Sporting Group International secures Ian Dutton as UK Managing Director

Apr 10, 2024

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Global sports agency Sporting Group International has outlined further expansion plans by appointing experienced sports industry leader Ian Dutton in a newly created role of UK Managing Director.

Dutton joins the sports partnerships, talent management and recruitment specialists from Birmingham City Football Club where he has enjoyed a 17-year career, most recently as Managing Director where he led the day-to-day management of the club.

Dutton initially joined The Blues in a sales role, but soon progressed through the ranks to be appointed Chief Commercial Officer. In position for more than 10 years, prior to becoming Managing Director, he helped deliver record-breaking partnership deals and oversaw all income streams for the club, including ticketing, retail, conference and events, broadcast and digital operations.

“As Sporting Group International continues its global expansion, it is imperative that we underpin its growth by having the best minds in the game,” said Group Chief Executive Adrian Wright.

“Ian is one of the best senior commercial professionals in sport and, having worked alongside him previously, appointing him as our UK Managing Director is a game-changing opportunity for our development.

“He has been at the forefront of Birmingham City’s commercial operations for several years and he is exceptionally well respected, and connected, within the English Football League, Premier League and UEFA network. We’re thrilled to be able to secure him in this newly created role, which can accelerate our expansion plans.”

Sporting Group International has delivered multiple commercial partnerships for sports governing bodies, venues and professional clubs around the world, including record-breaking stadium naming-rights deals and principal front of shirt partnerships. In the last year it has created a new talent management division in football whilst also expanding its Sporting Jobs recruitment firm.

Ian Dutton said: “Sporting Group International has disrupted the sports partnerships market in the right way since the firm was founded eight years ago.

“Its experienced team have an exceptional ability to not only build relationships with brands and sports rights holders, but bring them together when ambitions and objectives are shared. Their commitment to integrity and ethics in this area is unrivalled.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last 17 years leading a commercially driven and world-renowned football club, in Birmingham City, and I’m so grateful to everyone who made my time at St Andrew’s so special. However, I’m very excited by the next challenge and I’m incredibly honoured that Adrian and the board have appointed me to help realise its global expansion plans.”

Sporting Group International has its global headquarters in Birmingham City Centre as well as boasting European operations in Spain, Germany and Italy, and an Asia operation in New Delhi, India.