In light of today's news, I've interviewed Miles Jacobson, who is the studio director of Sports Interactive and man behind Football Manager, Watford FC's new principle club sponsor in case you haven't seen.
Hello Miles, it's been announced today that Sega/Sports Interactive have agreed a sponsorship deal with Watford FC, as the person responsible for SI's success, and a fan of WFC, you must be delighted?
The whole team here at SI seem pretty happy today – obviously as a Watford supporter I’m doubly pleased, as are the other Watford fans in the studio. We’re very fortunate that this opportunity was offered to us and SEGA and that we were able to complete the deal so quickly.
You've sponsored the club for a while now already haven't you? With 'Football Manager' emblazoned underneath the big screen, and sponsoring the End of Season Awards.
We’ve had partnerships with the club for the last couple of seasons due to us previously being one of the Academy partners at the club. So yes, we’ve been involved for a while, and had ad hoardings before that too.
Obviously a lot has gone on at WFC lately, what is Sports Interactive's take on the goings on?
I can’t speak for everyone at the studio, only myself, but I’m very impressed with the project and the long term plans for the club. I’m also relieved that we now have financial security and owners with a lot of experience in taking clubs forward. I’ve been impressed with everyone we’ve dealt with at the club – those who remained from the previous regime and those who’ve just come in.
and it must be good for SI to be a part of this new project that we're embarking on?
It’s an honour that we were chosen to be part of it.
Do you think you're going to see a large up in sales around SW Herts now?
Ha ha – we do pretty well in the area already, but I’m sure SEGA will be asking the games retailers in the area to take more copies now.
When you first got involved with CM as a tester, did you envisage that over a decade later you'd receive the OBE, be able to contribute hundreds of thousands to charity, and be in the position to sponsor your boyhood club?
It’s all a bit surreal when it’s written down like that.
I don’t think any of that are things that you can envisage or plan, although maybe they’re side effects of things that have been planned! The last couple of decades of seen a lot of work, and a lot of fun – I’m really lucky to love what I do. But then I also loved working at Quick Burger and Past and Present records back in the day, so maybe I just love work.
Text PROTECT3 to 70444 to donate £3 - or click below
(WarChild is a fantastic charity, that aim to provide life changing support
to children where their communities have been torn apart by war)
Can we expect some hidden gifts in Watford FC on FM13? (Fingers crossed!)
The game is sacrosanct, so don’t expect any favours there...
Finally, the Pozzo family have a reputation for scouring the globe and picking up unknown young talent to develop and sell for profit, obviously Football Manager has a hugely extensive global database, do these two factors come into the deal at all?
I’m sure we’ll get some questions about players from the club – we often do from clubs. We know one of the new scouting co-ordinators at the club quite well as he used to work as part of the team here, so he already knows the ins and outs of the database.
Thanks Miles, all the best