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Leaders organise inspiring events for the professional world of sport by searching for the best content, attracting the best people and spreading the best intelligence.
We service two distinct groups in sport; professionals involved in the business side of sport (driving results off the field) and those on the performance side (dedicated to getting results on the field of play). This division ensures that Leaders content is targeted and relevant to the audience, and that everyone in the audience at a Leaders event is relevant to one another.
Founded in 2008, Leaders is the brainchild of James Worrall, Founder & CEO of Executive Sport Ltd. After 15 years working in top flight sport, James started Leaders from his spare room, with just a phone and a worn out laptop.
After identifying a void in the football business industry for an event that brought together the most influential leaders in world football, Leaders in Football was born.
Following a positive reception, extensive market research and industry demand, Leaders in Football was swiftly followed by Leaders in Sponsorship, Leaders in Performance, Leaders in Digital Sport and Leaders in Racing.
Now, seven years, one re-brand and some streamlining later; Leaders is a passionate, multi lingual team of over 20 people, with two clear functional areas: Sport Business and Sport Performance.
These two clear areas help ensure that content at each Leaders event is 100% relevant to the audience and improves the value of the networking opportunities.
Over 16 years Project Management experience delivering high profile complex successful projects; most recently for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, as well as for a number of clients across a range of commercial sectors including Morgan Stanley, HSBC, NBA, NFL, Brentford FC and Barclays Mercantile.
A proven track record of managing the full project management delivery lifecycle from initiation through to operational handover. Specialist expertise in programme management and controls, venue operational controls, senior stakeholder engagement, corporate event management, press and media, hospitality, sponsorship activation, dignitary protocol aspects and conferences & events.
James is responsible for maintaining a standard-bearing, year-round editorial service across Leaders’ various communications channels.
Heading up the content team at the Leaders Performance Institute, James works to ensure a regular stream of cutting-edge intelligence, case studies, and original research is delivered to the global network of performance practitioners signed up to the Institute’s membership scheme.
As part of Leaders’ sport business team, James also produces a weekly news service, regular podcasts, and comprehensive quarterly business reports for the international sports industry.
James joined Leaders in May 2016 from sports industry title SportsPro, where he spent just under eight years as a journalist, Editor and Editorial Director.
Founder & CEO
As the founder and CEO of Leaders (Executive Sport Limited), James (Jimmy) started the business in 2007 and after 6 years as CEO, he has created one of the strongest brands in sport business.
Jimmy’s career has included numerous roles in sport business including Head of Business Development at the English Football Association for 3 years. Furthermore, Jimmy has an MBA (Football Business) from Liverpool University.
Jimmy is a life-long supporter of Everton and lives in Wimbledon with his wife and his two kids.
As Managing Director, Laura is responsible for all of the strategic planning and tactical implementation of marketing across the business spanning brand, digital, content, communications and CRM.
Prior to joining the Leaders team in 2014, Laura spent 6 years managing marketing, audience growth and paid content revenue streams for UK leading media brands Marketing Week, Creative Review and Design Week at Centaur Media Plc, reaching an audience of over 3 million every year. Most recently, she devised the audience strategy for Marketing Week and executed the 2014 rebrand across mobile, web and print.
Since joining Leaders, Laura has learnt the offside rule (just about) and is slowly plummeting down the Leaders Fantasy Football table.
As Financial Controller Pamela is primarily responsible for preparing the Management Accounts and Budgets to enable the Management Team to make informed and strategic decisions about the future of the business. In her role Pamela also oversees the Accounts Payable and Receivable functions and deals with any tax issues that arise.
Pamela joined the company in February 2016. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2004 and has since worked across both Controllership and FP&A in several industries including 8 years at NBC Universal in the TV channels business.
Currently living in Epsom Pamela enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. When she gets chance she loves nothing more than to indulge her passion for sport – whether it’s actively or from the sofa!
Chief Commercial Officer
Simon oversees all day to day aspects of the Leaders business alongside CEO James Worrall.
Joining the company in 2008 as a Founding Director, Simon spearheaded the company sales strategy for the inaugural Leaders in Football conference. He helped build the business from a start-up, with responsibilities across sales, marketing and recruitment.
Before gaining an MBA (Football Business), Simon worked in a variety of sales and management roles for over 9 years at AMP, Zurich Financial Services, Barclays and HBOS.
He is a lifelong Liverpool Supporter.
VP Business Development
Tom heads up Leaders offices in the USA as VP Business Development.
Joining the company in 2014 in business development, Tom spearheaded the growth of the inaugural Sport Business Summit NYC. In 2016, Tom opened and set up the staffing of Leaders US office in Charlotte, North Carolina.
After gaining an BA (Hons) from Kingston University, Tom worked in a variety of event roles, with experience at companies including the Walt Disney Company, Worldwide Business Research, and Progressive Digital Media.
He is a lifelong West Ham United Supporter.