SailGP expands horizons with growth of management team

Nearing the midpoint of its inaugural season, SailGP has rounded out its management team with the addition of three staff members. Tim Godfrey has joined as chief marketing officer, while Harvey Schiller is serving as strategic advisor, and Christy Cahill has been promoted to chief communications officer.

Having most recently served in leadership roles with ITN Productions, the creative and commercial arm of the U.K.-based television production company, and FIA Formula E, Godfrey’s new role will oversee broadcast, distribution, content, digital, branding and promotion. As sports partnerships director with ITN Productions, Godfrey worked alongside global sports properties, broadcasters and rights holders, including the IAAF, English Football League, News UK, Channel 4 (UK) and the International Cricket Council, on media strategy and production solutions.

Prior to ITN, Godfrey served as global head of media for FIA Formula E, where he was responsible for media strategy across rights, content creation and digital, broadcast, and distribution. He previously held management roles at Perform Group and Endemol Sport.

“I am delighted to join the burgeoning SailGP team, and to develop a media and marketing strategy that reflects the innovation of the championship,” said Godfrey. “We are seeing unprecedented changes in the sports media market, which will enable SailGP to maximise its appeal to a broader, more dynamic audience. I look forward to shaping the way this new, exciting league is consumed internationally, and showcasing the extraordinary talents of the athletes and the pioneering technology.”

Coming in as a strategic advisor across the business side of the organization, Schiller is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished sports executives. He currently serves as chairman of Schiller Management Group and vice chairman of Diversified Search. Previously, he was chairman and CEO of YankeeNets, with ownership of the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils, president of Turner Sports and the Atlanta Thrashers, executive director of the United States Olympic Committee, president of the International Baseball Federation, and commissioner of the Southeastern Conference.

Schiller also served as the commercial commissioner for the 35th America’s Cup. Prior to his distinguished career in sports business, he achieved the rank of brigadier general as a command pilot with the U.S. Air Force.

“I’m honoured to be part of SailGP as it grows to be shoulder to shoulder with the best in sport,” said Schiller. “Though in its infancy, SailGP is soon to be a major player in the global sports landscape.”

Finally, Cahill, who joined SailGP in August 2018 as communications director, was promoted to chief communications officer. Cahill has 15 years’ experience in the sports industry, having most recently served as communications director for the United States Olympic Committee, where she spent seven years spanning four Olympic Games. In her current role, she oversees the organisation’s global communications strategy, public relations programming, and media relations and operations across all SailGP events.

“It’s remarkable to see the rapid growth and maturation of our global sports league during this inaugural season,” said SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts. “Outstanding professionals are required to create a world class organisation, and we’re fortunate to have such an accomplished team to form the building blocks of something that’s never been done in the sport of sailing.”

A global sports league founded in 2018 by Larry Ellison and Coutts, SailGP is redefining the sport of sailing. Athletes representing teams from the Australia, China, France, Great Britain, Japan and the US compete in the fastest sail racing in the world. The season debuted in Sydney in February, then travelled to San Francisco in May. Next up is the New York SailGP (21-22 June), followed by Cowes, England (10-11 August), and the Grand Final in Marseille, France (20-22 September), where the season champion will be determined in a winner-takes-all $1 million match race.

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