Football Federation Australia has appointed Tom Rischbieth as the commercial rights general manager for its leagues, which includes the A-League, W-League, Y-League and E-League.
Starting his role on March 2, Rischbieth will be responsible for the commercialisation of the leagues. He joins the FFA after six years with UK-based sport and entertainment company Sports Rights Management.
Greg O’Rourke, the FFA’s head of leagues, said in a statement: “We are excited that Tom will be joining us soon to bring his global experience to a new era for our professional leagues.
“His established track record working with a wide range of rights-holders will be a fresh approach to our business as we look to improve our commercial revenues and attract new partnerships and opportunities for the whole football economy.
“I look forward to working closely with Tom as we continue to build our senior management team for the leagues.”
Rischbieth said: “I’ve been fortunate to have had exposure to a diverse range of international sport and entertainment formats, but football’s position in the global sporting psyche is unrivalled. I’m now incredibly excited to be joining the football family in Australia, and I can’t wait to get started.
“From a commercial perspective, football allows brands and broadcasters to talk, connect and transact with a passionate fan base that includes the largest participation numbers of any sport in Australia.
“It is a pivotal time for our sport and I’m looking forward to working with all our stakeholders – fans, players, clubs, partners, broadcasters – and everyone within the game to keep it driving upwards. I feel privileged to be joining the Leagues at such an important time.”
Rischbieth’s arrival comes at a time of reform and uncertainty at the FFA. James Johnson has began his role as chief executive last month, replacing David Gallop
who left the position at the end of 2019 while still in contract.
The FFA has also been losing sponsors. Supermarket chain Aldi opted not to renew its contract upon its expiry at the end of 2019. Petrol company Caltex chose not to renew its title sponsorship of the men’s team this year. A long-term association with National Australia Bank also concluded in 2019.