Earlier this week we caught up with Badminton England's Head of Membership & Ticketing , Victoria Barlow.
So, tell us about how long you’ve been involved with badminton, or have worked for Badminton England? What is your role all about?
I have been working at Badminton England for two and a-bit years. My first taste of badminton came when I was working at Bristol Sport and we ran one of the National Badminton League teams – Bristol Jets. I was part of the ticketing team which was led by Ian Gorham of Avon county. Following a personal relocation to London I was appointed to the Commercial Team as Head of Membership and Ticketing in July 2018 by the Commerical Director who had a huge energy and passion for commercialising badminton. We took on the task of fostering a data led approach to everything we do, improving our members communications and connection, driving greater audiences to the All England Championships and ensuring our membership journey was driving income and advocacy into the organisation. This way, we have been able to continue to develop our pathway, get more people on-court playing across the country and ensure our elite players are competing on the international circuit to the highest standard.
What’s your favourite thing about your role? What do you find most rewarding?
There’s loads! It’s really hard to pick one. I would say the team of people I work with on a daily basis across the organisation with lots of badminton enthusiasts! As a commercial team we are all committed to driving results across the organisation and improving how we talk and enhance the experience of our members and the badminton community. The team are always coming up with creative ideas on how we best do this and looking for opportunities. The most rewarding has to be seeing fans enter the Arena Birmingham. As Head of Ticketing, when on-sale for the event, we monitor the tickets daily, we have an international audience from all over the globe attending the event, it really is amazing when you see the hard work from across the year come together with people from all ages and nationalities chanting and engrossed in the world’s best badminton.
How has the COVID-19 lockdown impacted you? What have you been up to during this time?
It’s been really challenging! It normally takes me 2 hours travel to the Milton Keynes office so I haven’t been missing the delayed trains, but I definitely miss the team atmosphere, as there’s a huge difference with life going on through Team and Zoom calls.
Those that know me well know in my work and personal life I tend to do everything at 100 miles an hour, juggling all sorts of tasks, so that again has been a different shift to get used to. I’ve managed to keep myself busy with lots of gardening, business audiobooks and puzzles. When on furlough, I revitalised my love for running and Joe Wicks sessions!!
And finally, what would be your favourite sporting moment and why?
This is a tough one again, I am a sports nut and there is very little time in my house when some type of sport isn’t on the TV or streaming online through BBC – I’ve even got into watching golf now! I’m going with one I attended, with the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, which was phenomenal in terms of delivery of the event. I was extremely lucky at the time to be given halfway line tickets to the semi-final New Zealand v Australia – seeing the haka in the stadium first-hand and the display each team put on was incredible to watch. Growing up I was a big Jonah Lomu fan, and with him retired it was great to see the All Blacks in a packed Twickenham and I’ll never forget that atmosphere and the win over Australia.