Music, festivals, guitars and gigs. Find out more about our account directors interests below...
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Tom Sweetman, and I’m an Account Director on the B2C team at SITA, basically meaning I help clients to secure media coverage, and positive media coverage at that.
You’ve been at SITA for over three years now, tell us what the average day looks like for you?
The average day for me typically kicks off with a read of the morning news in the hope of seeking out any potential ideas or opportunities that may tap into our work with clients. Up next, after checking in with clients and the B2C team, there’s usually a press release or two write up, be that a client news announcement, some ambassador quotes to sell in to media or the release of some specials odds. Elsewhere, there may be an interview to handle, discussing the latest goings-on in the sporting world with a client’s ambassador. There may also be some reporting to do, a check-in with the B2C team to be had or a client call to jump on, but then suddenly it’s 6pm and that’s that for another day - where did the time go?
The SITA yearly Cheltenham trip is coming up, tell us about last years event and the run of events surrounding it.
One of the perks of working at SITA is the annual trip to Cheltenham. A trip to the Home of Jump Racing is a special one for anyone (so I’d been told, as a non-racing expert), but being able to take in the day’s events from SITA’s company box makes it even better. An entertaining afternoon’s racing with a few (hopefully) successful bets combined with some excellent hospitality makes for a very enjoyable day. The coach ride home on the way back is always a pretty lively one too…
You’re one of SITA’s many Arsenal supporters. Tell us about your greatest memories as a season ticket holder…
There’s one memory that always sticks out in my mind when I ask myself this question, and that was witnessing Arsenal beat Barcelona 2-1 in the Champions League back in 2011. Watching a young Jack Wilshere take on and shine against the might of Xavi and Iniesta in the midfield was a truly exhilarating experience, and when Andrey Arshavin netted the winner, the Emirates roof was taken off. More recently though, any visit to the Emirates this season has been pretty special. It feels like the atmosphere that Mikel Arteta and his team have cultivated over the last year or so has bettered anything else seen or heard since the glory days under Arsene Wenger. And being top of the league certainly helps!
You play the guitar! Tell us about that, when you learnt and how you find it.
‘Playing’ the guitar is extremely kind, but I’ll take it. I did play the guitar when I was a teenager, and I wasn’t too bad. But as I’ve grown older, idleness has kicked in, and I’m lucky if I pick up the guitar for more than five minutes at a time, once in a blue moon. Saying that, in lockdown, with little else to do, I did find myself picking the guitar back up again and playing it quite a bit, which was quite rewarding and made me question why I didn’t do it more often. But that was lockdown, a strange time.
Following on from that, judging by your Instagram feeds you go to A LOT of gigs and festivals. What’s the best festival you’ve attended and why?
For me my favourite festival will always be Glastonbury. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a number of times and see some amazing acts, but what sets it apart is the feel of the place, the positive energy of the surrounding fields and farmland, and everyone’s desire to have a wonderful time. My Glasto highlight has to be either seeing Blur reunite to headline the Sunday night slot on my first visit in 2009. Or, as an avid Beatles fan, seeing Paul McCartney this year was pretty special, in spite of his advancing years and croaking voice, that is.
You’re one of the most tattooed members of the SITA team, tell us about your ink - any meaning behind them and any fun backstories?
I’ve pretty much got a collection of jumbled tattoos acquired on various trips without too much thought going into them. I’d love to tell you that they mean something extremely meaningful, but that would be a lie. I do have a tattoo of Bertie Bassett on my foot, though, with the sole inspiration being the link to my surname. Do I regret it? Absolutely not
And finally, what’s the last pub you visited?
The last pub I visited was my local - The Birdcage in Stoke Newington, which is just down the road from me. It had been a bit of a dive previously, but after being shut for a few years for renovation, it’s back open with something of a bang. Lots of wide-screen TVs make it ideal for watching sport, while there’s a half-decent beer selection and some very average pub grub. I’m not saying go out of your way to go there, but if you’re passing by…