By day, university sport business professor.
By night, sport business writer, speaker, monologue-r.
Best pitch presenter you’ve ever seen:
Scott Bowers who, I think, could pitch anything to anyone.
Best sports marketing campaign (that wasn’t yours):
GuinnessNike Joga Bonito…2006, yet still fresh and more relevant today than some of its contemporary peers.
Best Agency (that isn't yours):
I owe a debt of gratitude to the good folk at Weber Shandwick, who altered the course of my career.
Best young industry talent:
Currently being charmed by anyone working for either Copa90 or Tifo Football..
Best sporting event attended:
Champions League Final 2010: Inter Milan v Bayern Munich. Was a guest of Mastercard, for which I had been doing some work. A bonkers, overwhelming three days in Spain.
Best sporting event on TV:
Any FIFA World Cup, though 1974, 1982, 1990 and 2006 particularly come to mind.
Best brand ambassador:
My mid-career development as an academic was largely based upon talking about David Beckham.
Best industry event or conference:
Sport Business Campus, which my university (at the time) hosted in 2007. Gone but not forgotten – a great way of bringing the business and academia together.
Best film containing a scene depicting the sports business:
Back in the day, I used to love the film American Flyers. Later, I got hooked on Barca Confidential.
Best book recommendation:
Non-sport: Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe. Sport: The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, Joe McGinniss.
Best bar or pub:
I don’t drink alcohol. So, any café in the Middle East that serves Turkish coffee and dates (and preferably has a view of the sea).
Brasserie Georges, Lyon – the ultimate art deco eating experience.
Best holiday resort:
Not a resort, a hotel: The Opposite House, Beijing. Stunning.
Best box set:
No particular preference, though the more obscure and more foreign the better. Polish dramas are often very well written and shot.
Best influence on your career:
An ex-professional footballer called Graham Parker, with whom I shared an office in my first university job. In 1995 he asked a simple question: shall we write something about football. The rest is history.
Best dinner companions (min 4, max 6):
Groucho Marx and five others. I’m a big fan of one-liners.
Best job in the sports biz:
I’m inclined to say ‘mine’, which has generally given me enormous freedom to roam the nether regions of the global sport industry.
Best professional regret:
Taking too long to understand and accept that I was capable of hitting sixes.
Best skill you most covet: To be a team player.
Best trait you admire in others: Ability to be a team player.
Best overrated virtue: To be a team player.
In 2007, I was asked who I would like to be working for in 2017. I said an organisation like UEFA. I’ve since been involved with them since 2008.