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Amelia Ashton-Jones – growing a global sailing event

Deloitte alumna Amelia Ashton-Jones on how she is growing a global sailing event in the most sustainable way possible.

1. Tell us about your role and how you became involved with SailGP.

SailGP is establishing itself as a permanent fixture in the global sporting calendar and a financially sustainable sailing league. As the Director of Strategy, I play a key role in the organisation’s growth and ambition. I’ve spent 19 years working in sport at Deloitte, across business planning, programme delivery, strategy and event management, and including a 4-year secondment to the organising committee for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). I’m now using these skills to drive the big ideas at SailGP, develop the product and the audience.

2. How can we bring sustainability goals into the sports industry, as you are doing at SailGP?

Sustainability is one area of sport where collaboration is more important than competition. At SailGP, we believe in the power of sport for good and using our platform for change and supporting others for greater impact. We were the first sport to disclose our carbon strategy to CDP (the Carbon Disclosure Project) and have won prestigious awards including the BBC Green Sport Ambition and Impact Award and the FEVO Sports Industry Award for environmental sustainability. Purpose is in the DNA of SailGP and with the water as our racetrack, and the wind as our energy, we have a survival need to push environmental sustainability goals.

3. What advice would you give to alumni wanting to break into the sports industry?

Individuals with professional services backgrounds are highly sought after in the sports industry and fill key roles across many organisations.  The industry now overlaps with technology and entertainment, and the pace of change is rapid. Be proactive, use your network and don’t hold back on making the connection. The Deloitte Alumni Network and LInkedIn are both great tools to get started. 

4. How do you stay connected to the firm and with former colleagues? 

I’m proud of having worked for Deloitte and the experiences from my time there naturally keep me connected. I use ex-colleagues as a sounding board, and offer the same in return and actively seek out opportunities for paths to cross. Both personally and professionally at SailGP, Deloitte contacts have been a great source of advice and counsel as I transitioned into my role here and as we look ahead to ambitious growth plans for the League. More broadly, I stay connected through the alumni newsletter, the Green Room podcast and Ian Stewart’s Economic Updates. I was a panellist at the Network’s May alumni event on how to super-charge the growth in women’s sport, and this was a great opportunity to connect and reconnect with industry experts … and footballer Vivianne Meidema!

5. Is there a particular nugget or learning from Deloitte you’d like to share which has impacted on your career? 

It’s really powerful having Deloitte on your CV and has given me confidence and credibility, and subsequently opened doors and created opportunities.  Deloitte gave me a huge breadth of experience and great industry oversight to understand where I can continue to add value.  Deloitte invests in its people, and as I’ve moved into industry, I’ve looked to do similar, ensuring people are at the heart of decisions and are supported and motivated to ‘do their best work’.


Read more Deloitte alumni profiles:

Jamie Wood, Co-founder of Ambr, preventing workplace burnout and stress

Nneka Orji, Senior Director in Asset and Weath Management, on the power of career sponsorship

The UK Deloitte Alumni Network - Colleagues for Life

Staying connected by sharing industry insights and networking events. 

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