Shock resignation of Sheffield Council’s brand guru

Brendan Moffett
Brendan Moffett

A key figure in marketing Sheffield’s image and events over the last nine years – raising millions for the city – has resigned to take a job in the private sector.

Brendan Moffett, director of Marketing Sheffield – part of the city council – is leaving after almost a decade boosting the city’s biggest events.

He was co-creator of MADE: The Entrepreneur Festival, the Global Manufacturing Festival, the centenary celebrations of stainless steel in 2013 and even the trademarked Sheffield stencil font.

Most recently he was in China as part of a UK trade mission, marketing World Snooker to hundreds of millions of avid followers, last year he had the job of maximising income from the Tour de France and he has been involved in events including the Tramlines music festival – launched by the council and now run by the private sector – documentary festival Docfest and conferences, now worth £132m to the city, up from £103m in 2012.

He said: “It came to the point where I had decided to move on. It’s a challenging role and resources are harder to come by than they used to be. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into getting initiatives off the ground and increasingly marketing the city will have to be a partnership of key players.”

Born in Sheffield and now aged 49, he got an MBA at Hallam University. He was part of the original Creative Sheffield team, set up in 2007.

It has mushroomed to become a huge department within the city council which, despite the name, is responsible for working with business.

An early high-profile stunt was the launch of Sheffield’s economic masterplan, launched at the London Stock Exchange in 2007. A low point was missing the deadline to issue a tender for the private sector to run the MADE Festival in 2013 which resulted in it taking a year off.

He added: “I’ve been doing it an unusually long time for that type of role. I’m a Sheffield lad and I care about the place, I’ve given it everything I can. There are exciting times ahead and plenty of great people who can take it forward.”