Diary of a Product Owner

Tell us about yourself and your role
I am a Product Owner within the IMG ARENA Data Ops team, a product team based in Chiswick, London. Our job is to bring the front-end event centers to life, making sure to provide enough data points. While the event centers are stereotypically the most exciting part, I’m also working on the data streams for our digital data exchange, providing accurate data for any front-end application.

As Product Owner, I interact with many departments within IMG ARENA. I ensure that we are constantly developing and innovating, managing the backlog and liaising with key stakeholders on our progress. A critical part of my role is to work alongside the Product Manager in defining the long-term roadmap and creating a timeline that manages both our capacity and our promise.

Tell us a bit about your professional background, what made you want to get into this type of position?
When I was 11 my dad bought me and my brothers a 64 Commodore, the nice thing about old machines like these is that the instruction manual had really good information on the basic programming. So while I was playing Batman, I was also avidly reading the manual and learning how to develop games. This early fascination with machine mechanics fueled my interest in programming. In school, I studied Computer Science and Mathematics in the Baccalaureate, then I studied Computing at the University of Kent and Information Systems at Brunel University in London. After college, I got my first job as a multimedia website author, but I continued to create games in my spare time, which led me to break into the gaming industry. video.

My 5+ year product journey started in e-commerce delivery, which helped me decide that I liked the product but not e-commerce! This led me to focus on finding a role that combined my interests, products and games, where I landed a role as a product manager at a game company. After gaining a wealth of experience, I then led the product management team of a software company helping them to innovate and grow their product portfolio. It was from there that I got the role I currently hold at IMG ARENA.

In addition to games, I am also passionate about sports. That’s what drew me to IMG ARENA, the role combined all my interests and where I could work to elevate the sports experience with data. I’ve always been genuinely interested in the sports space because you provide a real world experience where people can follow their heroes and mentors in their favorite sports.

What is the best part of your role? How would you sum it up in three words?
The best part of my role so far is the ability to think out loud and be empowered to shape your own future. I work closely with the Product Director and the Product Leadership Team, which gives me the opportunity to suggest product features to improve the overall experience, which is not always the case in other organizations .

Of the places I have worked in the past, IMG ARENA has already shown me that it has the most enthusiasm in terms of how it can grow and its future vision. The saying “The world is your oyster” definitely comes to mind! You get the confidence and space to express your ideas, giving you the confidence to drive your own career.
So I think as a workplace it’s fun and inspiring, which is why I would sum up my role as exciting, empowered and influential.

‘Exciting
Autonomous
Influential

Tell us about an exciting project you are working on right now.
An exciting project my team is working on is our media project, which brings our sports data to life in the media space. We are working on an automated text commentary product feed that, for example, uses data-driven golf insights to present insightful text commentary and analysis to fans. By providing high-level data accessible like never before, it will improve the way fans engage with sports, driving engagement and interest in the sports they already love.

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in a similar position?
I would say have an open mind, both in terms of what you learn and where and from whom you can continue to learn. If something interests you, then delve into it and learn as much as you can. don’t focus your expertise on just one area, such as product or development, try to develop a broader understanding of the area you want to get into, from development through to strategy.

💡 Do you have any ideas for other products you would like to see IMG ARENA produce in the years to come?
I’ve had a few conversations with the team about what rights we’re acquiring and bidding for, because we work with big sports, but I think we could do just as well in some other sports, like athletics and Formula 1 for example.
However, I also want to continue to innovate in our offer in our media space. It would be nice to see more storytelling, showcasing behind the scenes of the sports world.

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About Byron G. Fazio

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