MKTG Sports + Entertainment APAC’s managing director Matt Connell today announced several strategic senior hires, including Michael da Costa-Alves as the general manager, commercial, Briana Doyle as chief of staff, and the elevation of Dominique Down to head of integrated strategy.
In January this year, MKTG Sport + Entertainment announced its alignment to dentsu Sports International as the foundation to help accelerate its strategic growth and value for partners across Australia, the region, and the rest of the world.
The team has worked alongside the existing MKTG and dentsu sports businesses in critical growth markets to share knowledge and evolve the agency offering on several fronts.
Speaking to the early success of that change, Connell said: “Despite all of the challenges we faced as an industry throughout 2021, our realignment to dentsu Sport International has been a significant step forward for our business in Australia.”
“The alignment and support have enabled our team to deliver one of the strongest performances in our company history, allowing for further investment in our talent and offering. I could not be prouder of what this team has accomplished and what is yet to come in 2022.”
da Costa-Alves, who officially started today, will lead the team in Melbourne and Sydney that oversees commercial rights management for some of the world’s biggest brands across the most valued sporting codes in Australia.
“I’m really excited to join the talented team at MKTG and have the opportunity to work with their enviable roster of Australia’s leading sports rights holders,” said da Costa-Alves.
“Having worked closely with them during my time at Cricket, I have been impressed with the way the business has evolved, and I’m looking forward to working with the passionate team to help drive the next era of growth through insight, creativity and leading-edge technology.”
MKTG is the exclusive stadium signage partner for the AFL and Cricket Australia, and the on-course LED signage partner for Victoria Racing Club. In addition, MKTG is the exclusive commercial sponsorship agency for Football Australia, World Surf League and the upcoming 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney. As recently announced, MKTG also formed a strategic commercial partnership with leading esports business Let’s Play Live focussed on the development of new commercial opportunities for the esports industry in Australia
da Costa-Alves has held senior leadership roles with Cadbury plc, Schweppes Australia and Asahi Lifestyle Beverages domestically and internationally, managing large national sales and account teams and partnering with some of Australia’s largest sporting rights holders.
From 2014-2019, he served as the head of commercial partnerships at Cricket Australia, responsible for commercial rights strategy and execution for men’s and women’s International and W/BBL.
In that role, he led all commercial rights negotiations, including the CommBank Women’s partnership (a record for Women’s sport in Australia at the time); the transformational Woolworths Cricket Blast junior participation partnership; the introduction of LED signage to international cricket in conjunction with MKTG and was a member of the negotiation team for the last TV media rights deal
Based in Melbourne, he will report directly to Matt Connell and join MKTG’s executive management team of Connell, Mike Lewis, Jarrad Provis, and Stephanie Rudnick.
Connell also announced the arrival of Briana Doyle as chief of staff. In the role, Doyle will lead the development and execution of operational excellence priorities through people, culture and operations across MKTG, playing a critical support role to the Executive Management Team.
“Briana is someone I have personally respected for over a decade, having worked in close partnership with her over many years. She is a strong and determined leader who, even in her early tenure, has already made a huge impression and impact across our whole business and will be critical in supporting our growth agenda focussed on operational excellence,” added Connell.
“With over 17 years experience, Briana has extensive knowledge of the sport industry, particularly when it comes to relationship engagement, contract negotiation, best-in-class partnership strategy and activation, Doyle will play a pivotal role across all facets of MKTG Sports and Entertainment.”
Doyle joins MKTG following a nine-year tenure at NAB, managing a variety of high-profile partnerships such as AFL and Football Australia, including leadership of a high performing team responsible for the bank’s multi-million-dollar sponsorship portfolio. She also played marketing roles with Essendon Football Club and TLA Worldwide.
Dominique Down has been elevated to head of integrated strategy, a new role reporting to general manager of strategy, Jarrad Provis. Down joined dentsu in 2014 and most recently served as MKTG’s strategy and insights director.
In the new role, Down will focus on the local and global development and alignment of strategic products and services across MKTG and dentsu that will fuel new value for our clients and long term opportunities for our business.
“With a focus on market leadership and growth through product development and an integrated offering, the opportunity was evident to leverage Dominique’s strategic mind and drive to deliver data-driven solutions across all areas of our business. I am thrilled for Dom and our wider team and further excited to see her impact across the board,” said Provis.
Down has over nine years of experience in the industry, working in the UK and Australia across the Sports, Entertainment, Media, and OOH landscapes. With a passion for creating strategic solutions for a broad range of clients that are always grounded in data and insights, she has experience in sport and media strategy and planning, OOH strategy, experiential production and the creation and commercialisation of new strategy and data products.
She has worked across many blue-chip clients across a wide range of sectors, including Mondelez, Unilever, Jaguar Land Rover, Diageo, British Airways and Adidas, alongside working across major codes and leagues, including the AFL, Cricket Australia, Football Australia, the World Surf League and the PGA.
Other recent strategic hires include Steven Cheung as senior insights manager, Meg McCarroll (nee Pyke) as senior sponsorship consultant, Brad Newcombe as national sports delivery manager, and the promotion of Iliyas Hafiz to business integration manager.