Position type:

Full time



02 Jun 2020
31 Aug 2020

Full details:

Reference number: BIR-200001Y2

Position Details

UB Sport - Campus Services

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Salary - Competitive

Grade 10

Full Time Permanent

Closing date: 21st June 2020


University of Birmingham, Director of Sport

As one of the leading universities for sport in the UK, the University of Birmingham has a proud and pioneering sporting heritage. The University’s recent £65 million investment in facilities reinforces the prominent role sport plays in campus life and academic endeavour, and its contribution to the community, city and Region through its sporting offer and expertise.

The University is seeking a suitably experienced professional with a passion and deep understanding of sport, fitness and wellbeing to lead it into its next exciting phase, including as a venue for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The Director of Sport will bring the skills, attributes and proven track record of a senior strategic leader in order to support the University’s ambitious aspirations for Sport. They will have a mix of strong commercial, entrepreneurial, operational and university/sports sector experience to achieve an appropriate balance between driving commercial revenue generation and delivering an outstanding student experience.


Main Duties

Strategic Planning

  • Lead strategic planning for sport within the University. Establish a clear role for sport that supports the University’s strategic framework, and ensure synergy between UBS’s objectives and the following perspectives:
  • the University’s strategic-business interests generally, e.g. student recruitment and retention; health & well-being; personal development & employability
  • the University’s profile/reputation, via BUCS ranking, promotion of national / international sporting success; national benchmarking &/or quality schemes/awards; major events or other high profile projects
  • sport and related academic programmes, principally via strategic collaboration with the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, and other relevant academic partners
  • contribution to relevant external / community objectives, projects, partnerships and events at local, regional, national &/or international levels, including the 2022 Commonwealth Games
  • Manage budgets that set the appropriate balance between financial targets and quality/affordability of student experience, i.e. the subsidy to sport and how it is best used. Also, to support income generation of other functions of Campus Services
  • Ensure UBSport’s strategic planning is adaptable within a rapidly changing environment in higher education and sport, and is sufficiently agile to identify and capitalise on opportunities as a first choice partner. Position UoB as a recognised first-choice partner for sport within HE.
  • Ensure the University capitalises on the external benefits of its investment in sports facilities, e.g. student recruitment, enhanced visibility/recognition as a leading Russell Group sporting university (including branding & media exposure), profit generation, recruitment of talented student-athletes, community engagement, attracting major events, etc.
  • Play a proactive role in the more global strategic planning for and marketing/branding of sport (academic + non-academic) in order to enhance UoB’s reputation in HE, the sports industry and the local/regional economy and community.
  • Develop and maintain an effective strategic network within the sport & fitness industry, nationally/internationally and use it effectively to leverage value/impact for the University

Leading the UBS Team

  • Lead, motivate and develop the UBS Team (c.120 staff and c.120 coaches & instructors) via effective delegation to, and support of the following functional managers:
  • Assistant Director, Business Operations (Sport)
  • Head of Performance & Coaching (including student clubs)
  • Raymond Priestley Centre Manager
  • Business Efficacy Manager (Sport).
  • Foster the development of a positive and collaborative team-working culture / environment to ensure effective UBS and Campus Services cross-functional working and support.
  • Ensure systems are in place for effective 360° dialogue and information-sharing through the organisation, including the sharing and review of UBSport’s vision, objectives and values, and regular feedback of KPIs and achievements.
  • Support a culture where all staff are encouraged to contribute to continuous improvement within and across teams/functions, and where individuals and teams are appropriately recognised and rewarded for their initiative.
  • Support appropriate resourcing and planning for talent ID & development, and personal development & training programmes for all staff.
  • Oversee and monitor compliance to University and statutory requirements, policies, procedures and guidance, including financial, HR, health & safety, safeguarding, equity & diversity, data protection, etc. Ensure systems and procedures are in place for all staff to be appropriately trained and updated to support necessary compliance.
  • Encourage and facilitate positive and constructive working relationships with support functions within the University including other parts of Campus Services as well as HR, Finance, Estates, Student Services, Security, External Relations and Legal Office.
  • Ensure there is appropriate support and visibility with the Manager and team at the Raymond Priestley Centre in light of its remote location.

Business & Financial Planning

  • Ensure the effective translation of strategy to realistic and sustainable operational business plans, budgets and performance targets/indicators. Ensure effective systems and processes are in place to monitor outcomes against targets, and take appropriate action to resolve under performance
  • In conjunction with the Campus Services Finance team and the Director of Campus Services, lead the production of business plans for specific projects and facilities in conjunction with Finance, Estates and other relevant UoB colleagues. Ensure plans and objectives are joined-up appropriately across UBS functions, and with relevant UoB functions and external partners.
  • Establish and update the rolling 5 year business plans for sport on an annual basis, including provision for facility renewals and developments, across an annual operating budget of c. £8m
  • Identify and highlight the levels of financial support required from the University for delivery of agreed aspects of student experience and University objectives, e.g. student sports clubs, sports scholarships, student recruitment.
  • Ensure UBSport’s risk register, business continuity plans and other policies and procedures are regularly reviewed and updated
  • Maximise the business opportunities for the University from external funding, partnerships, events, consultancy, event management, recruitment initiatives, etc
  • Contribute to Campus Services and UoB business planning and project planning as required

Facilities Planning & Management

  • Lead the management team in the planning of facility developments and renewals, working in collaboration with colleagues in Campus Services, Finance and Estates to present realistic and sustainable business plans to enhance the student, staff and visitor experience of the University through sport. This includes drawing on relevant and reliable market analysis to underpin the business case.
  • Support the Assistant Director Business Operations in the effective management of all facilities (other than Raymond Priestley Centre), ensuring optimal use of staff and other resources to achieve strategic and business objectives.
  • Support the Raymond Priestley Centre Manager in the effective management of the Centre, as a satellite campus operating in a remote location. Ensure it receives appropriate support from other University functions, and awareness remains high across the University of its value and impact.

Reputation & Brand Profile

  • Ensure UBSport’s (and sport’s) profile, professional reputation and confidence within the University is sustained at a high level
  • Working with the Campus Services Marketing Team ensure UBS’s marketing and other business activities contribute to the enhancement of the University’s reputation and profile. Maximise the marketing potential of the UBSport brand (leveraging achievements & successes), in close collaboration with relevant colleagues within UoB External Relations.
  • Ensure sport contributes effectively to recruitment of high quality students and staff (nationally and internationally) via the quality of its web-site, Open Days, Applicant Visit Days and collaboration with other relevant UoB functions.
  • Integrate the UBS MarComs strategy into the Campus Services overall marketing strategy
  • Support the production and implementation of events strategy for UBSport, in collaboration with the Conferences and Events team, Birmingham City Council and other relevant partners.

Partnership & Collaboration

  • Ensure UBS works in close collaboration (with clear purpose & objectives) with a range of other relevant University functions and departments to capitalise on the strengths of sport to the University, most crucially:
  • Other Campus Services functions
  • Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences (and the College of Life & Environmental Sciences)
  • External Relations (marketing, media/PR, recruitment and schools liaison)
  • Student Services
  • The Guild of Students
  • Development and Alumni Relations (DARO)
  • Ensure UBS contributes to the overall success of Campus Services. The DoS should be a proactive and supportive member of the Campus Services SMT.
  • Lead and support the development of a range of relevant external partnerships and working relationships, including but not exclusively:
  • British Universities & Collages Sport (BUCS)
  • Birmingham City Council (Strategic Sport, Major Events, Edgbaston and Selly Oak districts)
  • Sport Birmingham (the City Sport Partnership)
  • Relevant National Governing Bodies of sport
  • Other relevant universities (regionally, nationally and internationally)
  • Selected schools (local, regional & national)
  • Sport England and UK Sport
  • The Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme
  • Local clubs including Edgbaston Hockey Club, Edgbaston Priory Club, Edgbaston Cricket Club, Edgbaston Golf Club, Birmingham City Ladies FC
  • Ensure periodic reviews of partnerships, their value vis-a-vis UBSport’s &/or UoB’s strategic goals and priorities

External Profile, Contribution and Influencing

  • Ensure the reputation and profile of the University is sustained and enhanced in and through sport. Where appropriate, ensure UoB is a recognised first-choice partner in relevant sporting initiatives and other events with the city, region and nationally.
  • Where relevant, support &/or lead the strategic direction and activities of various city-based, regional, national and/or international sporting bodies such as the Birmingham CSP, West Midlands HE Sport Group, BUCS, NGBs etc.
  • Encourage relevant members of the UBSport team to be involved with, contribute to and influence local, regional and national sporting bodies where relevant to UBS’s objectives or to the individual’s professional development.

Wider University Role

  • Undertake a wider leadership &/or senior management role within and external to the University on projects/tasks unrelated to sport.
  • Other duties as appropriate

Skills and Experience

  • Proven track record of successful leadership and management of a multi-disciplinary team, preferably in a sporting environment
  • At least degree or equivalent, preferably in a sport &/or management related discipline
  • Proven strategic thinker, with the ability to engage in strategic debate to achieve innovative strategic outcomes and new opportunities
  • Highly proficient in, and with a proven track record of business and financial planning & management
  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Highly confident in application of relevant mathematical disciplines to business planning, e.g. statistics, algebra, financial and other numerical modelling
  • Ability to maintain attention to detail alongside seeing the overall strategic picture.
  • Ability to deliver results in a pressured environment
  • Excellent inter-personal skills that build trust, respect and rapport, and creates mutually beneficial relationships with a wide variety of people to influence perceptions and opinions – politically savvy
  • Communication: ability to communicate thoughts and ideas to others, in writing or speaking, in a clear, concise and confident manner, to effectively engage, persuade and influence a range of individuals and groups.
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Track record of delivering results through successful partnership and collaboration
  • Excellent organisational skills and ability to effectively prioritise
  • Negotiations skills, diplomacy, adaptability. patience and resilience
  • Will have an effective national network within the sports industry


  • Detailed knowledge of current structure, politics and dynamics of sport and its governance in the UK (i.e. which bodies do what).
  • Knowledge of the general landscape for sport in the UK (e.g. trends and patterns in participation in the leisure industry).
  • Business and financial planning & management
  • General understanding of relevant statutory and other guidelines relevant to operating a large multi-functional sports business
  • Knowledge of HE/education and key issues influencing the sector
  • General understanding of marketing & branding.
  • Broad knowledge of modern IT systems and their application to enhancing business processes and customer service.
  • Understanding of National Governing Bodies of sport and the current environment in which they operate

An understanding of:

- sports facility management

- membership management & customer service

- sports development

- performance sport (sports science/medicine)

- marketing & communications



For a conversation in confidence, please contact Zena Wooldridge on 07768 156218 or e-mail

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