Seiko Hashimoto has been appointed as the new president of this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Hashimoto, who formerly served as Japan’s Olympics Minister, replaces Yoshiro Mori as Tokyo 2020 president. Mori stepped down after admitting that recent comments he made about women were “inappropriate”.
During a Japanese Olympic Committee meeting earlier this month, Mori said that having women participate meant that the meetings tended to “drag on”. The comments prompted widespread criticism and led to Mori’s resignation.
Hashimoto is a former Olympian having competed in cycling and speed skating events.
FIFA has appointed two chief operating officers for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Jane Fernandez will take on the role in Australia, with Jane Patterson to assume the position in New Zealand. The announcement follows their initial appointment last year to lead the Women’s World Cup office in their respective host countries.
Fernandez led Football Australia’s successful bid to host the tournament and previously served as head of sport for the Australian Olympic Committee and as tournament director for the 2015 Asian Cup. Patterson has worked on a number of sports events across Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and the UK and worked for New Zealand Football as a project director for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.
Engineering and consultancy business Buro Happold has appointed David Hines (pictured centre) as a director in its venue consultancy team.
Hines, who has previously worked at Aecom and Populous, will work alongside Matthew Birchall and Christopher Shrubshall in his new role. Hines was involved in the development of the Sochi Olympic Stadium in Russia and the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, and has also worked on the proposed new MSG Sphere arena in London.
Sports marketing agency Two Circles has appointed Lakhbir Sandhu (pictured left) as its new group chief financial officer.
Sandhu will be responsible for driving Two Circles’ overall financial strategy as it expands its sales, service and technology offering in Europe and North America. He has previously worked at Goldman Sachs and Barclays and has served as chief financial officer at both NorthRow and Shorelight.
Two Circles has also appointed George Foster to the newly-created role of managing director (UK services and products), while Dale Kirsop will take on the expanded role of chief operating officer.
A new advisory, investment and services business has been launched by Simon Bazalgette and Paul Fisher, who led the growth and transformation as chairman and chief executive, respectively, of The Jockey Club.
Global Venue Services will offer strategic advisory, investment, interim management and a range of business services to sports, leisure, media and entertainment investors and business owners, venue owners and event promoters.
The venture will include a Global Advisory Board made up of experts in their respective fields. The first members to join alongside Bazalgette and Fisher will be Bernard Kantor, co-founder of Investec Bank, and Trevor Watkins, global head of the sports practice at professional services firm Pinsent Masons.
Wade Martin has joined Major League Soccer team Vancouver Whitecaps as its new chief revenue officer.
Martin joins the Whitecaps after three and a half years at Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics, where he was responsible for all revenue streams, including corporate partnerships, hospitality and premium experiences, broadcast and digital media.
He previously worked as vice-president of global partnerships and naming rights at Endeavor, and spent eight seasons in the NFL from 2008 to 2015, leading partnerships, broadcast strategy and marketing activation for the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals.
Amber Cox (pictured right) has been named chief operating officer of Kansas City’s new National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) franchise.
Cox will be responsible for the club’s day-to-day business operations and joins from Mohegan Sun, where she served as vice-president of sports, leading all revenue-generating activities for the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun and National Lacrosse League’s New England Black Wolves.
Cox previously worked as chief marketing officer for the NWSL’s Houston Dash and MLS team Houston Dynamo. She also worked as associate commissioner of women’s basketball for the Big East Conference and chief operating officer for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.
Mike Whan will join the US Golf Association (USGA) as chief executive this summer.
The move comes after Whan announced last month that he would be stepping down as commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) this year. Whan has spent 11 years leading the LPGA.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Australian NRL rugby league team has appointed Aaron Warburton as its new chief executive.
Warburton served as the club’s head of commercial partnerships from 2010 to 2017 before founding his own sports sponsorship company and launching a fan engagement start-up. He will commence duties in the coming weeks.
Javier Martínez is taking up a new role as executive director of corporate partnerships and sponsorship at Qiddiya, a planned megacity project in Saudi Arabia.
Martínez previously served as a senior vice-president at Spanish LaLiga football club Atlético Madrid. He will move to Riyadh at the beginning of March to take up the new role.
Pamela Newbould has taken up a new role as senior event manager at the East of England Arena and Events Centre in Peterborough.
Newbould helped deliver the UK’s first post-COVID-19 live event to be fully assessed and approved by the Public Health and Environmental Health department – the Outdoor Motorhome Camper Sake event by Warners’ Shows – on July 31 last year. She also helped organiser Live Promotions to deliver the venue’s second COVID-secure event, Truckfest.
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