Welcome to this week’s Sponsor Spotlight. In this edition we’re learning more about Clarity Travel, and we caught up with their Director of Sports Travel, Rob Slawson.
If you could sum up your business in a tweet (280 characters), what would you say?
Industry leading, global sports travel specialist, providing best-in-class travel solutions from grassroots through to elite sport, from participation to fan experiences, a truly holistic sports travel business.
Who’s your favourite Sharks player, past and present, and why?
Present, Faf de Klerk, he’s a game changer and my 6yr old son Oscar loves him. Past, Jason Robinson. A two code legend and world class in both codes.
How did you end up in the Sports Travel industry and describe your current role?
I’m the Director of Sport Travel @ Clarity Travel and have been in the business since September 2019. Prior to that I led the Thomas Cook Sport business having been there from 2004. Before that and after leaving university in the early 2000’s I worked in tour operating so have always had a professional travel background. I fell into sports travel through a lucky break though and haven’t looked back since. It’s a dream job, sport and travel.
What’s your top sporting memory?
Recently, probably Ben Stokes’s Ashes innings at Headingly in 2019. Unbelievable performance under immense pressure and a global spotlight. From a rugby perspective, we’re yet to top the Jonny Wilkinson drop goal World Cup win as a nation.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
In reality our 3rd old daughter kicking us out, motivationally, running the best sports travel business on the planet keeps me on my toes.
Tell us about the team at your business. How many people work there?
The wider Clarity Travel business has around 500 staff members spread over 10 offices in the UK, Ireland and in Europe. From a sports travel perspective there are around 50 of us now, having recently acquired Inspiresport. Essentially I surround myself with better and smarter people than me and create an environment for them to succeed and achieve. We’re lucky to have the best people in the industry working at Clarity Travel, sportsbreaks.com and Inspiresport.
How do you measure success as a team?
Happy partners, Sale Sharks included, happy staff, growth, personal development for all. If we can take every staff member on the journey with us and they contribute to the wider goals, the rest takes care of itself.
What attracted you most to partnering with Sale Sharks?
Once we started to work more and more in rugby union from a travel perspective, working with Sale Sharks was a no brainer. As a top English and European club from our perspective partnering with the club was always going to productive from a collaborative perspective. From the early conversations with Mark Cueto it felt right to develop and create the partnership and through to the relationship with Scott Needham on the playing side it all works perfectly for both of us.
When we get back to watching games again, what will be your drink of choice?
Probably a Guinness. There’s something about having a pint of Guinness whilst watching the rugby that just feels right.
And finally, you had one piece of advice for someone starting out in your sector, what would it be?
Be prepared to get stuck in and push out from your comfort zones. We work in places from New Zealand to Azerbaijan, Kazan in Russia to Melbourne, Australia and everywhere in between. You’ve got to be proactive, persistent and be able to deal with a club owner through to the airport porter in order to get things done. The more experience you gain, the quicker you learn, the quicker you develop and progress.