My Life’s Work | Juliet Slot, Commercial Director, Ascot Racecourse
In this new weekly series, we meet a Walpole member senior executive to discover what makes them tick, how they define success, and what keeps them awake at night. This week, ahead of Royal Ascot, we meet Juliet Slot, Commercial Director, Ascot Racecourse who discusses the importance of taking a moment to enjoy successes and her own experience of riding a racehorse.
I have worked in sports marketing for 20 years, starting my career at Octagon before moving on to spend five years at Adidas International, where I held a series of marketing communications posts across Running, Brand and Women’s. After I moved back to the UK, I became Commercial Director of Fulham Football Club, overseeing all sponsorship, communications, retail and ticketing operations for five years, it was during that time I was appointed to the Board of Fulham FC – the first female in its history. I joined Ascot Racecourse as Commercial Director in November 2012 and since then commercial income has grown significantly across every channel especially hospitality, ticket sales and media which has enabled Ascot to post a profit for the first time since the re-development in 2007.
What does British luxury mean to you?
British luxury is elegance, style and timeless
What’s your vision (for the company)?
Our vision is to be the destination venue for world-class horse racing and events, the leading racecourse in Britain and one of the best racecourses in the world.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Professionally my greatest achievement is to have overseen the re-brand and establishment of our key values at Ascot which has been the driving force behind the team’s exceptional revenue growth over the past years. I am very proud to see the new logo which is the full stop of our brand programme unveiled this year at the Royal Meeting.
How do you define success?
Success is being able to look back with pride at a project, a job, a moment in time and pause for 30 seconds to feel that it was worth the hard work. It’s not about the financial return (although that’s important) but more about doing the best job you can do and being the best you can be, as often as possible.
What’s your greatest extravagance?
I bought myself a Tiffany ring after I secured a deal worth over £10m for Ascot. I wear it every day to remind me of that moment. It helps when the going gets tough!
What do you like most about your job?
The people and customers we work with are all passionate about Ascot, our experience and being the best we can be for our Patron HM The Queen
I work many weekends and with a family of three and a sports writer husband who also works weekend, this makes the juggle quite hard.
What has been your greatest regret?
There’s still time to resolve this, but I rode in a charity horse race and came last, I need to scratch that itch and at least try again. It was really disappointing after all the training and learning to ride race horses to then come last after my horse refused to start!
What’s the smartest business idea you have ever had?
The revamp of our commercial sponsorship strategy at Ascot, to create a package around official partners and suppliers has allowed us to triple our sponsorship income in four years.
What was your big break?
I think being offered my first Managing Director role by one of my wonderful mentors who I still am in touch with today. That gave me a step change in my career.
What is your guiding principle?
I always try to be the best I can be, to never ever assume anything and to be humble to learn from others.
Which living person do you most admire?
HM The Queen
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I am probably guilty of saying ‘I’m too busy’.
What keeps you awake at night?
Two things, either my team and issues they might have and how I can solve them or my targets and how I can achieve them. I’m pretty driven.
What do you most value in your friends?
I most value is the support I get even though I’m ‘a busy friend’ and not being judged for that
In a parallel life, what would you be doing?
I would have loved to be someone like Jess Ennis or an Olympic Gold Medallist – I think the discipline and hard work/reward return must be so amazing. Plus once you retire, you can have a whole new career.
What piece of advice would you give someone entering the luxury industry now?
Protect the brand, nurture it and constantly check the barometer with your customers; this is vital to long-term success. Always aim for long-term protection versus short term gain.
Find out more at Ascot.co.uk