Spotlight on… Young Talent - An Exploration Of How Some Of Our Barrie Gill Award Finalists Have Advanced Their Careers In Recent Years.

The Barrie Gill Award for the Most Promising Young Sponsorship Executive was launched in memory of one of the pioneers of the UK Sponsorship industry – CSS founder Barrie Gill. Now more than a decade old, it recognises young executives (27 or under) working within agencies, client companies or rights holders, who are making a significant impact within their organisation and the sector at large.

Barrie Gill

“Barrie was a huge supporter of young talent,” recalls UKSA organiser Rosemary Sarginson. “He was a very charismatic man who recognised that the ongoing success of the industry would depend on its ability to identify and nurture young talent. For us the Barrie Gill Award is a way of helping the industry stay focused on that point, and celebrating our rising stars.”

Looking back down the years, says Sarginson, it’s noticeable just how many Award Finalists have gone on play a key role in the sponsorship industry or related sectors. “So in the run up to the 2018 Awards we thought we’d check up on their progress.”

Back in 2007, the three Finalists were Daniel Krendel, Shelley McGrath and Rupert Hains. Krendel, who worked at Capitalize at the time, shifted industry in 2013 – but Hains (also Capitalize) is now director and head of delivery at strategic marketing consultancy Thomond. McGrath, who was with Generate at the time would go on to be a finalist again in 2008.

Alongside McGrath in the 2008 line up was brandRapport’s Nick Gower, who these days is head of PR & communications at CAA Sports Consulting UK. Also among the 2008 Finalists were Fast Track’s Katy Gilmartin and PSG’s Nick Gower, who these days in senior manager, global marketing partnerships, at the NBA, where he has managed partnership with adidas, Cisco, Spalding, Avea and Sony PlayStation - among others.

Rolling forward to 2009, Finalists included Fast Track Sailing’s Caroline Grenger who these days plies her trade as commercial partnerships manager at the RFU. Synergy’s Lucie Bartlett was also a Finalist and these days is head of brand and communications for one of South Africa's leading online retailers, takealot.com. In this role she supports the chief marketing office in planning for the retail marketing calendar and overseeing the content strategy across all channels. Also on 2009’s roll of honour was Hamilton Lowe, now co-founder & CMO at Carmosina, “producers and suppliers of Yaguara Cachaça, the first blended white organic cachaça in the world”. 

Coming into the new decade, the first crop of Barrie Gill Finalists included the Royal Albert Hall’s Nick Marsden, who these days is head of corporate development at The Design Museum. Marsden was up against Generate’s Jasmine Sall and Sheffield United marketing manager Sarah Steel. These days, Steel is called Sarah Baker and is marketing communications manager at central heating radiator firm Stelrad Ltd.

2011’s hotshots included Carat’s Matt Riches, who nowadays can be found at Tough Mudder, where he is commercial director, EMEA. IMG’s Joshua Friedler is now business development manager at Amipak Ltd while Ed Leech (ex-Hill & Knowlton) is an account director at strategic marketing consultancy Cherry, which specialises in “bringing brands together to create strategic, collaborative and creative partnerships that create noise in the marketplace.” Key agency accounts include HSBC, O2 (Priority Moments), Aviva and Visa.

The last name on the 2011 list of Finalists was Jessica Hill of Lloyds Banking Group. Now Jessica Tooby, she works in business development & planning at Halifax Community Bank.

2012’s line up included Limelight Sports’ Sandra Almquist, who these days is Marketing Manager at KTM Sportmotorcycle in Scandinavia. Her competition included another Limelight employee (as was) Louise Elliott and Icon’s James Kershaw who, after a spell with UEFA, is now a project manager at PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited).

In 2013, Slingshot Sponsorship’s Mark Mylam was in the final three with Octagon’s Dan Haddad and Carat’s Rob Honeywood. Mylam is now a senior account manager at Fuse, working with brands such as Nissan. Haddad is now director – commercial consulting at Octagon while Honeywood has risen to be group account director at The Story Lab, a role he secured in 2016.

In the class of 2014, the first of two Fuse Finalists was Nick Anderson, now an account director with the firm. His compatriot, Jon Drakes, is also still at the firm as an account manager. Completing the 2014 line up were Carat’s Barney Price and IMG’s Josh Belsher, who is digital strategy manager at TEAM Marketing these days where he “co-ordinates the implementation of all digital initiatives to the current UCL and UEL sponsors and broadcast partners” and “assesses the value of the current rights package and defines opportunities”.

Moving on to 2015, you wouldn’t necessarily expect there to have been too much career movement as yet. But MEC Access’s Kristina McGuirk is now marketing director at b2b hosting/cloud services company UKFast. Meanwhile, Lucy Humphreys from Fuse is working as a manger in the Global Brand Partnerships division at Universal Music Group, a role she took up in September 2017. Also among the Finalists in 2015 was Octagon’s Michael Argile, a freelance consultant who has recently had a career break to complete an MBA, and Sam Knight, who is still an account director at The Story Lab.

2016’s Finalists included The Story Lab’s Jenna Waller, now a group account director at the same firm. Also in the 2016 line-up was Joseph Cook, currently senior account manager at Fuse, and Richard Iveson, who holds the same title. Others from the class of 2016 include Ryan Maxwell, recently promoted to become marketing manager at Extreme International, and Stuart Milne. At the time, Milne was commercial partnerships manager at British Universities & Colleges Sport. Today he is a senior account manager with Hill+Knowlton Strategies – the only one of 2016’s gang to have moved organisation.

All of which brings us to the latest crop of young talent. These included Jack Davidson, now a senior manager at The Story Lab, and Louise Mearns. Until August 2017, Mearns was at SSE but now she is an account manager sport sponsorship at WME | IMG. Also among last year’s Finalists was Fuse’s Ria Davies, recently promoted to the post of account manager, and Natasha Cabral. Cabral, who was at Havas Sports & Entertainment Cake at the time of the UKSA Awards, is now partnership sales development manager at The FA.

So what conclusions can we draw from all of the above? Well it seems as though the industry’s top young talent generally sticks with sponsorship or related marketing disciplines – even if they might switch companies along the way. And many of them have seen healthy career progressions fairly rapidly. They are also drawn from a pretty wide pool of British universities. Of the people mentioned above, there were undergraduate degrees from Exeter, Lancaster, Loughborough. Kent, Warwick, Sheffield Hallam, Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Leeds, Cardiff, Southampton and Edinburgh.

If you want to enter one of your rising stars for The Barrie Gill Award for the Most Promising Young Sponsorship Executive 2018, there’s still time. Just check out the details below.

The Barrie Gill Award for Most Promising Young Sponsorship Executive 

This award recognises young executives (27 or under) working within agencies, client companies or rights holders who are making a significant impact within their organisation and the sector at large.  Judges need a profile outlining what in particular makes this candidate exceptional, how he/she has impacted on your business, exceeded expectations on particular tasks and campaigns and how this translates into future career development. 
Please send a maximum of 750 words outlining what in particular makes this candidate exceptional, how he/she has impacted on your business, exceeded expectations on particular tasks and campaigns and how this translates into future career development. 
The submission should ideally come from the executive’s line manager and can include input from clients if appropriate.
Please address the three points below:
Name of candidate:
Company:
Job Title:
Length of time in role:
Previous experience:
1. Why did you put this candidate through for this Award?
2. What qualities stand out as worthy of the BG Award? What does this executive bring to his/her
role over and above what can be expected?
Please consider: Personality (motivation and drive); adaptability (flexibility of personality); credibility
(knowledgeable, confident); innovation (tried new approaches with what results); ambition (drive
and desire to succeed).
3. Where do you think he or she will be in five years time?
Please email your submission to info@sponsorship-awards.co.uk by the deadline of February 9th 2018. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any further information or assistance. A
judge will contact you to discuss your candidate in more detail following which conversation the candidate may be invited to join the small judging panel for a quick face to face chat.

 

All finalists will be invited to the Awards Ceremony on March 27th 2018.

 

View the 2019 Winners

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