Sports Marketing Surveys appoints Geoff Zeidler as new executive chairman of European and Asian business

Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS) has announced the appointment of Geoff Zeidler as the new executive chairman of its European and Asian business.

Zeidler, a former rugby player and rower and current golfer with experience in both large and small businesses, was identified as the best candidate to continue the impetus in driving SMS forward following the sad death of Stephen Proctor in November 2021. The appointment, which took effect on 20th June, was made with the support of the company’s board of directors and trustees, including the Proctor family.

Rob McCowen, who had been acting chairman of SMS since November 2021 and now returns to his role as non-executive director, said: “Geoff will bring a wealth of skills to Sports Marketing Surveys.

“Beyond a natural interest in the sports industry, he offers a strong understanding of how to make businesses work and be secure, profitable, and inclusive for the staff and stakeholders. He was the standout candidate, and I very much look forward to working with him to help take SMS forwards into an exciting future.”

A graduate and postgraduate of Cambridge University, Zeidler has enjoyed a broad career with roles involving strategy, growth, financing, and governance. He started at the management consultancy Bain & Co, followed by nine years in M&A and corporate finance with Robert Fleming (now part of JP Morgan). He then moved to industry, building the telecoms business at Spirent; as CEO of Securitas in the UK & Ireland; and then as an adviser with Wyvern Partners. He currently holds a range of chairman and non-executive director positions.

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John Bushell, managing director of SMS, said: “Geoff fully buys into the ethos we have established at Sports Marketing Surveys as an authentic, innovative, and nimble business. Just as importantly, he buys into our core values that reflect Stephen’s legacy – and recognises that the relationships we develop, and the ability to provide commercially sensitive and honest insight with real integrity, are what ensures we are valued by our clients.”

Zeidler added: “I’m excited to be joining SMS at a time of tangible opportunities for the company and the insight industry. Already in 2022, they have been investing in expanding skillsets and launching new products. I’m looking forward to actively supporting the team as they develop new technology-based market intelligence services and provide strategic support across the international sports business.”

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