Football League hires chief commercial officer

The Football League has appointed former NBA and Budweiser marketer Richard Heaselgrave to lead its commercial operations as it steps up efforts to boost global sponsorship income.

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Heaselgrave will help to lead the Football League’s major sponsorship push, as it looks to claw back some of the £23m it is set to lose when its new television rights deal with BSkyB comes into play in the 2012/13 season.

The drive was announced in May and was to be led by its chief commercial officer Stewart Thomson, who died earlier this year.

The Football League is also on the hunt for a sponsor for the League Cup to replace Carling, which has come to the end of its three year exclusive deal.

The League wants to talk to brands with “global aspirations”, which it says the UK-centric Carling does not have, to take advantage of the competition’s increased exposure overseas.

Heaselgrave joins from the National Basketball Association, where he was responsible for developing the American brand across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

He has also held senior positions at UEFA, the World Rally Championship and Anheuser Bush.

Heaselgrave will head up the League’s executive team alongside chief operating officer Andy Williamson, who will both report into chairman Greg Clarke.

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