TfL chief Chris Townsend to take commercial reins at London 2012

The London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has appointed Chris Townsend as commercial director.

The London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has appointed Chris Townsend as commercial director.

Townsend, currently group marketing director at Transport for London (TfL), the capital’s transport authority, takes up the role at the end of next month.

Reporting to chief executive Paul Deighton, he will be responsible for domestic sponsorship, ticket marketing and merchandising.

The role will involve negotiating London 2012’s share of worldwide broadcast rights and sponsorship for the games with the International Olympic Committee.

Deighton says: “LOCOG has two core objectives: to organise the Olympic and Paralympic games, and to raise &£2bn to fund the operational costs of the games.

“The commercial director’s role will be critical as we begin our conversations with organisations looking to partner us for the next six years.”

The appointment is the latest high-profile position for Townsend, who has held a variety of marketing roles in both the public and private sectors. After an early spell at the BBC, he moved to satellite broadcaster BSkyB, holding roles including director of customer marketing, director of marketing for digital TV, and finally commercial director for Sky Interactive.

He left BSkyB in 1999 to become director of interactive services at broadband provider Telewest, before joining TfL in 2003 as group marketing director.

At TfL he oversaw the launch of the Oyster Card, as well as sponsorship and advertising contracts such as the recent reappointment of Viacom Outdoor in an &£800m deal to handle London Underground’s outdoor advertising.

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