TEAM OF THE WEEK: IPC Media Sports Group

TEAM OF THE WEEK: IPC Media Sports Group

others with small, round ones, the team applies itself with equal enthusiasm



BY DAY

With kick-off in the Rugby World Cup just hours away, what better time to take a look at the sales team behind Rugby World at IPC Media? Specialist sport insight runs in the veins of this team, part of IPC Media's Country & Leisure division. The Sports Group sells across Rugby World, Golf Monthly, Shoot, World Soccer and Women & Golf and is structured into three departments: Leisure Network, Core display, and Advertorials & Sponsorship.

Louise Palmer, Ben Gardner and Paul Hylden form Leisure Network, the agency specialist team. Together they are responsible for the lifestyle and consumer brand advertising on the rugby and golf magazines, in addition to nine other titles in the Country & Leisure Media portfolio.

Heading the Core team is group ad manager Greg Dunbar, whose experienced team includes senior sales execs Matt Johnston, Andrew Boxer and Simon Gerard.

Dan Yeadon is in charge of Advertorials & Sponsorship, which has achieved huge revenue growth in the past three years. In fact, Dan and the sponsorship team have managed to make a mockery of the so-called media recession by beating their revenue targets far too early in the year. They now have most of their calls forwarded to the island they rent off the coast of Cuba, although, for tax purposes, they do still take the odd meeting in London.

The past two years have been tremendous for all five titles in the group. The sales teams have benefited massively from the hard work put in on the circulation and marketing fronts, meaning that they're taking out presentations with really strong ABC stories behind them.

Aggressive marketing around major sporting events, not least the football World Cup, has also been successful.

And the ad team has already broken all records for the Rugby World Cup. The World Cup issue of Rugby World has been expanded no less than four times to accommodate the demand for advertising and the team is 48% over what was already a very stretching target.

Which is nice.

Next year also promises to be a big one. In golf, Europe's Ryder Cup success of 2002 has accelerated the interest for the competition in 2004. England's opportunity to repeat the grand slam at next year's Six Nations will keep the momentum going for rugby and then, of course, there is football's Euro 2004!

BY NIGHT

People have tried and failed in the past to tear the team away from the regular haunts on and around Stamford Street.

Because most of the team are "lazy" drinkers, the two most popular are the Hogshead and Stamford Arms - pretty much adjacent to King's Reach Tower.

Occasionally, the resident head of light entertainment, Paul Hylden - IPC's answer to chicken-in-a-basket singer Joe Longthorne - tries to organise an evening out at somewhere more stimulating, but nobody bothers any more because it normally ends with people getting off with each other (which can be unsightly), people arguing or getting into general drunken trouble and waking up in unlikely places with massive regrets about how they went up to their boss and asked for pay rises or gave them advice on how they should be running the company.

Perhaps surprisingly, the team members do also play a lot of sport between them, hangovers permitting. Perks include lots of tickets to major sporting events (enjoy Australia, Andy!) and more golf than you can shake a nine-iron at.

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