Interview with Silvia Pelli, Director of People, Culture and Infrastructure at TEAM Marketing

Silvia Pelli is the Director of People, Culture and Infrastructure at TEAM Marketing, the international sports marketing agency which, among other things, is responsible for selling the commercial rights of all UEFA club competitions. The company was named one of the Most Attractive Employers in Sport by a report recently published by iWorkinSport. This is one of five interviews with top recruiters in the industry featured in the publication.

The study surveyed more than 1,500 people from all continents, with the majority already working in sport, and asked them a simple question: “If you could choose to work anywhere in sport, where would that be?” 

Initially, the respondents chose organisations divided into ten categories, and at the end, they indicated one single preferred choice, overall – the “Employer of their Dreams”.

The publication features rankings of the most attractive employers in sport divided in the following categories:  Football Clubs, Sports Teams (other than Football), Sports Teams in the USA, Sports Leagues, Sports Governing Bodies, Event Organisers, Sports Marketing Agencies, Sponsors, Sporting Goods Companies and Sports Tech.

Additionally, the report presents the aspects that candidates rate as most important when deciding where they would like to work.


Interview with Silvia Pelli, Director of People, Culture and Infrastructure at TEAM Marketing

Why do so many people wish to work at TEAM?

For over 30 years, our dedicated and ambitious team have helped build some of the best football competitions – including the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League – while also creating a thriving network of long-standing commercial partners. Working at TEAM is an amazing opportunity to contribute to the success of these prestigious sports properties, while being inspired by industry-leading professionals in an open, international and vibrant culture.  

In fact, it’s our unique culture that really sets us apart from other companies. We strive to create a culture where all employees are free to be their true selves, without judgment or exclusion. We prioritize building meaningful connections and encourage staff to become their best – to grow their talents, knowledge and careers.


What makes TEAM a great employer?

At TEAM, our vision is to be the best place to develop a career in the sports industry. We do this by cultivating a TEAM community that allows all staff to thrive, promoting clear and transparent communication throughout the business and focusing on individual development.

Our leadership is approachable, available and actively seeks feedback and input. Whether at monthly Q&As, in the cafeteria, at networking, social or educational events, everyone has the opportunity for their voice to be heard.  

Staff have numerous opportunities to get involved with different initiatives and committees (e.g. sustainability, DEI, social, weekly sports, volunteering days), where they can find a sense of belonging and spend quality time together outside their main function. We have a strong emphasis on collaboration (it’s part of our performance evaluation system and also a key company value), to really discourage silo-thinking and build a strong community.

Our blend of dynamic personalities, stories and skills is one of our biggest sources of energy and pride: staff represent 30 different nationalities and maintain an equal gender balance. We tend to hire candidates early in their career and then promote internally. This means we are always getting new, fresh ideas, have representation from a younger generation and can provide fulfilling career paths.

We take mental health and job satisfaction seriously; in addition to an always-available and receptive HR team, we offer external counselling services and an anonymous platform for raising questions/concerns.

Showing our staff they are valued and appreciated is essential; we do this by regularly publishing employee stories to highlight their strengths and experiences.


How can TEAM become even a better employer?

In keeping with our company vision, we are continually looking at ways to improve our processes and our culture to be as inclusive, supportive and fulfilling as possible.

As a starting point, we conduct regular staff surveys to understand staff sentiment, their concerns and how we can do better. This drives many of the initiatives led by our DEI committee (such as trainings on implicit bias or mental health workshops), as well as informs Leadership Team decisions (such as enhancing our remote working policy and introducing an advisory panel). Currently, we are looking at how to implement a more fair performance appraisal process and create a more comprehensive and impactful development/education program for staff.

For those considering applying for a position at TEAM, what are some DOs and DONT’s to help them in their application?

DO: Act fast; when you see an interesting position, apply quickly as we receive a lot of applications.

DO: Attach a cover letter to further explain your interest and motivation. Customize it for the role and provide enough information so we can build a comprehensive picture of you, your background and experience.

DON’T: Misspell words in your CV or cover letter; take the time to make sure it is professional

DON’T: Exaggerate the CV or the letter; always be accurate and truthful


What advice would you give to someone preparing for an interview with you?

In addition to preparing well (research TEAM, our client, our culture), remember to be your authentic self. An interview is a time for us to learn about you, but also for you to learn about us: listen, ask, observe and be curious.