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Posts Tagged ‘Andy Hunt’

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The resignation of respected measurer Carlos De Beltran last week after just a year as World Sailing’s Technical and Offshore Director was a little suspicious.  Yesterday,  an even higher-ranking critter jumped off what many now see as a full-on sinking ship. We’re talking about the resignation of Chief Commercial Officer Hugh Chambers– the second-in-command at W.S. and the guy responsible for all sponsor development and sales for sailing’s international governing body.

Was Chambers asked to leave because his team’s total sponsorship take was a fraction of the decidedly optimistic WS’s 2017 Budget?  After all, the recent ‘reforecast’ showed the organization lost millions more than budgeted for 2017 with 2018 looking like another ‘adjustment’ might be on the way.  Or, like Beltran, did Chambers see the writing on the wall and decide to get out before things get really ugly?

While many question what, exactly, World Sailing is doing to actually govern the sport besides supporting the Olympics, it’s clear that whatever they’re doing, costs have spiraled completely out of control and the burn rate is far beyond sustainable.

The Corporate HQ move from Southhampton to ritzy London cost a small fortune, pays 4 times more than the previous lease, and commits to more than GBP 3,300,000 (US$4.3M) in lease commitments.  Salaries and travel have risen massively as a percentage of the budget, and there is literally no escape plan.

Without a major change to the governance of World Sailing and the administration of the sport, in a few years time there will be no World Sailing.  The non-sailor CEOs and marketing types will be gone, and as usual the volunteers will have to pick up the pieces and start over.

We will have more on this developing situation – and we haven’t even gotten into the anti-trust stuff yet – and we plan to send those interested in a World Sailing corporate document dump to Dropbox as soon as we can.


September 6th, 2018 by admin

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The first of two major ISAF announcements dropped on Monday with the installation of former British Olympic Association CEO Andy Hunt as the new CEO of the newly renamed World Sailing. We don’t know much about Hunt beyond his various online profiles, which sum up a reasonably successful run as the head of the UK’s 5-ring team and several mostly irrelevant jobs in media and financial management. Hunt’s ’employment’ history shows penchant for ‘Non-Executive’, or advisory-only roles in sporting bodies, which generally means one of two things: Either he loves to be involved in sports management (but not too involved) out of passion or ego, or he’s highly sought after because of his contacts and a willingness to use them.

Either way, where shit-kicking businessman Peter Sowrey was hired to help repair a broken organization before being ousted just 5 months into his tenure, Hunt’s C.V. doesn’t provide any evidence of a similar skillset.  Will this affable Pom provide the sorely needed leadership for ISAF World Sailing to regain some of its shredded credibility as it navigates several of the biggest PR disasters its ever faced? We’ll reserve our judgment for now, but click on the video above to meet the man yourself and come to your own conclusions.

As an aside, the video is World Sailing TV’s first official production since renaming itself from the widely ignored ISAF Sailing Channel.  That’s the same entity that will spend something like a million dollars a year from now until 2020 on sailing content.

We’ll rephrase that for you: The weak-ass video above – something a high school kid in media class would have been embarrassed to submit to a teacher back in 2011, let alone today – is meant to be a professional work product from a multi-million dollar professional sports media producer.

Discuss the new CEO gig here.  Learn more about the craziness behind ISAF World Sailing TV here.

UPDATE: The Final Solution

As ISAF World Sailing’s Marketing Director, Double gold medalist and alpha male Malcolm Page has been rapidly filling in the leadership vacuum at ISAF and trying to singlehandedly make up for a decade of opacity and miscommunication.  Page apologized for ISAF missing their self-imposed deadline for releasing the widely awaited report on Malaysia’s misconduct and discrimination against Israeli sailors, but his note went far beyond the usual passive, mealy-mouthed ISAF press release.  Call us ‘cautiously optimistic’ that the organization is about to step up to the plate and show some leadership…but only after minimizing their own role in ignoring a problem they knew about for years.  From Mal:

The report was completed approximately 24 hours ago.  With the decisions and changes that the World Sailing Executive and Council has decided on, it will set a precedent within all sports.  So to ensure that the correct procedure is followed, the report has been forwarded to ASOIF and the IOC for their consideration.  As soon as we have their opinion and guidance on the report it will be finalised and sent to you.

I assume you understand the importance of getting this right so that the these situations in sport have every chance to not happen again, and in turn understand the slight delay.  Sailing has the opportunity to be leaders in this area.

Finally, did anyone check with Larry Ellison to make sure he was cool with bringing the America’s Cup World Series that he owns  to Oman in light of the Omanis refusal to allow Israelis visas to the RS:X Worlds last October?  You know, the Larry Ellison who donated $10 million dollars to the freakin’ Israeli Defense Forces just last year?


January 13th, 2016 by admin