Founder & Chief Executive
A marketing professional with a proven and quantifiable track record for sponsorship sales, particularly in motorsport, Jim Wright is a sports fan with a finely honed talent for creating mutually beneficial opportunities and making partnerships happen using strategic vision techniques.
Having started his career upon completion of a Business Studies degree, Wright moved from team management and logistics in to the commercial side of motor sport working for the fledgling ATS F1 team in 1980/81 before accepting an offer from Eddie Jordan to help grow his eponymous team.
Through the acquisition of team sponsorship and trade partnerships, Jordan was able to hire race winning drivers and move his team to the forefront of international racing below Formula 1. Wright was the driving force behind this strategy and he also worked with the ebullient Irishman on driver management, starting the Eddie Jordan Management business.
After five years with Eddie Jordan, Jim was recruited by Cellnet, then Britain’s fastest growing mobile phone network to set up and manage a strategic motor sport division of their marketing department aimed at creating awareness and commercial opportunity for Cellnet as the mobile phone market emerged in the UK. Alongside this commitment, Wright developed his own agency to service other motor sport clients including drivers, championship promoters and car constructors. This business was a great success, particularly in Japan where Wright delivered the single biggest sponsorship of the booming Japanese F3000 championship with the Promise financial services company and Reynard Racing Cars.
Wright’s exploits were noticed by Frank Williams and in 1994 Jim Wright was offered an opportunity to head up sponsorship sales for the Rothmans Williams Renault F1 team, an opportunity that he could not turn down. Having landed his first deal within 10 days of joining Frank’s team, Wright quickly emerged as a real force and within 14 months of joining Williams he was asked by Frank Williams to be the Head of Marketing & Sponsorship, a position that Wright held for the next 11 years. During this term, Williams created the Senior Management Group – a core of five key executives who reported to the shareholders, Frank Williams and Patrick Head through monthly Board meetings and Wright represented the company’s commercial interests at these meetings.
Before he left Williams in 2006, Wright was directly responsible for introducing more than 250 million dollars of commercial income to the team and he built a commercial reputation for the Williams F1 team based upon principles laid down by Frank Williams of fairness, transparency honesty and integrity. Those principles endure today, both at Williams and through the Anglo Svenska operation.
Having worked with Gerhard Berger through the BMW partnership with Williams, Wright was recruited by Berger upon his completion of the purchase of a shareholding in the Toro Rosso F1 team and Wright moved his family to Monte Carlo to begin work on this project. When Berger sold his shareholding back to Red Bull at the end of the 2008 season, Jim was asked to work on a CSR programme with Keke and Nico Rosberg which was concluded when Virgin made Wright their first commercial hire for their start up F1 team which was awarded an F1 entry in June 2009.
Starting work in July 2009, Wright created a marketing team from scratch and delivered against an ambitious target of sponsorship, mostly from companies new to the sport to ensure that the team formed up on the grid in March 2010. In addition to securing the vital third party investment, Wright was responsible for directing the creation of the look & feel of the team and working with the Virgin brand and other stakeholders such as Lloyds Development Capital in developing a commercial and marketing communications strategy and served on the Board of Virgin Racing / Marussia Virgin Racing between September 2009 and December 2011. Wright was responsible for the introduction of more than 35 million USD of sponsorship for the fledgling Formula 1 team over two seasons, a remarkable achievement for a new team with limited on-track performance.
Increasingly disillusioned with the rising costs of F1 and lack of commercial direction from the Commercial Rights Holder ( Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management ), Wright devoted time to pursuing other activities, transferring his skills to the non-profit sector by setting up a commercial structure for Jeremy Gilley’s Peace One Day organisation and mentoring others to achieve commercial goals for Peace One Day.
The creation of the FIA Formula E series for electric powertrain racing cars in 2013 proved to be of great interest to Wright who accepted an invitation from the Monaco entrepreneur Gildo Pallanca Pastor to lead the commercial aspects of his fledgling Venturi Formula E team. Wright was instrumental in convincing F1 veteran Nick Heidfeld to switch to the new racing series and Wright was able to introduce a number of partners to the team in ZF, Rohm Semiconductor, Farasis batteries as well as other companies such as Delta Auto.
As the Formula E series began to grow, the Teams formed a representative group ( Formula E Teams Association – FETA ) and from 2014, the Teams elected Jim Wright to serve as Secretariat working with an elected Chairman in rotation, a position that he holds to date.
The Mahindra Formula E Team recruited Wright from Venturi in 2016 as their Chief Commercial Officer, a position that he holds to date alongside his role in the Teams & Manufacturers Association. Wright has been able to add a number of partners to the Mahindra commercial portfolio and he has also supported Team Principal Dilbagh Gill in all commercial matters relating to Generation 2 hardware, powertrain suppliers etc.
Anglo Svenska’s mission is to create value for its clients through the creation of long term strategic commercial partnerships that deliver mutual value to the rights holder and the brand. These partnerships are achieved through understanding objectives and using experience and original thinking to arrive at solutions that work for partners and rights holders.
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