Is it only sport? I don’t think so.
After twenty years in the corporate world post-retirement from cricket, I don’t think I could have learned any more than I did in 2022.
This first year of post-Covid lockdown has been a roller coaster of key learnings and epiphanies for me. Not only were lightbulbs continually going off in my head, but I was also buzzing about being able to catch up once again with friends and colleagues from across sport, business and other corners of the community
Two years ago I launched my first podcast www.lunchwithlee.com with the objective of bringing together the three loves of my life – sport, music, and business. The format of the podcast is based around interviewing guests from my three passions over a long lunch. Ok, I have four loves in my life if you include lunch. Make that five – a quick shout-out to the family!
Lunch with Lee is now more than 70 shows strong and so far I have interviewed;
- Australian Captains: 9
- World Boxing Champions: 2
- Australian Internationals: 72
- Beatles Producers: 1
- FA Cup Winners: 1
- NFL Players: 1
- International Coaches: 3
- International Captains: 4
- Hollywood Legends: 1
- Olympic Reps: 5
- Olympic Gold Medallists 2
- NBA Champions: 1
The guest list highlighted the size of the network I have been lucky enough to establish over the last 30 years. I also had no idea that this podcast platform would open up so many other business opportunities. What is the old saying – ‘find a hobby, make it your job, and you’ll never work another day in your life’.
Off the back of the success of Lunch with Lee, we launched the Afternoon Sport Group. Our flagship podcast is www.afternoonsport.com which I host with renowned sports journo and all-round great bloke Tim Gilbert, which is now approaching episode 600 and currently the number one daily sports podcast in Australia and NZ. The effort required to produce quality content on a daily basis has led to significant other business opportunities, including almost twenty different podcast themes across both sport and business.
Growing up, I was always told that sport is only a game – ‘don’t take it too seriously, it is there to be enjoyed’. But this year has shown me that sport connects all of us on many levels. It gives us enjoyment, makes us feel like we belong, and gives us a reason to switch off from the challenges the world throws at us every day.
It is no coincidence that the biggest content companies in the world such as Amazon are now investing billions into sport for those very reasons. In a world where we now consume our content in a manner of ‘when we want and how we want’, sport remains the most important content in terms of driving consumer numbers and therefore revenue.
Telling sports stories and anecdotes through the medium of podcasting by leveraging both sport and my network has been the most enjoyable year ever in business for me. Who would have thought that all those days sitting around in cricket change rooms would lead to a business that is so rewarding?
Sport to me now is so much more than the runs and wickets I took. It is my passion, and my business and it continues to build my network.
We look forward to sharing some more stories with you next year.