Grace Blue Expands Sports & Entertainment Practice Into North America And Adds Former Ryder Cup Exec to Board

Grace Blue is expanding its Sports, Media and Entertainment practice into North America, alongside their existing agency and consumer brand offering, and has appointed former Ryder Cup Commercial Director, Tim Shaw, to its Advisory Board. The expansion and appointment follow successful placements of leadership talent for a number of top sports organisations, including Wimbledon AELTC, Scottish Rugby and IMG.

Shaw has been a senior executive in sports marketing for over 30 years, both on the agency side and for rights holders. He is the former Commercial Director of the Ryder Cup and PGA European Tour and brings expertise across companies including the Welsh Rugby Union, Scottish Rugby and IMG. He will work closely with Managing Partner, Tim Palmer to support sports and entertainment agencies and rights holders on their leadership hires in the growing direct to consumer landscape.

Grace Blue’s Sports, Media & Entertainment Practice is geared to support businesses as they rapidly adapt to consumer change, new technologies, and project fast-growth. The global sports market is expected to reach $599.9 billion by 2025, and $826.0 billion by 2030[1].

Jay Haines, Grace Blue’s Founder and CEO of the North America office said: “Grace Blue was set up over 15 years ago and has been operating in North America for over 10 years across agencies, media companies and consumer brands. This gives us a unique opportunity to bring fresh and transformational talent to the sports, media & entertainment  space to ensure that sports franchises, entertainment properties and agencies that service the space are able to engage customers and fans in new and different ways and are able to take advantage of all the opportunities in front of them.”

Shaw said: “The sports market continues to grow at an ever-expanding rate as does the range of skills and expertise required by agencies and rights holders to maintain their competitive edge. Having been involved in many talent recruitment drives over the years, both hiring personnel and seeking employment myself, the critical thing to get right is not just sourcing talent with the requisite skill set and experience but getting the right fit both from a cultural and personality perspective. What I love about Grace Blue is the 360 degree approach they take to working with their clients by using their global collaboration and sourcing methods to obtain the best talent, but also go through a rigorous process to ensure that every candidate put forward will add real value to the role and the company they are looking to join.

“It is an exciting time to be joining Grace Blue as they look to expand their operations and I firmly believe the market is ready for the sort of dynamic, fully integrated, and diligent approach to the search process that Grace Blue can provide.”

Palmer outlined the company’s expansion plans: “The US has a hugely exciting sports and entertainment market, attracting millions of fans, domestically and from around the world. Technology is enabling fantastic new, innovative ways to create fan engagement and build a strong one-to-one relationship between sports and entertainment property and the fan. The best leaders will be ones that know exactly how to create the very best experience which makes them the number one choice for fans in a highly competitive arena for attention.

“We are delighted to have the global sports industry expertise of Tim Shaw on the Board from an advisory perspective and support for Grace Blue’s continued growth, globally and his acute understanding of the needs of our current and future clients.”

Last week, Grace Blue announced that they will be strengthening their global Advisory Board led by Chairman Ian Priest, which Tim Shaw now joins. Juliet Timms co-founder of Grace Blue has moved onto the Advisory Board using her independent coaching practice to help support the Grace Blue team and its clients. Sherilyn Shackell, CEO, and founder of The Marketing Academy, continues to bring her leadership experience and knowledge of the marketing community. The Advisory Board will seek to ensure Grace Blue has expert advice across the whole industry and will continue to grow in the areas that they believe are important to their clients’ future growth.


For more information, please contact:

Matt Bourn on

Megan Hand on

[1] Source: The Business Research Company