In a move to further strengthen the Ticketmaster Sport team, we’re delighted to announce the appointment of our new Ticketmaster Sport Chief Operating Officer, Chris Gratton.
We spoke to Chris about his move to Ticketmaster Sport, his past and what his plans are for the role.
Tell us about yourself?
I’m a failed sportsman at heart, so being able to make a career out of my passion for sport is something I feel very privileged to be able to do. Growing up in North London I had the tough choice to make between Arsenal and Tottenham, made even tougher by the fact my Father is a Man Utd fan, but ended up choosing the red side (of London that is). Aside from that I’m a fan of most sports and would be on some sort of sport channel all day if I wasn’t fighting and losing with my three-year-old daughter, who is more focused on Frozen than football at the moment. I have two daughters, one of which is too young to fight me for the TV but I’m sure that time will come soon enough. I’m also a big fan of music with a fairly eclectic taste to match my broad love of sports.
What drew you to the world of sport?
I’ve always been a huge sports fan from a young age and tried every sport as a kid, at some point I’ve been a member of either a tennis, golf, football, rugby or cricket club. I very quickly realised at university that a playing career in any of those sports wasn’t to be, so the next best thing would be a career in sports. That led me into the world of sports marketing (via a short stint as a P.E. and IT school coordinator). Nothing beats the feeling of a live event and sport in particular delivers passion, emotion and a rollercoaster ride, which is why it’s such a special industry.
Any career highlights to date?
I’ve been extremely lucky and very privileged to travel the world with a career in sport, taking in FIFA World Cups, Olympics, Champions League Finals, FA Cup Finals and Wimbledon Championships. I’ve done it through various guises – from running tickets around, hosting on-site hospitality tours to somehow sitting in the Royal Box for an FA Cup Final. My standout experience would have to be the 2006 World Cup when I was a young guy travelling around Germany trying to make his way in the industry. That sticks in the memory as my first big tournament, and luckily managing to get a ticket to witness a remarkable final was a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
In the world of sporting events and entertainment there isn’t a bigger brand than Ticketmaster. The opportunity to join such a trusted and established company in the industry I love is amazing.
What are your aspirations for this role?
Technology is paramount in the development of any industry but as Ticketmaster Sport continues to transform sports ticketing, I believe we are already at the forefront of driving trust and innovation. We have the opportunity to be a complete proposition for our clients, allowing them to utilise our full machine of solutions to drive their aspirations and ultimately serve their fans in the best way