The Board of the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) has unanimously elected Sophie Morris FCIM to serve as Chair.
Sophie succeeds Andy Westlake, who has stood down after six years at the helm of the not-for-profit membership association.
Serving as an ESA Board Director for the past seven years, Sophie Morris has led the production of industry research such as the annual ESA Trends report, Sponsorship Sentiment Tracker and Sustainability in Sponsorship.
She founded and co-chaired the National Representatives Group, bringing together national sponsorship associations from across Europe, and has played an integral role in ESA’s strategy planning process.
In her new role as Chair, Sophie will lead the Board in the delivery of a new strategy, positioning ESA as the essential and inclusive community for all professionals working in sponsorship.
ESA Chair, Sophie Morris, said: “I’m honoured to have been elected to lead ESA through this pivotal stage in the Association’s journey. ESA plays such an important role in the sponsorship industry and I’m very proud to have the opportunity to take that forward.
“I thank my fellow Board Directors for their support and, of course, Andy Westlake for his leadership of ESA over the past six years. He leaves a strong legacy and one that I aim to continue.”
A Co-Founder and Director of Sponsor View (formerly Millharbour Marketing), Sophie has worked in marketing and sponsorship for more than 20 years. She is a Chartered Marketer, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a member of the Market Research Society.
Sophie also sits on the Board of the Institute for Sport Business at Loughborough University and the Danish sponsorship group SPOT:ON, and she judges sponsorship awards in the UK, Belgium and across Europe on behalf of ESA.
Outgoing ESA Chair, Andy Westlake, said: “It has been a great honour to represent the European Sponsorship Association as Chair for the past six years. It’s an incredible, creative, passionate community delivering incredible work that only seems to be improving every year.
“ESA’s role at the heart of that community continues to develop and I will cherish the relationships I have made and the time I have spent delivering the ESA’s mission to inspire, unite and grow the industry.
“I’m delighted that Sophie will now be stepping into the role. She has played a critical part in the Association’s work in recent years and will do a brilliant job as she seeks to continue to move the industry forward. I wish her all the very best and want to thank all ESA members for their support during my tenure.”
ESA General Manager, Karen Fan, said: “I’d like to say a huge thanks to Andy for all his support over the past six years. With his help, ESA has continued to grow and we now have more members than ever before and a larger presence across Europe.
“I look forward to welcoming Sophie as our new ESA Chair. She has been integral at ESA for many years, hosting Round Tables and leading research projects among many other contributions. I’m confident that the association will continue to grow and flourish under her leadership.”
Visit the Who We Are page of the ESA website to see the new Board in full.
A not-for-profit membership association, the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) is the essential and inclusive community for all professionals working in sponsorship. ESA supports the industry through education, guidance, representation, the recognition of excellence and the sharing of best practice and performance.
ESA’s reach encompasses all types of sponsorship activity from sport, broadcast, education, charity, the arts and culture, to environment and the community. Its members include sponsors, rights holders, agencies and consultants, professional advisors and suppliers. Visit sponsorship.org for more information.
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