How Gerry McKenna got ahead

My father was the assistant editor of The Daily Record so the media was always prevalent during my upbringing. Then, by identifying a niche in the media marketing sector and combining it with my passion for football I created Match Day Media an idea formulated on the terraces of Old Trafford.

Name:

Gerry McKenna

Company:

Match Day Media (www.mdm.tv)

Job title:

Managing Director and co-founder of Match Day Media.

What made you want to get into brands/advertising/media/marketing?

My father was the assistant editor of The Daily Record so the media was always prevalent during my upbringing. Then, by identifying a niche in the media marketing sector and combining it with my passion for football I created Match Day Media – an idea formulated on the terraces of Old Trafford.

How did you get into the industry (including relevant qualifications and professional training)?

I studied Topographic Sciences at Glasgow University but began working in a jeans shop in Glasgow instead of studying. I didn’t complete my studies, but instead set up a weekly club night in Glasgow. However, I managed to use the profits to eventually finish my studies ending with a BSc in General Science.

What was good and bad about your first job?

My first job helped to foster and unleash my entrepreneurial skills. However, I always felt I had let my parents down because I hadn’t seen my course through by the time I started working.

List your jobs to date:

This is not exhaustive but the main jobs of relevance are my first job as a jeans salesman, being recruited by French Connection as Managing Director of WJC (their retail denim division), setting up my own business called Ubahn (specialising in male couture) and then setting up Ubahn records to promote it (achieving two No1 dance hits with The Flavour). Also, I was the Marketing Director for F-F3 Limited (we developed a live free sport event for 40,000 visitors with the UK’s biggest ever real snow ramp being built), and now I am CEO and co-founder of Match Day Media.

What were the best and worst, and why?

My best job is my current job – running and building a media business, entertaining and involving our audience in our editorial and advertiser funded content, discovering what makes our audience tick and always pushing forward.

The worst was F-F3 where the come down after the adrenalin high of creating a weekend live festival was compounded by watching £250,000 of real snow melt in front of my eyes.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Malcolm Mclaren – former manager of the Sex Pistols.

Who in the industry do you most admire?

Andy Duncan – Chief Executive of Channel 4.

What is your biggest achievement to date?

My daughter and 17 years of marriage.

On what do you base your success so far?

Lateral thinking, never being afraid to try and ignoring stereotypes and entrenched points of views. My experience of starting and managing various companies has allowed me to capitalise on new marketing opportunities for Match Day Media. MDM combines my experiences of marketing and brands with my passion for football.

What are your ambitions?

International expansion of Match Day Media, to develop an MDM.TV mobile and IPTV platform and to be a rallying point for the best, entertainment driven digital out of home media platform.

Change one thing about your job:

The Manchester to London commute!

Change one thing about your industry:

Inertia.

Change one thing about the world:

Preconceived, stereotypical views of what and who 21st Century football is…

What is your favourite brand?

Apple. But no brand is forever…

What is the next big brand in your view?

People power.

List your ‘media diet’:

Marketing Week and all other marketing press, Media Week, New Media Age and the new free Sport Magazine. Also, Autocar and the BBC website every day, Sunday Times if I get off the tennis court in time and the occasional football match on Sky Sports!

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