Basketball Ireland has announced the appointment of John Feehan as its new CEO. He will take up his role on November 15th.

Feehan spent 16 years as the CEO of Six Nations Rugby and the British and Irish Lions, positions he left in 2018. He was also CEO of the PRO12, predecessor of the United Rugby Championship, from 2011 to 2015.

During his time with those rugby bodies, he oversaw significant revenue, fan engagement and media growth.

He has also been involved with a number of successful sports-related businesses, including Lions Rugby Travel, the official Lions Travel company, and co-founded Sport2Sport, a specialist sports business consultancy with Derek McGrath.

He is also the chair of travel business Irish Rugby Tours and has been a business mentor for the charity Social Enterprise Ireland (SEI), which helps other charities with their administration, funding and growth.

He steps into this role as a full-time successor to Bernard O’Byrne who brought the sport back from the brink of bankruptcy to the vibrant sport it is today with international teams playing at an ever-higher level and a strong base at school, college and club level.

Playing membership increased by 66 per cent to over 30,000 in 227 clubs over the last five of his ten years at the helm.

The next challenge will be to take that to the next level and increase the visibility of the stars playing here in Ireland while creating pathways to allow young players to continue in the game.

Interim CEO Paddy Boyd will continue in the role until Feehan takes up the position.

“I’m really excited to get started with Basketball Ireland,” he said today.

“Basketball has seen an upsurge in popularity in Ireland over the last number of years and I’m eager to continue to help unlock its full potential.”

“There is huge scope for growth, particularly given its key strengths – such as it being the most diverse and inclusive sport in the country, with not only a 50-50 gender balance but also a wide base of support when it comes to participation and engagement.”

“I am determined to make an impact on the sport and I’ll be working hard with all the stakeholders within the game to achieve that.”

Join us tomorrow for an in-depth interview with the incoming CEO which we undertook at the National Basketball Arena today.

“We’re delighted to have someone of the calibre of John Feehan to take over as our CEO,” added Basketball Ireland chairman, Paul McDevitt.

“His commercial acumen, coupled with his proven and extensive track record in sports administration, make him a natural fit for the job. I really feel that with John at the helm it will herald an exciting time for basketball. He has demonstrated a huge hunger to take on the role and has impressed us with his ambitious plans.”


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