Lisa Parfitt is MD of ENGINE Sport & Brand Experience, a member of the European Sponsorship Association, and was recently appointed to professional network Women in Football's board.
As well as being passionate about her job, Parfitt's love of sport and events runs deep and below she explains her role, what she'd be doing otherwise and how she stays inspired.
Tell us a bit about your (new) role…
I’m the MD of ENGINE Sport & Brand Experience, two of ENGINE’s specialist marketing practices. While my role comes with all the obvious responsibilities of growing our business and team culture, I get the joy of so much variety working with clients either using the power of sport to connect with culture or the dynamism of live experiences to gather crowds, share stories and create momentum. Or both!
Tell us about your background and how it has equipped you for today…
I never knew what I wanted to ‘do’ probably because I didn’t know it even existed. None of my ‘qualifications’ make a huge amount of sense – A Levels in Art, Geography, Religious Education and a degree in Geology. But consistently my passion has been sport - the skill, camaraderie, passion, community, entertainment – it’s a cultural phenomenon. My first job was as an events executive at the Ladies European (golf) Tour where I could combine my passion for sport and spreadsheets.
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
Everyone working in the sports industry is a frustrated sportswoman or man. I was never good enough for any sport professionally. But I am a frustrated PE teacher, which I take out on my children.
Tell us something about your professional life we don’t already know…
I’m a pretty open person, there aren’t many things people don’t know about me professionally.
What’s your secret to staying inspired?
Do what you love. To commit to something, I must love it. I love making stuff happen – whether that be people turning up to enjoy an event or impacting significant change and momentum through our work. Apathy or negativity sucks the life out of me – I love progress and moving forward - it’s probably why I’ve been at ENGINE for 15 years.
What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?
ENGINE Sport created the #WhatIf campaign for Women in Football which was a pro bono project. The insight behind it was that unless you are ‘part of the solution you are part of the problem’ and the campaign has seen organisations across the sports industry commit to supporting gender equality in football.
I’m particularly proud about how our team came together to create the campaign and commit so wholeheartedly to it. I’m proud now to have been appointed to the Women in Football Board so I can continue to support something I feel so passionate about.
How do you recharge away from the office?
Last year, I took the FA Level 1 coaching course so I can coach my local girls’ team which my eldest daughter players for. They are the most wonderful group of girls who are at the heart, and future of a women’s sport revolution.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
That we continue to engender positive change with our collective creative minds and passion, a thread that runs through ENGINE with work like Women in Football #WhatIf, Paddy Power #RainbowRussians, RAF No Room for Cliches and Women’s Aid.