Saturday 23 September 2017

'Say yes as much as possible - because you never know what opportunities might arise...'

Nicola McGeady, PR Manager, Coral Bookmakers

Nicola McGeady
Nicola McGeady

One of the first things I found out in sports and betting is that there is no topic that's out of bounds.

My first live TV interview came at the age of 23, when I was new to the betting industry. I was discussing the betting on our next President. However, to my horror, the main topic turned to problem gambling. I went in prepared for a light chat about the election, but the conversation veered on to something much more serious - and I was well out of my depth. I learned that day to be prepared for the unexpected.

In the PR world networking is so important. Invitations arrive every week for all sorts of events - but when you've been working all day, you often just want to go home and relax. There has been the odd occasion when I've declined the invite, but the worry persists - did I just miss a golden opportunity?

I always say yes as much as possible because it's impossible to know who you will meet or what opportunities will arise.

One morning, broadcaster and retired footballer Alan Brazil asked me to join him and friends for lunch. I knew it could be a boozy one and I had a lot on my plate, nonetheless I accepted the offer - and thank God I did. Around the table were some very shrewd businessmen and some sporting heroes including David Ginola.

The conversation soon turned to business opportunities at the Monaco Grand Prix. It turned out they took a yacht there every year - and I was invited with a guest to attend. There, I met the best contacts I have. Had I said no to that particular lunch, my career would undoubtedly have suffered.

Being a woman in sport tends to aggravate certain people.

There are trolls who will always have a go on social media when they hear a female voice on Talksport or on At The Races, but I've learned not to have time for people who hide behind a computer and I don't let it bother me.

I'm a passionate sports lover, I watch it every week, whether that's attending a game or on my sofa - and when I'm interviewed about an upcoming game, my opinion is worth just as much as the bloke sitting beside me.

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