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How Alba Campabadal’s Early Roles In Sport Media Set Her Up To Launch OneSoccer In Canada

Alba Campabadal | Head of Production | OneSoccer

In February 2019, MEDIAPRO acquired all the media rights within the Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) portfolio for the next ten years. This included the domestic and international media rights to the Canadian Premier League, which is Canada’s new professional men’s soccer league that launched in April 2019, as well as the Canadian Championship and the home games of Canada Soccer Women’s and Men’s National Teams, Ontario’s League1 for men and women. OneSoccer was created as an over-the-top streaming platform that offers live and on-demand content to house all of these rights.

Alba Campabadal was involved in the launching of the project and moved to Canada permanently to oversee the Broadcast Operations.

CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers and Gold Cup 2021 recent acquisitions as well as other international leagues’ rights have been added to the programming of the channel.

Although Alba Campabadal didn’t have a typical path to Head of Production at OneSoccer, she believes that all of her past jobs gave her important skills that are crucially important to her current role. After working on events like the X Games and Formula 1, she helped launch OneSoccer in Canada. With OneSoccer, Alba is in charge of broadcast operations from start to finish. Alba has insight into how the sport broadcasting world works and what skills are needed to succeed.

× The interview with Alba Campabadal was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Tell us about your role as the Head of Production of the OneSoccer.

My role as Head of Production is not very typical for someone in my position. My strengths are certainly oriented towards venue operations, but over the years I have had many opportunities to develop skills in other areas. As Head of Production for OneSoccer, I’m in charge of broadcast operations, which includes many tasks from the production on site to the final broadcast. OneSoccer is a Canadian subscription over-the-top streaming service owned by Mediapro rightsholder for various CONCACAF competitions, which I helped launch in Canada in 2019.

Usually, my role should focus on overseeing all of these operations, but the reality is that I’m involved in tasks that correspond with different departments. Although sometimes this means a lot of work, the positive side of being part of a new project is that I can learn from all of these different areas.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I’d like to say that in TV there are no typical days (at least in my case) and that’s what I love about this industry. Some days we are buried in budgeting tasks, and others we are traveling to another city to check logistics and operations in a new stadium.

I like to make each day different to keep things exciting. I am a really persistent worker, so I like to review workflows of different areas, and if something doesn’t work properly, I adjust the way it is executed.

The silver lining of this COVID situation is that we have had the time and opportunity to review all of our areas. From the ingest, where we record a signal, to the playout  of the final broadcast, we have been able to adjust all of these aspects.

On days when we have a big tournament coming up, I work with the production team to control all areas of the on site operations: logistics, facilities’ check, interviews…basically, I help with the coordination of the whole production.

You began in the production world back in the late 2000s, with events like the X Games Barcelona 2013. How did working on these events early in your career set you on the right path to where you work now?

I’ve never had a clear sight on a desired job, as I have a very versatile mind and I didn’t know where to focus at first.

I followed my father’s advice to get an engineering degree since it comes with a lot of possibilities, and I’m really proud of it, but sometimes I think, “Where could I have been if I have listened to my mum and gone into public relations?”

In any case, both of my parents know me really well and today, I am mixing a bit of everything and learning in the process!

In the middle of my technical career, I started to feel a need for something else, so I enrolled in an events management masters degree. I am so grateful for my boss and colleagues at Mediapro at that time that allowed me to complete all my work tasks over the weekends to give me time to study during the week.

The degree itself wasn’t what I expected, but it gave me the opportunity to be in the first edition of the X Games in Barcelona. My technical background allowed me to join the LOC department, and although it was more like an internship and the tasks assigned were secondary ones, I realised that I loved working at events.

But at the same time, I was nervous of not having a permanent job, which many events jobs do not guarantee. So, I asked myself where I could find something similar but with a full-time job, and the answer was TV production.

Mediapro is a huge company with a lot of opportunities and I am so grateful that someone trusted me and gave me the opportunity to fulfill my desire to explore new careers.

You’ve held many different positions in the last 10+ years with Grupo Mediapro. What has been your favourite role with the company?

My first role in production was in Formula 1. I’ll never forget that experience, and neither will my colleagues, who I am still close with today. Many viewers are still asking for the channel (Canalf1 Latinamerica) to come back! My team worked together so well, and we had the opportunity to travel the world while working. 

Once that project ended and my career in soccer started, I enjoyed working in the production of international competitions (UEFA), but I didn’t get the chance to evolve in that department as much as I would’ve liked. So, when I got offered to be part of the production department managing Host Broadcast productions for Laliga, I didn’t hesitate!

I really loved to deal with the international clients participating in El Classico, and although it was very new for me, I tried to bring myself up to speed by learning a lot. 

In 2019, you helped launch the soccer TV channel, OneSoccer, as an Executive Producer. What was that experience like and which skills did you have to use to succeed at this job?

I’ve been in production only since 2015, so although I’ve been growing fast, I didn’t expect this big jump all of a sudden. Mediapro is a big company and new projects are always coming through the door, so I think I was finally in the right place at the right time, and all the hard work I had completed over the years paid off with this opportunity.

The beginning of the project was exhausting, working lots of hours and no rest days, but that’s what it means to launch a project: hard work.

Regarding the required skills, I think that I was selected for this job because of my versatility (technical background and organizational and leadership skills). But what I really think that you need to succeed in any job is to be hard-working and willing to learn and improve. It is a huge plus if you are surrounded by a team that trusts you and works as hard as you do.

What are the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of your new roles as Head of Production?

I really appreciate when teammates thank me for doing something for them (that I didn’t even notice that I did). It’s really rewarding because sometimes we are so busy that we can’t check in on our colleagues as much as we’d like.

The most challenging part is to implement new workflows and new ways to do things to a team. It is especially challenging to integrate these plans to departments full of different people with different skills, and at varying ages that are used to other ways.

As well, the pressure of really tight deadlines in a project can also be challenging, but I always find the extra energy to push me to achieve my goals and not fall behind!

Ella Bonaldi Ella's Final Thoughts

Although Alba Campabadal took an unconventional path to becoming Head of Production at OneSoccer, her journey taught her so many skills that she now uses on a daily basis in her new position. Her determined personality and ability to adapt and learn new skills quickly has made her an inspiring woman in the sport broadcasting world. The successful integration of OneSoccer in Canada proves her dedication and resilience to making sport accessible to everyone. 

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