Why rugby and business aren't so different...

by Ben Dowd: O2 Business Director, Telefónica UK

This year, O2 is proud to mark the 21st anniversary of our England Rugby sponsorship and, as I am a huge rugby fan, I can’t wait for the start of the biggest tournament in rugby history. Over the years I have been to many matches and have always admired the teamwork and dedication the players demonstrate both on and off the field. To drive a team to success, there needs to be common goals, reward and motivation and in the business world it’s no different.

Since I started the role of Business Director at O2, so much has changed. The rise of flexible working means many of my team can be working at anytime from anywhere, delivering for the business and our customers whist also achieving a work-life balance. We have intentionally put digital at the heart of our strategy and given employees communication tools such as Lync and Yammer. These are underpinned by our 4G and O2 Wifi technologies, which enable employees to collaborate effectively from wherever they are. I also now use 4G video streaming to broadcast my internal monthly business updates and we recently led a paperless week to promote and demonstrate the possibilities of digital working within O2.

We have seen new technologies emerge and our competitors don’t stand still.  We’ve had to grow and adapt accordingly and have developed award-winning customer services, such as our social media teams, to truly deliver for our customers in the digital age. We have grown our customer base, our network and capabilities and we have had to do all this through teamwork to really achieve success.

But it’s important that, in the world of sport as well as business, people don’t forget to have some downtime too. O2 has been helping our customers and employees do just that through O2 Priority. It gives you access to great offers from a number of high street brands, exclusive prize draws and priority tickets up to 48 hours before pre-sale, including the Official England Rugby Send Off Event with Take That. This week, we’re even giving away England Rugby shirts to O2 customers across the UK.

Many of these attitudes are business as usual for the England Rugby team who have continually demonstrated their passion, commitment and enthusiasm for their sport. However I cannot deny my Irish roots and will of course cheer on the Ireland team too. So whilst I look forward to September it’s important to remember, sports fan or not, the outstanding discipline the players demonstrate which deserves all of our support.

Click here to find out more about O2’s sponsorship of England Rugby.

Or get in touch by tweeting me @bendowdo2com