FAI appoints Sean Kavanagh to Commercial Director role
An accomplished, results-driven commercial and sponsorship expert with proven experience securing commercial partnerships to drive strategic and financial growth, Sean will professionally and passionately develop key stakeholder relationships to increase investment and identify and secure new business opportunities for the FAI.
Dubliner Sean joins the FAI from his position as Global Director of Sponsorship and Licensing with Pentland Brands in London where he was the lead on all major sponsorship negotiations across the Canterbury, Mitre and Speedo brands.
At Pentland Brands, Sean also led an in-depth review on all partnerships to identify and implement better ways of working to grow profitability and handled the management of all key external and internal stakeholders.
Sean was previously engaged as Global Director of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship and as Global Commercial Director and Commercial Director EMEA, all with Pentland Brands, where his client list included the IRFU and Leinster rugby alongside the British & Irish Lions and the IOC. Prior to joining Pentland Brands, Sean worked with Puma as country manager for Ireland and as performance sales director in the UK.
A member of a family steeped in the history of renowned Dublin nursery outfit Stella Maris, Sean captained the club to the national SFAI title at under 14 level before signing for Leeds United alongside Ian Harte in a playing career that also saw him represent his country at under 18 schools level and play for Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland. A loan spell with Longford Town saw Sean play for Ireland boss Stephen Kenny. Sean has stayed active in Irish football and is currently coaching the Stella Maris Under 13 DDSL Inter side.
“I am really excited to be joining the FAI and leading the new Commercial Division along with my colleagues across the commercial, marketing and communications operations within the Association,” said Sean. “I cannot wait to start working with our existing sponsors and potential new partners as we look to help grow Irish football and build on the momentum on the pitch that is currently prevalent across men’s and women’s football at international, domestic and grassroots level.”
Welcoming Sean to the FAI, Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Hill remarked: “Sean’s arrival is another key piece in the restructure of the Senior Leadership team at the FAI. Whilst previously having marketing and commercial merged into one area, we have now taken the important step of creating a standalone Commercial Division to drive our revenue growth moving forward which is clearly so important for the Association’s future financial stability. A lifelong member of the Irish football community, Sean comes to us with significant commercial experience in the sport and wider business space and is well connected within the Irish business community which will be critical for that future growth.”
Sean Kavanagh’s arrival follows the appointment of Marc Canham as Director of Football and Louise Cassidy as Director of Marketing and Communications while John Morling has been appointed to a Senior Football Consultant role.