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FA hires Pepsi's Kathryn Swarbrick to top marketing role


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

October 8, 2019 | 3 min read

The English Football Association (the FA) has appointed Kathryn Swarbrick as its new commercial and marketing director.

Wembley Stadium

FA taps Kathryn Swarbrick, ex Pepsi and Heineken, as commercial and marketing director

Swarbrick joins after seven years at PepsiCo where she was vice president of marketing across Western Europe and South Africa. Before that she held senior roles at Heineken and Diageo.

She will be responsible for the commercial and marketing strategy across the entire FA portfolio. This includes 29 England teams, Wembley Stadium connected by EE, the Emirates FA Cup, the FA Barclays Women’s Super League, and the Women’s FA Cup.

Her duties will involve broadcast, sponsorship, events, licensing, merchandising, hospitality and all digital content and social channels.

Mark Bullingham, The FA chief executive who previously oversaw the marketing function, said: "[Kathryn's] track record is world class and 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.

"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."

Swarbrick said she was focused on getting more people "actively involved and engaged with the game". She pointed to its grassroots football scheme as a "genuine force for good".

She is to sit on The FA’s senior management team, reporting to Bullingham. Swarbrick joins the FA on Monday 4 November.

It comes after BT announced a broad sponsorship of all four UK home nations, extending beyond its FA deal to cover Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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