Sports Marketing Specialist, Red Bull New Zealand
Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Marketing with First-Class Honours
Bachelor of Business in Marketing & Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Management
Now working as a sports marketing specialist at Red Bull New Zealand, Luke Mobberley loves having a career in the sports industry with the global leader in sports marketing.
“I enjoy working with New Zealand’s best athletes and events. I knew I was in the right place when I really broke down how Red Bull approached the sports marketing world. At work we value two main constructs: being credible and authentic. These are arguably the most important conditions for effective athlete to brand relationships.”
He is most proud of the talent identification process at Red Bull New Zealand, says Luke who was a promising motocross rider before multiple injuries put a stop to his dream of chasing a professional sporting career.
“The entire essence of Red Bull’s philosophy is to Give Wiiings to people and ideas. This puts us in a position where we can help grow up and coming athletes and New Zealand events through our sponsorship investment. I’m particularly proud of the athlete content projects, new athlete signings and events we have delivered in 2022. It’s inspiring to see both athletes and events reach their goals and grow their legacy.
“Our athletes have access to a plethora of assets that can assist in performance including athlete performance centres in Austria and America, self-brand assistance across online media and a second to none global family network when travelling. For events, we have a key strategy of helping aspiring events in Red Bull Sports – snow, bike, skate, motorsport, adventure sports – through our vast range of infrastructure and Red Bull properties that act as a way to drive our own brand relevance, yet also help grow the profile of events we partner with.”
A passion for sports marketing
He has long been interested in sports marketing, says Luke who completed his Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in 2019, followed by a Bachelor of Business (Honours) in 2020.
“I enrolled in sport and business double degrees due to my keen interest in the nature of sports in New Zealand, specifically how marketing in sports worked.
“After I completed my bachelor’s degrees, I wanted to specialise my skillset through the honours programme and understand best-practice athlete marketing. Because of COVID-19, the global setting at the time was set to challenge traditional academic knowledge as modern society had never experienced such pandemic conditions. Exploring how these conditions affected sports marketing as a whole was something that really enticed me.”
For his Bachelor of Business (Honours) dissertation, he looked deeper into the area of athlete marketing and endorsement, under the supervision of Dr Jessica Vredenburg from the AUT Business School.
“I started my honours degree in 2020, and the pandemic was in full force. Sporting leagues were almost non-existent due to lockdowns and consumer needs were changing at a rapid rate. I chose to look into this further, profiling the biggest athletes in the world by endorsement contribution towards overall earnings and how consumers were engaging with their content on social media in a pandemic-induced environment. The aim was to find what content types resonated with consumers in such a climate, put forth recommendations as to how brands/athletes can activate endorsement deals in the absence of live sport and outline how the pandemic has changed elements of sports marketing theory.”
Advice for other students
Luke’s advice to other students is simple: be open.
“My advice is to be open to experiences, new ways of thinking, new people and to the idea that you’ll sometimes have to study on a weekend. The roadmap is there and the industry supports your vision, so I would implore all students to make the most of AUT’s student journey and connect with as many likeminded individuals as possible.”
He would highly recommend taking on an honours degree.
“I vividly remember sitting at my undergraduate graduation ceremony, sitting alongside all the legends that I studied with and feeling like I wanted more. The honours programme seemed like the perfect way for me to delve into my keen interest in athlete marketing so I went all in.
“My final year, my Bachelor of Business (Honours) was easily my favourite and most challenging year. I loved the constant grind of juggling work and study throughout the year, pursuing a topic I really loved. Working directly with my supervisor elevated what I thought was possible and resulted in the piece of work I’m most proud of in my honours degree dissertation.”