The Quarterly Interview # 34: Adam Crothers

The Irish-Australian Adam Crothers is another FIFA Master Alumni with an impressive career in sport. Graduate from the 11th edition of the course, he actually already had some experience working in sport before enrolling in the programme. “After graduating in Business and Economics, I was fortunate to get a job in a small but growing Irish sports management agency called Platinum One. From there I took a role working at Ogilvy, specialising in sport sponsorship and PR, helping brands like adidas and Guinness activate their respective sport sponsorship portfolios”, he recalls.

However, at that point Adam felt that he needed additional upskilling to have a deeper understanding of the wider sports business industry and how it worked on a global level. “I thought that something like the FIFA Master would be the perfect place to immerse myself to gather that knowledge I was looking for”, Adam explains.

Right after graduating from the FIFA Master, in mid-2011, Adam was offered a job at FIFA’s TV Division, “which served as the perfect place to start my career in sports media”, he says. Adam continues: “It was a steep learning curve but a hugely rewarding one as I finally got first-hand knowledge of how one of the biggest global sports rights’ holders manage their media rights distribution strategy.”

After 2014, Adam decided he wanted to move to London and to focus on digital, and so he joined the Global Content and Media Distribution team at the NBA’s EMEA headquarters, where he stayed for over two years. From there, Adam moved over to F1 a few months after the Liberty Media acquisition, to help build the digital business from the ground up. “Given there was largely no digital business to speak of under the previous ownership structure, I think we’ve accomplished quite in a short period and it’s been an unbelievably fun ride to date”, he says.

Read more of the interview with Adam Crothers.

FMA Quarterly: Digital has played a major role in Formula One’s strategy since its acquisition by Liberty Media, but even more so once the Covid-19 pandemic hit. What were the lessons learned with the pandemic?

Adam Crothers: We’ve invested a huge amount over the last few years in the digital space to build a really engaged audience and I think we’re now at a point where we’re slowly starting to reap what we’ve sown. Even with no on-track action due to Covid, our fans continued to come back to our channels to check in with the content we were putting out. We learned that content with a humorous angle is the most engaging stuff we produce so even though we lacked the most valuable on-track content that they love, we still found that our fans were willing to come back and engage and that’s something we’ll certainly embrace going forward. Secondly, it’s no secret that the Virtual GP Series was a massive success. Given its success, we’re working on rolling out a hybrid version of the Virtual GP next season – so watch this space!

FMAQ: How important was the FIFA Master for your career?

AC: The FIFA Master covers every single aspect that is relevant for a career in the sports industry, theoretically and practically, which was the primary benefit for me. I entered the programme thinking I had a fairly strong knowledge of the sports industry but it only took a few days in Leicester for me to be proven wrong! Throughout the 3 modules, the level of immersion into the key pillars of the sports industry was invaluable, largely driven by a very solid balance of academia with relevant industry guest speakers sharing their amazing insights.

FMAQ: Do you have any advice for the current students of the FIFA Master?

AC: Have an open mind and have fun. The sports industry is perhaps one of the most evolving and ever-changing industries that exists today. In relative terms, the industry is still so young and, as a result, there is a massive opportunity to learn from other industries to positively affect its future. Go into each lecture ready to be enlightened and probe each guest speaker to gather as much valuable practical insight as you can. For me, these learnings are the ones that will likely set you apart when it comes to landing the job that you have set your sights on. Secondly, spend as much time as you can socially with your classmates too. The year absolutely flies by, so don’t forget to have fun!


Adam Crothers, Irish, Australian
Head of Digital Media Rights at Formula 1

FIFA Master Class: 2011 
Favourite sport: Rugby
Favourite team: Newcastle United, for my sins!
Favourite sport’s personality: Tyson Fury’s newfound approach to his sport and life in general has been incredible to see. I think it’s one of sports all-time great turnaround stories and he’s proven to be a brilliant role model for a lot of people.  
Favourite sport’s moment: Being in the spiritual home of football, The Maracanã, for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final in Rio with some of my closest mates.