Entertainment guru Charles Garland teams up with SAZKA Group in bid to make The National Lottery exciting again

SAZKA Group is pleased to announce Charles Garland, former Global CEO of Syco Entertainment and COO of 19 Entertainment, as the latest appointment to its advisory board providing support to Sir Keith Mills as part of the company’s bid for the Fourth National Lottery Licence.

LONDON – SAZKA Group is pleased to announce Charles Garland, former Global CEO of Syco Entertainment and COO of 19 Entertainment, as the latest appointment to its advisory board providing support to Sir Keith Mills as part of the company’s bid for the Fourth National Lottery Licence.

Working alongside other members of the advisory board, which currently includes Brent Hoberman CBE and Justin King CBE, Mr. Garland will advise the SAZKA Group team on how to appeal to consumers in the UK. This will include developments in marketing strategy and brand engagement, while ensuring that the customer experience across all sales channels is compelling from start to finish.  

One of Britain’s most successful figures in the entertainment industry, Charles Garland brings a wealth of expertise from working alongside the likes of both Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller. From working with Simon Fuller turning S Club 7 into global pop superstars, working with David and Victoria Beckham to grow 'Brand Beckham", to overseeing the rollout of X Factor and ‘Got Talent’ into two of the world’s largest syndicated television shows, Mr. Garland has been central to the evolution of popular culture in the 21st Century. In recent years, he has also demonstrated leadership in the charity sector by spending five years as board director of Comic Relief, where he was responsible for helping the organisation’s expansion into the USA raising over $100m.  

Commenting on his appointment, Charles Garland said: “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. 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.”

SAZKA Group’s U.K. Bid Chair Sir Keith Mills added: “Throughout his career, which has spanned music, sports and television, Charles has grasped the mood of the nation and kept people entertained. Lotteries need operators who can understand their players, increase participation by making the lotteries fun and exciting, and ultimately return money 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”.  

About Charles Garland

Charles Garland began his career working for BBH Advertising as Group Development Director, building the agency’s network in the USA and Asia.

After ten successful years with BBH Advertising, Charles became Chief Operating Officer of 19 Entertainment (DELETE in 1998), working closely alongside its founder, Simon Fuller, to build the company into a leading global music and multi-platform entertainment company. During his time at the company, he played a key role in the commercial expansion of S Club 7 and the global phenomenon of Pop Idol  and American Idol into over 40 countries. After 19 Entertainment was sold to CKX, Inc. in 2005, Charles founded Crystal Entertainment. Over a three year period the company successfully established itself and worked with a diverse range of brands including Microsoft, Vodafone, Universal Music and LA Fitness.

In 2010, Charles sold Crystal to Sony Music Entertainment and 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.

Since leaving the company in 2014, Charles has successfully launched Sports Rights Management, working with international sport and entertainment rights holders to unlock new revenues working with the likes of the Rolling Stones. He has also spent five years as Board Director of Comic Relief (2014-19), and was responsible for the expansion of the organisation into the USA, raising over $100 million.

About SAZKA Group

SAZKA Group is a national lottery, instant lottery and digital gaming operator, with trusted brands and industry-leading technology delivering over €17bn in annual sales. Established in 2012, SAZKA Group is already one of Europe’s largest and fastest growing lottery companies and our strong performance across our markets is helping to fund good causes in the Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, Austria, and Italy.

Since entering the lottery market in 2012, SAZKA Group has quickly expanded from the Czech Republic into four other European markets. SAZKA Group has consistently taken on established lotteries and made them better, while also expanding into new market segments through market-leading technology platforms. The Group’s unique experience of operating in different jurisdictions enables it to adopt a tailored approach to customer experience in each market, helping to increase sales and returns to good causes.

Responsible gaming and funding good causes are at the heart of SAZKA Group’s business and culture. It promotes responsible gaming in all of its markets and is committed to having a positive impact where it operates. From building children’s hospitals in Greece to support for the Czech Olympic Foundation, SAZKA Group has put its business skills to the benefit of the local community.

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