Meet our CEO, CSM Live
Describe your career in 5 words
Varied, privileged, unpredictable, spreadsheet, margin.
You’ve been at CSM Live for 7 years now, what has been your highlight?
I like the wins. The flagships, like the FA and EURO 2020, are amazing. The ones you shouldn’t win but do, like Baku 2015, are also great. I feel very fortunate to work with the greatest events in the world. One of the moments I always look back on, is getting in the taxi on the way to the airport before the 2014 World Cup, just as the hype was building for the England team. The driver asked where I was going, and when I told him I was off to Rio, he responded with disbelief and jealousy. It was a reminder that we should never underestimate the privilege of doing what we do.
What excites you most about what CSM Live are currently working on/towards?
I’ve always been interested in evolving CSM Live as a business, trying to stay one step ahead of the competition and being able to offer something that nobody else can do. Over the last few years, we’ve achieved much of that ambition with the acquisition of Curb and some of the things we are doing with technology, but that’s just part of it. It’s the change in mindset that is the most difficult to achieve and also the most rewarding when it comes off. Fundamentally, to continue to grow we need to be doing a combination of the same tried and tested formula but in new places, plus some more ground-breaking projects in the places we already work. Each of those are exciting challenges and present plenty of opportunities for all of us.
In your opinion, which sport delivers the best live experience for fans, and why?
The best experiences I’ve had at sporting events tend to be soulful and create a genuine experience for the fans. The events I’ve enjoyed the most are often not the largest, but ones like the Basketball Champions League Final – an event designed to enable the atmosphere to become electric and with non-stop entertainment. I still think London 2012 set the bar for spectator experience and it was the small things that go around the event that I remember – everyone involved from the Games Makers to the police and the army contributed to that experience, one where people arrived happy and left feeling exhilarated. London 2017 also created a new dynamic with the introduction of Hero the Hedgehog, the lively, engaging mascot. But all of the small elements that make an experience great have to be built on a bigger plan that just works, ensuring that the simple things are right – there’s nothing worse than getting lost on the way into a venue, queuing for a beer and then at the end not being able to get home (or at least not being engaged while you do it).
What are your ambitions for CSM Live by 2020 and beyond?
We’ve set out a vision of being the recognised global leader in delivering branding and live experiences by 2020. I think we are well on our way to achieving a lot of that, and it has always been a journey that never truly comes to an end as there’s always more that you can do. We’ve come together as CSM well over the last couple of years, and how we are working more collaboratively is exciting to see both internally and for our group clients.
When not at work, what would we find you doing?
I recently broke a rib playing football with my six year old, probably the lamest sporting injury imaginable. The result is that he now tells me I’m not allowed to be in goal any more. The last few years have seen me on winter holidays trying to stay vertical while going down a ski slope, and on summer holidays trying to stay horizontal in scuba gear.