CEO at fan engagement analysts Mediacells
Best pitch presenter you’ve ever seen:
Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone at Macworld in San Francisco, 2007. I’m not an Apple fanboy but a bit like
Creation Records supremo Alan McGee; they don’t make them like that any more!
Best sports marketing campaign (that wasn’t yours):
Leagas Delaney’s unselfconscious adidas Euro 2000 campaign’, featuring Zidane, Del Piero and David Beckham in Amsterdam booting a football around. There is a brilliant sequence when they drop a ton of footies into the main square and the unwitting crowd’s reaction shows the democracy of the game.
Broadway Jungle by Toots and the Maytals hooks you in for life.
Best agency (that isn’t yours):
To be a superlative agency you need to have integrity and a nose for the truth. The Edelman Trust Barometer is insightful and relevant, pioneered by Ben Fenton, now the chair of the George Orwell
Best young industry talent:
All of the Admins who toil away every weekend on football club official twitter and Instagram accounts. They are skilful and refreshing editorial voices who are the editors of the future.
Best sporting event attended:
Wembley, May 21, 2010: Blackpool go up to the Premier League after beating Cardiff City in the play-off final. Four generations of my family nested in a crescent of 38,000 Seasiders, it’s a kind of heaven.
Best sporting event on TV:
The World Cup. Every four years when the circus comes to town we are all transported back to our childhoods, usually aged 10-11, when we first properly discovered the WC for ourselves.
Best brand ambassador:
Marcus Rashford and all his charity work to end child poverty. The Wythenshawe lad reaches and connects with a very diverse audience.
Best industry event or conference:
Football Business Awards because it celebrates the range of talent across the spectrum of UK football. You can see Chelsea FC nominated next to Accrington Stanley FC for the Best Club Marketing award; I like that.
Best box set:
Armando Iannucci’s The Thick of It . "Come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off."
Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business:
Dodgeball. Imaginary ESPN pundits Cotton and Pepper present The Ocho, a spoof sports package and it is Pulitzer grade stuff.
Best book recommendation:
Unknown Pleasures by Peter Hook. The Joy Division bass player’s raw and visceral account of being in a band could just as easily be about starting a business and has a clear message: If you want it badly
enough you’ll get it but be careful what you wish for.
Best bar or pub:
The Grenadier in Belgrave Square. Sensational Bloody Marys, sausages and mustard + it’s named after the soldier who haunts it.
Tom Kerridge’s Hand & Flowers in Marlow, fizzing with passion and creativity, a real treat.
Best holiday resort:
Any Greek island. Not telling you my secret find!
Best influence on your career:
Sports fans who are passionate, loyal, patient, full of empathy and no pushover to big business, everyday people who are aware of their power but don’t abuse it.
Best dinner companions (min 4, max 6):
Ian Curtis, Jason Williamson, Iggy Pop, Little Richard, Prince, Joe Strummer.
Best job in the sports biz:
The new breed of digital content managers, who have the freedom to experiment and explore new channels and inject energy and creativity into traditional brands.
Best professional regret:
Being in Washington Zoo at 8.30am on 9/11 and not getting a news scoop because I had a 12-month old who we needed to get safe home across town.
Best skill you most covet:
Understanding people, quickly.
Best trait you admire in others:
Grace under fire.
Best overrated virtue:
I CAN DO ANYTHING.