Andrew Edward Anson (born 1964/1965) is a British businessman primarily known for his work in the sports and media industries. He is the Global President of Teneo Sports, a leading CEO advisory business based out of New York. Prior to joining Teneo, Anson was president of Fanatics International (formerly Kitbag), where he spent five-and-a-half years.
The son of a bank manager, Anson was born at the Boundary Park Hospital in Oldham, Lancashire, and grew up in nearby Rochdale. He began playing football at a young age and, despite being a fan of Manchester United, played for Manchester City's schoolboys team after being spotted in a game for the Oulder Hill School team. He did not pursue football as a professional career and earned a place at Exeter College, Oxford, where he attained a second-class degree in mathematics, even sharing a tutorial with child genius Ruth Lawrence at one stage. He continued to play football at university, however, and eventually earned his Blue.
After leaving Oxford, Anson returned to the north-west of England to work for Andersen Consulting, where he represented various clients, including North West Water. However, in the early 1990s, he left Andersen to enrol on a Master of Business Administration (MBA) course at INSEAD in Fontainebleau. To cope with the costs of attending INSEAD, Anson returned to consulting at the end of the course, working for the Kalchas Group. However, he was soon headhunted by The Walt Disney Company, and he moved to Los Angeles for three-and-a-half years, working for Disney's consumer products division. In this capacity, he was responsible for the licensing of all clothes and toys for the company. During Anson's time in the consumer products division, the company generated $7 billion in revenue, and he was promoted to the position of chief financial officer.
At the end of his time with Disney, Anson returned to the UK, where he took a position as Channel 4's Head of Strategic Planning. He later became the managing director of Channel 4 Interactive. While at Channel 4, Anson was heavily involved in the launch of its sister channel, E4. In 2002, Anson left Channel 4 to work at the London office of management consulting firm, OC&C Strategy Consultants, becoming a partner in the company, responsible for Media and Entertainment.
In 2003, Anson was approached by his childhood football club, Manchester United, to become their new Commercial Director in the wake of David Gill's promotion to chief executive, after Peter Kenyon departed to Chelsea. The appointment was confirmed in December 2003, and Anson started work in February 2004. While at Manchester United, he was responsible for signing the club's then-record shirt sponsorship deal with AIG.
Association of Tennis Professionals
In March 2007, Anson became the new chief executive of the Association of Tennis Professionals in Europe (ATP Europe), replacing the outgoing Horst Klosterkemper. He remained in the role for two-and-a-half years. He also served as chairman of the ATP Finals at The O2 Arena in London and co-CEO of the ATP Champions Tour, a tournament for former professional players.
In 2008, Anson was named as the chief executive of England 2018 Ltd, the company behind The Football Association's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He began work in his new position on 1 January 2009 and remained in the position until the company dissolved in 2011 following the unsuccessful bid results. The England 2018 bid received recognition as the best all round technical bid However, England lost out to Russia in a process beset by corruption, leading to Anson criticising FIFA president Sepp Blatter for influencing the members of the committee that voted on the World Cup hosts against the English bid.
Fanatics International (formerly Kitbag)
After a short break, in the summer of 2011, Anson was appointed chief executive of sports retailer Kitbag. In February 2016, following the successful turnaround of Kitbag, Anson oversaw the sale of the business to US market leader Fanatics. He remained with the business for 12 months ensuring the successful transition.
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