|Will Oscroft - Marketing & Communications Director, Falcon and Associates|
|Profile of the week|
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 13:53
Will is Marketing and Communications Director of Falcon and Associates.
Will joined Falcon as Marketing Director in 2010 and has led projects in markets of strategic importance to Dubai, with particular emphasis on the UK and China. Highlights include: Dubai's sponsorship of the Chinese Table Tennis Association and Channel 4 Racing; international advertising campaigns for Dubai; and Vision – a website and magazine offering fresh perspectives from Dubai. In 2014, he was appointed Marketing and Communications Director to oversee to the expanding interests of Falcon.
Prior to Falcon, Will – a graduate from the European Business School – held several roles in the field of sports marketing. He began his career with Scope (Ketchum) Sponsorship, working on leading events such as the London Marathon, the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race and the British Open Golf Championship.
Will then joined Volvo's full service marketing agency as Director of Sponsorship, taking responsibility for the Volvo Ocean Race and the Volvo PGA Championship before moving to WPP agency Ogilvy, where he was an international sponsorship consultant for major brands such as IBM, Vodafone and Western Union.
His last three years at WPP were spent running AIG's shirt sponsorship of Manchester United. From WPP he joined the Board of Lexis, taking charge of Barclays’ sponsorship of the English Premier League.
By Steve Moorhouse
For those who do not know, can you tell us about Falcon and Associates and what you do for sport in the Middle East?
Working on behalf of the Dubai leadership. Falcon and Associates has a role in building upon the emirate’s many successes to date by identifying and implementing new opportunities that help to explain and promote the business reality and opportunity of Dubai today. In just one generation Dubai has transformed from a small fishing village into a thriving and cosmopolitan city. And that transformation has not happened by accident. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has a clear vision for Dubai and deepening the understanding of his vision is at the heart of everything we do.
Sport is an area in which Dubai not only has a strong track record hosting world-class events but, importantly, is committed to developing grass roots engagement. With the power to transcend national boundaries and to connect with the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life, sport is one of many platforms we use to tell Dubai’s story.
As Marketing and Communications Director, what does you day-to-day role entail? What challenges do you face?
Dubai is such a dynamic city – it is constantly growing and evolving – our biggest challenge is keeping up, which is an exciting challenge to have. On a day-to-day basis you have to be open to new ideas, to thinking differently and to staying one step ahead. It’s also important to connect with people from around the world, to understand how Dubai is perceived and to ensure the conversation is a positive one.
You facilitated a deal with between the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Dubai. What does the deal involve and why badminton?
As a worldwide and influential Olympic sport that enjoys huge popularity across Europe and Asia, we recognised an opportunity to partner with the international governing body to not only gain significant exposure in these markets but to help drive community engagement and develop the existing badminton scene in Dubai to new levels.
The partnership is a four-year agreement with the Badminton World Federation to host the BWF World Superseries Finals and to sponsor the BWF World Superseries Rankings under the name ‘Destination Dubai’.
Dubai will host the BWF World Superseries Finals in the four-year deal. How will Falcon and Associates ensure Dubai is presented to the world as best as possible during this event?
Dubai already has the world-class facilities and capacity to host an exceptional BWF World Superseries Finals. The event will be held at the state-of-the-art Hamdan Sports Complex, which has hosted sport events ranging from tennis to boxing and martial arts, including a number of FINA swimming and diving competitions and a FIBA World Championship. Working closely with the BWF, our role is to make sure the event is a huge success with strong participation, attendance and engagement.
What sort of exposure will Dubai receive from hosting the event and do you see more deals coming as a result of hosting this tournament?
In previous years, the Superseries has been broadcast in over 50 countries worldwide. We hope to build on this even further in 2014 and beyond.
As well as promoting Dubai and the Middle East to the world, does Falcon and Associates have grassroots programmes to develop growth and activity from locals?
As I mentioned, Dubai is not only about bringing the world’s premier events to the city, it has a long-term commitment to developing a solid foundation at the grassroots level, and the partnership with the BWF is no different. Shuttle Time, the BWF’s grassroots initiative is already operational in 65 countries and will launch in Dubai later this year, driving community engagement and physical activity.
Shuttle Time Dubai, led by Dubai Sports Council, will involve schools and clubs, as well as members of the public, across the city with events to potentially include exhibition matches, corporate challenges and a strong presence at Dubai Sports World, the largest indoor sports facility in the region for the hot summer months. This initiative will also help raise awareness of the Finals in December.