The Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast by Marcus Luer

Nigel Rushman, “From Major Events To Structured Visual Thinking”

September 22, 2020

Nigel, has been around the block for nearly 40 years in our industry, and in his typical no-nonsense British style, delivers a masterclass in Events Operations, starting with his first event in the 80s to his role as Advisor of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Bid in Qatar.  Nigel is a true entrepreneur who understands the value of working with tight budgets, putting his own money on the line and using “strategic thinking” as a key tool.  Learn about “Structured Visual Thinking” and how Nigel uses this across many new projects around the world now.


Key Highlights

  1. His start in early 80s at a major Athletics Events in the UK and working on the America’s Cup Victory Challenge (Media & PR)
  2. 1991 Rugby World Cup, first major gig (Media & Accreditation Services).  Alan Callan negotiated a deal for all commercial rights to the Rugby World Cup in perpetuity story (CPMA & Rushmans partnership) and the growth of the rights
  3. Moto GP story and how important it is to build relationships across the board
  4. Asian Games in Doha, Qatar 2006 – first big gig in the Middle East – scale and size of the Asian Games is huge (bigger than Olympics) and significant event for the region
  5. Qatar - “Expect Amazing” at the FIFA World Cup 2022, helping Qatar winning the bid – structured thinking process
  6. Never saw any wrong doings by the Bid Committee, playing Devil’s Advocate and initially sceptical about the air cooling system concept
  7. Many venues are temporary and will be sold to other countries afterwards
  8. Volunteer programs from South Africa to Qatar
  9. London Olympics 2012, Non-accredited Media center for the City of London
  10. Nigel’s view on overblown budgets by large event organizers, staffing vs volunteers
  11. Rushmans new focus on “Structured Vision Thinking” (optimization, planning and strategies)
  12. Biggest learning from 40 years (never react in haste)
  13. Biggest success (Rugby World Cup 1991 and winning the Qatar bid) and failure (online accreditation platform)
  14. Final tip “stay fluid with event dates in current climate”  



Nigel Rushman has spent 25 years working with governments and enterprises on wide ranging programs all over the world.

“Nigel is a continuous learner, working with enterprises to create ‘clarity of purpose’, ‘get stuff done’, “making it real”  and using “uncommon thinking to deliver common sense”.

He continues to study psychology, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, negotiation and strategy as these are becoming foundational to the vital changes businesses need to make.

After founding, building and selling marketing and PR companies, he has established and advised numerous businesses, governments and organisations across a broad range of industries including technology, data, broadcast, sports, medtech, catering, construction, manufacturing and others. He has directed and project managed over 500 political, sports and commercial programmes in more than 30 countries over the last 25 years.

Working with John Caswell, Nigel travels the world helping governments and enterprises large and small solve their challenges and master their opportunities.

A Co-founder of Venica with the mission of ‘Making Good Science Good Business’. Nigel is active in numerous businesses and initiatives worldwide.

You can find out more about Nigel through his blog

If you are enjoying the Sports Entrepreneurs Podcast (SEP) series, check out our Virtual Sports Entrepreneurs University (SEU) too.

The Sports Entrepreneurs University is a natural extension of the Podcast series. It's a deep dive into the world of Sports & Esports. Marcus will be sharing his 25 years of experience and learning as a Sports Entrepreneur and connecting the dots. It's a 6 weeks course with an opportunity to join an Affiliate Partnership program after. For more details HERE
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