Another new addition! PlayerData would like to officially present to the world Elliot McMahon, our shiny new Sports Analyst and Account Manager. He joined our ranks at the start of September and has already stolen my desk (not that I’ve held a grudge…) He won over the whole team in minutes - although I’m not sure how much of that is down to his incredible (however envious) beard storage system - and has infused the team with a new energy.
So let’s get right into it! I'll keep this fairly short and hopefully sweet as Elliot has only been with us a month but we will be sure to check in again.
So Elliot, tell us a bit about yourself. Give us an intro!
-I would love to! I came to Scotland about 7 years ago to go to Stirling University to study sport. I was there mostly because they offered me some money off for my academics and to play American Football. But I ended up falling in love with the place. It’s such a handy location and it’s stunning, especially when you're from the perma flat background of Oxfordshire! I also met my amazing fiancé during my undergrad and we are now expecting our first child. From there I did my post-grad, an MSc in Sports Coaching as well.
How about your spare time (while it lasts)?
-I am slowly getting my money's worth from my MSc by coaching American Football with the East Kilbride Pirates on the offensive line. I want to say reading and other academic pursuits as well but in all honesty, it is going to the cinema with my fiancé and playing Football Manager in front of the telly, normally bake-off or strictly!
-“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” I have this tattooed on me as my mum made it through breast cancer and it seemed apt to remind myself that you can learn from every experience and find a way to be better as a result.
What’s your best piece of life advice then?
-Having a kid on the way really puts your own life into focus so have one...I'm joking. It’s to just keep in touch with your goals. I thought my chance to work in the sporting world was gone, I was getting the same knock backs from every job I applied to. So, instead of moping, I got a job where I could build the skills I needed to get me to where I wanted to be even though it was outside of the sport sector. I tried to make myself impossible to let walk away and here I am!
Let’s talk about sport. It's a pretty essential part of your role after all.
-I'll talk to anyone about any sport. I did football, rugby, cricket, badminton, athletics, golf and trampolining growing up - if it was active I wanted in. I was most successful in cricket, I had county trials and played at a district level until I fell in love with American Football. That has been my love ever since. I played to an elite level within the sport and feel that discipline has set me up well going into the working life. Oh, I mustn’t forget that when I stopped playing American Football and there was a few year gap before I came back to coaching it, I was coaching netball instead. Netball rules, more people should play it. I actually have one of my older sisters to thank for my love of it as she was an excellent player growing up.
What was it you did before PlayerData that made you so irresistible or was it just your natural charm?
-I had a myriad of jobs, both growing up and whilst at Uni. From being a lifeguard to floor supervisor at a nightclub, Tescos, uni seminar leader, gym instructor, call centre, Amazon warehouse and finally, Scottish Fire and Rescue helping people get jobs as firefighters. It’s been a long old journey but I have tried to learn something positive from everything I've done.
What made you apply to PlayerData?
-I read the job description and it dawned on me, this is the job I've always wanted that I never knew I wanted. I get to talk to people about sports all day, look at sporting data, present said data to others in the way I would want it presented to me and I get paid to do it? I’d do that for free! (That’s another of my funny jokes please don’t tell Roy, I have a baby coming.)
How has it been so far, tell us about your first few weeks?
-It’s been so amazing. I'm learning so much about the tech we provide as well as how we are moving as a business. Also, it’s been great to tap into my network of sporting friends to start growing our team pool. Being given the freedom, flexibility and trust to set your own workload and execute at a level that helps everyone has been incredibly refreshing.
What are your day to day activities in your new role?
-Talking to teams is a large part. Arranging meetings and sending packs to try and get more people access to the service. We love feedback here so getting that and passing it onto the dev team to help improve the product. I’ve also revamped how we present our data, making it more coach friendly. The first time you see all the data can be daunting as you don’t know what to look for so we are finding ways to guide coaches through that process.
What are you looking forward to most in the next year or so?
-Seeing our expansion. It’s such a good service and everyone who has used it so far has been so positive about having it. It’s only going to take a small push for this to snowball so I can’t wait to see people signing up, loving it and as a result, allowing us to expand with it.
Any final comments?
-I’m just extremely thankful to be given the opportunity. I know how lucky I am, I met some great and talented candidates during the hiring process so it isn’t lost on me how privileged a place I’m in. Here’s to many years of fun and hard work!
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us, Elliot, it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you better and we are ecstatic to have you on the team (as well as a little mascot come next year!) I think everyone will agree we made the perfect choice when getting you on board. Good luck and don’t forget to keep us in the loop with everything you're getting up to!