Sports and Media Partner
Best pitch presenter you’ve ever seen: Steve Martin of M&C Saatchi is very polished.
Best agency (that isn’t yours):
So much talent here – Dark horses, M&C, Matta, Two Circles, Octagon, but if I had to pick one it would be The Goat Agency who are constantly innovating.
Best young industry talent:
Georgie Hodge – head of women’s football at Base Soccer Agency, who is making a name for herself in the women’s game and one to keep an eye on.
Best sporting event attended: Calzaghe vs Kessler at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium (2007).
Best dinner companions (min 4, max 6):
Arsene Wenger, Mohamed Ali, Ridley Scott, Dennis Bergkamp, Yvon Chouinard, Ricky Gervais.
Best sporting event on TV: The Olympic Games.
Best restaurant: La Cucina (Corfu).
Best brand ambassador: Serena Williams.
Best industry event or conference: The Digital Sport Club.
Best holiday resort:
The Greek island of Paxos. I got married there.
Best box set:
The Wire, hands down.
Best skill you most covet: Patience.
Best trait you admire in others: Curiosity.
Best overrated virtue: Talking one’s mind (usually after several alcoholic beverages).
To ride the derny at the Olympics.
Best influence on your career: There have been many but notably my parents, who encouraged my love of sport from a young age, and would put up with my tears when Arsenal lost (which happened often…).
Best sports marketing campaign (that wasn’t yours): As a young obsessive Arsenal fan, Nike’s ‘Kick It’ TV ad (1992) by Simons Palmer Denton Clemmow and Johnson featuring Ian Wright and A Tribe Called Quest struck a chord with me, and got me to buy Nike football boots instead of Adidas. The Formula 1 rebrand under Liberty Media working with W&K was essential in opening up the sport to a new target audience and demographic.
Best book recommendation: Non-sport, anything from Elmore Leonard (the Dickens of Detroit). Sport, Shoe Dog by Phil Knight.
Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business: MoneyBall.
Best bar or pub: The Wrestlers pub (Highgate) knows how to do lock-ins.
Best job in the sports biz:
The eye-catching individual who rides the derny in the keirin race. It looks like they’ve taken a wrong turn on their commute, but a high pressure gig.
Best professional regret: I think we all have them, and although a bit cliché, most of the time it’s about trying to learn from them. There's a good Japanese saying for this Shikata ga nai. “There’s nothing to be done so move on”. Easier said than done.