Just days after shaking hands with marketing giant Tecmark over the acquisition of his business, James Gordon, a BA (Hons) Journalism graduate, is fondly reminiscing of his 10 year-old self drafting match reports in preparation for his career in sports journalism.
“I wanted to be a sports journalist since very young – so I began studying journalism at UCLan because of that. Over time, I realised I didn’t want to be a fully-fledged journalist but I can still achieve what I wanted to achieve without being a journalist and focus on the business side of things.”
James founded Sportbox Media, an online venture offering content, social media and PR content to the sports industry. The success of the operation attracted Tecmark, who offered James the opportunity to join powers while continuing to run Sportbox from within their organisation.
His fondest memories of UCLan include publishing a mock magazine for six months in his third year of study, alongside his classmates: “We had two rival papers and there was obviously a competition between us, some sort of rivalry – we had some good people in the team.”
Although he admits that his time studying journalism coincided with a period of “awkward” transition for the industry from print to digital, James says his course helped him shape his successful career in more profound ways: “It helped me with the stuff you wouldn’t necessarily think of. You see it from an outside point of view when you’re young –but when you are at university you learn about the ethics of the business and you get the hands-on experience.”
But James’ longest-standing personal project is loverugbyleague.com, a website holding all the latest rugby league news, views, stats and live scores. His strongest connection with journalism, the project started as a blog during his first work placement at a premier league football website and ran alongside his studies and following jobs to this day.
Despite his busy lifestyle, James has maintained a strong connection with the university and since graduating in 2009, he has been visiting to offer career advice to new students and help them explore options after graduation.
“I guess my ambition is beyond what journalism can give me but I can still do the bits of journalism I can enjoy and still build a successful rewarding career in the digital world.”