, you’ve witnessed hundreds of customer projects come to life. Is there one in particular that left a lasting impression on you? If so, what made it stand out? 

Yes, there are so many to mention, to reel off a few – Redeem Team (which IMG had a wider involvement in), Shaun White: The Last Run, Neymar the Perfect Chaos, Beckham, Welcome to Wrexham, Breakpoint, The All or Nothings…… But to pick one that sticks to mind, I worked on a feature film called ‘The Swimmers’ about a refugee swimmer from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games which was released on Netflix. The story is inspirational, and I was lucky enough to be invited to view the rough-cut with the directors and producers in a private cinema which was pretty special.  

What’s your take on the future of archived content? Any exciting innovations you’re looking forward to potentially exploring? 

We have all seen the growth of big sporting docs over the last few years which has been exciting, and the hope is that this doesn’t stop. With regards to innovations, as with everyone we will have our eye on AI and how this may affect our industry whether positive or negative. I also think that we will see a rise in demand for fan-lead and athlete-lead content, as this is some of the most powerful material and we’re already looking at how we can explore this further as a business. I am also exploring opportunities with FAST Channels and how we might service our rights holders better in this space and how archive content can play a part in that.  

 What is your biggest achievement at IMG? 

There is a lot I am proud of in the relatively short time I have been with the business, but having the opportunity to lead the archive team is something I am hugely proud of and honoured to be asked to do. The team has grown and developed a lot over the last 4 years and achieved so much and I am looking forward to trying to take them to the next level.    

What advice would you go back and give your 21-year-old self? 

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, but you need to position yourself in the best possible way for that reason to happen. I would tell myself to never be afraid to open a new door and have a new conversation as you never know where it might lead.  

Quick fire questions:  

What song do you have on repeat?

The sentimental side of me says Al Green ‘Let’s Stay Together’ (my wedding song) but the honest side of me says any Craig David 

What’s your favourite sporting event in the calendar?

Rugby World Cup

Favourite movie?

The Godfather or Godfather ||