5 minutes with Sarah Riggott
You are at the centre of our global transition to a single brand proposition. What do you see as the biggest opportunity for the business?
Walking into the office for the first time, more than six years ago, I remember seeing three big letters above the reception desk – CSM. Three letters with very little meaning to the different agencies in the building at that time. 'Chime Sports Marketing' was the original intention but even then it was clear we did so much more than just ‘sports marketing’. I bought into the vision of a single, unified brand and moved to the centre to help us deliver this.
Fast-forward nearly seven years: the individual agency walls have been knocked down and the structure is now in place to deliver bigger, braver, bolder work for our clients. We’ve brought together a collection of the best people in the business, all with different experience and expertise, to form a team unlike any other in our industry. It’s seriously exciting. We’ve got real momentum at the moment, not just in London but around the world, and I think our new brand positioning is going to shake things up for us, our clients and the industry. Watch this space!
You have worked in marketing for more than a decade, what has been the biggest change you’ve seen over this time?
Rather than a single change it is the pace of change that I have found most remarkable. Studying my Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) qualifications, I was applying models which had maintained relevance for decades but in the blink of an eye had become almost archaic. Some have survived as the bedrock of the profession but for many the speed of change, driven by the digital and technological revolution, have made it near-on impossible to accurately predict the future. Almost as soon as you finish understanding the here-and-now, you are already in danger of being out of date.
You have worked in agencies of different sizes, ranging from 20 people up to the 1000 like CSM is today. What can the big fish learn from the smaller ones?
CSM has grown rapidly in recent years and with this naturally comes the need for more process, systems, co-ordination and organisation. It’s part-and-parcel of efficiently running a business of our size. However, what is unique about the tapestry of CSM is that it is packed full of entrepreneurial spirit, it’s what brought us all together in the first place. Maintaining this is so important, it will allow us to be global and local, agile, and flexible. This is something that competitors of our size simply can’t achieve.
Do you have a favourite-ever sponsorship campaign? One where a brand has delivered something that you’ve seen and has stuck with you.
Being born and raised in a cricket-mad family meant my summer’s were filled by the sport. One brand, one partnership and many campaigns went hand-in-hand with these cricketing summers: NatWest and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). It’s where my sponsorship journey began, somewhat unknowingly as I opened my first bank account with NatWest because they were the only bank I felt a connection with.
The partnership has stood the test of time, across four decades NatWest has shown loyalty and commitment to the sport, through thick and thin, supporting cricket in all it’s forms and at all levels. From the NatWest Trophy to the NatWest Internationals, catching the Twenty20 boom with the NatWest T20 Blast and supporting the wider cricketing community with the NatWest cricket force.
While the brand’s sponsorship has grown and evolved with the sport it has always stayed true to its own values. Their most recent campaign ‘Cricket has no Boundaries’ epitomises this, showcasing and celebrating diversity in modern cricket, a campaign aligned to the bank's own commitment to diversity and inclusion among its customers. This is something I admire greatly.
When not at work, where would we find you?
Running…to a bar or on a dance floor.