In this special edition of Synopsis, we pay tribute to Karen Earl, who is retiring as the Chairman of Synergy, 28 years after founding it as Karen Earl Ltd.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Karen Earl is among the most prominent and influential people in the UK sports industry. She set up one of the first agencies dedicated to the marketing side of sports, and, in an industry populated by rights-facing and sales-focused sponsorship agencies, Karen’s vision was ground-breaking. She created a radical alternative – building a brand-facing, consultancy-focused company that never sells sponsorships, guaranteeing brands impartial expertise. This is still the very DNA of Synergy today.
As Chairman of The European Sponsorship Association, Karen continues to advance the business of sponsorship. By giving special focus to education and training, and establishing the first ever professional qualification for sponsorship, she will be helping to drive up standards of excellence across the industry for many years to come.
Karen has also been a trail-blazer for women in the male-dominated sports industry. She became one of the first female associate members of the all-male MCC and was recognised as the Sunday Times Sports Businesswoman of the Year in 2009.
Karen will be hugely missed at Synergy. Over the past 28 years, she has built one of the most well-known and respected agencies in the industry, working with many of the world’s best brands on some of the most famous sponsorship campaigns along the way. She is a thoughtful and fair-minded model of diplomacy, and has always been dedicated to developing the best talent in the industry, inspiring them through consistent excellence and by making her agency a truly great place to work.
Check out the Synergy Pinterest board devoted to some of the most memorable work delivered by Karen and the team over the past three decades.
But we’ll leave the final words to the lady herself. On her last day in the office, we took the opportunity to speak to Karen about her time in the industry and some of her greatest experiences and memories. And of course, we got her to tell us who was the most difficult sportsperson she ever had to deal with…
By Alison Moor on May 3rd, 2012