London 2012 poaches TfL marketing director Townsend

LONDON – Chris Townsend, former group marketing director for Transport for London, has been appointed by the London 2012 Organising Committee as commercial director.

Townsend will be responsible for domestic sponsorship, ticket marketing and merchandising activity for the organisation, which is responsible for staging and hosting London's Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Reporting to the CEO Paul Deighton, Townsend will also be in charge of agreeing with the International Olympic Committee London 2012's share of worldwide broadcast rights, while overseeing the launch of London 2012's new brand identity later this year.

At TfL, Townsend recently negotiated all advertising and sponsorship revenue contracts resulting in a significant increase in value. This included the eight-year £800m deal with Viacom for the Underground advertising contract.

He was also responsible for the launch and marketing of the Oyster Card and the "branding London" campaign.

Prior to joining TfL in 2003, Townsend worked at Telewest Broadband and BSkyB where he developed its electronic programme guide and Sky Interactive.

Deighton said: "We have two core objectives, to organise great Olympic and Paralympic Games and to raise £2bn to fund the operational costs of the games.

"The commercial director role is a critical one as we begin our conversations with organisations looking to partner with us for the next six years."

Philip Beard, marketing and sponsorship director, and Charlie Wijeratna, director of commercial negotiations, continue their roles driving forward the sponsorship programme and negotiating commercial deals as part of Townsend's commercial team.

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