It is always one of the most popular series we run through the year and our listing of 30 Under 30 Young leaders of Tomorrow for 2021, in association with our friends at PwC, starts on Monday, March 7th.

Our ambition is the creation of a network of people making a real difference within our industry.

Over the past five years, we have highlighted almost 150 individuals as part of the 30 Under 30 initiative and here we have taken a look back on who they are and where they have gone so far in their careers.

We have broken the list up alphabetically and will list 20 individuals a day as we build up to the 2022 list.

Shairoze Akram – Harry Connolly

Sinead Conroy – Ruth Fahy

Sinead Finnegan – John Hyland

During the 2022 run, we will also be dropping a new podcast series of interviews with some of those that have gone before.

They are an impressive group of individuals.  Here is the fourth of the groups of 20…


Sarah Judge 2019

Sarah was Marketing and Events Coordinator at Horse Racing Ireland when she was nominated for our list in 2019.  She served as an intern with Horse Racing Ireland and then with the British Horseracing Authority as part of their Graduate Development Programme in 2015.

She left Horse racing Ireland in January of 2021 to take up an exciting new role as Marketing Manager with Plusvital.

She secured a First Class Honours Degree in Equine Business at Maynooth University and then a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations at the Fitzwilliam Institute.




Alan Keane 2020

Alan was nominated in 2020 while a Senior Associate Consultant in Teneo’s Sport and Sponsorship team.  In January 2021 he was promoted to the role of Consultant.

He previously spent five years with Plunkett PR working across the travel, publishing, marketing, healthcare and financial sectors.

Alan graduated from the University of Limerick with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in New Media and English before going on to complete a Masters in Journalism at NUIG.




Emily Kelly 2021

Emily Kelly joined Aviva in September 2020 having spent two years previously in a similar role at Liberty Insurance.

While there she had travelled with the Camogie All-Stars to New York in 2019, playing a key role in telling the story of that first US trip for the best of the best in the sport.

She is involved across all of Aviva’s sponsorship properties from the Stadium to campaigns like the Soccer Sisters with the FAI.

Emily secured a BA in Economics and Music from Maynooth University before completing a Masters Degree in Digital Marketing from the University of the West of Scotland.




Jenny Kelly 2018

Jenny was a Consultant with Teneo PSG when she joined the list in 2018.

In 2019 she headed for Australia’s shore before returning to Ireland in February 2020 and taking on the role of Women in Sport Lead and Community relations Manager with Basketball Ireland.

In April 2021 she took up the position of GAA Sponsorship manager with Bord Gáis Energy.

She graduated from Maynooth University with a Degree in Business and management and has since undertaken courses specific to the PR world at the Public Relations Institute of Ireland and the European Institute of Communications.




Marisa Kennedy  2020

Marisa is a journalist with Pundit Arena having joined the company in July 2018. She joined our list in 2020.
She is one of the online publication’s lead journalists on GAA but has also broadened her skillset in helping to project manage a number of their partnerships with brands and sporting organisations.
In 2021 she travelled to Tokyo to report on the Paralympic Games with Team Ireland.
Kennedy qualified from the University of Limerick in 2018 with a degree in Journalism and New media and Politics.  She put her time there to good use serving as sports editor of the College newspaper An Focal and doing stints with local radio stations.



Orla Lawlor 2018

Orla became part of our list in 2018 while part of the sponsorship team at Three working primarily on the FAI international soccer sponsorship.

She moved to London in 2019 and in what looks like a very well timed move she became a Strategic Account Manager with Amazon.  In January of 2022 she joined Bacardi as Digital Marketing Manager.

Before working with Three she had worked for four years prior to that in the Marketing Department at BMW Ireland where she was a lead player in the brand’s relationship with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

She is a graduate in Business and Management from Dublin Institute of Technology.




Gus Lewis 2021

Gus Lewis has played a significant role in the FAI Commercial Team since joining in 2018.

As a Partnerships Account Manager, he is responsible for working with the FAI’s partners to ensure a strong return on their investment in Irish Football, and in supporting their marketing objectives through pro-active planning, strong client engagement, and developing creative activations.

He has worked on some of the biggest sponsorships in the country, including Three’s primary partnership of the Republic of Ireland Senior International Teams up until 2020, and has and will play a key role on Senior International Matchdays in Aviva Stadium.

he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from UCC and has since completed the Masters in Sports Management from UCD.

Gus previously worked with Dublin agency Teneo before joining the FAI and has also volunteered on Matchdays with the Heineken Cup in rugby.




Niall Leyden 2020

Niall is a  Consultant working with Teneo’ across the company’s Sponsorship & Sport and Brand Strategy divisions.  He joined the list in 2020, and stepped up to his current role in July 2021.
Leyden Joined Teneo in February of 2019 having previously worked as Communications Coordinator with the Dublin Airport Authority providing PR, Communications, Event Management and Social Media Management services for Dublin and Cork Airports.
Niall graduated from the National University of Ireland Galway with a BA degree in English and History and a Higher Diploma in Business.  He was a key driver of the Club Rossie fundraising platform for Roscommon GAA.



Claire Liston  2020

Claire is Sponsorship Brand Manager with AIB and one of the key players in bringing the brand’s partnership with the GAA at Inter-county and at club level to life.  She joined our list in 2020.

She joined the sponsorship team from AIB’s social media group in April of 2018 having spent two years in that role after initially coming through the ranks from working in the AIB branch in Ennis County Clare.

She studied for a BA in Business Studies specialising in Event Management from Limerick Institute of Technology and served an internship with Weddings by Franc.




Stephen Long 2019

Stephen joined us in 2019 when he was responsible for Digital Content at Connacht Rugby.  He has since stepped up as PR and Media Manager at the Sportsgrounds.

He joined Connacht in March 2018 after five years working in the radio industry. After graduating from DCU with a degree in Communications and a Masters in Journalism, he joined Beat 102-103 as the station’s Sports Editor for three years.

He then moved to Off The Ball where he worked as a journalist and production assistant at the same time completing a masters in Sports Management at UCD.




Aoife Lucey 2019

Aoife Lucey was a Content Producer and Activations Manager for the 20X20 Campaign at Along Came a Spider when she joined us in 2019.

At the end of that year, she left Ireland to head for Vancouver in Canada where she is now working as a Social media manager with Microsoft and its Xbox Games Studio.

Aoife graduated from Cork Institute of Technology with an Honours Degree in Creative Digital Media.




Amy Lynch 2018

Amy Lynch was nominated in 2018 while Sponsorship and Social media Manager at Aviva.

She was the recipient of the Rising Star in Sponsorship Award at the Irish Sponsorship Awards and then took a break heading to New Zealand for six months working at the Westpac Stadium.

After returning to Ireland she rejoined Aviva before moving to an agency role as Client Manager with Fleishman Hillard, but left to do freelance work on a variety of projects in July of 2021.

Amy graduated with a Law degree from NUI Galway in 2014.




Patricia Lynch 2021

In 2018 Patricial Lynch became Lead Performance Analyst with the Kerry Senior Ladies GAA Team. In 2019, she switched to become the Head of Performance Analysis with the Kerry Senior Men’s team on their way to playing in the All-Ireland finals against Dublin.

The appointment made her the only female performance analyst working with a senior men’s intercounty team in Gaelic Football that year.

In 2020 she transferred to the same role with the Kerry Senior Hurlers helping them reach both the Allianz League Final and the Joe McDonagh Cup final.

A graduate of Carlow IT in Sports Rehabilitation and Athletic Therapy, in 2016, she completed her Master’s degree in Sports Performance in UL. where she continues to work as the Lead Performance Analyst with the Sigerson and O’Connor Cup teams.

In January 2022 she took up a position as a lecturer in Sports Performance at UL.




Jonny Madill 2019

Jonny is a Partner at Sheridans, the UK and Ireland sports, media and entertainment law firm.  He stepped up to that position after appearing on our list in 2019.

Based in London, Madill grew up in Belfast and studied Law at Queens University Belfast,  He did his training at A&L Goodbody before moving to Sheridans in 2015.

He has a particular focus in the area of digital sport, including ‘next-gen’ areas such as sports data, digital content and esports and co-founded the Digital Sport Club, a network of like-minded thought-leaders working within the digital sports industry, and has been a regular speaker at Sport for Business events.




Niamh Mallon 2021

Niamh Mallon is a Sports Scientist and Performance Nutritionist at Orreco working with a wide range of high profile athletes.

She works on the development of the Elite Female Athlete Program and FitrWoman and FitrCoach applications. The Fitrwoman application has been used by Chelsea in making it to a first-ever European Champions’ League Final this season.

Mallon is a certified phlebotomist and holds an MSc in Sport and Exercise Nutrition from Ulster University. In the past year, she has also completed the Gaelic Players Association Madden Leadership Programme.

She is a Senior Camogie player for Down and was the 2021 Intermediate Camogie Player’s Player of the Year. She hails from Portaferry, the same home town as athlete Ciara Mageean.




Christian McAlinden 2021

Christian McAlinden worked with many of our Sport for Business brands to deliver campaigns on the online, social and broadcast channels of Pundit Arena, when he was nominated last year.

In August he took up a new role with Amnet, part of the Dentsu Aegis advertising network.

He earned a marketing degree from the Dublin Business School in 2015 and has since gone back to study at the UCD Professional Academy for a professional diploma in Social Media Marketing




Keith McConnon 2019

Keith was included in the 2019 list in recognition of the central role he played on the Wilson Hartnell Team managing AIB’s award-winning GAA sponsorship activation under the #TheToughest platform as well as working across Centra and FBD’s sponsorship programmes.

Keith had an accident in June 2019 from which he continues to make a good recovery. He completed the European Sponsorship Association’s Diploma in Sponsorship during last year and was out and about at the Aviva Stadium for Ireland against Italy in the Guinness Six Nations.  Stay strong, Keith.




Ellen McConville 2021

Ellen is a Consultant on Teneo’s Sport and Sponsorship team where she works with a diverse range of brands across sponsorship consumer and digital campaigns.

She currently plays a central role in activating and managing sponsorship campaigns such as the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon and Bord Gáis Energy sponsorship of the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. In addition to this, she also provides communications and sponsorship consultancy to the Six Nations, SPAR, Kingspan, Toyota and UPMC.

Prior to joining Teneo, Ellen worked as part of the sponsorship team in Littlewoods Ireland. Her role as a content specialist there saw her develop and execute the content and social strategies for Littlewoods Irelands’ sponsorship properties including the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.

These successful campaigns won Best Use of Social Media at the 2020 ESA Awards and Best Digital PR and Content Creation at the 2020 PRCA & PRII Awards.

She qualified from Dublin City University with a BA (Hons) in Gaeilge agus Iriseoireacht (Irish and Journalism) and has gone on to study the ESA Sponsorship and Sports Marketing Diploma. She is currently studying for a diploma in Digital Marketing from the UCD Professional Academy.




Kate McDaid 2020

Kate runs NutriKate through which she has worked with the Dublin Senior Ladies football team, basketball Ireland and a number of businesses in the field of performance nutrition.  She was nominated for our list in 2020.
She is an Associate Lecturer at Technological University Dublin where she has delivered and created a new ‘Applied Nutrition’ module for the 4th year Sport and Exercise Science students.
McDaid graduated from UCD in 2014 with a degree in Food Science and then studied for a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition at Loughborough University.
In March 2022 she moved from the backroom team to the first team when making her debut for the Dublin Ladies Football team.



Lydia McDermott  2019

Lydia is a Client Director at FleishmanHillard and was nominated for our list in 2019.

She joined the firm in 2012 and works across the Sports Sponsorship and Brand Marketing teams.  She has worked on some of the biggest brand campaigns and sports sponsorships in the country including Centra and the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship and Cadbury’s partnerships with the Premier League.

Tierney graduated with a Degree in Business and Management from Dublin Institute of Technology




So who do you think is worthy of inclusion this year?

Who do you work with that has shone over the past twelve months or more and is deserving of recognition as they rise through their career?


The criteria for submission is that the person should be working within the sports industry, or in a sponsorship or agency capacity that is bringing sport to life, and that they should be born in or after 1992.

You are invited to submit names and a short precis of why an individual deserves to be recognised below.

Our ambition from the start has been to create a network of people making a real difference within our industry.

Who should we be looking to for the next wave of excellence?

This is not the time to be shy, this is an opportunity to put forward those you have come across that have struck you as having real potential, or indeed for you to put yourself forward.

It’s not about where you are now. It’s all about where you could get to with the right breaks.