Nike appoints Bass chief to 12m UK sports role

Nike UK has taken on Bass’ head of sponsorship, Jonathan Nye, as head of sports marketing.

Nye will take up the new role late next month, reporting to marketing director Dermott Cleary.

The sports goods company has global sales of 3bn and a worldwide advertising and sponsorship budget of 130m. Its UK advertising budget is understood to be 18m this year and a further 12m will be spent on sponsorship.

Nye has a long track record in sports sponsorship and was a key figure in the negotiations that led to the Carling sponsorship of the football Premier League.

He will be responsible for all the endorsements that the company makes with individuals, teams, or sporting organisations in the UK.

Cleary says: “Jonathan has a breadth of experience in this area that we can draw on.”

Nike has long led the way in iconoclastic high-profile sponsorship of sports stars. This month the company announced a ten-year deal with the Brazilian national football team, which is understood to be worth 300m. The terms of the deal give the company the right to organise five games a year involving the current World Cup champions.

However, in the Barcelona Olympics and Euro ’96 football championship the company backed stars that conspicuously failed to impress.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here