01 Jan Glasgow to San Diego
Steve Casciani represents football broadcasters in the USA
1) Why did you leave Scotland?
I left Scotland because I wanted to challenge myself by working in bigger markets. I’d worked in London, so the challenge of working in New York, the World’s biggest media market was a welcome one.
2) Where did you grow up and at what age did you leave Scotland?
I grew up in Glasgow until I was 10, when I moved with my family to Edinburgh. I moved between London and Edinburgh a couple of times during my 20s and lived in both Edinburgh and New York from 1999 until 2002 when I moved to New York full time.
I now live with my American wife and daughter in San Diego, CA.
3) What is your job/sector and how many countries have you lived in?
I work in Sports broadcasting, representing football broadcasters in the USA. My clients include Andy Gray, Martin Tyler, Richard Keys, Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe, Richard Gough and Kasey Keller and more. I’m responsible for establishing and managing their broadcast relationships with TV networks and MLS clubs.
I’ve lived in Scotland, England and USA.
4) Do you show pictures of the Loch Ness Monster to the locals?
All the time, you’d be surprised by the level of concern in the USA for Nessie. The American people have asked me to send their best wishes to her and to let Nessie know that they look forward to hearing from her soon.
5) Which citizenship do you have and which languages do you speak?
I am currently a British citizen, but I hope to become an American and Scottish citizen soon.
I speak Scottish English and American English. Two similar, but very different languages!
6) Has living abroad changed the way you think about Scotland?
The way that Americans celebrate their country and their independence is galvanising, particularly this week during the run up to the July 4th celebrations. I don’t believe that an independent Scotland has anything to fear.
Scottish people are amongst the most proud and passionate in the World. We are rightly proud of our country and we should be; it’s one of the most beautiful places in the World. I didn’t appreciate it enough when I lived there.
7) Are there any Scottish products you would like to be able to buy?
A fish supper! It’s something that isn’t available in California.
8) What about the independence referendum coming up? How will it affect you and Scotland’s international image?
On a practical level the referendum won’t effect me, other than the possibility of providing me with a new passport, which is a prospect that excites me. On an emotional level it will have an effect. I welcome the possibility of an independent Scotland. We talk about being a proud nation. So let’s be one.
The Scottish independence referendum provides Scotland with a fantastic opportunity. If the people of Scotland vote for independence, I’m optimistic that Scotland will think really BIG to develop an agenda that will create a happy, healthy, confident and prosperous Scotland. That would be a great international image.
I hope that Scotland is able to offer exciting, modern and imaginative incentives to businesses and to people to locate in Scotland. It would be great if people around the World talked about the Scottish Tiger in the way that they did about the Irish economy a decade or more ago.
Following the reformation Scotland established itself as one of the most educated populations, and as a result Scots were successful all over the World, it seems to me that to re-establish its educational excellence is a huge opportunity for Scotland today.
In the USA I believe that Scotland has done a bad job of shaping and controlling our image and our reputation. Too many people here incorrectly identify Scotland as a part of Ireland. Britishness confuses them too, and they often regard it as Englishness. When they think a little harder many have a “shortbread tin/Brigadoon” view of Scotland, while maybe the more educated ones think about golf. I think there are several reasons for this perspective, including the influence of a very insular TV news media in the US – Americans are not very aware of international news. Also, Scotland has been poor at communicating its economic and tourism benefits and Scotland has adopted limited efforts to engage its Diaspora – Ireland is a great example of what can be achieved in the USA and beyond. As an example, I don’t think that there was enough funding for the International communication of the Homecoming; it was hard work to find it here in the USA. I hope that an independent Scotland can put more funding behind future, similar efforts.
I think a big part of the reason for the lack of understanding about Scotland here is a misguided assumption on Scotland’s part that we should be or are important in the USA because of our contribution to the early foundation of the country and the large number of Americans with Scottish antecedents. It’s an assumption that I was guilty of when I first arrived here and the reality surprised me. In my experience a key issue is that Scottish organisations don’t consider the sheer scale of this country and so they fail to understand how much it costs to communicate with or market in the USA, and thus they try to achieve too much with too little investment which provides only limited success.
I think that Americans, with their fierce sense of independence, will identify with a passionate and confident modern nation. It seems to me that there’s a substantial economic upside for Scotland to improve its efforts in the USA.
9) Have you ever had problems or found that people treat you differently because you are Scottish?
I’ve never been anything but Scottish, so it’s impossible for me to say. Americans frequently remark on my accent, so it certainly doesn’t do me any harm!
10) Do you have any plans for living in Scotland again and have you got a message for Scots back home?
Giving up San Diego sunshine for Scottish weather is going to be a tough sell! I don’t think we’d move back full time, but you never know, if the right opportunity emerged it’s something we’d consider. I suspect it’s more likely that we’ll buy a second home in Scotland and we’ll visit more frequently.
To Scots back home, think BIG!