‘WE EVEN SOLD BARRY’S X-RAYS TO THE DAILY MAIL’
MARKETING SHEENE Behind every great motorcycle racer is a great PR man. Andrew Marriott was Barry Sheene’s PR man and was responsible for bagging his man big money and some big headlines Continued over
Few celebrities have been less in need of a marketing man than Barry Sheene. His natural flair for publicity, his irresistible charm and his canny way of working the media to his own advantage meant there was little need for outside help. But from 1975 right through to the end of his career in 1984, Sheene hired Andrew Marriott to be his marketing and promotions man. It was a PR marriage made in heaven.
MCN tracked down the effervescent Marriott to find out what made Sheene every PR mogul’s dream.
MCN: When did you first get involved with Barry?
Andrew Marriott: Back in 1975 because I was one of the founding directors of a sports marketing company called CSS Promotions Ltd. We managed various people including Stirling Moss, Mike Hailwood and James Hunt.
James was great friends with Barry so he recommended us and I immediately got on well with Barry, so it all worked out nicely.
It was great in 1976 because they were both world champions that year – Hunt in F1 and Barry on the 500. We managed to do deals with Texaco and other companies for them both. We were responsible for most of the sponsors on Barry’s bike – and we sorted the Akai deal out when he moved to Yamaha in 1980 too.
We also did the Faberge deal, which was obviously famous for the Brut 33 television adverts that Barry did with Henry Cooper. Barry always managed the sporting side of things so we didn’t get involved in his contracts with Suzuki or any of that side. He did that himself because he was a bloody good negotiator.