John Dolan shares his meaning of life Article icon


What was your childhood ambition?

My father always said to do something you enjoy for living, so I decided to go after my favourite sport at the age of 18 and see if I could make a living from working in it.

How did you get into corporate communications?

I got into sport first – as a recreational player but my entire family took part. Tennis is one of the few truly gender neutral sports out there. I started off writing for local newspapers while in university as well as running tennis events nationally. An internship with the governing body of professional women’s tennis (WTA) was a stepping stone to a ten year career there, followed by setting up my own consultancy, representing Kim Clijsters when she became the first mother to reach number one, working on media operations for London 2012 and the Invictus Games and industry relations for ESPN and Tennis Channel before settling at the LTA three years ago.

What do you love about it?

The constant variety and problem solving.

What three qualities do you look for in recruits to your team?

Flexibility, attention to detail, excellent interpersonal communications skills.

Who has been your best advisor or mentor and why?

Jayne Pearce (founder of sports media consultancy Pearce International) is inspirational in how she deals with the various clients, including the media, particularly when under pressure.

Which living person do you most admire?

Billie Jean King for breaking down barriers and always believing in equal opportunities for both girls and boys.

Do you possess any hidden talents?

I run a mean 5k.

If you could be a superhero just for one day, which one would you be?

Superman – the character always represents a strong sense of doing the right thing… plus spending so much time in planes has given me a strong urge to fly. 

Outside work, what are you most passionate about?

Walking our dog, a Cavalier King Charles called Harry – best destresser there is.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Get rid of crime.

If you could go back in time to any period of history, what would it be?

The 1980s probably.

Who would be on your guest list for a fantasy dinner party?

I don’t know… Anthony Hopkins, Barack Obama, Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela and Billie Jean King maybe?

And the meal?

Buddha Bar in Paris