SPORTS MANAGEMENT GRADUATE SIGNS WITH GOLD COAST TITANS
Bond graduate Chris Knell secured his dream job with the NRL’s newest team – the Gold Coast Titans – simply by being in the right place at the right time.
As Marketing Services Coordinator in the lead-up to Titan’s first season, Chris is an integral part of the behind-the-scenes team charged with establishing the Titans brand and building a fan base.
"One of my professors at Bond – former rugby league player, Tim Fuller – recommended me for an internship with Titan’s boss Michael Searle at International Sports Australia while I was studying my Postgraduate Diploma and Masters of Sports Management," says Chris.
"When I graduated, Michael offered me a full-time position with the Titans, as Marketing Services Coordinator.
"Like most of the plum roles in sports management, the job was never advertised. It’s a matter of knowing the right people and putting yourself in front of them. The contacts at Bond University enabled me to do that."
Chris’ sports marketing role with the Titans is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, following his decision to change careers just three years ago.
After graduating from high school in Geelong, Chris opted for a career in hospitality, working for some of the most prestigious five-star hotels in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne while he completed a Bachelor of Business (Hotel Management) at the Australian International Hotel School in the ACT.
But managerial placements in the Sydney and Melbourne Hyatt Hotels weren’t enough to quell his passion for sports.
"I played basketball at a reasonably high level before deciding to try my hand at professional golf by enrolling at the Australasian Golf Academy program at Royal Pines," says Chris.
"The theoretical component of the golf academy course was conducted at Bond University. It was around this time that I realised I wasn’t going to make it to the top ranks as a competitor and decided to look into the business management side of sport."
Chris was one of the first students to go through Bond’s Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management and then stayed on to do his Masters.
"Sports management jobs are not easy to find. Most of the organisational roles are traditionally filled by former players who have worked their way up through the ranks.
"But, as more associations make the transition from amateur to professional status, they are starting to look outside this inner circle for people with higher level qualifications.
"These days, sports clubs are involved in sponsorship deals, commercial arrangements, player contracts, event management and all manner of complex negotiations that can be quite different to those you would encounter in the wider business arena.
"So, acquiring management qualifications specifically relating to this industry is the ideal way to establish a career in the ever-widening world of sports.
"At the same time, it will always help to have those contacts - as I had at Bond -who can put you in the right place at the right time."