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Jon Tibbs: “In every crisis lies an opportunity”

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From 8 to 12 March international students of the 2020-2021 MSA cohort attended the course “Sport branding and Communications” delivered by a renowned sports communications expert Jon Tibbs, Founder and Chairman of the British-based JTA agency.

Jon is a regular guest lecturer at RIOU. His teaching style is distinct by dynamics, interactivity and topical nature of issues discussed in class. This year the established framework of classes has been complemented by guest speakers’ participation via Zoom sessions. Students had a unique chance to meet sports industry practitioners such as Rachel Fraser, Head of Internal Communications at Manchester United; Rob Harris, Global Sports Correspondent at the Associated Press; Fabio Azevedo, General Director at the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).

Topics discussed with experts included brand building and communications strategy development, the new media and technologies and the role of digital and social media in today’s sports industry, crisis management approaches and techniques. To thrive in the multi-billion dollar sports industry, professionals must harness the skill of effective communications, from the first phase of creating and defining a brand to proactive communications around it and how to handle moments of crises, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Jon Tibbs said:

“The role of effective communications in maintaining confidence and engagement during a crisis, like the COVID-19 pandemic, is invaluable. It is critical that any organisation, large or small, is always prepared for a major crisis, with systems and processes set up in advance to effectively deal with any challenges that arise. And it is equally important to assess the lessons learnt from a crisis so that communications experts and organisations can be better prepared in the future.

“However, we should also remember that in every crisis lies an opportunity. The opportunity to reinvent yourself and re-emerge stronger. And there is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the impetus for sports governing bodies to step back, re-evaluate and innovate. Many of them have showcased new and creative initiatives to deal with the unparalleled challenges of COVID-19, and we have discussed these with students during the RIOU Brand Building and Communications course.”

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Iurii Vybornov

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