Appen met Toan Ravenscroft, Managing Director van M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment

29-01-2024 (11:09) - Appen met

Toan Ravenscroft vierde afgelopen december zijn 10 jaar bij M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, waarvan nu het vijfde jaar als Managing Director bij de Amsterdam hub. We spraken hem over de weg daar naartoe, de team spirit binnen de agency en wat er de komende tijd staat te gebeuren bij M&C Saatchi.



Good morning Toan! This is Maartje (Fonk magazine)
How are you this Friday? Do you have any good plans for the upcoming weekend?

I’m doing good. Can’t believe January has flown by already. No major plans - I’m keen to try the new restaurant Trees on Zeedijk, will squeeze in the gym and then family time mainly with our daughter! You?

Fun! I'm moving this weekend, so that will be quite a challenge in Amsterdam

Exciting times! Succes!

Sounds like good plans to relax a bit from the past few months - what were your biggest achievements in 2023?

That’s a great question! We are always so focussed on the future and everything we want to do next that it’s good to reflect on how far we have come.
Biggest achievements were: Definitely building a brilliant team, seeing them grow and develop here - I love the group of hungry, passions experts we have and the culture we are building.

From a client perspective we won some great new work such as UEFA EURO 2024 creative campaigns and for fascinating businesses like Catawiki, and we delivered some brilliant work across our existing clients like Heineken, SkyShowtime, Shimano and I am especially proud of the work we did for the Gates Foundation around polio eradication working with PSG and esports influencers. Something we did not expect to be doing but it’s amazing how agency life can give great opportunities.

And overall, 4 years done here in this beautiful city of Amsterdam, delivering great work, growing and trying to keep pushing creatively everyday.

Sorry that was a long one, haha 

That's a good sign, a long list of achievements!
That's a beautiful list, could you share a bit about your team spirit and how you are working together on those projects as a (growing) team?

Sure. As an agency we connect brands to consumers through the things people love, making them culturally relevant through passions.
So, it’s essential that our people live and breathe the passions sectors and are curious about new ones.

Our team has a really creative-led approach and a nothing is impossible mindset.
This is underpinned by connectivity across UK and Europe to provide specialist thinking and for us to be able to offer clients truly bespoke teams and solutions that work to their needs
We have put a lot of work into the team spirit and approach we take and this helps us really grow and deliver at pace. Energy and enthusiasm are really powerful forces and we see that every day.

How is your team spirit and Amsterdam agency's culture influenced by the city's culture?

Firstly, just to say what a privilege it is to be in Amsterdam and to have made this my home!

As an agency working across global, European, Dutch & Benelux briefs, we always wanted and needed to reflect the amazing culture of the city we all live in.
From an expat like me who fell in love with so many things here to team members who have lived here their whole life and have established communities to those who have just arrived.

That diversity of thought and different perspectives really helps us to unlock Amsterdam’s culture in different ways - and feels a reflection of the way Amsterdam is as a city; amazingly international but also hyper tapped into the subcultures that come together to make the city.

As an example, when we worked on Red Bull Unlocked to celebrate Amsterdam’s nightlife, we were really able to tap into this creatively.

And of course, we want everyone to live and breathe the culture fully so we make sure we do that and have some fun!

There are definitely all kinds of different things going on here everyday. What led you to Amsterdam personally and how did you end up at M&C Saatchi?

Initially, we had the opportunity to move here as a family via my wife’s work post-Brexit.
We had lived in London for 13 years, had a young daughter and we were looking for a new step - and Amsterdam came up and it felt perfect. And so it has proved to be. I owe the city a lot that and it’s been a brilliant fit for us.

I had been at M&C Saatchi for 5 years at that point, and whilst there was no M&C Saatchi Group business in Amsterdam, we felt there could be an opportunity here.

So we built a plan, we opened in 2019 with some great founding clients in Heineken and Reebok, we established ourselves, won more clients, added team and grew the business organically here. And as we enter Year 5 we are going to focus even more here and see how we can play as one across Europe to be a truly connected creative leader.
*and I joined M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment in London in 2013

Wauw! How do you think you've grown with M&C Saatchi since starting here?

It’s been such a big part of my life. 10 years last December. A quarter of my life. I’ve learnt so much from truly the best in the business. I’ve experienced what it is like to run big global campaigns in sectors I’m hugely passionate about and to work across all marketing disciplines. I’ve had the chance to work on the best brands, across the biggest sport & entertainment moments. I’ve had the chance to be an entrepreneur and open an office. I’ve grown immeasurably and still am, it’s been a privilege and I have made some life long friends and had a lot of fun too (which is important!)

There’s a magic about working in an M&C Saatchi agency and in a truly entrepreneurial way - and it’s powerful

What a journey, and definitely important to have fun too
What are some of your wishes and hopes for 2024 - for the agency and your personal life?

2024 is a really exciting one for us as an agency. 5 years is a great moment to push ourselves - and we will have some new announcements about the unique agency approach we are taking in passions and how we can provide seamless cross-discipline solutions across Europe for clients to deliver value for them and to grow in an ever more competitive landscape. We want to be known as the experts in the passions space – using the things people love, from sport to music, film & tv to gaming and all the niche cultures in between – to help brands. We can help make brands relevant here and we think that’s very powerful.

Personally, I turn 40 this summer and it’s been a moment of reflection. I am now feeling more energised than ever, and I am seizing the moment to truly do and be the best person I can be. And that feels exciting!

Exciting moments! Is there an expansion in Europe on the horizon for M&C Saatchi this year?

As the M&C Saatchi Group we have a really clear strategy as a creative solutions company with key specialisms across key geographical hubs to help clients navigate, create and lead meaningful change.

Passions is one of the focus specialisms - and Europe is one of the focus hubs.

We are now connected as one across the existing European locations - Amsterdam, Berlin, Geneva, Madrid, Milan, Stockholm - something that is really powerful as it allows us to seamlessly cherry pick the best agency expertise and to have the right footprint for clients. Further expansion will always be considered and a part of that ongoing plan to service clients in the best way as we continue to evolve.

Curious to see how this will evolve in 2024 - thank you very much for your time and insights Toan!

Loved this format. Great to talk! Dank je wel! Fijn weekend

Jij ook een fijn weekend!