Career pathFrom beginning his career with the ATP on the coast of North Florida to building his experience across the UK sporting scene throughout the early stages of his career, and from handling PR for the Middle East's top sporting events to becoming one of the top Communicators in global sport, Ben's CV tells a compelling story.
EARLY LEARNINGS IN ‘GOLF AND TENNIS COUNTRY’
After cutting his teeth in Grand Slam Press Offices during his teens, Ben began his career in earnest by taking on an internship with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) at their international headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
At the ATP, he developed two core skills that have served him throughout his career and up until this day: Public Relations and Digital Content. Working in the Corporate Communications department, he managed promotional projects for the top crop of men’s tennis stars. In switching to the Digital Media division, he honed his writing skills and delivered high-quality copy from across the men’s tour for the ATP’s Official Website.
Next, Ben moved to Dubai to join Promoseven Sports, the leading sports marketing company in the Middle East. Working on the full Emirates Airline portfolio of sport-sponsored events. Ben worked on two of his hallmarks – Strategy and Operations – at the region’s sellout events, including the Dubai Rugby Sevens, the IRB World Cup Sevens and the AC Milan Winter Tour, featuring Italian legend Paolo Maldini and David Beckham!
Ben was tasked with overseeing Communications for the award-winning Dubai Tennis Championships. Working closely with tournament organiser, Dubai Duty Free, and title sponsor, Barclays, he deftly managed his first Crisis Communications project,
namely the Shahar Peer Visa issue, which led to player boycotts and questions surrounding the future of the tournament. The reactive and proactive communications strategy introduced helped sustain the tournament’s reputation and regained its popularity as one of the players’ favourite stops of the WTA and ATP Tours.
Ben joined Lotus Renault GP (now known as Renault Sport F1 Team) as Senior Press Officer. Based in “motorsport valley” in the heart of the English countryside, he garnered the respect of colleagues within the paddock with his proactive, innovative approach to raising the team’s profile through the team’s video interviews and the lighthearted “human” tone adopted on social media channels which resulted in a significant spike in the team’s online fanbase.
Travelling to all 20 races in the F1 season, he oversaw the team drivers’ PR commitments – for the team and its sponsors – for veteran driver Nick Heidfeld and emerging stars Romain Grosjean, Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna. He also edited the team’s race preview magazine and business publication, Back 2 Black.
PROTECTING CLEAN ATHLETES
Ben’s next step took him to Montreal, Canadal to lead Media Relations for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Already a well-established and respected international body, Ben took WADA to new heights, significantly boosting the Agency’s public credentials through impactful Media strategies and his role as Chief Spokesperson.
He navigated the complex and often political antidoping environment, running media operations and handling crises and issues for WADA at Sochi 2014, Rio 2016 and other events including the UNESCO Conference of Parties. He was instrumental in upholding the reputation of the Agency during a tumultuous period for sport, with the release of the WADA Investigations into Doping in Sport. Most notably, the Media and Digital Strategies he introduced achieved $4.6 billion AVE in Q4 of 2015 and led to #WADA becoming the world’s number one trending topic on Twitter.
In 2017, Ben joined the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) as Director of Commununications and Public Affairs.
As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, he was responsible for creating and implementing the Communications and Marketing Strategy to support the Federation’s Business Strategy: Transformation 2022. The Strategy was delivered across all 71 Commonwealth nations and territories in the lead up to Gold Coast 2018.
He secured unprecedented media coverage and elevated the public profile for the CGF as a result of the “renewed relevance” campaign. In the words of one journalist, the campaign “gave the Commonwealth its mojo back!”. He also launched a comprehensive new website and Instagram channel, and oversaw the communications planning for the Birmingham 2022 Games.
THE CURRENT DAY
Today, Ben runs his Communications Consultancy Business, Ben Nichols Communications.
Based in England, but with a global focus, he continues to use his passion for sport and communications to deliver impactful campaigns that put brands firmly on the map. To discover more about Ben’s career path, read his full CV.