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Personal Best: Pete Starr

Senior Marketing Manager at FANZO (formerly known as MatchPint)

Best pitch presenter you’ve ever seen:

Anyone who can nail it without the crutch of a monolithic slideshow.

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

Nike’s ‘Write The Future’ ad from the 2010 World Cup is a stonker.

Best agency (that isn’t yours):

Having followed them from the Illustrated Game days, what Tifo Football have become and achieved is pretty wonderful.

Best young industry talent:

My colleague, Claudia Rack. She recently made the big leap from an on-trade role at FANZO to becoming our Partnerships Manager across GB and Ireland. Her talent, passion, vulnerability and fearless approach to the job are a real inspiration and I cannot wait to see what she achieves in the next few years.

Best sporting event attended:

France v England - the Six Nations Grand Slam decider this year. A raucous late night kick off and the fact it was the first big event I went to that felt totally free from the shackles of Covid, made it special. The Stade de France put on an unbelievable show and, despite the result, the atmosphere in the city before and after was something special.

Best sporting event on TV:

England v Colombia in 2018. Having watched England bungle penalty shootouts my entire life, the buzz of seeing us finally turn one around was huge.

As the packed bar finally emptied onto the street, I then watched a mate get embroiled in a low-speed traffic incident traversing a zebra crossing.

As he stood up, unscathed from his bump with a bonnet, he received an enormous and perfectly synchronised schoolboy ‘Wheeeeeey!’ from a hundred-odd revellers, before the signing and horn honking continued. It felt like the perfect encapsulation of the giddy euphoria which totally consumed the country that summer.

Best brand ambassador:

I find myself thinking about Roger Black being the face of Florette salads well into the 00s, far more often than anyone probably should. I guess that means he earned his corn?

That aside, I particularly love Andy Murray. Authentic, principled, often very funny and always interesting, he’s a rare athlete I’m always keen to hear more from.

Best industry event or conference:

‘Is the Business of Sport, Business as Usual?’, hosted by Iris back in 2017 really stands out.

Under the title of ‘Addressing Our Collective Responsibility To Gender Equality In Sport’ it challenged and changed my attitude to women’s sport and the scale of its potential.

They had a panel of brilliant speakers who have gone on to really drive the progress we’ve seen in the five years since.

Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business:

The documentary, ‘An Impossible Job’ is still pretty incredible. A haunted Graeme Taylor barking “Can we not knock it!?” at no one in particular remains a raw window into the soul of a decent man on the brink.

Best book recommendation:

What Sport Tells Us About Life by Ed Smith. Breezy, thought-provoking essays that fans of Freakonomics should enjoy. The chapters on Zidane’s final bow and failed schoolboy heroes are particularly good.

Best bar or pub:

Ryan’s N16 in Stoke Newington. I go there every Saturday with my footy team after our game to while away the afternoon in front of the big screen. They’re outstanding when it comes to meeting their regulars’ every possible need and has a great community feel as a result.

Best restaurant:

Belly’s Taste of Jamaica in Hoxton. Their curry goat is the best thing I eat every week.

Best holiday resort:

I dare you not to have a seriously good time in Barcelona.

Best box set:

Series 1-3 of Arrested Development.

Best influence on your career:

My first proper marketing boss, Ben Hacker. He whipped a totally clueless ‘blogger’ into someone who just about had a future in this job. Thank you Ben!

Best dinner companions (min 4, max 6):

Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal, Neil Warnock and Bob Mortimer. I want tears of laughter and a fist fight.

Best job in the sports biz:

Being Phil Tufnell.

Best professional regret:

Not looking at the data sooner. Forever and always.

Best skill you most covet:

Deep focus, that I can turn on and off at will.

Best trait you admire in others:

Risk taking.

Best overrated virtue:

Being a billionaire.

Best ambition:

FANZO to sponsor a professional team or sports tournament.

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