APL welcomes three new execs as part of growth strategy

Jean Cabico - March 23, 2021

Australia – The Australian Professional Leagues (APL), a soccer league agency in Australia, has recently appointed three new senior executives to put in place the league’s commercial and marketing functions, which is part of APL’s growth strategy.

The new appointees are Ryan Sandilands, the first commercial director of APL; Rob Nolan, the new head of marketing and data operations function, and Stacey Knox, the new executive member of the marketing team.

Sandilands brings his 20 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry to the agency. He previously led commercial growth and strategic planning for companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Women’s Tennis Association, and City Football Group, as well as AEG. Sandilands will now be responsible for supercharging the commercial and operational capabilities of APL and club commercial teams.

Meanwhile, Nolan comes with 20 years of global marketing experience, working with companies such as Kayo Sports, News Corp, and iflix. He previously built data capability with data agency Digital Alchemy to fuel growth, done in collaboration with various telcos, such as Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, and O2. Nolan will now lead the marketing and data operations function of APL, and will attempt to engage football fans on a one-to-one basis. 

Along with Sandilands and Nolan, Knox also joins the APL marketing team. She will be responsible for transforming the agency’s operational capability to ready the execution of APL’s direct-to-consumer strategy. Knox brings with her over two decades of experience in global marketing organizations and agencies, previously working with Coca-Cola, News Limited, and Inchcape, as well as a coach and mentor to industry bodies and not-for-profit organizations.

According to Ant Hearne, the chief commercial officer of APL, “This team is here to innovate and supercharge the commercial and marketing capabilities of the APL, as we realize our reinvention as a leading football entertainment company. We’re seeing the most entertaining football on the pitch and it’s our job to take that directly to fans with a world-class fan experience and content offering.”

The agency has also announced other new hires, namely Danny Townsend, the new managing director, and Michael Tange, the new digital director, as well as Tracey Scott, the new deputy commissioner in the APL leadership group.