London 2012 commercial chief to lead Paramount Pictures theme park bid

Chris Townsend: seeking to repeat his 2012 Olympics fundraising success
Chris Townsend: seeking to repeat his 2012 Olympics fundraising success

Chris Townsend, the former marketer who raised £2.4bn to stage the London 2012 Olympics, will seek to replicate the feat for a new Paramount Pictures theme park in Kent.

Townsend, who was commercial director at the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog), has been appointed to the same role at the company creating the Paramount Pictures entertainment park.

At London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), Townsend will lead the fundraising drive for the 872-acre site, hailed as a "British Disneyland" and "the biggest regeneration project since the Olympic Games", on the Swanscombe Peninsula in North Kent. 

Tony Sefton, project leader for LRCH, described Townsend's appointment as "a real coup".

Townsend, who began in his new role at the beginning of December, will talk to potential investors in the City to ensure that the first tranche of funding for the project is in place by next year, at which point the planning application will be submitted.

A second phase of fundraising from brands, ticketing and licensing will take place once the application is agreed.

"It's a very different challenge to fundraising for the Olympics," Townsend told Marketing. "Raising funds in the City was one of elements of the role that appealed to me, as well as the 27,000 new jobs it will create over a six-year period."

The park will feature Paramount brands such as 'Star Trek', 'Top Gun' and 'Titanic', as well as Europe's largest indoor water park, theatres, live music venues, attractions, cinemas, restaurants, event space and hotels.

Townsend was responsible for all forms of revenue generation and procurement during his six-year tenure at Locog.

This included raising more than £750m from sponsors such as LloydsTSB and EDF, as well as managing a licensing programme involving 65 licensees generating £1bn worth of sales, a £650m ticketing programme, and a £1bn procurement strategy.

Prior to London 2012, Townsend was Transport for London's group marketing director, responsible for the launch of the Oyster card.

His previous roles include director of interactive TV and e-commerce at Telewest, and marketing director at BSkyB.

Townsend said many of the jobs at the new park would "be targeted at young people’", with plans to launch a training academy and apprenticeships.

He said: "‘Helping and mentoring people in the first stages of their careers has been a personal interest of mine for the past 15 years."


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer