Leading UK motorsport communication and sponsorship agency, MPA Creative (MPA) is delighted to announce the arrival of two new directors to its Management Team effective immediately. As part of these developments, MPA Creative and its commercial sponsorship business MPA Commercial will be unified under a common management structure.
Darryl Eales, the former CEO of LDC for 11 years, the leading mid-market private equity house and current owner of Oxford United Football Club, Alycidon Technologies and Debrett’s joins MPA as Chairman. Darryl brings a wealth of senior executive experience to the business, together with a huge network of contacts from 25 years in the private equity and sporting worlds.
Joining Darryl will be two-time IndyCar Champion (2000 & 2001) and 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, as a Board Director. Gil’s experience and expertise both in and out of the cockpit provides MPA with unrivalled credibility and over 25 years of top flight motor racing expertise to fuel our further growth, particularly in North America.
Darryl and Gil will join fellow directors Deborah Tee (Chief Executive Officer), Daniel Bailey (Chief Commercial Officer) and Ian Burrows (Chief Operating Officer) on the company’s Management Board
As part of the management transition process, MPA’s ‘founding father’ Jonathan Gill has taken this opportunity to reduce his day-to-day responsibilities, while firmly remaining part of the MPA family. Jonathan will continue to oversee our classic motorsport and rallying activity in a consultancy capacity.
Deborah Tee, CEO of the newly merged businesses commented on the changes, saying:
‘It is a very exciting time for MPA. I am very proud to have built a business with Jonathan and our team that business leaders like Darryl & Gil want to join and help grow. Their experience and expertise will be invaluable in developing both our internal processes and the scope of our external client delivery worldwide.
‘With a great team, great clients and fantastic new Board colleagues, I cannot wait to begin the next exciting chapter in MPA’s 30-plus year history.’
As the newly appointed Chairman of the MPA Management Board, Darryl Eales commented:
‘I am delighted and proud to be joining the team at MPA. I have worked with Deborah and her team for many years and have always admired the standards they set. We share many similiar values in terms of exceeding client expectations and nurturing and rewarding talent, while remembering that business should retain a sense of fun.’
On joining the Management Board, Gil de Ferran said:
‘I have worked closely with Deborah and MPA since my racing days; joining Darryl on MPA’s Board formalises an already long-standing relationship. It is a big honour for me to join the team and bring my experience from the race track and the boardroom to deliver great results for MPA and our clients.’
Jonathan Gill, one of the original MPA founders who will be scaling back his Board responsibilities, added:
‘The history of MPA stretches back over 30 years; it has been an incredible journey, one that I am privileged to have been a part of. I am really proud of what we have achieved to date and I have every confidence that Darryl and Gil’s arrival will be pivotal in driving MPA to flourish in the future.’
MPA Creative Founded in 1984 by Jonathan Gill and Jeremy Clarkson as Motoring Press Agency (MPA). Deborah joined the senior management team in 1995 with a focus on building business within motorsport. The company remained focused on the automotive and motorsport sectors, expanding its skills base to provide a broad suite of agency services spanning media, communications, content production and delivery, event management and marketing collateral design & production. MPA was acquired by John Brown Publishing in early 2007. In late 2008, Deborah and Jonathan formed MPA Creative Limited, to provide motorsport media, PR, communications and event management services. In 2015, MPA Commercial was founded as a ‘sister’ agency to MPA Creative, with the arrival of former Haymarket Motorsport Director Ian Burrows and former IMG and MSV business development manager Daniel Bailey. The company’s clients include Honda UK, the British Touring Car Championship, IMG, Dell EMC, Deutsche Bank, the Motor Sports Association, Motorsport Network, Hackett London, OCTO Telematics, Dayinsure, Prestone, TW Steel, DJI and Regus.
Darryl Eales, Chairman
Darryl has over 25 years’ experience of running, investing in and advising entrepreneurial and private equity-backed businesses.
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, Darryl moved into the direct investment arena at private equity house, LDC. He joined the Board in 1995 and became Chief Executive in 2003. Over his 11-year tenure as CEO, LDC grew significantly to become the UK leader in mid-market private equity and invested over £2.6 billion in more than 150 businesses.
Since 2014, Darryl has focussed on direct investment and presently owns Oxford United Football Club, specialist engineering group Alycidon Capital and Debrett’s, as well as being Chairman/shareholder in a variety of private businesses, including property development, sports car refurbishment, tyre replacement, online sportswear and, of course, MPA.
Darryl has a wide variety of interests, including promoting entrepreneurship and the importance of business more generally. He is Chairman of E2Exchange and a trustee of Walking with the Wounded. Darryl also has a passion for sport, especially football and motor racing. From 2010-2012, he was Chairman of Marussia F1 Team. He is a keen historian, enjoys travel and collects wine.
Gil de Ferran, Director
Gil applies a highly analytical and structured thought process to all his activities inside and outside of the cockpit. This approach has enabled him to make a smooth transition from highly successful driver to highly successful team owner and business leader.
On the track, Gil’s career highlights include Indianapolis 500 winner (2003); Indycar World Series Champion (2000 & 2001), World Closed Course Speed Record Holder (241.428 mph) and British Formula 3 Champion (1992). Outside of the cockpit, Gil’s senior management roles include Sporting Director: Honda Formula (2005-07), Founder and Sporting Director of de Ferran Motorsports, finishing second in the American Le Mans Series (2008-09) and Co-Founder of the de Ferran Dragon Racing Indycar Team (2010).
Gil continues to be very active in the world of motorsport, providing consultancy and advisory services to sponsors, manufacturers, teams and media broadcasters including UBS, Circuit of The Americas, Honda, Philip Morris, Wirth Research, ABC and ESPN. Most recently, he acted as Fernando Alonso’s mentor for the Spaniard’s 2017 Indy 500 challenge.
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Gil is well-known throughout the racing world and brings an unrivalled network of business and sporting expertise, experience and personal contacts to MPA.