Andrew Edward "Andy" Anson (born 1964/1965) is a British businessman who is the Chief Executive at Kitbag, a sports e-commerce and outsource management company. He was previously chief executive at England 2018 Ltd, the company behind The Football Association's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Before that, he was CEO for the European division of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP Europe) and also Commercial Director at Manchester United.
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 an 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 responsible for 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. Two years later, he 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.
In November 2006, Anson was named as the new chief executive of the European division of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP Europe), replacing the outgoing Horst Klosterkemper. He remained in the role for two years, before being 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.
After failing to bring the World Cup 2018 to England, Andy Anson was appointed Chief Executive of sports retailer Kitbag, replacing Ray Evans. He is also a Non-Executive Director of the British Olympic Association and UTV Media (the owner of TalkSport Radio).
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