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The FA’s marketing boss on the ‘rollercoaster ride’ of football’s new reality


When Kathryn Swarbrick joined the Football Association (FA) as  director in October 2019 she could hardly have imagined her first few months in the role would have been so eventful.

A global pandemic, lockdown, suspension of all football and the postponement of Euro 2020 – the final of which would have been played at the FA’s Wembley Stadium on 11 July – meant Swarbrick’s first foray into the world of sport has proved to be a “rollercoaster ride”.

“I had come from more of an FMCG, commercial background and I wanted to apply my skillset to a totally different context where it wasn’t motivated by chasing market share,” she explains. “It was about applying my marketing experience to something which drives health and wellbeing.”

The FA has, of course, been hit hard by the pandemic. On 29 June, chief executive Mark Bullingham announced the organisation has lost around £300m and anticipates future revenue streams “will be affected for a considerable time”.

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