| Apr 25, 2017
Founders Worrall and Lau lead the growth strategy

Leaders, the premium international conference, publishing and training business for sport, has been wholly acquired by American City Business Journals (ACBJ), the USA’s premier print and digital publisher of business news and owners of SportsBusiness Journal, the nation’s definitive source of sports business news.

Leaders Founder and CEO James Worrall, and COO Simon Lau, who sold the first 50% shareholding to ACBJ in August 2014, will continue to spearhead the international expansion of Leaders across the sport business and performance world as well as its diversification across other sectors.

Leaders organise sport business summits in iconic cities around the world including New York, London and Beijing, and publish thought leadership insights and intelligence for senior executives worldwide. The Leaders Performance Institute publishes critical insight, research and data for GMs, Head Coaches, Sporting and Performance Directors at elite organisations in sport with events in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and London. Leaders is now the largest, international media platform for the business and performance side of sport.

2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the Leaders business. In a landmark year for the company, Leaders will hold major industry summits in Beijing and Chicago for the first time, and will launch Leaders Week, a five-day series of knowledge-sharing, networking, experiential and social sport business events, from 2-6 October in London.

ACBJ has more than 1,600 employees and is the largest publisher of metropolitan business news in the United States, with 40 business publications and companion digital properties across the country.  In addition, ACBJ publishes SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily, the preeminent sports business media outlets in the U.S.  ACBJ is wholly owned by Advance Publications, Inc., a privately held communications company that, directly or through subsidiaries, also owns Condé Nast Publications, the Golf Digest Companies, the New Yorker and newspapers in more than 25 American cities.  Its international operations are based in London.

Leaders Founder and CEO James Worrall stated:

“ACBJ have been the perfect partner over the last two and a half years as we’ve invested in the team, expanded our portfolio and grown our international reach.  On our tenth anniversary the timing was right to cement that relationship further with ACBJ’s purchase of the second 50% of Leaders. It’s been an amazing journey and I’d like to personally thank the entire Leaders team for their hard work and dedication over those years. I’d also like to thank all our clients and stakeholders in sport who have supported us from day one and promise to continue to deliver events and services according to the values that have been so important to us from the start.  We are all excited about the future as we build the Leaders brand and accelerate the growth as a wholly integrated business within a globally networked portfolio of media brands”

Whitney Shaw, President of ACBJ, stated:

“ACBJ’s acquisition of Leaders is testament to the accomplishments of Jimmy, Simon and the entire Leaders team. They’ve been successful — and will continue to be successful — because they anticipate what their clients, sponsors and event attendees need to know.  It’s fitting that as Leaders celebrates its tenth anniversary, new opportunities beckon.  Witness this summer’s inaugural Leaders event in China.  It’s just one example of the bright future ahead for Leaders.”


Sign up to our newsletters

To ensure you’re keeping up to date with the latest intelligence, sign up (for free) to receive newsletters. Get exclusive insight from top organisations worldwide on leadership & culture, human performance, coaching & development and data & innovation.


Become a member

Join our exclusive community of leading global performance organisations to target all aspects of high performance and challenge thinking with access to game-changing knowledge, connections and perspectives that can’t be found anywhere else.

Become a member