A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: Ben Malka, Senior Talent Manager at Gleam Futures

Ben Malka, senior talent manager at Gleam Futures, joined the team when he was headhunted to help build out Gleam’s gaming division. Ben chatted to Talking Influence about what a day in his life looks like.

At the end of February, the digital-first talent management agency announced the launch of Gleam Game. This new gaming division will see the business evolve to manage gaming talent, including new signings; Gee Nelly, Mr. Dalek, Freya Nightingale, and Talia Mar, who have over four million followers and subscribers between them. and provide gaming-specific influencer marketing solutions for brands including the development of new products.

Ben, a gaming specialist, was hired last year and brings almost a decade’s worth of experience in the sector to the team, having previously led the European talent strategy for HyperX.

Ben Malka, senior talent manager at Gleam Futures

This is what a day in the life of Ben Malka looks like… 

1:00: I have a 4-month-old son who currently feeds every three hours so my wife and I split the duties and I do the night shift. I use this time to catch up on The Mandalorian or re-watch an episode of Mad Men (I must have watched that series at least four times now). 

4.00: Another feed for the little one but instead of watching TV while feeding him I answer emails that came in overnight. Some of the talent that I represent stream on Twitch into the early hours and I answer their Whatsapp messages around work or catch up generally. 

I do go back to sleep in between these shifts. Promise. 

6:00: Gym time. Pre-lockdown I would leave the house to go to the gym but now I work out in my garage gym.  

8:00: I’m at my desk getting everything ready for the day. This could be sorting my to-do list or answering any emails that required a laptop response rather than a speedy answer on my phone.

We consult for a large FMCG brand crafting their gaming strategy for them which involves their global team – as a result, I could be working on anything from proposal analysis to evaluating a media plan at unusual times due to the time differences at play. 

9:00: Catch up with the team. I personally represent the careers of four talent (Gee Nelly, Freya Nightingale, Randolph, and Mr. Dalek) but outside of that, I also plug into our campaigns team. Because of the recent growth and popularity of the gaming industry, we are currently working on a large number of new client briefs through our DGame division.

My role is to help shape creative ideas and give a talent-led insight and perspective on responses. A large part of that job is to find the right talent for each brand opportunity, so my time is often spent working with the team to finetune talent suggestions. 

10:00: Coffee break. Being in lockdown has been a blessing in disguise as it has allowed me to pop down and say hello to my son which breaks the day up nicely. Sometimes I take a call on the move as well at this time. I stick my AirPods in to have a catch-up with one of my talent. 

11:00: Around this time I tend to block out my diary to focus on contract work or prep any external pitch documents. Both take concentration and I need to avoid getting distracted by notifications! 

12:00: Lunch. Whilst my lunch is cooking (I have the same thing every day, pop it in the oven, very time efficient!) I’ll also check my emails to ensure I’m on top of all new opportunities for the talent. It’s a mix of proactive pitching and reactive work but I have a doc that houses all the potential opportunities so nothing gets missed. 

13:00 – 15:00: This time is reserved for meetings. I try and consolidate my meetings into the afternoon to ensure my wife gets some sort of break from being with the baby all day and so she can eat her lunch. These meetings could be discussions with brands about an upcoming campaign, a post-campaign report, or creative discussion with talent about how a specific deliverable will look for brand integration. 

16:00: Through DGame we work as consultants for a handful of clients, advising on their overall gaming and esports strategies, so I will often spend this time responding to any queries or inputting into any ongoing third-party conversations or proposals. Our team’s role here is to help clients build a long-term, sustainable strategy and help to assess the value of third-party proposals, whether that be media, sponsorships, or activations. 

18:00: I take the reins of parenthood and look after my son. I will feed him and change him into his pyjamas. At four months old he loves Peppa Pig and I can safely say I have seen every episode. 

19:00 – 21:00: I’ll eat dinner while my son sleeps. I’ll sit down with my wife and we will either watch the Food Network (Hairy Bikers or – if we are lucky – Diners, Drive-ins and Dives) or if my wife takes a nap I’ll put on Disney+ and watch something Marvel or Star Wars. 

21:00: My bedtime. Early to rise, early to bed. Before I sleep, I do the last check-in with talent to ensure they are all good. They are all night owls and they grind ‘til the early hours – our body clocks aren’t in sync at all but we manage to make it work successfully! 

Despite Ben’s hectic schedule, managing family life alongside his new role in the Gleam Game division, he helps the new division to excel by keeping his finger on the pulse and building valuable connections with the talent that he manages.