What do you do at theScore?
I’m the Senior Manager of Communications. I oversee the development and execution of all external and internal communications, including media relations, investor relations, corporate social channels, awards entries, speaking opportunities – basically anything that’s being written or spoken about us internally or externally.
How long have you been working at theScore?
I’ve been at theScore for almost eight years! I joined on a temporary contract when theScore was still a television network, and the rest is history. I’ve seen a lot of transformative times at theScore from being a sports television network, to a top digital media company, to now starting our journey to become a leader in mobile sports betting.
Describe the culture of theScore in one word.
Family. The people are everything. I’m blessed with the people I work with on a day-to-day basis. I consider them to be friends (not sure if they feel the same way), which makes the working day and the ability to collaborate much easier. It feels like everyone is always pulling in the right direction. It’s good to work in a collaborative, supportive environment, with extremely smart people. That’s what we’ve got at theScore.
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What’s your favorite part about theScore Bet?
The integration between the media and betting app. That’s truly a unique offering that nobody else has the means to do. It’s our special sauce. We’re doing something that nobody else in the industry has done yet and that is connecting a large and highly engaged media audience with a sports betting audience as well. We’re such a technologically innovative company with one of the smartest product teams in the business, and this is a perfect example of that.
What’s your fondest memory of working at theScore?
Fun answer – any of our office parties. Serious answer – when the Supreme Court repealed the laws that made sports betting illegal in the U.S. We’d been carefully positioning ourselves strategically for this moment for a long time, so to see the doors finally open to the possibilities of sports betting was massively exciting. We’re hoping the same happens in Canada too, as that would also be an incredible opportunity for us.
What are some of your hidden talents?
One of my hidden talents is that I can write in shorthand. It was a skill I learned in journalism school way back when I was training to become a reporter. Shorthand is a way of writing words where you focus on the sounds – it’s hard to explain, but it’s like learning a foreign language. It’s been compared to hieroglyphics. Whether it’s noting down phone conversations, transcribing quotes, or jotting down notes in meetings, it’s been super helpful in my professional and personal life.
What are some of your hobbies outside the office?
I love to play golf, that’s definitely a big one. I like to try and keep fit and active as much as possible. My family is a big part of my life away from work as well. I’ve got two young kids, so I guess I should include building forts, street soccer, piggyback ride-giving, and lightsaber dueling as hobbies too.
What was your childhood nickname?
‘Biggy’ and ‘Biggie Smalls.’ Nobody knows that here but those were the two names that followed me around throughout middle school and high school. And a little bit into my adult life as well. None of my friends back in England call me James! ‘Jim Large’ has also started to gather pace here, worryingly.
Do you have any strange phobias?
I’m not a fan of spiders – big ones, anyway. We used to get massive house spiders in England (Google it – it’s horrifying) and they used to make my skin crawl. I also have a weird thing where I can’t watch other people getting injections, even in movies or on TV – although I’ve got no issues with getting a needle myself.
Who inspires you?
It’s cliched, but my wife Tanya. She works as a radiation therapist treating cancer patients everyday. I can’t relate to the job that she does. She is treating very sick people who are going through probably the darkest times of their lives everyday and does it with a smile and a way that makes their lives better. When she comes home in the evenings it puts everything into perspective. On the very rare occasions that my working day hasn’t been great, all it takes is one conversation with her to reset everything. The way she copes with it all is very inspirational.
Interviewed by Michael Cooper.