SailGP brings in Schiller to drive future development

Fledgling sailing series SailGP has enhanced its management team with a host of new hires, including sports business veteran Harvey Schiller.

Having been launched in October, SailGP is currently nearing the midpoint of its inaugural season. Schiller has been appointed as a strategic advisor across the business side of the organisation. The American executive currently serves as chairman of Schiller Management Group and vice-chairman of Diversified Search.

Previously, he was chairman/chief executive of YankeeNets – with ownership of the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils – president of Turner Sports and the Atlanta Thrashers, executive director of the United States Olympic Committee, president of the International Baseball Federation, and commissioner of college sports organisation the Southeastern Conference. Schiller also has experience in sailing having served as the commercial commissioner for the 35th America’s Cup.

Meanwhile, Tim Godfrey has joined SailGP as chief marketing officer. Having most recently served in leadership roles with ITN Productions – the creative and commercial arm of the UK-based television production company – and electric street racing series Formula E, Godfrey’s new role will oversee broadcast, distribution, content, digital, branding and promotion.

Godfrey said: “We are seeing unprecedented changes in the sports media market, which will enable SailGP to maximise its appeal to a broader, more dynamic audience. I look forward to shaping the way this new, exciting league is consumed internationally, and showcasing the extraordinary talents of the athletes and the pioneering technology.”

SailGP chief executive Sir Russell Coutts added: “It’s remarkable to see the rapid growth and maturation of our global sports league during this inaugural season. Outstanding professionals are required to create a world-class organisation, and we’re fortunate to have such an accomplished team to form the building blocks of something that’s never been done in the sport of sailing.”