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SAZKA brings in Charles Garland to advise on UK lottery bid

1st February 2021 10:12 am GMT
Sazka Group

European lottery operator SAZKA Group has announced the latest appointment to its advisory board with the addition of former Syco Entertainment CEO Charles Garland.

Garland will work closely with SAZKA UK bid chair Sir Keith Mills on the company’s bid for the next licence to operate the UK National Lottery.

Working alongside other members of the advisory board, which currently includes Brent Hoberman CBE and Justin King CBE, Garland will advise SAZKA’s team on how to widen The National Lottery’s appeal to consumers and bring back 8.5m lost players.

This will include proposals to overhaul The National Lottery’s marketing strategy and improve brand engagement, while enhancing the customer experience across all sales channels.

“The National Lottery was once a staple of British entertainment, but in the era of Netflix, podcasts and video games, it needs to adapt to changes in customer behaviour,” said Garland. “The challenge facing this institution is to recapture that sense of excitement that the Saturday night draw once generated, bringing back those players who we believe turned away from the lottery in favour of new and more innovative entertainment platforms.

“But in order for this to happen, The National Lottery must have a digital-first operator with a track record of turning underperforming lotteries into cherished household brands. This is exactly what SAZKA Group do - together we are working on proposals that will make the British public fall back in love with this vital institution.”

A leading figure in the UK entertainment industry, Garland began his career working for BBH Advertising as group development director, before taking over as chief operating officer of 19 Entertainment, working closely with founder Simon Fuller to bring Pop Idol and American Idol to over 40 countries.

In 2010 he was appointed global CEO of Simon Cowell and Sony Music’s joint venture, SyCo Entertainment. Replicating his success at 19 Entertainment, Charles helped the company syndicate the X-Factor and Got Talent globally, while establishing One Direction as the world’s biggest boyband.

“Throughout his career, which has spanned music, sports and television, Charles has grasped the mood of the nation and kept people entertained,” said Sir Mills. “The National Lottery needs an operator who can better understand its players, increase participation by making the lottery fun and exciting again, and ultimately return more to good causes.

“This is fundamental to our bid and Charles will be an invaluable member of the team as we strive to make it happen. I’m confident that with Charles on board, alongside other members of our expert advisory board, SAZKA Group will submit a winning bid.” 

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