Andrew Edward Anson OBE (born 1964/1965[1]) is a British businessman primarily known for his work in the sports and media industries.[2] He is the CEO of the British Olympic Association and chairman of Lancashire Cricket Club. Prior to joining, Anson was president of Fanatics International (formerly Kitbag), where he spent five-and-a-half years.

Early lifeEdit

The son of a bank manager, Anson was born at the Boundary Park Hospital in Oldham, Lancashire, and grew up in nearby Rochdale.[1] He began playing football at a young age and, despite being a fan of Manchester United, played for Manchester City's schoolboys team after being spotted in a game for the Oulder Hill School team.[1] He did not pursue football as a professional career and earned a place at Exeter College, Oxford, where he attained a second-class degree in mathematics, even sharing a tutorial with child genius Ruth Lawrence at one stage.[1] He continued to play football at university, however, and eventually earned his Blue.[1]


After leaving Oxford, Anson returned to the north-west of England to work for Andersen Consulting, where he represented various clients, including North West Water.[1] However, in the early 1990s, he left Andersen to enrol on a Master of Business Administration (MBA) course at INSEAD in Fontainebleau.[1] To cope with the costs of attending INSEAD, Anson returned to consulting at the end of the course, working for the Kalchas Group.[1] However, he was soon headhunted by The Walt Disney Company, and he moved to Los Angeles for three-and-a-half years, working for Disney's consumer products division. In this capacity, he was responsible for the licensing of all clothes and toys for the company. During Anson's time in the consumer products division, the company generated $7 billion in revenue, and he was promoted to the position of chief financial officer.[1]

At the end of his time with Disney, Anson returned to the UK, where he took a position as Channel 4's Head of Strategic Planning. He later became the managing director of Channel 4 Interactive.[3] While at Channel 4, Anson was heavily involved in the launch of its sister channel, E4.[1] In 2002, Anson left Channel 4 to work at the London office of management consulting firm, OC&C Strategy Consultants, becoming a partner in the company, responsible for Media and Entertainment.[1]

Anson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2022 New Year Honours for services to sport, particularly during Covid-19.[4]

Manchester UnitedEdit

In 2003, Anson was approached by his childhood football club, Manchester United, to become their new Commercial Director in the wake of David Gill's promotion to chief executive, after Peter Kenyon departed to Chelsea.[1] The appointment was confirmed in December 2003,[3] and Anson started work in February 2004.[1] While at Manchester United, he was responsible for signing the club's then-record shirt sponsorship deal with AIG.[5]

Association of Tennis ProfessionalsEdit

In March 2007, Anson became the new chief executive of the Association of Tennis Professionals in Europe (ATP Europe), replacing the outgoing Horst Klosterkemper.[citation needed] He remained in the role for two-and-a-half years. He also served as chairman of the ATP Finals at The O2 Arena in London and co-CEO of the ATP Champions Tour, a tournament for former professional players.

England 2018Edit

In 2008, Anson was named as the chief executive of England 2018 Ltd, the company behind The Football Association's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[6] He began work in his new position on 1 January 2009[7] and remained in the position until the company dissolved in 2011 following the unsuccessful bid results.[8] The England 2018 bid received recognition as the best all round technical bid[9] However, England lost out to Russia in a process beset by corruption, leading to Anson criticising FIFA president Sepp Blatter for influencing the members of the committee that voted on the World Cup hosts against the English bid.[10]

Fanatics International (formerly Kitbag)Edit

After a short break, in the summer of 2011, Anson was appointed chief executive of sports retailer Kitbag.[11] In February 2016, following the successful turnaround of Kitbag, Anson oversaw the sale of the business to US market leader Fanatics.[12] He remained with the business for 12 months ensuring the successful transition.[13]


On 1 March 2017, Anson was appointed global president of Teneo Sports, the sports arm of New York-based international C-suite advisory firm and investment banking platform Teneo.[citation needed]

Goals Soccer Centres plcEdit

April 2018 saw Andy appointed as CEO of Goals Soccer Centres plc

Non-executive directorshipsEdit

Anson has also served as a non-executive director of Belfast-based UTV Media, the British Olympic Association and the Racecourse Media Group.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Andy lines up new love match". Manchester Evening News. M.E.N. Media. 5 December 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  2. ^ "Lancashire chairman Andy Anson interview: Digital rights in county cricket | The Cricketer".
  3. ^ a b "Appointment of Commercial Director". Communications Office. Manchester United. 22 December 2003. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  4. ^ "No. 63571". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 2022. p. N10.
  5. ^ "Man Utd sign £56m AIG shirt deal". BBC News. 6 April 2006. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  6. ^ "FA appoints 2018 bid team members". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 6 January 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  7. ^ "Andy Anson, ATP CEO Europe, To Leave Position" (PDF). London: Association of Tennis Professionals. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  8. ^ "England miss out to Russia in 2018 World Cup vote". BBC Sport. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  9. ^ Gibson, Owen (16 November 2010). "England's 2018 World Cup bid to get lift from Fifa technical reports". The Guardian.
  10. ^ "Sepp Blatter calls England bid team 'bad losers'". BBC Sport. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  11. ^ "World Cup bid supremo is new Kitbag chief executive". Manchester: Manchester Evening News. 28 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  12. ^ Roue, Lucy (2 February 2016). "US market leader buys Kitbag". Manchester Evening News.
  13. ^ Begum, Shelina (13 April 2016). "Kitbag owner reveals new look". Manchester Evening News.