By Kieran Warren, Sport Deputy Editor
Recently, I travelled to Seville to visit my former flatmate James Magee and my friend James Dowden, who are both working within the operations of Sevilla Football Club (FC). I spoke to them to gain more insight into their roles within the club and about the opportunities it brought. They both have previously worked for Epigram.
Magee and Dowden have studied at the University of Bristol in modern language degrees, with Dowden graduating during in the summer 2023, and Magee currently on his year abroad. Using their knowledge from their degrees and experience of working for Epigram, they have both managed to secure work for Sevilla FC within the English Social Media department, where Magee is an intern and Dowden an English Social Media Executive.
Both individuals were extremely keen to make a splash into the working world on their year abroad, having the option to either study or work whilst overseas. Dowden comments: I chose to work, and being an avid football fan thought it would be a dream to see if I could somehow end up working for a football club’.
As a keen lover of football, myself, I would certainly not disagree that it is an incredible opportunity to secure work for a club, however it was far from a simple task. Dowden described his experience of applying through ‘writing letters to every professional club in the two tiers of Spanish football’ and ‘many trips to the post office’; he only received one offer, that being Sevilla FC. After several email exchanges, Dowden was invited to work as an intern for their English social media team for the start of the 2021/22 season (a role that Magee has since taken on in a similar fashion), with a full-time role being offered to Dowden for the 2023/24 season following his graduation. Within his role Dowden’s main priority has been to ‘help provide as much English content to grow and expand our international fanbase across the world’. Dowden and Magee found some unique success in achieving this from a meme that they made during the international break for Sevilla’s English X (formerly known as Twitter) account. The meme referenced Snoop Dogg’s stunt of supposedly quitting marijuana, comparing it to the pain that the international break brings club football supporters. The post received 134.4K likes and over 10M views, proving to be a relatable and popular meme; this brought more coverage to the account, something Magee stated ‘has been hard to do due to the clubs poor performances’.
The English social media department within Sevilla FC is an expanding area, which holds more prominence within the sporting world, through expanding with various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Both Dowden and Magee play crucial roles in these areas, ranging from pre-match conferences to helping with matchday photography; it certainly seems that they are gaining a wide variety of experience within their roles. When asking Magee and Dowden what their favourite moment has been whilst working within Sevilla, they both shared the same answer: the Sevilla-Real Betis Derby. This is a huge derby within the city of Seville, which Dowden described as ‘unlike anything I’d ever seen before, where the city comes alive on the day of the game’, regarding it as ‘one of the best matches in Europe’.
When discussing the significance of working for Epigram with regards to benefitting them in their work for Sevilla, Magee stated that ‘The idea of having an editor at Epigram to respond to and to receive direct feedback from’ was crucial to improving his article structuring abilities. Magee also noticed that whilst working in Seville he could freely ask questions about style guides and approaches to writing where he would be answered with a similar hospitable kindness that he experienced at Epigram.
Magee highlighted how he found his transition to Sevilla quite the challenge, especially acclimatising to the new culture; however, with Dowden mentoring him, he has found it a wonderous experience so far. Following this transition, Magee has seen this as a ‘unique and incredible’ opportunity, one of which he, alongside Dowden, recommends others to follow.
When discussing how to break into the football media industry, Dowden commented: ‘write for your student paper, your local non-league club, it all helps build up that portfolio and get yourself seen’, outlining the significance that even basic roles can have to put yourself on the map. He further commented: ‘the industry is full of people who are willing to help, send a direct message to someone whose role/job you would love to have one day and ask for a coffee or a phone call, you would be amazed by the number of people who want to help and will give up their time’.
Featured photo via Kieran Warren: James Dowden and James Magee At RC Lens V Sevilla Epigram
Would you consider working for a football club?