Sport England, the sports development agency, is seeking a commercial director as part of a move to ramp up its marketing activity. It is also planning to raise £50m through corporate sponsorship deals over the next five years.
It is the first time that the body has created a role dedicated to marketing and it will report to Sport England chief executive Jennie Price. It is hoped the appointment will be in place by the autumn.
A Sport England spokes-man says: “We want to increase our commercial capabilities. We’re setting up a small commercial unit with three or four people including the commercial director, to develop relationships with the big players such as blue-chip companies, and we want to raise £50m by 2012. We’re being deliberately ambitious but it’s not just about tapping the commercial sector for money. We believe we can learn from the commercial sector, for example, about how it manages facilities.”
Sport England has a remit to get people aged 16 years and over involved in sports at a grass-roots level. As a non-departmental public body it receives the majority of its funding from the National Sports Foundation. In the past two years the organisation has received £20m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and a further £150,000 from the National Lottery.
The organisation also receives £3m from the Government for its Sports Match scheme where local businesses match pound-for-pound investment into local sports schemes. Sport England is one of three development agencies concentrating on community sports and aims to get 2 million adults doing more sport by 2012.