Meet the Team | Katie Pierse, Broadcaster Account Manager, Premier League Productions

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Katie Pierse

Can you describe what your role as a Broadcaster Account Manager for Premier League Productions entails?

My role is to ensure broadcasters are aware of the breadth of content and services that are made available to them through Premier League Productions (PLP). It’s essential to have a strong understanding of the broadcaster – including business objectives for Premier League (PL), their broadcast platforms and output, other rights in their portfolio and key personnel.

A key part of my role is to encourage open feedback from broadcasters to help PLP make informed choices around the content we’re producing. PLP isn’t a broadcaster and unless our international partners use and broadcast the content we produce, it’s not going to be seen.


How do you build and maintain relationships with broadcasters across the EMEA region? Why is collaboration so pivotal to your role?

Being in regular contact with broadcasters is key, whether it’s through calls, emails or even Whatsapp. In addition, along with PL, we have tried to visit each broadcaster to meet them and see their production facility. These visits have been mutually beneficial to gain a deeper understanding of their priorities but also to build stronger relationships. I believe PL are one of the few leagues to do in person visits and they have been very well received.

In the EMEA region specifically, we work with a high number of broadcasters, over 20, so finding a balance in serving each broadcaster is key. I sit within a wider team of Account Managers who each look after a region – having this focus means we gain a comprehensive understand of priorities and use across these territories.


What are some of the key priorities for broadcasters in the current media landscape? 

I’ve learned in my time with PLP that priorities for each broadcaster are varied. Of course, producing the live matches is the top priority. Over and above that, it varies. For some broadcasters we focus on maximising their onsite presence at matches. For others, localisation is a priority to ensure that they can tailor their content to local audiences and increase engagement, speaking with local players and managers. We also work on creating content that works for both live broadcast as well as  digital platforms.

Another area of focus is promoting their PL rights alongside other rights they have in their portfolio to showcase their channel offering.


How has broadcast content evolved? What are some of the changes you’re seeing in the types of broadcast content being requested? 

Digital content has developed hugely in my time working with and for PL. Consumers now use multiple platforms to engage with football, expecting content to be tailored to each platform whether it be linear, OTT or social. For linear, you’re working to a set schedule with a break pattern – programmes need to be 26 or 52 minutes with titles, bumpers, and end credits. Whereas digital content is much shorter. As such we look to maximise the use of our content. For example, ensuring a 26-minute show can be cut down to smaller edits to happily sit on multiple platforms. We make edits of every match in 3 minutes, 6 to 10 minutes and 26-minute versions for this reason.


What strategies do you employ to ensure that broadcasters are fully utilising the Premier League’s content?

We look to ensure we’re making content which aligns with the broadcasters’ priorities, so it’s important that we have a deep understanding  to inform the decisions we make around what content we produce in the first place. We also look at what broadcasters are accessing and more importantly, what they’re not accessing, which poses the question as to why it’s not being utilised and whether we can adapt to increase uptake.  


What do you enjoy about working so closely with the Premier League? 

It’s one of the best football leagues in the world so who wouldn’t enjoy being a part of that! I regularly hear from broadcasters that the content and services we offer as a league are second to none. I love that it’s not taken for granted and that there is a constant desire to improve and evolve the coverage. Visiting the broadcasters and seeing how passionate our partners are about it, I feel very privileged to play a small part of it.


Can you give us an example of a successful initiative or project that you’ve led?

Off the back of the PL30, campaign which celebrated 30 Years of the Premier League last season, our partner in sub-Sahara and South Africa, SuperSport, came to us wanting to run their own campaign to mark the milestone. We worked with them to produce an African focussed co-production which kicked off their campaign and was also available to our global partners. It was a great success for SuperSport, as any content featuring locally relevant players achieves high viewer engagement, as well as PLP as the content super served by being both locally and globally relevant.


How has your career path led you to your current role as a Broadcaster Account Manager?

Sport has always been a big part of my life growing up and in my career. My first role was almost 20 years ago with IMG, in the rights acquisition team. After 4 years I moved to Australia and worked with Getty Images in the sports licensing team based in Sydney. I then moved to Optus looking after the delivery of their sports rights which included Premier League, FIFA and UEFA Club competitions. After 10 years I decided to move back to the UK and the role at PLP came up at the same time. My experience working in client facing roles and having worked with PL at Optus meant a Broadcaster Account Manager role was the perfect segue. 


As a female professional in the sports industry, what challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?

As a working mum, the juggle is real. But even more so with the hours that come with working in football coupled with international travel. My family calendar is scheduled within an inch of its life. I’ve learned to advocate for myself and not be afraid to ask for what I need. For example, flexibility in my hours is hugely important for me to do my job. PLP are very supportive and I’m really grateful for that.


Could you share some advice for aspiring professionals who are interested in pursuing a career in sport?

Take any opportunity that comes your way and make the most of it! You never know what opportunity may come from it. Be bold and put yourself out there – I got my job at Optus through a cold call to the Head of Optus Sport at the time asking if there were any opportunities going.