A Texan reaches his dream job in the Premiership
After more than a decade in the sports business, Bruce Bundrant took his dream job with Liverpool FC as senior partnership manager. Bundrant grew up playing soccer in Texas and continued playing in college for Hardin-Simmons University. He later interned at D.C. United and worked with Houston Dynamo President Oliver Luck. Throughout it all, he had his eyes on Europe and the English Premier League. He finally got a chance there after Tom Hicks and George Gillett bought the team in 2007.
New title: Senior partnership manager, Liverpool FC
Previous title: Account supervisor, GMR Marketing, San Francisco
First job: Working on the Bundrant family farm in West Texas. First job out of grad school was at D.C. United.
College education: Bachelor’s in marketing, Hardin-Simmons University, 1994; master’s in sport management, West Virginia University, 1997
Resides: Liverpool, England
Grew up: Abilene, Texas
Last book read: ”Truman” by David McCullough, “How Brands Become Icons” by Douglas Holt, “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell
Favorite movie: “Motorcycle Diaries,” “American Beauty”
Favorite musician: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chris Martin, Matthew Bellamy
What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
We need to implement a new mind-set in securing and managing relationships. It’s essentially taking what a marketing consulting agency does and incorporating that into the commercial department of a team property.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career?
Leaving D.C. United in 2001. I left and joined Oliver Luck, now the president of the Houston Dynamo, and Sportfive — a leader in European sports marketing. We were attempting to establish Sportfive in the U.S.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
I accomplished it by getting here to Liverpool. I’m lucky to be challenged with developing programs and achieving growth for partners of one of the world’s most well-recognized and beloved football clubs.
What is your biggest professional disappointment?
The Sportfive experience and my inability to establish an extremely strong foothold for them in the U.S. Sportfive does have a decent business in the U.S., mainly in TV distribution of European football, but looking back I didn’t make the kind of impact I would’ve liked for them.
What career advice do you have for people wanting into the sports industry?
Develop real relationships within the industry — not just contacts, which is a word that’s getting overused and watered down.
This career spotlight is courtesy of the SportsBusiness Journal. CLICK HERE to visit their official website.