Eoin McLaughlin's Sports Journey From Ireland at the World Cup to Channel 4's 'Super. Human.'

Our chat with the ECD and children's book author

Eoin McLaughlin works at 4creative/Channel 4 in the U.K., where he is deputy executive creative director. Channel 4 is regularly ranked as one of the world's most influential and award-winning brands. He has helped produce much of its most iconic work, from the Paralympics "Super. Human." campaign to "Complaints Welcome."

Before Channel 4, he worked at Droga5 New York.

Eoin is also a bestselling children’s author. His books have been translated into over 20 languages, nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and twice been named Books of the Year by the Guardian.

His latest book, While We Can't Hug, was widely used around the world to help kids understand social distancing. The Times described it as "an important historic record of the time."

We spoke with Eoin for our Time-Out series, where we chat with folks in the sports world, including esports, about their passion for competition and how brands integrate into that world.


Eoin, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I’m from New Ross, in Ireland. But I grew up all over the place—Bozeman, Newcastle, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Oxford, Dublin. I had a weird accent. I now live in London. 

Your earliest sports memory.

I remember Ireland’s great World Cup runs in the '90s. I was one of those little losers who wore the full kit to watch every game. With complementary sweatbands.

Your favorite sports teams.

I love going to watch local teams play whenever I’m somewhere different. My wardrobe’s full of weird scarves and hats and jerseys. They always seem like a good idea at the time. 

But let’s get serious:

Liverpool, 2004-05. Chicago Bulls, 1995-96. Irish rugby team, present day.

Your favorite athlete.

An impossible question to answer.

Dock Ellis? It’s been exactly 50 years since he threw a no-hitter on LSD. There’s an amazing animated interview about it on YouTube. 

Alex Honnold? Most sports are kind of based on arbitrary, artificial, man-made rules. Alex climbed a 3,000-foot sheer granite monolith. An achievement that exists on a different plane. 

Matt Le Tissier? My favorite lazy footballing genius. 

Your favorite sports show or podcast.

Drive to Survive. Or The Last Dance. Or Match of the Day. 

Your favorite sports movie.

Meru.

A recent project you're proud of.

Our "Super. Human." Paralympics work, which continues to make people think differently about disability. 

Super. Human. | Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Trailer
Someone else's project that you admired recently.

I enjoyed the "Skate Ghana" thing from Droga5 NY. My old creative partner sent me a playlist of Ghanaian music he got into while they were making it. It’s cool when a project allows you to get into something a bit left field. 

Facebook | Skate Nation Ghana
What sports can do that nothing else can.

Make everyone go to the toilet at the same time. 

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the sports world.

I also write children’s books. So I guess I’d be doing more of that.

Time-Out is a weekly series, publishing on Tuesdays, where we chat with folks in the sports world about their creative inspirations, favorite athletes, teams, sports movies and more, and what sport means to them. For more about Time-Out, and our Clio Sports program, please get in touch.

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Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a senior broadcast journalism student at the University of Colorado Boulder and a contributor to Muse by Clio.

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