British & Irish Lions' Charlie McEwen

Charlie McEwen, Chief Operating Officer of one of world sport’s most celebrated international teams, the British & Irish Lions, is the feature interview on this week's SB Weekly.

Charlie has a long and distinguished career in rugby, previously working on both the brand and rights-holder side in senior positions at agencies Octagon and Essentially.

He joined the Lions in 2010 as Director of Sales and Marketing and was promoted to COO a year ago, a position in which he is currently planning for the Lions tour to New Zealand in 2017.

You can hear Charlie talk about...

...the Lions brand
"It stands for the best of the best. That means from the playing side to administration we either do it well, or we don't do it at all."

...signing Lions partners
"The challenge isn't generating interest, it's making sure we hit the right level from a financial perspective." kit supplier Canterbury
"The success we've seen to date is exceptional because they really understand the opportunity. They're really going to bask in the glory of a Lions tour."

...the commercial health of rugby in 2016
"More fans are coming to games, more people are playing, there's a huge appetite corporately and from's in a good place." 

...building a narrative around a quadrennial event
"We're a bright star that shines for a very short time...if we tried to extend it too far, fans would be exhausted when the main event comes around."

"There's a place for it, but ultimately people are diving in to second-screening because they're not immersed in what's going on on the pitch." 

...playing a Lions in a new country en route to New Zealand next year
"We had 13 different locations pitch for the opportunity...but to be best prepared to win we need to get to New Zealand as soon as possible."