Members Q and A – Paul Mallon, Paddy Power

Sport for Business is all about the people within our community. The people that compete, the people that support, the people that make commercial partnerships work and the people that keep the whole sporting circus on the road.

We want to introduce you to those people, to get to know them and where they come from, what gets them excited and what they enjoy about working in our sector.

Today we meet up with Paul Mallon, Head of Brand for Paddy Power and a man who likes a bit of sporting magic, as well as the occasional bit of mischief.

Tell us who you are and what you do in the business of sport?

I’m head of brand for Paddy Power with ownership of marketing for the sport of kings, horse racing (UK&IRL) and all things PP in Ireland generally.

Give us some of the things you have done in getting to where you are in 2020 that you feel were of importance?

1) Getting a ‘first’ in a digital media master’s degree in 2011 for a 1916 group project which was endorsed by Enda Kenny and Micheal Martin – that qualification helped me get in the door at Paddy Power, bringing an editorial mindset from my time at The Star to PP’s editorial and social development

2) I’m persistent/good at blagging

3) Recently completing the Marketing Week mini-MBA by Mark Ritson which has helped me hugely in my head of brand role at PP

What excites you about working in the business of sport?

Any moment of sporting magic – whether a heavyweight boxing match, a thrilling horse race like the recent Derby at Epsom, or a stunning Premier League goal – can bring a lot of joy out in a very cynical, heavy-going world.

And what would you find to be an occasional (or regular) frustration?

The form of the Irish men’s international football team

What are some of the things you have on your work agenda for the next twelve months?

That’d be telling. But it’d be no great shock to say that at Paddy Power we’re trying hard to progress and further demystify horse racing for new audiences, to grow our share of a big business.

Also, from a creative point of view we’re more determined than ever to bring sharp-witted, intelligent, mischievous advertising to the fore, less it become a further endangered species in the current environment.

And give us one thing that you would like to achieve in a personal capacity?

Getting my two kids safely back to school is top of mind.

Outside of your own sport give us one event in an Irish and one in an international context that you would like to experience?

Katie Taylor boxing the ears off somebody at Croke Park; and I’d love to travel back in time to Mexico 86 to see Maradona in his prime.

Give us one sporting partnership over recent years that you admire?

Klopp and Liverpool. Hand in glove. Two ‘brands’ that have worked very well together and this is from a Manchester United fan.

And one individual that you really respect?

Graeme Souness. We worked together on an anti-homophobia campaign for football last year and he really ‘showed up’. He’s demanding, smart and hard-working.

Tell us something about you that people might not know?

I’ve ghost-written columns for Georgia Salpa, Gerry Ryan, and Paul Scholes. That’s quite the combination.

What is the thing about being a member of Sport for Business that you get the most from?

Seeing where the bar is in terms of sports activations and sponsorships in Ireland. Being nosy about what others are up to.

And our Quickfire round to finish off…

Hurling/Camogie or Football?


Football or Rugby World Cup


Twitter or Instagram?


Night in or a night out?

Night in

Early bird or night owl?

Early bird

Favourite Movie in the past twelve months?


Favourite Song on your playlist?

It’s Only Life by The Shins

Favourite Book you’ve read in the past year?

Alchemy by Rory Sutherland


If you are a member of Sport for Business and would like to take part in our Sport for Business Chats, email us today and we will be in touch.


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