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James Elderton (and daughter)

James Elderton

Consultant - Formerly Pitch International, Williams Racing and Leaders

Pitch International, Williams Racing and Leaders

Best pitch presenter you’ve ever seen:

James Curleigh (ex Levis Straus President, Global Brands). Not many brand marketers can walk on stage singing ‘We Will Rock You’ and have you transfixed for the entirety of their keynote session.

James Curleigh

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

I still look back at Red Bull’s Stratos Jump campaign in awe and the seismic reach and earned media it generated so quickly (most viewed live stream ever at the time). It perfectly embodied RedBull’s brand ethos and approach to experimental marketing and became a topic of conversation for months and
months, whether you worked in sport or not. Hope that’s acceptable as a sports marketing campaign!

Loved Nike’s ‘Dream Crazy’ campaign too shining a light on athlete led social activism which is an omnipresent now

Best agency (that isn’t yours):

Wieden + Kennedy - Nike’s agency of record for the last 42 years who have created some of the most celebrated and visceral sports adverts of all time. They have played such a pivotal role in why Nike have remained such a relevant, ubiquitous and revered brand to this day.

Need to watch their showreel on YouTube!

Best young industry talent:

There are so many curious, intelligent and incredibly talented young people working in the sport industry, it makes it really difficult to whittle down to one stand out person. Sorry that’s a bit of a kop out answer I know, but the future of the sport business is in very safe hands!

Best sporting event attended:

2017 UEFA Champions League Final in Cardiff (CR7 in his Real Madrid prime!) and the 2023 London Marathon (it doesn't get better than running your home town marathon!)

Best sporting event on TV:

The Ryder Cup & Olympics. The emotional storylines which develop throughout the games transcends audiences and whether you are a sports fan or not, it is such captivating viewing especially the less mainstream sports

Best brand ambassador:

It has to be Michael Jordan the pre-eminent athlete brand ambassador of all time. It all started with him!

Best industry event or conference:

Leaders Week London - everyone you need to meet in world sport under one roof for 2 days and inspiring content which stimulates your thinking for weeks.

There you go, I can still remember the elevator pitch!

Leaders Week London

Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business:


Best book recommendation:

Shoe Dogg - Phil Knight - Yes, I’m a big Nike fan, so what! 🙂

Closely followed by Start With Why - Simon Sinek

Best bar or pub:

Not a huge drinker these days but Lord of the Land (Guy Ricthie’s boozer!) has a great vibe.

Best restaurant:

Hakkasan - Sublime Chinese restaurant in a former London nightclub. The attentive service and buzzy ambience makes it a stunning dining and social ​experience. Highly recommend!

Best holiday resort:

My wife can’t stand resorts but we honeymooned at the Centara Grand Beach Resort (Krabi, Thailand) which was spectacular

Best box set:

Game of Thrones, Succession, Breaking Bad & TopBoy in no particular order

Best influence on your career:

Charlie Dundas - YouGov (below) and Simon Lau - Leaders.

Whilst I’ve never worked for the same company as Charlie, he is without doubt the nicest person I’ve ever encountered in the sport industry and he’s become an important mentor and friend in recent years. He always has time for you, however menial the request may seem and provides carefully considered and
well balanced advice (professionally and personally), which I’ve really appreciated. Always goes that extra mile!
Simon Lau is without doubt the best Sales Manager I’ve ever had, he knew when to push and challenge you if he felt you weren't at your optimum best and conversely, provided you with ample space, patience and support if the chips were down. Strong emotional intelligence, lots of fun and always had your back.
Mike Tyson’s biggest fanboy!

Charlie Dundas

Best dinner companions (min 4, max 6):

Phil Knight, Arsene Wenger, Steve Jobs, Ricky Gervais, Billie Jean King & Michael Jordan. Elon Musk on standby (he’d understand I’m sure!)

Best job in the sports biz:

Jude Bellingham’s agent

Best professional regret:

I try not to focus on regrets in life, because it's not particularly helpful, but plenty of learnings along the way.

Best skill you most covet:

Shooting in the nineties round a golf course

Best trait you admire in other:

Compassion & vulnerability

Best overrated virtue:

Loyalty - You need to earn the right!

Best ambition:

Complete the world marathon majors (4 to go!)

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