FIH seeks new CEO to fill McCracken void
The FIH, field hockey's governing body, has begun the search to find a new chief executive to replace Jason McCracken (pictured), who surprisingly quit at the end of 2017 after less than a year in the post.
The FIH has tasked global search firm Sports Recruitment International with finding a "commercial leader, with significant experience and understanding of revenue generation, fan engagement and innovative content creation and distribution."
The major responsibilities are to "develop, articulate and deliver the vision for the first Hockey Pro League," a new annual national teams competition starting in 2019, and oversee ‘Hockey Revolution’, a 10-year strategy that aims to make hockey a global game that inspires the next generation.
The FIH said experience of previous management of leagues or major events is "an advantage."
McCracken's departure comes with the FIH struggling to land a title sponsor for the Pro League. That job was made harder when India - the main source of field hockey sponsorship revenue - announced it would not participate in the Pro League because the tournament does not offer its national teams the best chance to qualify for the Olympic Games.
When he took office last February (he was appointed as successor to International Tennis Federation-bound Kelly Fairweather in October 2016), McCracken had claimed the Pro League would generate "$150 million in four years" for the FIH.
McCracken is presently serving out his six-month notice period, and will leave the federation in June and return to New Zealand with his family.
The FIH said key responsibilities for the chief executive include: managing relationships with the International Olympic Committee and Association of Summer Olympics International Federations, of which the FIH is a member; enhancing the relationship with national associations and continental federations; and growing sponsorship relationships.
The chosen candidate will also be tasked with developing a "coherent commercial strategy to drive revenue into FIH through sponsorship, broadcast and media rights deals and content distribution."
The federation also said it is seeking an individual with a "good understanding and appreciation of the world of international sport."
McCracken joined the FIH from Australasian banking group ANZ, where he had been head of insurance and investment risk, having held senior roles across global banking, insurance and financial institutions in New Zealand, Australia and India.
However, he was a familiar face in hockey circles having served as an Olympic and World Cup umpire, an FIH committee member and a technical official for over 20 years, and as a board member for Hockey New Zealand.