CATHERINE INKSTER

Head of Content & Communications, Sport Industry Group

Best pitch presenter you’ve ever seen: Emmanuel Macron, for Paris 2024.

Best sports marketing campaign (that wasn’t yours): Nike’s “Crazy” and Paddy Power’s Rainbow Russians

Best agency (that isn’t yours): I could give you an opinion, but then I’d have to resign. 

Best young industry talent: Alex Willis at AELTC / Wimbledon. I don’t know her well but I’m a huge fan of the way she’s managed to steer Wimbledon into the digital media age while preserving its essential traditions. I also like the way she presents herself, which feels very authentic - a calm, unshowy authority and intelligence. It’s a great example for other young female leaders in the industry. 

Best sporting event attended: The French Open at Roland Garros, and Vitality Netball Quad Series at the Copper Box.

Best sporting event on TV: The Olympic Games. Come on.

Best brand ambassador: Serena Williams and Nike.

Best industry event or conference: The BT Sport Industry Awards. Next!

Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business: Cool Runnings. Next!

Best book recommendation: The Girls by Emma Cline. It’s the closest I’ve seen anyone come to capturing the endless complexity of a young female brain. I recommend it to men, for sure!

Best bar or pub: Can I say my mate’s pub, The Borough, in our hometown, Lancaster? I’m hoping she might do me a freebie in the unlikely event that I ever get married.

Best restaurant: Astrid & Gaston in Lima.

Best holiday resort: Sardinia. A more off-beat tip would be Lake Ohrid in Macedonia (or North Macedonia, officially).

Best box set: Veep or The Thick of it. 

Best influence on your career: Nick Varley, my boss at Seven46, who took a chance on me as a know-nothing kid, trained me up and offered me some extraordinary opportunities. More recently, the late Mike Lee also became a mentor and a champion. I felt incredibly lucky to have had him believe in me and I miss him terribly.

Best dinner companions (min 4, max 6): I’m a bit of a politics junkie. I’d go: Macron, Merkel, Obama, Blair, J Trudeau and Ardern. It would be a total progressive centrist echo chamber, but that sounds pretty good to me right now.

Best job in the sports biz: IOC member.

Best professional regret: Oxymoron? In general, I try not to regret. Some of my biggest mistakes have led to my biggest opportunities.

Best skill you most covet: Microsoft Excel. Honestly.

Best trait you admire in others: Compassion.

Best overrated virtue: Faith.

Best ambition: To own property in London.

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