Best sports marketing campaign:
Call me old school, but one of the best and still one of my favourite campaigns was Nike’s Scorpion Football or Secret Tournament advertising campaign in the run up to the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It was a months’ long campaign that ended with a cracking ad, directed by Terry Gilliam and featuring Eric Cantona officiating on a series of 3-a-side matches between the world’s best footballers in the belly of a tanker. Quality. No doubt the reported $100m budget helped though…!
Best agency that isn’t yours:
IMG. Still setting the standard. Where would we be without them?
Best young industry talent:
Tom Sammes, now at The Jockey Club, but previously at The European Tour. Smart, capable and always keen to learn.
Best sporting event ever attended:
England v. Denmark, Euro 2020(1) at Wembley. Not the best game of football you’ll ever see (in fact, I struggle to remember much of the detail) but the euphoria when the final whistle went was spine tingling and for that reason alone, it is the best sporting event I’ve ever attended. Honourable mentions to UCL Final 2015 and Super Bowl 2020.
Best sporting event on TV:
The Super Bowl (or any NFL game actually). So much brilliant analysis to enjoy in a game made for TV coverage.
Best brand ambassador for a client:
I just think that Nike have done this so well over the years on so many occasions. Plenty deserve a mention, but can you really look past Michael Jordan?
Best industry event or conference:
We sponsor them and I do enjoy a good night out, so the Sports Industry Awards it is.
Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business:
Obviously Jerry Maguire – the reason I wanted to get into sports marketing
Best book recommendation:
Plenty of possible ways to define this but sticking with the sports/Nike theme – Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Best bar or pub:
The Cat’s Back, Smugglers’ Way, Wandsworth
Chez Bruce, Wandsworth Common
Best holiday location:
The Dordogne (not really a resort obviously, but scene of many of my best holidays)
Best box set:
Best influence on your career:
Best dinner companions:
Seve Ballesteros, Dan Marino, Richie Benaud and Mark McCormack
Best job in sports:
Best professional regret:
Everyone has a ‘one that got away’. Mine is brokering the deal for Dulux to not quite sponsor Euro 2012. 99.9% done they said… The business of sport, like sport itself, is a game of small margins
Best skill you most covet:
The cover drive
Best trait you admire in others:
To look back on each year with satisfaction at a job well done