Sidcup business looking forward after year to remember
PUBLISHED: 17:00 28 December 2012
Counting Coca-Cola, RBS and adidas among its customers, Sidcup-based Icon, which produces event branding and merchandise, played a key role in the Thames Jubilee Pageant before becoming the supplier of Olympic paraphernalia for the biggest event in recent British history.
Banners on the streets, the signs and wrapping around the stadiums – you name it, Icon produced it.
In the 40 years since it was established in Maidstone Road, life has never been quite so exciting, or busy, for staff.
Barnehurst-born marketing director Andrew Hodson, who started at the company 30 years ago as a sales executive, said: “It was a mammoth task but it was amazing to be involved with such an iconic event. We sub-contracted some work to other companies but we were responsible for all the quality control.
“We produced around 16,000 banners and flags nationwide for the Olympics. We had 500 people working for us up and down the country during the Olympics. I bet a lot of your readers think ‘wow’ when they see stadiums filled with colour but never know who is responsible for that. Well, now you do. If it’s a major sporting event, the chances are we’ll have been involved.”
Icon is also responsible for the branding for football’s European Championships, World Cup and Wimbledon, as well as all major golfing and cricket events. About 70 per cent of its output is sports related.
This is alongside a range of commercial events, from pop stars Take That’s record-breaking tour last year and Qatar’s national day of celebration.
Andrew said: “We have been trying to widen the net and our commercial and cultural projects are expanding.
“Sidcup is a crucial hub. All of the stadium branding for the Champions League is done here and it’s extraordinary to think so many big events look so good because of us. There’s always something to keep you busy here.”
Richard Dale owns Movie Experience International, a subsidiary which was bought by Icon in 2008 and controls event production. It was tasked with overseeing the launch of the Team GB Olympic kit.
“It’s the first time that someone has been allowed to do a commercial event inside the walls of the Tower of London,” he says. “This year has been a great experience- tough because we’ve been dealing with a lot of different clients, but unforgettable. “Thankfully there hasn’t been a post-Olympic slump as we’ve got a lot going on at the moment.”
Icon was taken over by Chime Communications last year, a public relations group made up of four divisions, 50 agencies and more than 1,200 employees across the world.
Andrew said: “There might not be any Olympics next year but 2013 is definitely not going to be quiet.”
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