England’s Football Association has named Kathryn Swarbrick as its new commercial and marketing director.
Swarbrick has joined the FA from soft drinks and snacks manufacturer PepsiCo, where she was vice-president of marketing in Western Europe and South Africa.
She takes on the role previously held by Mark Bullingham, who became the FA’s chief executive at the start of the 2019-20 season in succession to Martin Glenn.
Bullingham desbribed Swarbrick’s track record as “world class”, adding: “she has achieved fantastic results wherever she has worked previously, and we established a good working relationship when she was responsible for PepsiCo’s Uefa Champions League partnership.”
Having joined PepsiCo UK in 2012 as head of marketing, Swarbrick was promoted four years ago to the role of vice-president of marketing in Western Europe and South Africa. She also counts brand and marketing roles at Heineken and Diageo among her previous positions.
Swarbrick, who will sit on the FA’s management team, with be responsible for the national association’s commercial and marketing strategy across its various competitions and national teams. This includes the areas of broadcast, sponsorship, events, licensing, merchandising, hospitality, digital content and social media channels.
She said today (Tuesday): “I am looking forward to building on the momentum that The FA has created in this space in recent years and will hopefully bring a different perspective on ways to further develop the FA brands, delivering world class content and experiences for fans.”
During the 2017-18 period, the FA generated revenues of £224.9m (€250m/$274.8m) from broadcasting rights and sponsorship income. A total of £79.1m was raised from sponsorship, up by £2.1m on the 2016-17 period.
Earlier this year, the FA found a new main sponsor by striking a five-year deal with UK telecoms operator BT worth around £10m per year. News of Swarbrick’s appointment coincided today with the announcement that BT has now expanded its deal to the other ‘home nations’ of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Bullingham added today: “I’m extremely proud of the work that our commercial and marketing team has done in recent years and our challenge is to now build on that to take it to an even higher level, engaging more consumers and fans directly, which Kathryn will help us to do. She joins a strong senior management team as we look to put in place our strategy for the next four years to maximise our impact on football and the country.”