Jonny Dodge is the Founder and CEO of GP Management, a group of companies managing a portfolio of experiences and events. These include Formula 1 hospitality, adventure travel and space tourism. Online Editor, Simon Wittenberg, caught up with him to find out more.
LM: What have been your career highlights to date?
JD: I’ve been very lucky to have had so many opportunities. For example, I spoke with Bernie Ecclestone when he was controlling Formula 1, and he gave me my first break which was a huge step in my career at the time.
Some of the most amazing things we have done to date have been shutting down Canary Wharf to create a street race for Formula 1 and broadcasting that content to 30 million people globally. This was an amazing showcase in London demonstrating what it’s like to stage a Formula 1 race in the heart of the city. Putting it together ourselves was certainly a highlight.
LM: Please tell our readers about what GP Management does.
JD: GP Management creates unique experiences for both consumers and brands such as having breakfast on Everest, day trips to Antarctica, and visits into space – things that are completely inaccessible normally and that money can’t buy. These are experiences we are excited to deliver to individuals and big global companies; offering corporate incentives like no other. We realise now in this changing world that people don’t want standard hospitality – they want something which is unique and delivered to the highest level. Not only does this add value in the relationship, but we evaluate the bond it creates between us and our customers.
LM: You organise the Grand Prix Ball. How long have you been doing this for, and what is the event about?
JD: This is the eighth year we’ve organised the Grand Prix Ball at the iconic Hurlingham Club which kicks off the Formula 1 weekend in style by seeing it happen in central London. This is a rare opportunity for people to get up close and personal with Formula 1 stars and cars. This is something we’ve been doing for many years and we know it helps charities with our work. We have donated hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years that we have been running the event.
It’s very close to my heart the charity we are doing it in association with. It’s called “Wings for Life”, a spinal research institution.
LM: How did you get into motorsport, and has it always been a passion of yours?
JD: Initially I got into motorsport with the Gumball Rally and Maximillian Cooper. I started there in the early days organising a celebrity supercar rally around the world and creating many adventures. I then went onto organising boat rallies with speed boats and superyachts. These events got me into the world of celebrities, and I then owned nightclubs which showcased the luxury lifestyle. It all melded into a big passion for organising events which encompassed all boys’ toys.
Formula 1 was the next to beckon and is the pinnacle of motorsport of course. It’s been an amazing experience, and we are always looking to the next horizon which involves an engine, so that would be Formula E and space travel.