Benchmark was founded on a simple concept.
The power of togetherness.
Whether you’re an athlete, a company, or an entire community, you achieve so much more when you share a common purpose. That’s why our mission is to
unleash the power of networks and communities - investing in people, technology and ideas that deliver experiences, connections and social impact.
Our founder, Nick Keller, has always believed that the team environment gives people and businesses their best opportunities to evolve and excel. Shaped by his own career in the sporting industry, Nick sees in sport a unique vehicle to harness motivation, dedication, ambition and progression. It also provides a community – a network of people driven by purpose and the desire to succeed.
CEO Benchmark & Founder, Beyond Sport Foundation
Nick is the founder and CEO of Benchmark, a group of sports-related companies that invest in the value of togetherness. It is now more than two decades since Nick first recognised the power of sport to create connections, share experiences and change lives.
Since then, he has gone on to build a series of ground-breaking events, networks and communities, which bring people, businesses and society together. Today Benchmark is seen as a leader in its field: a group of organisations that inspire positive change and deliver social, emotional and commercial value to every stakeholder, organisation and investor involved.
Nick began by launching the Sport Industry Group in 2000. Today it is the UK sport industry’s foremost networking organisation. He followed this in 2007 with London’s first-ever Square Mile Relay, a race series that now spans the world and 15 years on is still headlined by the inaugural partner, Bloomberg.
In 2008, increasingly convinced of sport’s universal power to do good and tackle some of the most complex issues of our time, Nick founded the global foundation Beyond Sport. It soon enjoyed the backing of some of the world’s most influential leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Patron) Richard Branson and Tony Blair (Chair), some of sport’s most powerful franchises such as MLB, NBA, WNBA, NFL, NHL, and MLS, and brands like Barclays, Dick’s Sporting Goods, ESPN and WWE. Today the organisation is the global force for sustainable social change through sport and has granted nearly $5m in funds and $10m in capacity building to over 450 organisations around the world.
In 2014 Beyond Sport was the catalyst for the launch of thinkBeyond, which has since grown into one of the world’s leading sport and social impact agencies, advising some of the world’s biggest rights holders, teams, brands, sponsors and talent, including Bloomberg, SAP, Manchester United, Disney, Unilever, IOC, Mayor of London, NFL, North Face and Olympic legend Michael Johnson.
With the rise of esports, the world’s fastest growing grassroots ‘sport’, Benchmark signed a long term partnership with British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS). Five years in, NSE (National Student Esports) has a community of 30,000 students from 100 UK universities who compete in over 1,000 matches a week. NSE enjoys long-term partnerships with Intel, Barclays, Monster Energy and PCSpecialist, and works with major publishers including Nintendo, Riot Games, and Ubisoft.
Even during the pandemic Benchmark continued to boost its reputation as an innovator, adding the Bloomberg Square Mile Virtual Club, Sport Podcast Group, think Beyond Studios and The Defiance Projects to its roster.