Brand ID’s new Dunslaz division brand manager, Jon Haughton (ex Gauteng Central player), is very familiar with Dunlop and Slazenger from his days handling the sponsorships and organising tournaments. He takes over from Steve Gallienne, who has moved to the UK to head up the Karakal brand.
For the past four years, Haughton had been Account Manager in charge of the Dunlop sponsorship account at The BLD Group, which consults to Brand ID, and for three years he also headed his own company that ran Slazenger tournaments. “The account gave me invaluable experience on both the local and international front and I received the opportunity to work with some unbelievable brands and at some incredible events. In 2015 I took on the Slazenger Account as a personal project out of passion and love of the brand.”
Haughton has worked with Gallienne since 2012, when he started on the Dunlop account, and considers him to be the ultimate role model. “I wish that I could have spent at least another year learning from Steve as he is a legend in the industry. To say that I have some big shoes to fill is an understatement. I am confident in my takeover and whilst I have come to terms with the fact that my new role is going to take some time to adjust to, I have some great support at Brand ID and I cannot wait to leave my mark on the multiple brands in my division.”
He has a rich history in sport, having played multiple sports at school level and beyond – including cricket, soccer, tennis, golf and hockey – and going on to coach after school. He was chosen to represent his province in tennis from grade 8 to 12 as well as in hockey at U21 level. While at school he also developed a love for golf, which grew from playing socially after school to being a passion and much enjoyed past time.
He enrolled at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) with the intention of studying accounting, but his heart remembered its love of sport in his second year: “I was given the opportunity to work at the SA Open held at Montecasino,” says Haughton. “After a week of working in a sports environment with ATP professional tennis players (a title I had always aspired to) I decided to change my choice of degree to BCom Sports Management.”
While at UJ he also captained and participated in the tennis program and was a member of the university’s hockey teams.
Haughton joined The BLD Group (a sponsorship, media and PR company) in a part time capacity while he was still studying. It was at this time that he started to work intimately with Dunlop as its sponsorship account manager. “My time and involvement with The BLD Group was invaluable and very enjoyable as it allowed me enough time and flexibility to complete my studies as well as to develop my other passion in life: coaching the sports that I love.”
Over the years he has coached a variety of sports (cricket, tennis and hockey), but hockey grabbed his attention the most, “whether it was training, coaching or playing. I think this played a big role in my decision to specialise in the sporting industry.”
The year after finishing his studies, he opened his own coaching business, through which he has organised hockey tournaments for Slazenger hockey. At the time the brand wasn’t part of his consulting work at The BLD Group, but because he has a passion and belief in the brand he was given the opportunity. “I have taken on the development, growth and exposure of Slazenger hockey as my own personal mission and I have an incredible amount of passion for the brand.”
Towards the end of 2016 Haughton resigned from The BLD Group, with the intention of going abroad. Galliene, however, approached him to take on the position at Brand ID. “It came as quite a shock when Steve contacted me,” he says.
With such passion and interest in the sports and brands, it’s not difficult to see why Gallienne thinks he is the right man for the job.
source credit: Sports Trader