Rosie Bonass | Digital Media Editor at UEFA

Hi Rosie, thank you for taking the time to speak to us today. Can you tell our readers about yourself, what you currently do and how did you end up where you are right now?

I’m a sports journalist from Luton Town and for the last 18 months, I’ve been working as a digital media editor at UEFA. I remember seeing a quote on social media that said,

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

and that really stuck with me at a time when I felt completely lost and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.

At that point, I was about 21-years-old and I had spent the last five years working at a 5 star hotel called Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa and if you haven’t been there, you need to go because it is truly amazing. Working in hospitality taught me so much, I made so many unforgettable memories during that early part of my career, but I just couldn’t envisage myself staying in that field long term. I knew I needed to make a change. I started to think about what really made me happy, what I looked forward to every day and that was, and still is, football.

I was slightly late to the ‘university party’, but at 22-years-old, I enrolled on a Sports Journalism course at the University of Bedfordshire. I had been looking at this particular course for about three years prior to that, and then one day I just said to myself ‘just go for it’. It felt like the perfect fit for me and it really was. I can confidently say that choosing to go is one of the best decisions I’ve made. In my first year on the course, I started working voluntary as a Press Officer at Luton Town Ladies, where I spent two seasons. After that, in my third year, I began working at Tottenham Hotspur, I went on to spend the next three and a half years there. I also did some freelance work with the Premier League, the English Football League and the FA Women’s Super League.

At this moment in time, I really have to pinch myself because I’ll be working my second UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) final in May! The UWCL has blown up this season, it’s been a historic and record-breaking year all round for women’s football in Europe and I’ve had the privilege of covering it all, ahead of the big one this summer, the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, where I’ll be the content lead for another recording-breaking tournament.

How did I end up in this position? Well, at the start of my career in football, I was travelling up and down the country nearly every weekend so I could cover tier four/five women’s football matches. I even occasionally dipped into my savings to fund my travel to those games. I was so desperate to get experience, get my name out there and play a part in the growth of women’s football. I worked my way up the women’s football pyramid and when I did get a paid role at Spurs, I made sure I absorbed absolutely everything from everyone I worked with. I was surrounded by some of the best professionals in the football industry so I knew I had to make the most of every opportunity I had to learn from my colleagues and expand my skillset. Even now, no matter how much experience or knowledge I have, I will always see myself as a student because I know there is always so much more to learn.

On top of all of that, I like to think that I have a strong work ethic and I give my job absolutely everything, which I feel is the minimum requirement to survive in football. It’s long hours, it’s weeks without a day off, it’s checking your emails or social media every two minutes to keep across everything and you just become so obsessed that you simply can’t switch off, even if you tried. But it’s what I love, so it’s totally worth it in my eyes.

As a Digital Media Editor for UEFA, can you explain what that entails and your general day-to-day responsibilities?

I produce a range of content for the UEFA Women’s Champions League and UEFA Women’s EURO that can be seen across the UEFA digital channels. I plan the content, I edit it and I execute it, daily.

What are the most enjoyable and challenging parts of your role?

What I love the most about my role, is working matchdays. In my opinion, nothing beats a Champions League night. This season I went to Camp Nou to cover the quarter-final between Barcelona and Real Madrid and then in the semi-finals, I went out to Lyon vs PSG. Being at Camp Nou with over 91,000 fans brought tears to my eyes. I felt so emotional seeing women’s football reach new heights and it made me so proud of everyone who has helped our game grow for many, many years.

Every day brings new challenges working in women’s football, but I’m really grateful to work for a company who are fully invested in growing the game and who have high ambitions for women’s football across Europe.

Can you highlight a project or perhaps an achievement(s) you are proud of since you started your role with UEFA?

There’s definitely a few projects/moments I’ve contributed to, where, as a team, we’ve seen great success, but I feel like my best work is yet to come at UEFA and I’m really hoping that I will be able to produce content that I can really be proud of this summer, that will leave a mark on the Women’s EURO.

You’re also a freelance sports journalist! Can you delve a little bit in to that?

Journalism is my main passion but I’ve stepped away from that slightly with my role at UEFA being heavily focused on digital content creation. So, whenever I do have the odd weekend or evening free, I’ll do some freelance match reporting to get my journalism fix. I really believe that you shouldn’t limit yourself to one job/role and have a plethora of strings to your bow — that will stand you in good stead in a what is a super competitive industry.

What general advice would you give to individuals looking to pursue a social media position in sport? — what are the key skills needed?

Attention to detail is everything. There’s no room for error on social media because there will always be someone who calls you out on anything you get wrong. You also need to be thick-skinned because there’s so much hate and abuse online. Make sure you keep up with trends, especially on TikTok, and follow influencers, journalists, clubs, associations and fan accounts to really ensure you’re across everything.

Can you share 3 useful social media tools or resources which you find helpful to fulfil your role?

Working in sport, in particular social media, can be hectic, so what do you do to switch off outside of work?

I actually find it quite hard to switch off because I’m so obsessed with what I do. On my days off, I usually watch football and it’s great that I can still be a passionate fan, despite football being my line of work. I love Chelsea and I’m a Chelsea Women season ticket holder. I try and get to Kingsmeadow as much as possible and I rarely miss a Chelsea men’s game.

I’m loving keeping fit at the moment and I usually workout three/four times a week, while listening to a football podcast…obviously. I’ve been on a few city breaks in Europe lately and I’m keen to explore more and really make the most of my days off. I also love going to the cinema, out for dinner, drinks and spending time with my family, partner, friends and my chocolate Labrador Gracie.

And finally Rosie, where can people find you on social media to connect?

Twitter: Rosie_Bonass, Instagram: rosiebonass and Linkdin: Rosie Bonass.

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