Abu Dhabi: It’s been less than three years since Fleur Castle moved to the UAE as the IMG Middle East Director of Marketing, PR & Sponsor Servicing. It’s a venture she’s enjoying to the full not least because she can pursue her pet hobby – kitesurfing – besides handling the marketing and PR teams for some of the region’s largest, most popular and exciting sporting events and working with some of the world’s most famous sporting names.
Fleur has worked in the upcoming Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship; the recently-concluded Mubadala World Tennis Championship; the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon; and the region’s inaugural edition of the world-famous Colour Run held in Dubai. And despite its comparatively low-profile, the 28-year-old has no doubts as to which has been her favourite assignment till date.
“It has to be the Colour Run that was held in mid-December in Dubai,” Fleur told XPRESS.
“I have never worked before on a mass participation event, so seeing about 9,000 participants at the start line brought a lump to my throat. The atmosphere was just amazing. The idea was to have a 5km event of walk/run where a team of volunteers threw colours at the participants. It was such a success.”
Fleur began her career with IMG in the Licensing team, working on the Wimbledon Championships, before moving into IMG Consulting where she worked on accounts including the successful Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup bid and British Airways sponsorship of London 2012 Summer Olympics.
“It’s a completely different ball game working here from what it was in London. Back home I was a small fish in a big pond. Here I am playing a much bigger role and I am loving it,” she said.
Having grown up in the North of England, Fleur was immersed into the outdoor sports world from a young age, eventing her horses and playing hockey, tennis and netball. Nowadays, she is still a keen sportswoman and spends the majority of her time kitesurfing in Dubai.
“I picked up kitesurfing on a holiday to Sri Lanka. Have been hooked to it since then and do it at every opportunity,” she said.
So, how is it working in what is predominantly a male domain?
“I haven’t seen much of a difference being a woman, except that you have to take a bit more effort to make your voice heard,” she said.