In 2017, multi-award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster, Ian Stafford, founded The Sporting Club. Following a successful international career as a writer, interviewer, host, TV and radio presenter, he became renowned for his network of leading sports figures, which led to him play football for Everton, rugby for the Springboks, and golf with Tiger Woods, not to mention racing Michael Schumacher and fighting Roy Jones Jr, to name but a few sporting adventures.
Ian’s vision was to create a proactive community for business professionals, via the numerous Sporting Club venues and prestigious live events with top sports stars. With an annual membership costing only £1,000 plus VAT, boasting an ever-growing range of benefits including discounts on events, exclusive hospitality packages and special offers on leading brands, the club is proving a uniquely attractive investment.
“The past year has been an incredibly challenging time,” says Ian. “But it’s given me the chance to take a step back and assess our offering as a whole. That’s why in the last year, we’ve opened up venues in Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham, to add to our UK-wide range of clubs, providing permanent spaces that members can use all year round to work, meet and network.”
These luxurious venues range from The Regency Club in Manchester’s Deansgate, to The Ambler Club in the heart of Leeds, and most recently the new 501* lounge at Edgbaston Stadium, one of the world’s most famous cricket grounds. As a member of The Sporting Club, you’ll have access to each of these venues around the country, providing a great way to connect not only with your clients and team members, but likeminded professionals too.
“The new normal has undoubtedly changed the way we work – and working remotely is here to stay,” maintains Ian. “But physical interaction with fellow professionals is incredibly important to building those relationships which are crucial to the success of any business. This is what The Sporting Club concept is based on.
“We have a very proactive networking mechanism, and as a result of the connections we’ve facilitated, we’ve had many success stories from all walks of business, whether that’s from our members’ day- to-day usage of our spaces, or socialising at our events. So why spend all that money renting an office, when you can benefit from world-class facilities as part of your membership?”
The Sporting Club also boasts its very own hospitality division designed to create high class packages in the world of sport. No matter what or where the event, Sporting Club Hospitality can build experiences to suit the individual corporate client’s needs with an end-to-end itinerary which can include being entertained by celebrity guests to enjoying exclusive behind the scenes access.
“When you consider the past year, we’d like to think there’s going to be a serious hunger to get back to live events,” says Ian. “While they make for great entertainment, there’s a lot of business that goes on at our functions. We’ve been hosting events virtually, but it’s not quite the same in terms of networking opportunities, so we’re excited about giving our members the opportunity to get back together in-person.”
If you head online to The Sporting Club website, you’ll not only discover video testimonials from some of the greatest names in sport, but the sheer calibre of events, past and present, that Ian has successfully organised for his members. Two of the club’s most prestigious upcoming events include the Botham’s Ashes 40th Anniversary Dinners, taking place at Manchester’s Emirates Old Trafford on 19th August, and Leeds’ Headingley Stadium on 15th September.
Forty years on from the greatest Ashes series of all time, Ian is proud to be staging four major dinners at four of the test grounds that played their part. All the names will be present, from Sir Geoffrey Boycott to Graham Gooch, David Gower to Mike Gatting, and not least the man himself, Lord Ian Botham. With a sumptuous three course dinner and wine, footage and numerous interviews with the stars, it promises to be a sensational series of events.
On 6th October at Doncaster Racecourse, boxing legend Frank Bruno will be in conversation about how he finally became world heavyweight champion after so many near misses, the big names he fought against, and his subsequent trials and tribulations. Enjoy photos with Frank, a three course dinner, memorabilia signings and a compelling Q&A with one of the Britain’s national treasures. While on 7th October at Park Inn Hotel Northampton and 8th October at Edgbaston Stadium, join former world cruiserweight and heavyweight boxing champion of the world, David Haye as he tells his story from humble beginnings to being on top of the sporting world. Enjoy a three-course dinner, the chance to purchase signed and personalised gloves and raise money for the Children’s Air Ambulance. All functions are open to non-members; however members receive a generous discount on all of The Sporting Club’s regular events.
With membership to The Sporting Club, you can enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences with the very greatest names in the history of sport, alongside venue access, networking opportunities, exclusive blue-chip discounts and so much more – get in touch today to cement your place on the winning team.