From Lord's Dressing Room to City Board Room: An Interview With Matt Prior
Matt Prior was vice-captain and wicketkeeper batsman for England during one of the team’s most successful periods in history. Widely seen as the lynchpin in building a high-performance culture, as well as the reintegration of Kevin Pietersen into the England dressing room, Matt has used his vast experience by moving seamlessly into the business world. We caught up with him to find out what lessons businesses can learn from professional sport.
Hi Matt, could you tell us a bit about your cricket career?
Of course. I was a professional cricketer for fifteen years and I was very fortunate to play for England. Over eight years, I played seventy-nine test matches during what was probably the most successful era of English cricket. We won three ashes series both home and away, including one in India (the first time in twenty-eight years). We also managed to reach the number one test team in the world in 2011.
So, what are you up to now, Matt?
Following on from cricket I decided to set up my own company and set up a professional cycling team. I own and run ONE Pro Cycling and we’ve now also set up the ONE Pro brand which is a sports nutrition company that we’re launching in the coming months. My day to day is running the company side, but also the pro cycling team.
That sounds really exciting – we’ll keep an eye out for the brand in the near future!
You’ve had a hugely successful cricket career and are now venturing into business. Having experienced both worlds, what can businesses learn from professional sport?
I certainly haven’t taken the usual path post cricket career, but I was always intrigued by what was out there in the big wide world. But I was also interested in what I could transfer – all the skills and fundamentals I had learnt as a professional sportsman – what could I transfer, into not only a different sport, but into the business world as well.
I think my key message would be that the fundamentals of success in both disciplines are the same. Whether you’re trying to win a world cup or trying to create a new brand or trying to run a business, it’s just knowing and understanding what those fundamentals are. And once you have them, hang onto them for dear life - they can go very quickly.
Another key element for me is leadership. And whether you’re in Lord’s dressing room, or a city board room, a team needs leadership.
What would be your top tip from your sports or business career?
My best piece of advice for any entrepreneurs or new business owners out there would be… be brave. You have to be brave. You have to believe in your ideas and believe in yourself.
And finally Matt, what’s next for you?
A lot more speaking hopefully! And I’m working really hard on grown my ONE Pro brand – we’re not stopping at nutrition but also looking at insurance, travel, and hospitality. I’m enjoying my business career, and I want to embody my message by constantly keeping an eye on the sport world, using what I have learnt from cricket and bringing that into my new life to make a success of it.
Thanks so much for chatting with us Matt!
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