Entertainment guru Charles Garland joins SAZKA National Lottery advisory

Sazka Group has added Charles Garland to its advisory board that will provide support to Sir Keith Mills as part of the company’s bid for the Fourth National Lottery Licence.

The former Global CEO of Syco Entertainment and COO of 19 Entertainment will work closely with Mills to develop plans that will help the National Lottery rediscover its sense of excitement and return the institution to the forefront of British entertainment.

Working alongside other members of the advisory board, which currently includes Brent Hoberman CBE and Justin King CBE, Garland will advise the Sazka team on how to widen the lottery’s appeal to consumers and bring back 8.5 million lost players.

This will include proposals to overhaul the lottery’s marketing strategy and improve its brand engagement while ensuring a compelling customer experience across all sales channels.

Garland commented on his appointment: “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.

“But in order for this to happen, The National Lottery must have a digital-first operator with a track record of turning underperforming lotteries into cherished household brands. This is exactly what Sazka Group do – together we are working on proposals that will make the British public fall back in love with this vital institution.”

As one of Britain’s most successful figures in the entertainment industry, Garland’s wealth of expertise includes working alongside the likes of both Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller.

He has been central to the evolution of popular culture in the 21st Century. From working with Fuller turning S Club 7 into global pop superstars, to 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.

More recently, Garland has also demonstrated leadership in the charity sector by spending five years as board director of Comic Relief. Here, he was responsible for helping the organisation’s expansion into the USA raising over $100m.

Sazka Group’s UK 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.

“The National Lottery needs an operator who can better understand its players, increase participation by making the lottery fun and exciting again, and ultimately return more 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.”

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