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.

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