On New Year’s Day, BBC Radio 2 began airing a radio documentary on Simon Fuller where he shared his thoughts on creating “Pop Idol,” one of TV’s most successful formats; launching the Spice Girls; and his taste in music. One element that’s a constant in his successes: Fuller believes in working at home first. “I would always prefer to have a massive success in the home market first and then look to break worldwide,” Fuller says. “People expect the place of origin to deliver a hit first, and it gives confidence to every other country if this is the case. It isn’t essential, and I have a number of examples where this hasn’t been the case. But a perfect strategy would always include your home market being massive.” After seeing the “Pop Idol” format conquer the globe (including the launch of “American Idol” in 2002), Fuller in 2010 founded XIX Entertainment. In the music space, it’s a management company with a roster that includes Will Young, Aloe Blacc, Annie Lennox, Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. Fuller also manages several British athletes and is the joint owner of fashion businesses with designers Roland Mouret and Victoria Beckham.
XIX is entering its fourth year with a mission to commercially develop individuals and entertainment properties previously established in sports, music, TV and fashion. Most of Fuller’s proudest achievements of 2013 involve athletes, though he does include the signing of Blacc and his involvement with Avicii on “Wake Me Up!” alongside David Beckham, tennis champs and race car drivers. —Phil Gallo