Sport Industry Group Managing Director Alex Coulson is expanding his role within parent company Benchmark to also take on Managing Director duties of another business in the portfolio, esports organisation National Student Esports (NSE).
Coulson, who has been at the helm of Sport Industry Group for the last six years will continue to lead the team while taking up additional leadership of NSE, the official body for university esports, which over the last three years has developed into the most active grassroots gaming community in the country. As part of the Benchmark senior leadership team, Coulson has supported NSE since its inception and will now play an active role driving continued future growth.
The move comes as both the Sport Industry Group and NSE teams have expanded in skills and expertise, allowing Coulson to divide oversight across both and demonstrates the progress of both organisations in recent years.
Sport Industry Group
Sport Industry Group, under Coulson, has expanded significantly and now boasts an impressive and diverse group of properties, all aimed at developing, inspiring and nurturing the entire sport industry.
Existing properties continue to grow more impactful each year, with the Sport Industry Daily, Sport Industry Awards and Sport Industry NextGen now informing, honouring, and educating more than ever before, while new properties have brought the industry increased digital tools and experiences.
Among them are Sport Industry Spotlight, a series of online and bespoke events tailored to specific audiences and areas of expertise and Sport Industry Slack, which brought the industry together at a time of need. The recently launched Sport Industry Jobs, meanwhile, is now playing a crucial role as we all shift to a more balanced working lifestyle.
Amid these, there are new projects upcoming from Sport Industry Group to be announced in due course, but as the industry continues to move forward in the wake of 2020, Sport Industry Group is solidifying its role as a service and steward of the sector.
NSE, the official body of university esports in the UK, has established itself as a key figure in the UK esports industry and has the most active grassroots gaming community in the country. NSE works with major publishers including Nintendo, Riot Games, and Ubisoft and has long-term successful partnerships with Barclays, Intel, and Monster Energy.
NSE operate the British University Esports Championship, the official esports competition of British universities, and in 2020 the competition saw over 1,700 teams from 95 universities compete across a number of esports titles, with over 70% of participants enrolled on a STEM course.
Alex Coulson, Managing Director, Sport Industry Group and NSE, said: “It’s my role that is changing, and it is a genuinely exciting time for me, but this really says much more about both the Sport Industry Group and NSE teams. It is testament to their skills, knowledge, and continued hard work that I can take on the MD role across both businesses. It’s a real privilege to work with them all, well supported by the central Benchmark team and other businesses too.
"Over the years we have seen a huge amount of shared-knowledge and movement between the sport and esports industries, and this reciprocal learning is something I plan to use to benefit both businesses and their respective communities as much as possible.”
Nick Keller, CEO and Founder, Benchmark, added: “This is an exciting time for Benchmark as we continue to become a platform for growing and incubating business, around health, wellness, sport, esport and social impact.
“It’s also a fantastic step for Alex who has been an integral part of Benchmark for many years. He will bring his network, experience, and passion to see communities thrive to both organisations. He has been there as traditional sport and esports have overlapped and is now perfectly positioned to bring expertise and fresh insight to both.”