Ben Kay MBE

Ben Kay MBE

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Adman & Former Rugby Forward

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Ben joined England’s rugby team shortly before the famous World Cup victory, and was still playing four years later when they struggled to reach the final. In presentations Ben considers the differences between the two teams – and the lessons they teach us about leadership, culture and attitude. Now at the helm of his own ad agency, and a key member of BT Sport’s Premiership team, he’s very well placed to translate on-field experience into practical business tips.


Ben Kay was a key part of the World Cup winning England rugby team. He was one of only four players to participate in both that successful campaign, and also the ill-fated attempt to defend the title four years later. He has since become a businessman and pundit.

After joining Leicester Tigers (who would go on to be England’s most successful rugby union side) Ben was recruited to the England team in time for their first World Cup under Clive Woodward. The end of an impressive run saw a famous win in the dying moments of the final. England returned to the competition four years later, this time in France, a new team. However, their first game demonstrated just how much had been lost in the intervening time and the team were roundly criticised. They struggled on, and partly because of the lack of pressure on them after such criticism, they got to the final again, but were convincingly beaten by South Africa.

Ben looks at the differences between the ‘03 and ‘07 teams - the leadership, the culture, the attitude - and highlights the lessons both bad and good. He analyses Sir Clive Woodward’s business-like approach to managing, building confidence, encouraging talent, instilling team spirit, and giving autonomy to those who know their area best.

As well as his impressive career on the pitch, Ben also established an advertising and creative agency whilst he was playing. Working with sporting and non-sporting brands, the company produces campaigns and ideas for a range of large companies. He combines his knowledge of sporting achievement and business in entertaining, insightful presentations on leadership, teamwork and original thinking.

In addition to his keynote speeches, Ben is also a warm, humorous after-dinner speaker with tales of life with the England team and from his varied career. He is also a professional and adept host, applying his TV presentation skills to awards and live events. Ben has been a regular on televised coverage of Premiership and international rugby and is a key part of BT’s new coverage of the sport.

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Ben Kay on Parallels between Sports and Business