A New Start: UKSN and Striking Out On My Own

This is a strange post for me to write.  If you read the blog on a regular basis then you’ll know it is more industry news/opinion than anything personal.  But for once I wanted to take an opportunity to update you on something that is quite momentous for myself and is going to kick start some much needed changes to this site.

Let me give you some background…..

Since moving to London almost 2 1/2 years ago I’ve been really proud and lucky to work with some amazing people at Carat Digital and more recently We Are Social. Two awesome agencies.  Almost 100% of my time has been devoted to servicing one client, adidas, one of the biggest brands on the planet and one that has so many different categories, sponsored events and athletes and so much going for it.  It’s never been boring I can say that for sure!

But now I feel is the right time for a change…. So today is my last day at We Are Social!  

I’m really excited about what new challenges lie ahead but at the same time sad.  Sad because I’m going to be leaving a great business and will miss the people there. 

This industry has grown so rapidly and I’ve been lucky to have been part of it from early on and gained great deal of experience.  I’ve got to meet so many people and opportunities have come and gone along the way which either didn’t feel right because they were too early or not quite in the right place.

I’ve never been one who has been afraid to take a chance and now feel it is the right time to push myself and continue my education in a different way.  My brother and father have both been self-employed for a long time and it seems like it’s a family trait!  So this is the road I’ve chosen to go down.

I see so much potential in this website, UK Sports Network, and working on it still gets me excited every day.  There are new features I would like to incorporate into the site as part of a redesign, which I see and hear a need for.  I’m really looking forward to having more time to spend on the site (tinkering with it has always been fun).  This new found time will be spent writing, redesigning and striking new partnerships that will provide more and more useful tools and content for you guys.  There will also be more opportunities for me to speak to industry leaders and deliver content in different ways.

The most recent UKSN event was last week.  This is another area I’m looking forward to growing and doing more of.  It’s not just going to be about more quick half day events but also delivering full day programmes and shorter workshops – so learning and doing, rather than just listening.  I’m hoping to trial the first workshop with a great partner in the early part of next year.  So keep you eyes peeled for more information!

As well as working on UKSN I’ll also be busy building up my own social media consultancy business (the part where I make some money!).  There are a great deal of opportunities in the industry and a long way to go in social for brands.  I’m looking forward to being able to use my experience and enthusiasm to help people, who are equally passionate about their own businesses, understand and best use social media.

It is also an opportunity for me to work with a variety of businesses in the sports world, bringing some of my experience from working on adidas and the agency world to start-ups, small business, agencies and hopefully some bigger brands as well.  For the moment there is no Dan McLaren website… but hopefully soon.

If you’d like to have a chat about how I can help your business, you can get hold of me on the normal email daniel [at] theuksportsnetwork.com.  In the meantime I’ll be on the networking circuit BIG STYLE!

And there’s more…

As all of the above may not keep me busy enough (!). I’m delighted to be working with my good friend Luca on his brilliant new fan engagement agency, We Play.  He has a great business in the making and is catching people’s attention from as far away as Australia already.  It’s one to keep an eye on for sure!

The final string to my bow is public speaking.  This year has been a busy one and next year promises to be even more so.  It’s something I never would have thought I’d end up doing but I’ve really enjoyed each and every one I have done.  Who knows how far it will go but for any start-up or business it is a great way of putting yourself in people’s minds and showcasing what you can do.  I can’t recommend it enough.  Next week I’m off to Gothenburg in Sweden to speak at the World Yacht Racing Forum.  I can’t wait!

So that’s it….that’s my news.  Thanks to everyone who has helped me get to this point in my life and be able to make a decision like this.  I’ve been so excited about making this work for a while now and it’s about to become reality!

About author

Daniel McLaren
Daniel McLaren 693 posts

Dan McLaren launched Digital Sport (formerly UK Sports Network) back in January 2010 and has worked in the digisport industry with adidas, We Are Social, Copa90 and Pulse amongst others. He's now a freelance social media guy living in the East Midlands and podcast host with the Digital Sport podcast on Audioboom, iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

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