Sports chief to head 2000 task

The organiser of The Millennium Exhibition is set to appoint the former marketing chief for UK tourism as commercial director, responsible for raising pounds 150m in sponsorship.

The organiser of The Millennium Exhibition is set to appoint the

former marketing chief for UK tourism as commercial director,

responsible for raising pounds 150m in sponsorship.



Kevin Johnson, now a consultant to international sports marketing

organisation ISL, is being lined up to take the new post, although a

contract has yet to be signed.



Johnson, a former marketing director at the British Tourist Authority,

will start work in September.



He has been working with ISL, a Swiss international marketing company

that handles sponsorship for events such as the World Cup and the

Olympic Games, for the past two years.



Johnson will work closely with multimillionaire sports promoter Mark

McCormack to drum up sponsorship for the Millennium Dome. If McCormack

and his company, IMG, raise pounds 150m he stands to receive as much as

pounds 15m in fees. Johnson will also handle all merchandising for the

exhibition.



The New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC), the body charged with

organising the exhibition and the building of the dome in Greenwich, has

yet to appoint a marketing director who will co-ordinate the other half

of the NMEC’s operations: the launch of the exhibition to the

public.



A pitch for the pounds 16m advertising account is already under way and

NMEC has shortlisted five agencies: TBWA Simons Palmer, Ogilvy & Mather,

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, M&C Saatchi and Leo Burnett.



Meanwhile, The Millennium Commission, which grants National Lottery

money to millennium projects, has put its communications brief up for

pitch.



Agencies are being invited to devise a strategy for projects around the

UK with which the Commission is involved.



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