Commercial Director

Sail Training International
PO12 1AH, Gosport
16 Feb 2018
16 Mar 2018
Contract Type
Full Time


Commercial lead for a unique organisation with international reach

Sail Training International is a registered charity established to develop and educate young people through the sail training experience. Through its subsidiary, Tall Ships Races International, it organises the world famous Tall Ships Races and Regattas.

More information about the Tall Ships Races and Regattas can be seen on our public facing website


We are looking for an experienced and motivated individual to work for our trading subsidiary, Tall Ships Races International. The successful applicant will have the skills and experience necessary to make a significant contribution to the ongoing success of a unique organisation. The position is full time and based at our modern offices in Gosport Marina, Hampshire, UK.

You will be a key member of the senior management team, with responsibility for commercial activities relating to the Tall Ships Races and Regattas and the wider activities of the charity and its stakeholders. Commercial and marketing insight together with a strong sales/customer service orientation are essential.  You will have a proven track record of success in building and developing board level relationships with clients, partners, suppliers and other external stakeholders.


The Commercial Director will report to the Chief Executive and will work closely with a team which includes a Commercial Assistant, Head of Marketing, Digital Marketing and Communications Manager, and a Digital Marketing Assistant. The post holder will also work closely with all other members of the small office team.

To succeed in this role it will be essential to establish and develop good working relationships with host cities and their appointed agencies, national sail training organisations, vessel operators, sponsors and the boards of directors of the organisation’s subsidiary trading companies.


Relationship management: The Commercial Director plays a leading role in developing and nurturing relationships with existing and potential host cities for The Tall Ships Races & Regattas. Host city contracts are the foundation of the organisation’s funding model and the successful applicant will proactively drive the full client lifecycle, working closely with internal and external stakeholders.

Host city acquisition: Research potential host city partners, make cold approaches, sell in the concept, deliver sales presentations, handle objections and close agreements. For events with a formal bid process, plan and execute the bid process, working to a publicised timeline.

Commercial contracts: Manage the contracting process with host cities and other commercial partners. Use your experience and negotiating skills to achieve successful outcomes.

Event delivery: Work with host cities, participating vessels, national sail training organisations, agencies and sponsors to ensure event success and stakeholder satisfaction. Attend planning meetings, provide ongoing support and best practice advice. Provide on-site support during events. Contribute to the annual sail training and tall ships conference programme. Plan and oversee delivery of the annual Host Port Seminar.

Support for sail training: Leverage commercial partnerships in support of the charity’s objectives: Work with all parties to ensure events support the charity’s objectives, using the levers and resources available. Engage with host cities, vessel operators and national sail training associations to devise initiatives which increase the number of young people having a sail training adventure.

Marketing & brand management: Work with the Head of Marketing to devise and implement strategies to build the organisation’s brand identity, grow awareness and market share. Reach out to nominating and funding organisations to support the activity of sail training. Inspire young people to go sailing training and take part in future Tall Ships Races and Regattas.


  • Outstanding interpersonal skills
  • Confident public speaker and presenter
  • Proven sales and account management experience at board level
  • Contract negotiation
  • Line management and leadership experience
  • Budget setting and financial management
  • Knowledge of marketing principles, practice and techniques 
  • Project management
  • Data analysis
  • Ability to work with stakeholders and volunteers whose first language is not English
  • Experience of working in an international context
  • Understanding of regional business cultures
  • Fluent written and spoken English
  • Proficient computer skills (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint)


Experience of working on large international events

Experience of sponsorship sales and rights activation programmes

Good command of a second major language

Knowledge or experience of sail training


Working as part of a small team demands an individual with a broad skill-set and willingness to tackle a wide variety of tasks as needs dictate. You have the ability to contribute to a positive, collaborative and mutually supportive team environment in the office.

You have the interpersonal skills to effectively work with STIs wider international stakeholder group including young people, volunteers, host cities, vessel operators and sponsors.

You are a motivating and inspiring leader who actively encourages creativity and innovation and have the ability to work under your own initiative, multi-task and organise yourself in a dynamic work environment.

You will be flexible enough to not only contribute to the strategic focus of the Commercial Department and give strong input to the marketing team, but also play a hands-on role whilst working with host cities in delivering Races and Regattas.

You have empathy for Sail Training International’s charitable objectives of supporting the development of young people through the sail training experience regardless of culture, nationality, gender or religion.

You are willing to undertake regular overseas travel (typically 60+ nights per year) including extended periods associated with the delivery of our events.


£53,000 per annum + contributory pension scheme + private health insurance

Sail Training International is committed to investing in employee career development and performance reviews and ongoing training are central to this.


Please apply online with your CV and a covering letter giving examples of your relevant skills and current salary (if applicable).

First interviews to be held on 26, 27 or 28 March. Second Interviews on 4 or 5 April.

Application Deadline: 9am, Monday 19 March

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