FEATURE24 July 2017

A football Focus

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One in five adults participates in football in some form, and understanding the behaviours, needs and values of these players, coaches and supporters falls on the shoulders of Ross Antrobus and his insight team. Jane Bainbridge reports

Football shirts

The walk to the Football Association’s (FA’s) offices is nothing if not inspiring. Even without match-day crowds, striding along Olympic Way from the tube station, with Wembley Stadium’s majestic arch before you, is an impressive sight. It’s not a bad way to start your day.

As head of research and insight at The FA, Ross Antrobus’s offices are inside the stadium, and our interview is taking place in one of the boxes, overlooking the pitch. If Antrobus didn’t exactly live and breathe football before – he admits to being only an armchair West Ham fan – he does now.

Indeed, he has one of those roles that I suspect many a market researcher would clamour for, because – when he first joined the organisation – there was no insight division. So he has not only championed the value of insight within the business, but also built his team from scratch. And the quality and importance of the work ...