Co-founders Steven Bartlett and Dominic McGregor have announced today they are to step down from their roles at Social Chain after six years.
CEO Bartlett and COO McGregor were just 20 and 21 respectively when they became founding members of the Manchester-based social media publishing and marketing company that has since grown to over 750 staff globally and has revenues forecast to hit $200 million this year.
Announcing his stepping down across social media this morning, Steven Bartlett said: “Social Chain was conceived on a small desk in the backroom of the uni I had just dropped out of in Manchester. I was 20, full of wild dreams, and I believed we could take on the world.
“What started as a crazy and sometimes ridiculed idea, in the mind of a few drop-out underdogs, at a time when people didn’t believe in the potential of this new thing called social media.
“As I write this, at 27, we have more than 700 Social Chainers around the world, a world-beating team, we went public last year, we are the best at what we do, and we’ve just posted record numbers. The company is showing unbelievable momentum and I remain Social Chain’s biggest fan, supporter, and believer.
“I owe an unpayable debt of gratitude to my team, past and present – if it wasn’t for you, my board, our chairman, (and mum and dad), I would be nothing.”
In a post to LinkedIn today, Dominic McGregor added: “I’m deeply proud of everything we’ve achieved, the relationships we’ve made and the lessons learned,”
“Social Chain is a very special company, the growth we’ve seen over the last six years has been quite frankly phenomenal, we recently posted record numbers, and based on some of the exciting things I’ve seen over the last year, the future promises to be even brighter than the past.
“This business has been my rock, even when I faced difficult times in my personal life. The purpose it gave me, and the people I worked with got me through – they gave me something to fight for and without it, and without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”
The pair has overseen exponential growth throughout the past six years at Social Chain.
The journey may have started with humble beginnings in Manchester, but Social Chain now has bases in London, Berlin, New York and Munich, and works with global brands such as Amazon, Coca Cola and Apple.
It claims an owned media reach of over 2 billion views a month.
Last year, the company merged with German online retailer Lumaland AG to become The Social Chain AG and list on XETRA and the Düsseldorf Stock Exchange, and it recently announced the largest acquisition in its history by taking a 51% stake in A4D Inc – a Southern Californian digital performance marketing agency.
It has been confirmed that Wanja S. Oberhof – currently Co-CEO of Social Chain AG – will retain his position as CEO upon Bartlett’s standing down.
You can find out more about Social Chain AG via its website here.
Trafford’s £75m surf park and leisure resort project is finally moving again
The exciting £75 million development over in Trafford Park that will see a brand-new luxury leisure centre, surf and spa resort arrive in Manchester is finally moving again after two years of delays.
Originally slated to arrive in 2023, planning permission for Modern Surf Manchester was granted back in September 2021 but due to problems with funding, the hugely ambitious project has been held up ever since, with the opening date pushed back to sometime in 2025.
Modern Surf is part of a larger 20-year project to upgrade the TraffordCity complex, with around £2.6bn set aside for the huge investment and undertaking, with this set to be the first inland surfing destination in the North of England — and we’ve already had a spellbinding glimpse of what it’s going to look like.
Using technology from Wavegarden to create an artificial lagoon and giant surf park, the TraffordCity attraction will produce 1000 waves every hour at varying intensities and will be able to house up to 90 people at any one time, delivering a kind of surfing few will ever have experienced before.
Better still, once completed, Modern Surf Manchester will create over 140 new full-time jobs during peak times and –
The wider regeneration of Trafford Park also includes a whopping £250m set aside for the highly-anticipated, Therme Manchester, which was first announced back in 2020 and will be a similarly unprecedented addition to the region and the North as a whole.
The water park, spa and wellness resort situated just next to the Trafford Centre will span nearly 30 acres alone and the latest images depicting how it’s going to look are pretty incredible:
The sheer scale and scope of Modern Surf Manchester and the surrounding investments in Trafford can’t be overstated, not only generating new business and tourism for Greater Manchester but even adding fitness and mental health benefits to locals.
Speaking to TraffordCity, Manc professional surfing coach Alan Bisseker, who has worked with Olympic and professional organisations including GB Surfing, said that “there are few sports that give you as many health and fitness benefits as surfing”, insisting that this “combined with the significant positive impact on mental health and wellness is undeniable and well-documented.”
Andy Hadden, Founder of the newly appointed Tartan Leisure team who are soon set to finish their Lost Shore Surf Resort in Scotland, added: “There has been an enormous rise in popularity for surfing over recent years with proven benefits to our overall health and wellness… the response and appetite that we have seen from the public has been phenomenal. [Modern Surf] will be a very exciting addition to an already incredible combined retail and experienced-based leisure destination for all to enjoy.”
Trafford is already a hub of culture, leisure and sport in the UK and when this thing arrives that’s only going to become more apparent — sod the New Year, roll on 2025 and surf park city!
Featured Images — Trafford City Council (planning portal)/Modern Surf Park Manchester
Club de Padel – The world’s fastest-growing sport is finally coming to Manchester this month
The world’s fastest-growing sport is finally about to arrive in Manchester – and in a seriously impressive location.
Club de Padel is taking shape at the foot of the Deansgate Square skyscrapers and has officially locked in a launch date.
With four state-of-the-art panoramic courts, the new sports club will be bringing the global sports phenomenon to the city centre for the first time.
It will also have one of the city’s most popular brunch spots and coffee shops, Federal, on site to provide caffeine, snacks, and a selection of drinks in the evenings.
For those unfamiliar, Padel is a mash-up of tennis and squash, where players are enclosed by walls and can play the ball off any wall.
The sport was first invented in Mexico in the late 1960s but has exploded in popularity across Europe in recent years, drawing legions of famous fans.
Andy Murray, David Beckham, Pep Guardiola and Serena Williams have all declared themselves fans, and Lionel Messi went so far as to install a Padel court at his home.
Co-founder James Wigglesworth says: “We can’t get over the support we’ve had from the city so far, our inbox hasn’t stopped with people asking when we’re opening, when they can book, how they can learn to play – it’s been great.
“We’ve also discovered a hardcore element of ‘paddicts’ who travel miles every week to play and are just delighted that we’re landing on their doorstep.”
Club de Padel is partnering with Adidas and HEAD on its equipment and will have one of the UK’s top padel competitors, Alberto Cubero Torregrosa, as head coach.
Alberto said: “I can’t wait to get started at Club de Padel. Having grown up in Malaga, I have been playing padel for over 25 years, so I’m delighted to see it finally arrive in Manchester, where I now call home.
“It is important to me that everyone can enjoy this amazing sport, so it doesn’t matter if you are a complete beginner or an experienced player, I am committed to helping you improve and have fun while doing it.”
Club de Padel will officially open its doors on Tuesday 19 December, with bookings open from 5 December for Padel+ members and general public bookings from 12 December.