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Former Man Utd & World Rugby executive to lead development of new GVS-Propel shared services offer for sport & entertainment

Former Man Utd & World Rugby executive to lead development of new GVS-Propel shared services offer for sport & entertainment

Monday 29th August 2023 – Tom Hill, Manchester United’s former Global Head of Partnerships & Operations and Chief Commercial Officer at World Rugby, is leading the development of a new shared services venture for Global Venue Services (GVS) and Propel to support the sports and entertainment sector.

The concept behind shared services is that, by grouping together, clubs, leagues and organisations can achieve cost-savings and quality improvements in a range of important areas such as ticketing, stewarding, temporary facilities, traffic management and accountancy.

GVS and Propel have come together as venture partners, installing a combined project leadership team, with Hill heading up the work.

The founders of GVS, Simon Bazalgette and Paul Fisher, pioneered a successful shared services offer for sport during their time working together as Chairman and CEO respectively of Jockey Club Racecourses, the UK’s largest racecourse group. They created Jockey Club Services (JCS), which offered a range of back-office professional services to sports and entertainment businesses.

The co-founder of Propel, Matt Willcocks, has a successful background in high-performance sport. Matt created and led a tennis academy, two graduates of which have won nine grand slam titles. He then co-founded deuce, whose investors included Andy Murray. That experience sowed the seed for Propel, which supports entrepreneurs in the sports, health and wellbeing sectors, using the same mindset and principles as applied to world class athletes. Propel has a partnership with the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park to develop an ecosystem for innovation in Sport, Health and Wellbeing.

Simon Bazalgette, Chair of GVS, said:
“Our experience creating Jockey Club Services convinced us of the market opportunity for a wider sports and entertainment-focused shared services offer. Clients will benefit from economies of scale that cannot be achieved by a single business or venue, improving the quality of service at a lower unit cost. We’re on a mission to help organisations in sport and entertainment to create more sustainable foundations for their long-term financial sustainability.”

Tom Hill, CEO Designate, said:
“Building on the expertise and experience within GVS and Propel, we aim to develop, acquire and consolidate venue and event services businesses in the UK and internationally. Having worked for privately owned sports teams and not for profit governing bodies I fully appreciate what organisations need to efficiently deliver behind the scenes to present the event, matchday or experience that sports fans enjoy. The sports industry, with an increasing focus on costs, can only benefit from services that increase sustainability and reduce risk.”

Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact Tom Hill at [email protected].

About GVS
GVS, founded by Simon Bazalgette and Paul Fisher, offers strategic advisory, investment, interim management & bespoke business services to sport, leisure, media & entertainment investors and business owners. The GVS team has experience of successful start-ups, fund raising, investment and growth management. They have created, grown, turned around and IPO’d sports, leisure media and entertainment businesses.

About Propel
Propel, co-founded by Matt Willcocks, is a collective of specialists from the sport, health and wellbeing sectors who work with founders, pioneers and changemakers to drive growth. The members of the Propel Collective believe that impact is a team sport and measure their value through the financial and social value that their contribution generates. Propel supports a range of businesses and management teams in the sector, and partners the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, where it leads the creation of an innovation ecosystem and accelerator.