Having caught the racing bug, Sophie Ogg’s first foray into motorsport operations was work experience, volunteering to help out with events in order to get behind the scenes, learn about the sport and gain as many contacts in the racing world as she could, already thinking about potential careers in motor racing.
This involvement continued as Sophie studied first law, and on deciding that this wasn’t for her, Public Relations at the University of Central Lancs, accepting a Sports PR agency job on graduating.
This gave her vital industry experience ahead of her inevitable move back into motor racing with roles in Formula Ford, Formula BMW, the British GT Championship and A1GP.
When in 2009 A1GP folded, it gave Sophie the opportunity to evaluate her career options, and wishing to continue her involvement in motor racing, she established her own PR agency.
This led to a time in the press office of the WTCC followed before she landed her dream job at Williams in 2010.
At Williams Sophie is responsible for internal and external comms across platforms, both online and offline, event planning and management, fan engagement and communications strategy.
Formula 1 was notoriously slow to respond to the many opportunities offered by social media under Bernie Ecclestone, but since Liberty’s takeover it’s something that the whole of F1 is making the most of, and Williams are no exception.
With Sophie at the helm Williams has built up to (at last count) just shy of a million followers on Twitter, and is equally as active on Instagram and Facebook.
Since joining the team almost a decade ago, Sophie has been part of a number of successes, including Pastor Maldonado‘s shock win at the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix and the hatful of podiums (or is it podia?) in 2014 and 2015.
But there have also been challenges, especially of late, as Williams struggle on-track and undergo significant upheaval behind the scenes.
The online world can be a toxic environment at times (#understatement), and Sophie and her guys have found themselves battling against relentless vitriol towards the team (who knew there were so many conspiracy theorists in Poland??) something they’ve consistently done with dignity and grace.
(Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant!)
Along with managing the digital side of F1 Comms, Sophie is also hands on, and is regularly seen trackside, at press conferences and media briefings, and as such will be a familiar face to many fans of the sport.