Abu Nasir has been involved in football and sports since the age of 7 as a player, coach, and sports business executive at both grassroots and professional level. He is a passionate and innovative leader with a strong background of leading, managing and developing high profile multi-agency programmes in the sports industry, and in the public and private sectors, as well as managing a diverse range of businesses which includes a global sports management consultancy, technology, and hospitality sector enterprises. He has managed business turnover of £800m to date and successfully delivered projects and programmes circa £1bn.
He spent his childhood dreams of becoming a footballer, playing at schoolboy and youth level at Luton Town and Liverpool. He grew up in a tough neighbourhood where opportunities were limited.Injuries ended his professional aspirations at the age of 18, but he was determined to continue at different levels within the game at any capacity he could find an opportunity.
It was a long and arduous journey for him as he found the industry challenging to break into, but he eventually managed to see his hard work come to fruition after setting up GSV Sports Management. He is now one of the sought-after leaders in the football and sports industry and is a great role model for the thousands of academy players who don’t make the grade at the elite level.
He is a qualified football coach and graduated from university with degrees in Public Policy & Management, Political Science, and an MBA. He worked in the City for Cable & Wireless Plc managing multi-million pound FTSE 100 company client portfolios in the data technology sector, which includes investment banks and a diverse range of high profile conglomerates such as Goldman Sachs, Virgin Group, HP and Government.
Abu was a political advisor during the early stages of his career and a political career was on the horizon, but Abu decided to step away and focus on his lifelong dream of continuing his ambitions in football and sports. He also spent over 15 years working in Local Government overseeing multi-million-pound regeneration programmes and successfully delivering social, economic and construction programmes and tackling multiple deprivation.
Abu decided to set up GSV Sports Management and a range of other businesses to ensure a diversified portfolio based on gaps in the market, focusing on innovation and maximizing technology and his global network.
GSV Sports Management was set up to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for the sports industry by bringing a wide range of approaches to manage and sustain sports as a business model whilst ensuring long-term sustainability for organisations and stakeholders in the sports industry.
“The sports industry is a cutthroat and ruthless industry. You need to be mentally tough and work ten times harder than your competitors to succeed. You can’t be successful on your own, you need trusted and likeminded individuals who have the same passion and mindset as you to be a success,” says Abu, talking about making it big in such a competitive arena. “I ensure every individual is involved in the business strategy from the beginning, take ownership and empower them to manage their areas of work.”
“I had to start from the very bottom. I wasn’t privileged, life was challenging but I wasn’t going to feel sorry for myself, the road to success was never going to be easy and I was never going to give up, it’s not in my nature, the sky is the limit and I want to reach it regardless of all the obstacles”.
This kind of strength has ensured Abu had a seat at the top tier of football and has seen him become a part of the football and sports hierarchy including Liverpool FC, Board Member of the Football Association’s National Game Board, and consultancy roles a with the Premier League and other high profile sports industry organisations.
Building A Brand
GSV Sports Management is a UK-based sports consultancy with a global reach, specialising in several areas by bringing the world of business and sport together. They have been involved in lucrative projects and ventures that have enhanced their reputation extensively.
The consultancy adheres to its principles, maintains the ethical guidelines, and ensures that the services and products are of the highest calibre. “We have delivered results and achieved targets we set out with our clients which has enabled us to understand how different companies and markets operate. We go that ‘extra mile’ to achieve success.”
For GSV, research and analysis are strategic priorities that give them an idea of how to maximize their resources on low budgets. Investment is based on projected significant returns, so developing new concepts and technology, predicting future market trends, and having a vision are fundamental elements of strategic priorities. “We have just invested in a number of apps and technology which we are trying to patent.”
Being forward-thinking, innovative, and always challenging the status quo to improve, Abu and his team consist of global partners and individuals with a diverse range of skills and qualities. In comparison to market leaders, they have a personal approach and treat their clients like families, going the extra mile to support them.
The company has always ensured all major stakeholders are part of the overall business to ensure long-term sustainability. “As for our products, we don’t have our eggs in one basket. We treat each area of our business goals as separate projects and entities, so any risks are mitigated if one area of the business is underperforming.”
Towards the Future
GSV has developed relationships at a global level with investors and major businesses looking to invest in projects, businesses and acquire assets and sports clubs, primarily football clubs in Europe. The company also has facilitated sports-related acquisitions and investments internationally. They identify and bring in the right investor for businesses and a wide range of organisations, providing support through a team of experts for any investor, ensuring a smooth acquisition process.
The company has been auditing several sports bodies and football clubs intending to develop a strategy to ensure they maximise their brand develop products and services which will align with their stakeholders who provide a huge proportion of their revenues using technology to be more efficient, creating strong governance, build their brand and maximising it. Ensuring a lean approach, being efficient and maximizing resources through creative financial planning, marketing, and using social media and technology to reduce costs whilst commercialising their products has seen GSV partners generate income and think more outside the box. This is whilst ensuring their values and wider partners are not impacted negatively.
GSV has also been working on a project to revolutionise football to identify footballers from different parts of the world and develop a model that allows talent to flourish and maximise their potential through implementing technology to allow a global reach. “We’ve attracted significant investment and expect the project to become one of the most innovative in the football industry,” says Abu. “We are currently working with a range of international partners to invest in assets and projects which will provide a long term significant return on investment.”