15th May 2020 Blog

Back in October 2009, DSEG was approached by respected thoroughbred owner, Terry Henderson to assist a young, 20-something English lass, Francesca Cumani to manage her media work while she was in Australia.

Having first ventured to Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival in 2006, and then again in 2007 with Purple Moon, Francesca was back in Australia in 2008 as the strapper and track work rider for her father, Luca’s Melbourne Cup entries, Bauer and Mad Rush. As the sole representative of the horses in Australia in the weeks leading up to the race, Francesca was thrust into the media spotlight with daily media scrums wanting to know how the horses had settled in quarantine, what she thought of their chances and every other question reporters could throw at her.

In the Cup, Bauer was beaten into second place by the shortest possible margin (in fact he clocked a faster time than the winner) and Francesca was once again in the spotlight post-race with the cameras firmly focussed on the Cumani family and their reactions to the agonising wait for the photo finish and the ultimate disappointment of being beaten by a whisker.

The following year, recognising a potential star in the making, Channel 7’s Andy Kay offered Francesca an on-screen role as part of Seven’s 2009 Melbourne Cup Carnival telecast. At the same time, DSEG was engaged by Francesca, initially to guide her through that Spring but with a broader role to play post-Carnival.

Although at the time Francesca had no designs on making the media a full-time career, it was quickly apparent to DSEG that she could be a superstar. It was at that point that DSEG began working with Francesca to create and implement a long-term, strategic approach to developing her skills and secure opportunities on the global stage that would ultimately lead to Francesca becoming an industry leader.

DSEG’s steadfast determination for Francesca to be recognised for her skill as an expert racing commentator and not as a ‘pretty girl in a frock’ was at the forefront of developing Francesca’s brand. As a result, her skills were honed not only on her annual visits to Melbourne for Channel 7 under the tutelage of industry icon Bruce McAvaney, but also through extensive media training provided through DSEG’s best-of-breed partners, helping Francesca develop a broader understanding of the media and the unique requirements for on-screen talent.

Extensive international experience followed with DSEG securing hosting roles for Francesca on CNN’s Winning Post and Espanol’s Al Galope, as well as appearing on the Dubai Sports Channel and writing for multiple news outlets in the role of international racing analyst.

In addition, DSEG secured commercial partnerships for Francesca with some of the world’s leading brands, destinations and racing organisations, including Longines, Qipco (Qatar Racing), Dubai, Tabcorp, Victoria Racing Club and Magic Millions.

This global approach to broadening Francesca’s skills, exposure and brand, has now culminated in Francesca co-hosting ITV’s racing telecast across the UK as well as hosting Ten’s coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival (after a decade with Seven) – both amazing and prestigious roles.

The irony now is that approaches from highly regarded publications such as Vogue and GALLOP wishing to secure Francesca for fashion-skewed content, do not detract from the brand that together we have worked so hard to build and protect. In fact, they help build more layers to her brand – something that could only happen when the building blocks of Francesca’s career were already well established.

Francesca’s story showcases how talent, dedication and commitment to improve, combined with clear direction and advice, can shape a career. With Francesca’s hard work and DSEG’s guidance, her brand has developed over a period of a decade from a young horsewoman chaperoning Melbourne Cup hopefuls, into a global media celebrity.



06th May 2020 Blog

‘Things will never be the same after this!’

This is a compelling statement for the world of sport and entertainment as it confronts the catastrophic impact of COVID19. But it’s not the first time we have heard that type of declaration in the 20 years of DSEG’s existence.

‘Things will never be the same after this!’

When DSEG Principal, James Henderson dared to imagine his future business (and even conceived its name) as a teenage sports tragic in his home town of Hobart, little did he know about the trials and tribulations his firm and his chosen industry would face over the decades to come.

On his way to making DSEG a reality, Henderson’s journey from Hobart with his wife Jo had stop-off points at his beloved Hawthorn Football Club and the renowned International Management Group (IMG). But DSEG was always on the horizon and planning for its creation was always front of mind.

‘Things will never be the same after this!’

As any small business owner would know, taking the leap from full time employment in an enjoyable, challenging role, to investing in a dream, is a daunting and sometimes scary experience. Through DSEG’s two-decade history, it has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, across every emotion a roller-coaster could throw its way.

From a tiny start up business operating in a humble home office, through to its position today as a well-respected, highly sought after, advice driven company, DSEG has:

  • Implemented four major strategic plans leading to business evolving, adapting and forever changing;
  • Survived the Global Financial Crisis – a time which saw the business having to sell assets, make tough staffing decisions, move offices and broaden its clientele and service offerings to meet the new market;
  • Endured multiple high-profile crises, the most devasting of which saw DSEG lose two much-loved, talented and highly respected clients, Phillip Hughes and Jason Richards, to tragic deaths within a three-year period; and
  • Helped clients transition from some of the highest profile roles in world sport into new beginnings and opportunities post-playing career.

‘Things will never be the same after this!’

Things will never be the same post-COVID-19. We are all now part of world history – students will study this pandemic for centuries to come. And who knows what the final story will be…

For sport and media – things will never be the same. Every aspect of the industries’ ‘food chain’ has been affected by COVID-19. From player to caterer, from administrator to gate staff, from presenter to makeup artist, from camera operator to grounds staff. The impact has been immense and most-likely long term. Never before has the sports section of a daily newspaper or the sports report on TV every evening, held so little semblance to sport. Everything has been about lockdowns, lock outs, shutdowns, cancellations, postponements, salary cuts, staff cuts…not sport, not even close.

The omnipresent commentary each day in the news regarding the doom, corrections, impacts and slow recovery is largely and scarily true. It is the one time we wish that the headlines were overplaying the enormity of the crisis…but they aren’t. It is a very difficult time and it will continue to be for some time to come.

‘Some things will be the same after this!’

At DSEG, we are resilient and committed; influenced and led by the blue-chip organisations and individuals we work with. They are our heartbeat, our soul and our future.

Things will be the same and, in some cases better and more sustainable. As always, the market will adapt. Leaders will lead, stars will shine, brands will bounce, economies will re-emerge and fans will be re-engaged.

At DSEG, we will be at the cutting edge of this brave new world. Working with the best – advising, managing, marketing, negotiating, networking, challenging and getting things done.

Some things will never be the same, but as DSEG’s 20 years in the business has taught us, that is always the case.



17th Apr 2020 Blog

Patience (noun): the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

DSEG is publishing a series of social media content pieces entitled ‘A Minute With…’, featuring answers to three questions from the celebrity talent we manage.

It’s the responses to the second question where we are finding overwhelming consistency, reflective of many people we speak to every day during this bizarre and difficult period.

#2: I’m learning…patience.

It’s a simple and understandable response, but it also implies that our pre-pandemic starting point was ‘intolerant’, ‘impatient’ and ‘anxious’. This is not surprising for people constantly in the public eye. As the pressures of life build, we are all prone to fall into patterns that crack under pressure and celebs are at the pointy end of that stress.

There is a lot to gain for all of us during this crisis. If we learn from experience and begin to be more patient, then we can take a positive out of what is an otherwise dire situation. It’s ‘what happens next’ that will define us.

Follow the @DSEGWorldwide Twitter and Insta pages to see how our clients are working through their days and what they look forward to when we all come out the other side. It’s well worth a read.