Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Meet the… mobile and immersive director

Matt Stagg details his journey from starting out as a technical apprentice at Airbus to being one of the leading lights of the media industry's adoption of 5G and immersive technologies

Matt Stagg, mobile and immersive director
Talk us through an average day in your role.

Every day in my role is unique and dynamic, reflecting the ever-evolving nature of immersive fan engagement. A significant portion of my time revolves around staying at the forefront of technological trends, allowing me to anticipate future developments and capitalise on emerging opportunities. This involves working closely with our existing partners, as well as actively seeking out new companies whose offerings align with our strategic vision.

Another crucial aspect of my work is understanding how sports interaction is evolving across different demographics. It is essential for us to recognise the changing needs and preferences of our diverse fan base, ensuring that any new initiatives we undertake enhance the overall broadcast experience. Our goal is to engage all fans, regardless of their age or background, by offering tailored experiences that bring them closer to the heart of the sport in ways that resonate with their individual choices and interests.

In addition to my role within the sports industry, I actively contribute to the wider technological landscape. I participate in accelerators and collaborate with industry bodies, leveraging collective knowledge and expertise to drive innovation within the sports industry. By working together and sharing insights, we can overcome cross-industry challenges and propel advancements that benefit all stakeholders.

Furthermore, I channel my industry experience and insights into writing articles for industry publications. Through these publications, I share my perspectives on immersive fan engagement, technological advancements, and the future of sports. Additionally, I prepare for talks and panel discussions at major events, where I have the opportunity to inspire and educate industry professionals about the latest developments in the field.

Overall, my role is a captivating blend of technological foresight, strategic partnerships, and creative problem-solving. By continually pushing the boundaries of fan engagement and fostering collaboration across industries, I strive to revolutionize the sports industry and create experiences that captivate and inspire fans.

How did you get started in the media industry?

My journey into the media industry has been quite an adventure, with a series of unexpected turns that ultimately led me to where I am today. It all started when I embarked on my career in datacomms and telecoms as a technical apprentice at Airbus. During that time, I had the opportunity to join Orange UK in a design role as the mobile network transitioned to IP technology—an era that seems distant now, considering we’re already discussing 6G networks.

As the technology continued to evolve, I found myself taking on a prominent role in designing and developing the 4G network for EE, a joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile in the UK. It was during this period that my foray into the media industry began to take shape. I was tasked with examining the impact of the surging video traffic and devising optimisation strategies while also engaging with major content providers like YouTube, BBC, and Netflix. Witnessing the exponential growth in video traffic, I realised there was a significant gap in the seamless delivery of video content. To address this, I co-founded the Mobile Video Alliance, bringing together content providers, vendors, and operators to develop strategies that would ensure end customers enjoyed a buffer-free experience.

The true turning point came when live sports broadcasters started embracing mobile viewing. It became evident that live sporting events placed immense demands on the 4G network due to the massive number of simultaneous viewers. Scaling the network to accommodate the Premier League or World Cup commercially simply wasn’t feasible, so we set out to develop innovative technologies that would enable everyone to experience these events without overwhelming the network and causing congestion.

Having established extensive collaborations with sports broadcasters, my expertise caught the attention of BT when they acquired EE. Consequently, I was invited to join BT Sport to pioneer the development of new immersive experiences and production techniques utilizing 5G technology. From that point on, history was made.

My journey into the media industry has been an incredible ride, marked by adaptability, problem-solving, and a passion for pushing technological boundaries. I am honoured to have played a role in transforming the way people consume and experience sports through innovative solutions, and I’m excited to continue shaping the future of media and technology.

What training did you have before entering the industry?

Prior to entering the industry, I didn’t have formal training specifically related to the media field. However, since we deal with cutting-edge technology that often involves unprecedented approaches, I recognised the need to acquire a deep understanding of broadcasting. To achieve this, I actively immersed myself in various aspects of the workflow, such as spending time on outside broadcasts (OB) one week and shadowing the promo or music teams the next. Although I couldn’t remotely work in any of those positions, this hands-on exposure allowed me to grasp how innovative technology could effectively enhance the fan experience while preserving the essence of the main output. Additionally, I devoted time to reading relevant white papers and learning from my peers within the industry, which further expanded my knowledge base.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

What truly captivates me about working in this industry is the exceptional individuals and their unwavering dedication to their craft. The collective passion and pride displayed by everyone I’ve encountered in this field is truly inspiring. While most people only witness what is broadcast, once you catch a glimpse of the magic happening behind the camera, you become utterly engrossed. The industry’s vast array of roles is incredibly diverse, offering opportunities that cater to a wide range of interests and talents. Personally, I consider it a great privilege to be a part of this industry, as each day presents me with valuable lessons and thrilling discoveries in the art of storytelling.

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

Embrace curiosity and continuous learning: Stay curious about emerging technologies, industry trends, and the evolving landscape. Be open to learning and acquiring new knowledge as it will be crucial in a fast-paced industry like ours. Also stay passionate and driven: The industry is constantly evolving, and a genuine passion for the work will sustain you through the highs and lows. Stay motivated, set ambitious goals, and maintain a strong work ethic to excel in this dynamic field.