Ireland woke up this morning to the birth of a newly created sports agency. Leading Sport will specialise in strategic consulting to rights holders and governing bodies, sports event creation and management, and sports sponsorship.
It will be led by the experienced and very highly regarded Maeve Buckley who will step into her new role in public for the first time hosting the Irish Sponsorship Summit at Croke Park.
Buckley will remain a Director of Line Up Sports, with long-term business partner and friend David McHugh, and McHugh, in turn, is a Director of Leading Sport. The two businesses though will have a clear and distinct focus with Line Up Sports concentrating in the main on player representation and having a massive week with one-third of the Grand Slam seeking Irish rugby team on the books as well as the O’Donovan Brothers who featured in the White House St Patrick’s Day celebration.
Leading Sport’s initial main core focus will be on strategic consulting, specifically to rights holders, federations and governing bodies, local authorities and government.
Buckley already has significant experience in helping clients develop robust, fact-based strategies to achieve long-term objectives and works with some very well-respected names domestically and internationally.
These include working with UEFA at an international level where she is engaged with a number of projects across Europe; the IRFU where she has played a key role in the review of the Women’s Game, and at the Camogie Association where she wrote the current strategic plan.
With significant event experience under her belt, including organising pre-season matches for Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, sports events is an area to which Leading Sport will also turn its attention. An announcement in this area is expected in the coming weeks.
Sponsorship is the third area of the agency’s creative offering, with Buckley using her extensive network to connect the right people to the right opportunities. She was a judge at the recent European Sponsorship Awards, as well as for the Sport Industry Awards and the Irish Sponsorship Awards.
As a former CEO of Platinum One, Buckley has a wealth of experience. She was a director of the National Sports Campus and last year joined the Board of the Federation of Irish Sport.
She also featured on the 2017 list of the Sport for Business list of the Most Influential Women in Irish Sport.
“I look forward to building our creative offering and delivering work that earns plaudits for our clients and enables them to grow,” Buckley told us last night as she prepared for today’s Irish Sponsorship Summit.
“These are exciting times for sport in Ireland and across the world and I hope we will be in a position to help organisations position themselves to take advantage.
We are delighted that one of Buckley’s first actions in the new business was to become a full member of Sport for Business and we look forward to working alongside Leading Sport and our more than 200 other member organisations over this year and beyond.