Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Spurs' Biggest Fan - David Kinsman, Chief Operating Officer, Mansion

Magazine article Marketing

Profile: Spurs' Biggest Fan - David Kinsman, Chief Operating Officer, Mansion

Article excerpt

David Kinsman is not a man who hangs around. He has just flown into Heathrow from Hong Kong and will jet out again tomorrow, to Ireland, to continue promoting his fledgling online gaming brand. 'I seem to spend most of my free time on aeroplanes - I can always judge the length of a flight by the number of emails I have on my BlackBerry when I land.'

Mansion first came to public attention earlier this year when it entered discussions with Manchester United over the club's coveted shirt sponsorship. United pulled out of the deal, but just two weeks later, 56-year-old Kinsman had agreed a record pounds 34m four-year sponsorship with rival Tottenham Hotspur.

A no-nonsense Aussie, Kinsman's attitude to business is illustrated by his decision to reveal details of the collapsed Manchester United deal to the press. 'We have a simple view. Our word is our bond, you shake on it and that is it. After the Manchester United episode, we felt we had an obligation to explain who we are and what we were doing.'

The headlines it created didn't hurt either. And he doesn't bear grudges - he says he is looking forward to sharing a beer with United directors after Spurs meet them this season.

Mansion's sponsorship of Tottenham is the first step in its brand-building programme and Kinsman is keen to impress that his company has more to offer than just cash. 'I now have 34m reasons to be a Tottenham supporter,' he jokes. 'But we also have a responsibility to the club and its fans.' He is looking forward to breaking the sponsorship mould with the team, and is planning talks with Puma, Tottenham's kit supplier, about possible opportunities.

Online gaming companies have made sudden and considerable inroads in sports sponsorship over the past year and, according to a World Sponsorship Monitor report, the sector is now the fastest growing in the sports sponsorship arena.

Though Mansion fleetingly toyed with the idea of sponsoring a team from Spain's La Liga, Kinsman believes the English Premier League was always the obvious choice. 'Football is very tribal in Spain. If you support one team, you risk alienating other people,' he says. 'English football has much wider appeal - I was in China on the final day of last season and there were about 25m people watching Tottenham play West Ham at about three in the morning. …

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