A HIGH-flying marketing specialist has joined the senior management team at Basingstoke Town Football Club.

Simon Hood, whose day job is head of marketing at Basing View-headquartered relocation specialist, HCR, is to lend his skills to promote The Dragons. He will do this in a new role as the club’s head of marketing.

Simon, who was named Young Business Person of the Year at the INSPIRE13 Business Awards, held at The Hampshire Court Hotel last November, will work with the club’s board of directors to raise Basingstoke Town FC’s profile locally and seek out new commercial opportunities for the club.

Delighted to welcome Simon to the club, Town FC chairman Rafi Razzak said: “Simon is a very high-calibre individual who brings youthful enthusiasm to our set-up. I am sure he will raise the profile of our club and increase commercial activity.”

For Simon, who earlier this year was appointed chairman of the Hampshire branch of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, this is not the first foray into the world of football – he is currently part of the Dons Trust for league two football club AFC Wimbledon.

“I’m very excited about working with Basingstoke Town FC, and I’m looking forward to helping the club to think in a more commercial way,” said Simon.

“It’s a challenge because sport is too much of a game to be a business, and too much of a business to be a game.

“Over the months, we aim to make some changes, introducing new marketing elements into the club that will help Basingstoke Town FC increase its revenue during the 2014-2015 season.

“Without doubt, our key objective is to create a club that is self-sufficient and at the heart of this community. Of course, it will take time and a lot of hard work, but the potential is definitely there.

“I’m looking forward to working with local people to make this club one that they will quite rightly be incredibly proud of.”