The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer
Clive Bowen, “Racing Resorts”

Clive Bowen, “Racing Resorts”

June 17, 2021

Clive Bowen is a man truly shaped by his early career experiences; from his days at Rolls Royce to his years working with a large Saudi group before entering into the world of motor racing and him emerging as a world leader in building Racing Resorts around the world:

 

Key Highlights

  1. Studying mechanical engineering and landing first job at Rolls Royce (Aerospace) 
  2. Moving on to Wright Machinery (PPM). Amazing experience serving clients in Middle East – commencement of project management responsibility 
  3. Middle East stories from late 80s. A territory which changed dramatically each year for 20 years. 
  4. Great Lessons and stories from running Haldir Ltd., a division of a Saudi group for nine years. Commencement of the ‘always under promise and over deliver’ mantra
  5. 1997, meeting Paul Berger in Dubai and various other motorsports luminaries. Entry into the motorsport industry, initially as a hobby, then as a profession
  6. Pitching Dubai Autodrome for four years with Paul Berger. Cutting a deal with Union Properties, working with HOK Sports (now Populous). First design for a track and masterplan for a venue
  7. West Surrey Racing days - six years in Touring cars with MG – even becoming ‘team principal’ of the Junior MG BTCC team that launched the career of Colin Turkington
  8. Dubai Autodrome stories; how it evolved as a major property development 
  9. Next Apex project in Iceland and how 2008/09 financial crisis killed it
  10. Development of first "Race Resort", Hampton Downs Motorsports Park, New Zealand 
  11. Various Karting design and construction projects in Middle East 
  12. Herman Tilke, mutual respect - positioning Apex purposely below his F1 tracks 
  13. Difference in company philosophy: Tilke ‘race circuit focus’ vs ‘venue with a race circuit inside’ focus for Apex 
  14. Pragmatic approach to developing leads in the industry: 1 in 100 chance a lead turns into a construction project; Apex has had over 2000 inquiries, 200 project codes, turned into 20 construction projects. Typical five years lead time from enquiry to venue
  15. Difference between a race drivers point of view vs a designer's on what constitutes a great track 
  16. What makes an ultimate race track?
  17. Race Resort Projects in China
  18. Insights into the new Miami F1 track
  19. Potential new Race Resort in South East Asia 

 

About Clive Bowen

I established Apex Circuit Design Ltd in 1997 and developed it to become a world-leader in the field of motor race circuit design, engineering and master planning. My team and I design cost-effective, relevant, multi revenue, multi-use motorsport based entertainment destinations.

In 2009 we were appointed the FIA Institute Facilities Advisory Partner on a multi-year contract to support projects which are grant funded by the FIA Motor Sport Development Fund. Our service is to provide commercially and environmentally sustainable master plan designs for race destinations anywhere in the World.

We pride ourselves on creating exciting, interesting and commercially viable race track designs and currently have projects on 5 continents.

Our master planning services are accepted as among the World's finest. We are considered the de facto choice for commercial developers even in today's harsh economic climate.

We aim to meet the future needs of environmentally sustainable developments whilst also supporting and nurturing motorsport from the grass roots to the highest levels

Specialties: Race Circuit Design (Road course, street circuit, temporary circuit), Motor Sport Destination design, Entertainment Destination design, Master Planning services, Motor Sport event management, Motor Sport operational management, Motor Sport sustainability consultancy, Motor Sport environmental consultancy.

Please review our website at www.apexcircuitdesign.com for further information.

 

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Joachim Hilke, “From Hamburg To The World”

Joachim Hilke, “From Hamburg To The World”

June 2, 2021

Joachim Hilke, is a German sports marketing Veteran with an colorful career across NFL Europe, UFA/Sportfive early growth story,  HSV (Hamburg Football Club) and now with Fanatics in Europe.  Lots of great stories on how the NFL started in Europe and the challenges around it, to an insider look into German Football Club thinking and off course a deep dive into Fanatics’ amazing online merchandise retail business globally.  Enjoy.

 

Key Highlights

  1. From his College thesis to the first job at the NFL Europe with Rhein Fire - great stories how the League and team started (Americana in Duesseldorf)
  2. Next stop, UFA/Sport 5 -
    • HSV (Hamburger Sport Verein – Bundesliga Club) great stories about selling their rights and sitting on the board of a major Club.
    • Naming rights of HSV Stadium – AOL Arena – focusing on sponsorship and marketing while the rest of the company is mostly selling TV rights
    • UEFA National Team deals – the good old days of maximizing 2nd & 3rd party rights both in TV and sponsorship (Double production – sell both sides of the pitch to different sponsors)
    • Front Runner of UEFA Qualifiers packages now managed by CAA Eleven
  3. 2nd run at HSV – Chief Commercial officer & Board member again – dream job for a kid from Essen. At that time, team was a regular in European Football and amongst top teams in the Bundesliga  (Emirates Airlines on the Jersey)
  4. Challenging six years on the pitch, legal structure of German Football clubs make it challenging with Fans having a large say and voting rights (Members Club) – lots of emotions which start influencing decisions
  5. Current role at Fanatics – Managing Director Global Partnerships – massive online Merchandise and Licensing retailer, valued US$ 12.8 billion (up from 6b mid last year) – representing all major US rights holders
  6. com – V-Commerce Model (vertical) – the ultimate online sports apparel and fan gear store (80% of revenue online)
    • Difference between official apparel of Kit supplier and other fan apparel merchandise
  7. Demand for Fan products stayed strong during Pandemic, especially after Leagues started playing again - Fandom is still alive and well
  8. International roll out – differences in Europe to US model with Leagues – in Europe deals are done with Clubs and not Leagues
  9. Some big names signed up in Europe, German and English FA, PSG (Paris St Germain) and Bayern Munich
  10. With large volume but thin margins in merchandise, wondering why European Football Leagues don’t bundle merchandise like the American Leagues?
  11. Opportunity to take global IP to Asia and other parts of the world. Hillhouse Capital (PE Fund), JV partner for China market launch. Office in Tokyo, dealing with Japanese Baseball and US Sports
  12. Counterfeit products not a major focus or concern -  focus heavily on Football/Soccer for now

      

About

2017 – today, Fanatics International, MD Global Partnerships

2011 – 2017, Hamburger SV (HSV Fußball AG), CCO

1998 – 2010, Sportfive, CEO International

1994 – 1997, NFL International, MD Rhein Fire

 

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