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Jazz Shapers

Shaper: Nick Keller

Nick founded Benchmark Sport in 2000, with the mission to grow an entrepreneurial sports company focused on talent management, events creation and entertainment properties.  Benchmark has evolved into a multi-faceted organisation that sits at the heart of sport, working with some of the most significant decision makers and influencers in the industry.  

Nick established the Sport Industry Group, comprising of the flagship Sport Industry Awards in both the UK and South Africa; the global sport for social change initiative Beyond Sport; talent management agency think Beyond Talent; global corporate sports participation brand Square Mile Sport; and specialist shared value and social change consultancy Think Beyond. Benchmark Sport now operates at an international level with a presence in the UK, US, South Africa and South-East Asia. 

During his career Nick has worked for some of the world’s biggest brands including Adidas, Barclays, Bloomberg, British Airways, BT, Deloitte, Eurosport, O2, The Telegraph, Sport England, Virgin Active and more. He is former Advisory Board Member for Sport and Society at the World Economic Forum and has been a Consultant to the International Olympic Committee. 

Interview highlights

For me, it has become obvious that business needs to think about how it contributes to society and so I live and breathe those words in my organisation as well.

My strongest belief is what binds organisations together is the ability to connect people, create networks that can deliver good towards society or the network or improve people’s lives.

At school, sport gave me self-confidence. I am immensely grateful for what the sport has done and I feel that my entire working life has been dedicated towards it.

The reasons I established Beyond Sport is because I saw post-financial-crisis that business & corporate worlds were going to have to connect to society in a very different way.

Think Beyond Talent ensures that as an athlete comes to the end of their career, they’ve got a sense of their story and purpose.

In one way we are closer to athletes because of social media, we can see exactly what’s going on in their lives. In another way we are disassociated from the physical context of knowing & understanding them.

I absolutely love collaborative moments with people who are bright & sparky. I have a phenomenal team that have that zip and zest and restlessness to them.

My sense is that we are still too many businesses that don’t understand truly how to bridge the gap between purpose & lending itself to a society.

Shaper: Dr Lydia Yarlott

Dr Lydia Yarlott is a Paediatrician and Co-Founder of Forward Health, a tech start-up that has developed a secure messaging and workflow app, enabling healthcare professionals to communicate and collaborate effectively. Being “struck by how much time (she) was wasting trying to navigate switchboards or responding to (her) pager,” Lydia’s husband encouraged her to solve [...]


Jazz Shapers - 4 hours ago

Shaper: Marcus Wareing

Marcus Wareing is a celebrated chef and Co-Founder of Marcus Wareing Restaurants. Marcus studied at Southport Catering College and was Gordon Ramsay’s protégé for 19 years. He was awarded his first Michelin Stars at 26, one of only a handful of chefs to be recognised at that age. His awards now include one Michelin star, [...]


Jazz Shapers - 1 week ago