"I'm here to create a commercial model that's sustainable. We've written a commercial strategy and been out knocking on a lot of doors with what we think are interesting, new, saleable commercial rights."
Paul Blanchard, Chief Executive of Commonwealth Games England, is the feature interview on this week's SB Weekly.
Paul’s a well-known figure in the UK sports industry and in a long and distinguished sports industry career has been, to name only a few of his positions: Marketing Manager of Ladbrokes; Marketing Director of the Scottish Premier League; Head of Sales and Marketing at Southampton Football Club; Chief Executive of Harlequins Rugby League; and Sales and Marketing Director at Surrey County Cricket Club.
Paul joined Commonwealth Games England in the summer last year, and is charged with strengthening the governing body’s commercial operation while also ensuring English athletes are given the best possible support in the build-up to the Gold Coast Games in 2018.
"We only have a high profile for two weeks every four years - we have to create events and activities that are Commonwealth-branded, or engage Commonwealth sports, and service our sponsors all-year-round," he says.
"It's not really been done before, but brands are receptive. We're across 18 sports and we touch every region, demographic space and culture - that's struck a chord."
On the podcast, Paul talk about the new commercial strategy he's drawn up for the body, the reaction from brands, what CGE will be looking for in a 2026 preferred bidding city and the highlights of his 25+ years in the sports industry.