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People: Peter Phillips, The Queen’s grandson and managing director of SEL UK

Queen’s grandson and MD of SEL UK

Published in Sports Management 11 Jul 2016 issue 124
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Peter Phillips, Queen’s grandson and MD of SEL UK
Peter Phillips, Queen’s grandson and MD of SEL UK

What is SEL?
SEL (Sports & Entertainment Ltd) is a market leader in sport and entertainment, management, marketing and commercialisation, with offices in Australia and the UK.

What is SEL’s involvement with Spartan Race?
We’ve been engaged by Spartan to manage its business elements in the UK. This includes creating business efficiencies, sponsorship and marketing development, as well as identifying new and exciting venues to challenge all levels of Spartan participants.

Tell us about Spartan Race
Spartan isn’t your average race – compared to normal road races, it’s the adventurous, adrenaline-junkie friend who thrives on excitement. There’s running, climbing, crawling, splashing through mud, tackling challenging obstacles and finishing with a fiery leap of victory.

The secret to Spartan’s success is its camaraderie and the challenge element. People of all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life, have completed Spartan Races. If you don’t want to run, then walk. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and before you know it, you’ve done the first mile.

The Spartan community is well known for being helpful – they don’t like seeing people struggle. Watch how quickly a helping hand extends your way. Don’t be surprised if you feel someone pushing up on the soles of your feet to boost you up. That’s normal. They’re just helping you.

Why did SEL take on the Spartan Race brand?
The mass participation sector has grown massively in the last five years. People are looking for new and interesting ways to exercise. They’re looking for challenges and something that’s going to push them not only physically, but also mentally.

Spartan is already a hugely strong brand within that sector in the US and we felt, with a few tweaks, it could be just as successful in the UK. There isn’t much I’d change about the races themselves, but I believe locations are key – the races need to be easy to find and access – and that’s what we’re focusing on.

These aren’t major changes, but rather refinements that I hope will grow awareness of Spartan across the UK. I believe the brand is strong enough that it will eventually be the point of reference for the category – people will say “oh, is that like a Spartan Race?”

Will there be some sort of Royal connection moving forward?
Well, we had a race at Aston Down in May and will have one at Windsor Great Park in October for the season finale, but I think that’s about as far as it will go.

Bio: First child of Anne, Princess Royal and Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest grandchild. He is currently 13th in line to the throne. After graduating from university in 2000, Phillips worked for Jaguar, followed by a stint at Formula One racing team Williams F1. He was appointed managing director of SEL UK in 2012. This year, Phillips organised the street party on The Mall for 10,000 people to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday

The company: www.uk-sel.com

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