Three years on, Waud shares his business growth story at the helm of City Sports Management, and how London Beach Rugby has taken the capital’s corporates by storm.
Myles Waud grew up in an entrepreneurial family, with his father running his own facilities management company and his brother running a successful wine company.
Empowered by the entrepreneurialism in his blood, Waud backed his business idea to bring beach rugby to the corporate world with his sports events company, City Sports Management at the tail end of the recession.
The inaugural event under CSM, London Beach Rugby, saw Waud bringing in 240 tonnes of sand into the heart of the city for a five-a-side beach rugby tournament.
The event has since more than doubled in size and is now in its fourth year in Finsbury Square. Backed by the likes of Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, Doom Bar, Freshfields, BMW and Ernst & Young, London Beach Rugby allows Waud to give back to the community in way of charity. In previous years, the event was affiliated with Help for Heroes and this year, it will be raising money for London Air Ambulance.
With the London Beach Rugby only a short month away (Friday 29th July and Saturday 30th July 2016), we caught up with Myles Waud to hear what’s next for his business.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I saw a beach rugby event in South France whilst on holiday and it gave me an idea to bring it to London, commercialise it and include corporates. I had seen the beach rugby theme work on beaches across Europe. Then in terms of getting sand into central London and attracting corporate influence I had to seek advice from some contacts in senior positions
How did you raise funding, and why?
I raised funding through selling some shares I had in another business. I also approached three other small investors to be able to pay myself in year one.
Describe your business model in brief
The business model is to create company owned innovative events, where we own the rights for every aspect, allowing full control and the ability to maximise revenue streams. As a result of this we are also able to advise clients on how to gain sponsorship. Likewise for brands we can advise on how to spend their sponsorship budget. The idea is to have a lean working group who are well respected in the industry and driven to win new business.
What was your first big milestone and when did you cross it?
Completing the first event which was London Beach Rugby in Covent Garden in August 2013. It was a great success and was the launch pad to creating City Sports Management Ltd. This event caught the attention of a number of people and we won some new business off the back of it.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Have a vision and do your research. If you believe in the idea and can work out the right strategy to cover initial overheads then nothing should stop you.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
I want to be running a series of Beach Rugby tournaments in global city centres, and I want to have created at least two more successful large scale events (plenty of ideas in the pipeline). In addition we would like to have at least two retainable clients, managing their sponsorship budgets.
If you weren’t an entrepreneur, you would be…
I have a keen interest in Property investment, both commercial and private residential. So I could see myself trying my hand at some development projects. I bought a flat in 2012 with my brother and we had it redeveloped and now rent it out, so I think I have the bug!
What is your philosophy on business or life, in a nutshell?
You must enjoy what you do and be happy. If you are happy in what you do, you are more likely to be highly motivated and successful.