Global Elite Sports was fortunate to recently undertake the search assignment on behalf of Women in Sport Aotearoa (WISPA) to appoint experienced sport leader Rachel Froggatt as their inaugural Chief Executive Officer.
In this exciting new role, Froggatt will be at the forefront of developments in sport for women and girls in New Zealand and internationally. Froggatt has been tasked to develop WISPA into the leading research and advocacy body nationally, supporting opportunities for women and girls to be visible, valued and influential across all facets of New Zealand sport. Following New Zealand’s successful bid to host the International Working Group on Women in Sport (IWG) Secretariat for the next four years, Froggatt will also support the IWG Advisory Committee to develop the global movement, with WISPA also responsible for delivering the 2022 IWG Conference. This quadrennial conference is the largest gathering in the world for experts in sport for women and girls and is expected to bring up to 1,000 influential individuals and organisations to Auckland to share strategies to take the global movement forward. It provides a global showcase for the host country and its anticipated that by 2022, New Zealand will have much to celebrate.
Froggatt is a proven senior leader with a broad background and experience in commercial strategy, sponsorship, marketing, PR, advertising, licensing, digital and events; plus organisational development. She has worked in Australia, the UK, Germany and New Zealand. For the past four years, Froggatt has been Commercial and Marketing Director for Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ), developing and leading the multi-award-winning Spirit of Gold® Initiative. Froggatt’s strategy transformed PNZ’s public profile, increasing public awareness from 70% to 95% through a 2-year campaign that drove over 2.2m viewers to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on TVNZ. She also attracted significant government and commercial investment including Toyota, Cadbury and Visa. More recently, over 1.6m tuned in to watch the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in March.
Prior to this, Froggatt has led global and national programmes across a wide range of sports— Formula 1, MotoGP and other motorsports, football, Para sport, rugby, golf, cricket and more—and built relationships with many of the largest global right-holders, including the Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault F1 teams, FC Bayern Munich and FC Barcelona, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Oval, Saracens and St Andrews Links.
Additionally, Froggatt has collaborated with many global governing bodies, including the FIA, FIFA, UEFA, IPC and World Rugby; plus athletes like Lionel Messi, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.
Froggatt’s other strengths include strong experience in local grassroots communications, plus the not-for-profit, media and government sectors. Early in her career, she spent three years with the Australian Red Cross disaster relief fundraising and volunteering teams and has undertaken work with various cancer charities. Froggatt also spent three years directing communications for a mix of media and digital media owners in London, including TV and radio stations, digital portals and publishing houses.
Froggatt said: “To be appointed the first Chief Executive of Women in Sport Aotearoa is an enormous privilege. Change is already in the air for women and girls in sport; I am very excited to be joining at such a pivotal moment. I want to thank the WISPA Board for putting their trust in me to lead this organisation and deliver against New Zealand’s obligations to the IWG. I am very much looking forward to working with stakeholders to deliver measurable change.”
Julie Paterson and Sarah Leberman, Co-Chairs & Founders of Women in Sport Aotearoa said: “We are very excited and privileged to have a woman of Rachel’s calibre as our first CEO. This is a significant turning point for women’s and girls’ sport in New Zealand. We very much look forward to Rachel bringing her expertise to Women in Sport Aotearoa and the IWG Secretariat.”