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Jonathan Steel

Jonathan Steel

Head of Marketing Partnerships

TEAM Marketing logo

Best pitch presenter you’ve ever seen:

Gabriela Mueller Mendoza (below), an energetic and incredibly talented presenting coach who I recently worked with. Notable mentions to Mike Mainwaring, Andy Muggleton and Kevin Vandrau.

Gabriela Mueller Mendoza

Best sports marketing campaign (that wasn’t yours):

P&G x IOC. P&G’s campaigns – THANK YOU MOM – around the Olympics are exceptional. P&G first did a deal with the IOC in 2010 and activated the campaign around the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. But this sports marketing campaign really got traction and caught my attention at the London Olympics in 2012, the first Summer Olympics of P&G’s association with the IOC. The campaign and P&G’s partnership is still going strong today. The core idea works on so many levels for both sponsoring brand and rights holder, and the hero adverts are incredibly well made and emotive:

Best young industry talent:

James Darlison, Sponsor Partner Manager at TEAM Marketing UK. A bright future, a big Leicester City fan.

James Darlison

Best sporting event attended:

Either the British & Irish Lions or The Australian Open, tennis. In 2018 I went to the Australian Open in Melbourne with headline sponsor Kia Motors. An incredible experience which entertains fans more broadly than just the tennis. Being involved in the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia, with HSBC, was such an honour – four countries playing as one and the camaraderie that brings to the travelling fans is unique.

Best brand ambassador:

I like Kevin Bacon x EE and George Clooney x Nespresso, but more recently Stormzy x adidas caught my attention for their Merky FC collaboration. A great ESG story behind this one:

Best agency (that isn’t yours):

There are many doing great work at the moment, and in my role at TEAM I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with lots of them. I pick Wasserman because of the fantastic work we did together promoting the UEFA Champions League over the past few years. Shout outs also to FUSE, Right Formula, WAF, Brands & Emotions, CAA, CSM, WWP and M&C Saatchi all of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working for/with.


Best sporting event on TV:

The Ryder Cup – for me there is something special about individual sports being played in team formats. Through greater story-telling and access, TV allows this event to really come to life, so much more than being out on the course, I think.

Best industry event or conference:

Think! Sponsorship Conference. Although I’m yet to go to Leaders Week and have heard good things, Cat Hawkins at Think! does an excellent job putting together this annual boutique conference that doesn’t just focus on sponsorship as a sports marketing discipline.

Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business:

Air – the story of how Nike x Michael Jordan started, based on true events. What more do you want?!

Best book recommendation:

Legacy by James Kerr is all about the All-Blacks rugby union team, and how an individual sports person’s role in that team is about so much more than just playing the sport for your country.

Best bar or pub:

The Gunton Arms up by the Norfolk coastline outside Norwich. Recommend staying the night if you get the chance.

Best restaurant:

For her birthday two years ago, I took my wife to Schloss Schauenstein in the East of Switzerland. Remarkable restaurant.

Best holiday resort:

Eagles Palace in Halkidiki, Greece. If you’ve got young children that need entertaining, and you also want to relax, then look no further. Fly to Thessaloniki and then let the resort do the rest!

Best box set:

Peaky Blinders is in a totally different league than anything else I’ve seen. Breaking Bad comes close.

Best influence on your career:

There are many that come to mind all of whom I am continually extremely grateful to so it’s hard to pick just one. Jonathan Neill, one of my first line managers, he’s been a friend and support since we first worked together in 2008. Although I’m not sure how much of our relationship has been fuelled by all the Spurs away tickets for the Champions League, I was able to get him over the past few years – when they qualified...

Jonathan Neill

Best dinner companions (min 4, max 6):

Jose Mourinho, Idris Elba, Sue Barker, Christian Horner, Amy Winehouse, and Charlotte Steel
(my wife).

Best job in the sports biz:

Either a role in Global Partnerships at Heineken or Team Principle of any Formula 1 team.

Best professional regret:

I’ve not really got any professional regrets as such but spending a bit more time in Dublin with ERC (European Rugby) as it was at the time, might’ve led me down a different career path.

Best skill you most covet:

Playing a musical instrument. I am not musical in any way, which has also reluctantly led me to press pause permanently on my childhood dream of becoming a world-famous DJ.

Best trait you admire in others:

I always admire people that keep even the most complicated topics simple. Trevor Garwood at TEAM is a great example of someone who has this trait in bucket loads, day in day out.

Best overrated virtue:

Prudence can sometimes be overrated. Calculated risk taking when you have weighed up all the pro’s and the con’s in my experience can often lead to amazing, unexpected results

Best ambition:

To be a trusted advisor. The ambition to keep on learning, to keep on developing, soaking up behaviours, knowledge, and skills from those around you. Even better if you can surround yourself with talented people you can learn from to help meet this ambition. I really like it when successful businesspeople say they were successful because they hired people around them that were more brilliant than them.

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