Introducing Ben from Sunweb Group

Yf Brodala
Reading Time: 7 minutes

In our ‘introducing’ we have a look at the humans behind the brands and companies. Every time we ask 8 questions. Today we introduce our head of co-marketing and distribution BE, Ben Clockaerts.

Ben recently turned 46, is a father of 2 sons aged 17 and 15 and married this year for 20 years to Ellen. Born and raised Lierenaar, although resident for 15 years in Hove, a small village between Lier and Antwerp, in the green belt around our beautiful capital of Flanders.

Tell us about your career

My career can be summarized most easily as follows: from sales representative to commercial director in the typical ‘big’ companies such as AB Inbev, Coca-Cola and Palm Brewery, followed by a foray into the wonderful world of travel, namely Thomas Cook where I was responsible for the entire offline sales in Belgium via the company’s own travel agents and independent travel agents. At the end of 2018 I got the opportunity to start a local business and to take charge of a number of butcheries, restaurants and wholesalers, a top experience in ‘the better meat sector’. To finally end up at Sunweb Group and get involved with sales in Belgium through partnerships of all kinds!

How did you end up in your role?

In the summer of 2021 Tim van den Bergh was looking for someone who could strengthen the Belgian organization, someone who knew the Belgian travel sector and who was eager to realize the ambitions for Sunweb and Eliza was here. After a few conversations with Reinoud, Jeroen and Mattijs, among others, I was able to start at the beginning of October!

Tell us about that 1 key moment that flipped your career.

In fact, there are 4 key moments:

The first was when I was at AB Inbev and had the opportunity to experience a takeover of a beverage company very closely, from which I could learn incredibly well
The second was when I was a Sales Manager at Coca-Cola who was responsible for all the out of home consumption of Coca-Cola products in all the major central cities in Belux. At the time, an international competition was organised between 6 European countries (the Netherlands, France, the UK, Norway, Sweden and Belux) which my team eventually won after months of preparation.
The third was when I was able to launch the Belgian premium beer Cornet at Brouwerij Palm as commercial director for Belgium, a fantastic experience, especially because Cornet is still doing incredibly well, in Belgium and far beyond!
And the last key moment was when I became responsible at Thomas Cook for their entire retail activities, both their own Thomas Cook & Neckermann offices, as well as all sales through open distribution in Belgium. And so the wonderful world of the travel business opened to me! So I ended up working around my 3 biggest passions: food, drinks & travel 🙂.

What is your outlook for 2022?

For the travel sector it will be the year of resurrection, a year never to be forgotten. And specifically for Sunweb and Eliza was Here it will be the year of the big breakthrough, I am 200% convinced of that!

Where do you get your satisfaction from?

Professionally, I get the most satisfaction from achieving ambitious results through the collaboration of a whole bunch of people from different teams.

Which joint advertising campaign has stuck out to you?

Good question, Yf, have we done anything top notch with Iberostar, ever? I have always been a fan, so if anything fits your stall there, add it. Yes Ben, in fact we did: a stunning exclusive 8 page insert in The Telegraph in The Netherlands.

Also, is there an advertising campaign that you envy?

Here I must honestly confess that I’ve been a fan of #creating memories for a very long time, by far the most beautiful ‘slogan’ in our industry and far beyond.

What makes you happy?

When all the pieces of the puzzle fall together and a beautiful result is achieved. Both personally and professionally!

Is there still life outside the job?

Certainly, then you will often find me on a padel court, in a bar or restaurant with family and friends. Or you can find me at a good concert, or somewhere in the sun at the Mediterranean Sea!

Okay, we are over the number of question. Last one. Talking about concerts, music has always been a differentiator  from the competition. You hear me coming; what is your all time Nr1 Hit?

I can almost write a book about this, about what music means and all… I’ll give some random songs that all mean something : Debonair by Afghan Whigs, Schism by Tool, Do I wanna know by Arctic Monkeys, Mr Brightside by The Killers, Nuvole Bianche by Ludovico Einaudi, We Exist by Arcade Fire, Untitled #3 by Sigur Ros, Nara by Alt-J, Waves by Mr Probz (Robin Schulz Remix)…

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