Ipswich Town Football Club with Brett Johnson


Episode 88:  A new owner of the Ipswich Town Football Club, Brett Johnson, joins host Phil Brown to discuss connection, qualities of good leadership and empowering your team.  Full disclosure, Phil grew up in Ipswich, England, and is a life-long fan of the club!  

To kick off the conversation, Phil begins by restating an oft-used intentional phrase in Experiential Learning circles: connection before content. Connection with the fans, players, and managers of the Ipswich Town Football Club team is vital.  As they start a new season, that topic is top of mind for Brett Johnson.  Listen to the history of the club, and discover their hopes and aspirations for the upcoming season through Brett’s vision. 

Later in the episode you’ll hear more about the team’s unique connection with Ed Sheeran, a local musician who is the sponsor the shirts of the men’s and women’s first-teams for Ipswich Town.  Stay tuned, as the home opener for the team is August 7, 2021. Wishing the team and all the fans, including Phil, a successful season ahead.  

Questions Presented In This Episode

  • Mystery Question: What is something you’ve always wanted to learn?
  • Can you define the word connection and what it means to you as the owner of Ipswich Town Football Team?
  • What are some of your plans as an owner to connect with the fans of Ipswich? 
  • Why is it important to create a connection with the community?
  • Could you explain more about your leadership style and empowering others throughout your organization?
  • What is something the Ipswich fans would like to know about you?

More About Today’s Guest

Brett M. Johnson’s Bio

In 2005, Mr. Johnson founded and is the CEO of Benevolent Capital (www.benevolentcapital.com), a family office with investments in professional sports teams, real estate, private equity and venture capital. The current portfolio includes Ipswich Town Football Club, Phoenix Rising FC, FC Helsingor, Tucson FC, USL Rhode Island, TerraCycle, Athletic Brewing, Oura Ring, Damon Motorcycles, Thrasio, NYC Office Suites, Octagon Partners, and ArcherDX (acquired by NASDAQ: NVTA).

Mr. Johnson is a Founder and Partner of Fortuitous Partners (www.fortuitouspartners.com), a diversified opportunity fund platform investing in professional sports anchored multi-asset real estate developments in opportunity zones, including the iconic Tidewater Landing development in Rhode Island (http://thetidewaterlanding.com).

Mr. Johnson is on the Board of Directors of Ipswich Town FC (https://www.itfc.co.uk), FC Helsingor (https://fchelsingor.dk/en/) and the Co-Chairman of the Phoenix Rising Football Club (www.phxrisingfc.com), a professional soccer team, based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Prior to founding Benevolent Capital, Mr. Johnson was the President of Targus (www.targus.com), the leading global provider of mobile computing solutions with sales of $545 million. With offices in 36 geographies and sales in 145 countries, Targus designs and markets a broad range of notebook carrying cases and accessories for mobile computing consumers. Prior to his promotion to president of Targus, Mr. Johnson served as Managing Director of Targus EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and Asia-Pacific from 1997 to 2001 and resided in London, UK. Mr. Johnson was instrumental in the sale of the company to a private equity company in 2005, providing considerable returns to shareholders. Mr. Johnson continued to serve as an Executive Director on Targus’ board of directors until 2009.

From 2013 to 2015, Mr. Johnson was a member of the Board of Directors, and the Chairman of the Compensation Committee, at Blyth Inc. (NYSE: BTH). Blyth is a $1 billion direct to consumer sales company and leading designer and marketer of accessories for the home and health & wellness products. Blyth was acquired by the private equity firm, Carlyle, in November 2015. Mr. Johnson is a Director of TerraCycle (www.terracycle.com). Mr. Johnson is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (www.YPO.org) and earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Presidential/Key Executive program at Pepperdine University. In 2014, Mr. Johnson graduated from the Harvard Business School’s President’s Leadership Program. Mr. Johnson is a former member of the Board of Trustees for Choate Rosemary Hall and Senior Fellow in Entrepreneurship and a member of the Board of Visitors for the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University.