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Summary

Over 10 years experience in sports, leading and delivering positive results across a wide variety of organisations.  A strong professional background combined with a history of leading success.  

A calm head when dealing with a huge range of issues, but an excited leader who will challenge the status quo and lead towards success.

Work experience

Oct 2011Present

Commercial and Communications Director 

Oman Football Association

Leading the Commercial development of an ambitious Association.  Building revenue streams and establishing modern practices to deliver the growth required.

Jul 2007Aug 2010

Chief Executive - Edinburgh Rugby

Scottish Rugby Union

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  •  
    • Preparation of Annual Strategic Plan for presentation to Board of Scottish Rugby, and delivery on same.
    • Management of all commercial activities including sponsorship, ticketing, hospitality and other income generation.  Management of budget of circa £5m.
    • Management of all key relationships – including Player and Coaching group, Media, Sponsors and Commercial Partners and relationship with owner body  Scottish Rugby Union (all departments – incl Ticketing, Commercial, Marketing, Facilities).
    • Preparation of annual Marketing and Commercial Plans and delivery of key targets therein 
    • Development of City relationships – including Council towards development of new stadium.
    • Management of all operational activities – including legal, finance, staff development and performance and match day.  Preparation and delivery of Match day event.  

KEY SUCCESSES

  •  
    • Successful launch of new brand (post Club purchase).  Including integration with Scottish Rugby (from private owner), review of staffing structure and other systems.  Leading to reduction of central Scottish Rugby funding of the Club – in line with Strategic targets.
    • Implementation of successful marketing and commercial plans.  Delivering significant growth in attendances (including the 3 highest ever league crowds achieved for the Club), Season Ticket growth of over 50% and 100% increase in Commercial revenue including introduction of new sponsors.  Introduced the 1872 Cup concept to maximise revenue from available assets – resulted in 300% growth in key game revenue.  
    • Management and recruitment of two distinct coaching teams delivering 2 successive record league finishes whilst controlling player budget costs to minimum increase.  35 out of 36 man squad Scotland qualified in line with target – was the highest proportion in the league.
    • Development of a large community and partnership network to drive future growth.  Management of integration with Scottish Rugby departments to increase resource allocated to Edinburgh Rugby.

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

  • Took the Club to its highest point in three successive seasons. Delivered record breaking success for the Club and learnt further lessons as to how to implement similar success at any future employer.
  • Managed and delivered as part of a large team, in a large corporate environment.  Following on from previous role, delivered in two wildly different environments – showing the ability to adapt and to drive success no matter the conditions.
  • Experience and contact base has widened both in industry and scope, proving the capacity to deal with new challenges.  Ability to network and develop contacts in a new sport at the highest level.
  • Presentations made to many diverse corporate bodies – Scottish Rugby Union Board, Council members (in relation to new ground options), and sponsors.  Good communication skills that would be easily transferable to a new employer.
  • From a “ground zero” point for the Club, proved able to rebuild an organisation in a short period of time and shown again ability to “self start”.  These efforts included integration with the large Scottish Rugby workforce and creation of significant synergies to maximise return from staff.
  • In particular the skills that have developed further in this role - 
  •  
    • Brand and Club Development.
    • Media Training – provided and on the job.
    • Delivery in a structured environment – including attainment of KPI’s and management of policy and procedure.
Jan 2002Dec 2006

Chief Executive

Harlequins Rugby League

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Preparation of annual Business Plan and Monthly reporting to Board of Directors on Company performance.
  • Implementation and Management of Sales and Marketing strategy.
  • Management of relationships with key Corporate Partners including Commercial and Media Partners (e.g. Sky TV, BBC, Metro Newspaper) and Liaison with the sport’s governing body and government agencies.
  • Development of Club Strategic Partnerships and management of Key Stakeholder relationships.
  • Management of circa 50 staff, responsibility for marketing, commercial, financial, and administrative staff.  Goal setting, reporting and review.
  • Management of budget of circa £3m.
  • Growth of Rugby League from a minority sport in London.

KEY SUCCESSES

  • Design and negotiation of an innovative partnership with the world famous Harlequins Rugby Union club.
  • Project management of the Brand Launch, and the implementation of a phenomenally successful Sales and Marketing Strategy.  
  • Reduction of the annual loss from £1.8m to £0.5m to enable the Company to continue in existence; managing the sale of the Club from the Virgin Group to new owners.
  • Leading the Club to 2 appearances in the end of season playoffs.Increase of grass roots to deliver growth from 10 to over 200 school teams playing the sport.

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

  • I showed the ability to cope with extreme and diverse pressure situations.  With particular skill in development of Public and private sector relationships in challenging times.
  • With minimal training, I became the “face” of the Club for many tough media assignments, and showed great competence in dealing with same.
  • I proved a very competent self starter.
  • I showed great flexibility and commitment.  
  • The ability to remain focused on the task in hand despite myriad problems will enable me to cope with many diverse future problems.
Sep 1998Dec 2001

Commercial Director

London Broncos Ltd
Jan 1998Jul 1998

Sports Audit

Philip Morris
Apr 1997Jan 1998

Operational Project Manager

J Sainsbury's Plc
Dec 1992Apr 1997

Accountant

Ernst & Young

Education

Jun 1993Jun 1996

Chartered Accountancy Qualification

Institute of Chartered Accountants
Sep 1988Jun 1992

BSC

Loughborough University
Sep 1983Jun 1987

High School

Millfield School

References

Jon Seaton

“I have known Nic for 3 years and in that time he has driven Edinburgh Rugby to new heights in terms of sporting endeavours (attendences, results and professionalism), the management side (fiscal, operational and marketing, including the building of a distinct identity) as well as as a club which actively engages within the community. He has not only shown a willingness to listen to his customers but actively seeks their input into key decisions affecting the club, thus getting their buy-in from an early stage. Nic will be extremely difficult to replace at Edinburgh and whoever takes him on next will get a hard working, dedicated professional who will drive forward any organisation with a great deal of enthusiasm.”

Rob Stross

“I had the pleasure of working with Nic during his time as CEO of Harlequins while I was MD of TNT Magazine.   Nic always ensured that, as a key media sponsor of the Harlequins and London Broncos, TNT's expectations were consistently exceeded. His attention to detail, powers of negotiation and ability to deliver on commitments were second to none. In addition to that his personable nature made him a pleasure to do business with.   As a result I would have no hesitation in working with Nic again in the future”

Martin Macdonald

“Having known Nic for over 10 years and having experienced both his proffessional and personal life, Nic is a person of true integrity whether in the Boardroom or on the golf course. In a career spanning many senior roles, Nic always manages to maintain respect from other Senior Mangers whilst retaining close relationships with all those who work within his team. Nic's drive to suceed and over perform is second to none, and he would be a true asset to any business.”

Keith Hogg

“Nic is a very talented manager who has driven tremendous progress at Edinburgh Rugby. He is very hard working, very determined and good at translating strategy into real action. He is also very personable and persuasive (jn a quiet way) and able to network at all levels.Nic is the type of person that you want as part of any business.”

Lawrence Broadie

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with Nic during his time at Edinburgh Rugby Club over the last three years as we’ve created a strong bond between our two organisations.   A dynamic and approachable leader, Nic is really innovative in his thinking.   Importantly for me he is also very open and happy to share experience and ideas - always in a professional way.   I’ve learnt a great deal from Nic, and have happily nicked one or two concepts along the way – there’s certainly plenty that professional football can learn from professional rugby about growing attendances and with it revenue.   I know Nic is heading to the USA shortly, where I have no doubt that his ideas, vision and experience will be a huge asset to whoever is lucky enough to work with him.”

Fiona Davidson

“Nic was an outstanding CEO at Edinburgh Rugby.  My opinion is based both on my position as a supporter and also as a supplier to Edinburgh Rugby.  He has great vision for growing a supporter base for a professional team in a very professional, approachable and family friendly way. He has a very good commercial and business brain and a genuine love of professional team sports.”

Charlie McEwen

“Nic demonstrated whilst at Edinburgh Rugby that he is one of the leading lights in sports administration in the UK. His commercial acumen and leadership ability were the driving forces behind the growing reputation of Edinburgh Rugby.”

Lindsey Geddes

“I worked for Nic for 3 seasons and was inspired by his commitment to the role. A highly motivated individual, his business acumen and determination enhanced the Club’s reputation within both business and community sectors. He is clear thinking in his decision making and motivated his team to achieve greater results. Always looking for new ideas and never standing still. Under Nic’s tenure Edinburgh achieved a 2nd place position in the Magners League. I have learnt a great deal and have thoroughly enjoyed working with Nic” 

Portfolio

Skills

Income Generation
Over 10 years worth of annual sales and marketing planning - delivering year on year increase on annual basis.  I have been responsible for sponsorship generation, season ticket annual campaigns, and year round ticket sales promotion.  As well as management of all ancillary income streams - merchandise / corporate / hospitality / match day miscellaneous / affinity and other.
Club Management
I have managed three separate clubs in two different sports (both at the highest possible elite level) in two different countries.  Under my stewardship both clubs experienced good levels of growth on a consistent basis and achieved record results right across the Club.  Each challenge has its own unique issues to deal with, and I achieved this growth whilst also managing a huge variety of difficult scenarios.   I have experience of management of playing and coaching group (and agents), back office staff, key government and partner relationships, and all financial matters.
Building Growth
My core skill is in building the blocks of a Club that will deliver long term (and sustainable) success.  In order to deliver this, exceptional skills are required in leading staff, preparing and delivering on plans, and in generating the necessary levels of publicity, awareness, income and attendance.     These skills also include management of key relationships - internal and external.
Accountancy
I am a fully qualified Chartered Accountant (with first time passes at Ernst & Young - one of the "Big 4").  I have a sound knowledge of financial management and have been responsible for managing finance functions throughout my career.