APL builds out commercial and marketing function with senior hires

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) has instigated development of a commercial and marketing function with the hires of Ryan Sandilands, Rob Nolan and Stacey Knox.

Sandilands takes up the post of commercial director, joining with 20 years in the sports and entertainment industry. Sandilands is the founder and CEO of Tangerine Partners, a sales and marketing agency specialising in sport.

Throughout his career Sandilands has led growth and commercial growth and strategic planning with Cirque du Soleil, Women’s Tennis Association, City Football Group and AEG.

Ryan Sandilands

Nolan was previously the director of engagement marketing at Kayo and joins former colleague, Ant Hearne, at the APL.

Nolan left the sports streaming service in May last year. Meanwhile Hearne departed in November, and joined the APL as chief commercial officer in February.

Nolan will lead the marketing and data operation at the APL, focused on fan engagement.

Rounding out the new hires, Knox will be responsible for transforming the APL marketing team’s operational capacity to prepare it for its direct-to-consumer strategy. Knox’s career spans Coca-Cola, News Corp, and most recently Inchcape Australia were she was head of engagement and partnerships.

Amongst recent appointments to the APL are managing director Danny Townsend, leagues commissioner Greg O’Rourke, strategy and digital director Michael Tange, and deputy commissioner Tracey Scott.

The APL took over control of the A-League from the national football body, Football Australia in 2020. The clubs will now be responsible for the management of the league, this includes the marketing and commercialisation of the A-League. Last week the APL announced a new ‘landmark’ partnership with McDonald’s Australia.


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