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Ian Freeman began his working life as a theatrical agent. A career switch in the mid ‘70s into the advertising industry brought him into direct contact with movie distribution, an industry in which he

Ian Freeman began his working life as a theatrical agent. A career switch in the mid ‘70s into the advertising industry brought him into direct contact with movie distribution, an industry in which he was to spend over a decade. At CIC UK (now UIP), he held the position of Director of Publicity and Advertising and marketed successful releases such as “Saturday Night Fever”, “Grease” and “Watership Down”. Ian moved to become Deputy Director of Overseas Marketing at EMI Films in the early 1980s.

Ian entered the leisure industry in 1986, joining First Leisure Corporation PLC as Publicity Executive. As the company grew, Ian’s accountability increased and by 1995, as Group Head of Corporate Relations, he was responsible at senior level for corporate affairs, external and internal communications and liaison with national media, investors and the financial sector, as well as overall supervision of the PR activities of First Leisure’s individual venues.

Ian Freeman left First Leisure in November 1999 following the demerger and sale of its major assets. He is now a freelance journalist and communications consultant operating within the leisure industry, writing for a variety of business-to-business publications, including Leisure Management, Health Club Management, Club Mirror and The Publican.

Ian is knowledgeable on all aspects of the leisure industry, including operational, property and financial matters. He specialises in in-depth interviews with senior leisure industry figures, with a business slant and his experience and standing in the industry has helped him to enjoy unprecedented access to many of the most influential and iconic leaders in leisure.

In the course of the past few years, Ian Freeman has interviewed, for the Leisure Media group of publications, many of the industry’s best-known CEOs and MDs, including Sir Rocco Forte, David Boden (Rank Gaming), Chris Jessop (Sona), Kevin McCollum (Esporta), Alex Salussolia (Glendola Leisure), Gerald Ronson (Heron Group), Richard Segal (Odeon Cinemas), David Loewi (Conran Restaurants), Simon Woodroffe (YO! Sushi), Charlie Green (Candover Investments), Brian Morris (Aspria) and Steve Thomas (Luminar).

A confident communicator with proven skills. A successful career in the entertainment, media and leisure industries has resulted from a deep understanding of these businesses at all management and operational levels, as well as familiarity with the retail, service, chemicals and commerce sectors.

A competent organiser, with highly developed interpersonal and presentation skills and a polished and creative public speaker. Troubleshoots difficult situations clearly, concisely and swiftly. Has a good understanding of the importance of new media. Combines a winning personality with a persuasive approach and ready wit.

Specialist areas

Specialising in the business of all aspects of out-of-home leisure, sport and entertainment, and particularly interviews with senior industry figures. Also experienced in the finance sector and knowledge of the chemicals industry.


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