Jamie O’Connor has been appointed new Chief Executive Officer of Touch Football Australia, the governing body of NRL Touch Football, Australia’s largest social sport.
O’Connor will replace current TFA CEO Steve Mitchell, who is departing to commence as CEO of the Gold Coast Titans on Monday 11th February 2019.
O’Connor is the current Chief Operating Officer of TFA. Before beginning at TFA, O’Connor was CEO of Queensland Touch Football, and prior to that, General Manager of the Intrust Super Cup at Queensland Rugby League.
O’Connor’s first sports executive roles were in rugby league in Newcastle.
TFA Chair Anita Hagarty said there was significant interest in the role from many very strong candidates, but O’Connor was the standout candidate for the position.
“As well as having made an excellent impact on the sport and the organisation since starting as COO at Touch Football Australia, Jamie has spent years developing extensive experience and networks in both the touch football and rugby league worlds,” Hagarty said.
“Due to his high-level experience in both sports, during this past year Jamie has played a significant role in providing broad knowledge on the community to a fairly new management team, strengthening the NRL/TFA partnership, and developing the brand-new elite NRL Touch Premiership broadcast product.
“Jamie has a strong understanding about where the two worlds of touch and rugby league intersect, and how the governing bodies can work more effectively together to safeguard the futures of both games.”
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg welcomed O’Connor to the position. “There’s no doubt Jamie brings skills and experience to the role that will further develop touch football and rugby league,” he said.
“We wish Steve all the best in his role as CEO of the Gold Coast Titans and congratulate him on a job well done.”
O’Connor is thrilled about his appointment in a role that he’s been moving towards for his entire career.
“We have experienced significant transformation over the last 15 months under the leadership of Steve Mitchell and I’m excited about the opportunity to enhance what we’ve achieved to date,” O’Connor said.
“2019 will be a marquee year for our sport – there’s the NRL Touch Premiership featuring eight NRL clubs, 52 games in 12 stadiums, broadcast every week across multiple platforms; the ongoing build of the NRL/TFA alliance; the introduction of alternative formats of the game aimed at driving growth in participation; and we have 11 teams heading to Malaysia for a World Cup in May.
“Operationally, we’ve built a strong team to deliver the sport across the country, and I look forward to leading a very talented and passionate group of people to grow the sport, our brand and our commercial appeal.”
As well as having worked in NRL Touch Football for years, O’Connor plays the sport with the Nelson Bay Neptunes, as do his wife and two daughters.
“We enjoy every chance we get to play. The community is extraordinary, and being engaged in the sport at the grassroots level certainly gives me a perspective that helps in managing the delivery of the sport.”