Stretch, Director, Sky VIP
Best pitch presenter you’ve ever seen:
Pitching gaming partnerships 5 years ago was like the scene in Back to the Future when Marty McFly plays rock music to a blank faced audience “you guys aren’t ready for this yet; but
your kids are going to love it”. Aubrey McClure (ex-Activision Blizzard, now Sega) is a master. She gears every presentation around the wins for the brand, mixed with killer insights and fun. I am sure her impact has helped the wider gaming industry at large today.
Best sports marketing campaign (that wasn’t yours):
Heads Together x The FA by Fuse & Dark Horses. Separately and not a campaign but a move; like many others I’m caught up in the cladding scandal and it was right that Mercedes F1 partnership did not go ahead with Kingsplan the supplier of the Grenfell cladding and that this got the coverage it deserved.
Best agency (that isn’t yours):
We Are Social
Best young industry talent:
She’ll absolutely hate me for this but Ruth Goode, she plays for Fulham outside of work, is 4 steps ahead of everyone else in every project and activation she oversees and is loved by clients and colleagues. She should run the country if not the world. And Brett Barnhill. Brett (below) holds an encyclopaedic knowledge of sport, commands respect through his expertise and presence. Throughout very challenging times he has shown great leadership in pivoting his team - also fantastic – to deliver against constant change. Both will go on to great things in the sports industry.
Best sporting event attended:
I’ve been lucky to attend some big hitter sports events, but personally the most memorable is The Uluru Camel Cup – an annual Camel race that brings together the very disparate outback communities of the Australian Northern Territory. It is utterly unique.
Best sporting event on TV:
Paralympics and Olympics
Best brand ambassador
Best industry event or conference:
If you can wangle an invite to Facebook’s International Women’s Day event, hosted by Nichola Mendelsohn (below); it is epic; from the performers they secure, speakers and to who you might sit next to.
Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business:
Best book recommendation
Born a crime, Trevor Noah
Best bar or pub:
Trisha’s Bar Soho
Best holiday resort:
Not been to a resort but highly recommend Puglia Cycle Tours Putiganano, an independent cycle company. I self-guided and solo cycled one of their routes along the heel of Italy over a week in and out from the coast; staying at UNESCO and archaeological sites, fuelled by the best food I have ever eaten.
In credit to the company, I was the only person who signed up and they didn’t cancel me even though it would’ve been loss making for them during their first year of business. I hope to pay them back by recommending them to anyone and everyone who loves Italy, fabulous food, culture and cycling.
Best box set:
Best influence on your career:
Sharon Reid my ex-client at O2; now a friend and mentor who I cycled Newcastle to Edinburgh with this past year for Blood Cancer UK and Joanne Granville (below) at Premier Comms; a boss who has also become a great friend. Joanne gave me some great opportunities when I first went freelance and let me lead on gaming which became a highlight of my career. I also made one of my best friends in that job, Karishma Kala – who now heads up gaming there.
Best dinner companions (min 4, max 6):
The late Marie Colvin (below); war correspondent (highly recommend In Extremis by Lindsay Hilsum), Dame Steve Shirley, Nicola Adams (we’re big boxing fans in our family), Sandy Powell the visionary costume designer, Kanye West and Grimes – two people who are constantly ahead of the curve and more often ridiculed than credited.
Best job in the sports biz:
Probably partnerships at Wimbledon at the moment – such an exciting time.
Best professional regret:
Best skill you most covet:
To be multi-lingual
Best trait you admire in others:
Leaders who are generous with their time (when they can be) and are passionate about an individual’s contribution to the business no matter that person’s seniority or influence. People
remember this authenticity, kindness, and interest. My experience of Sky is that they very much foster this culture from the top down.
Best overrated virtue:
To pay it forward, open doors and forge paths for people from disadvantaged and marginalised backgrounds.