Vacancy: Head of Commercial

Sunderland AFC has a very proud history and boasts a fan-base of loyal and dedicated supporters who follow the club across the country, with home games played at the iconic Stadium of Light. 

After the success in the 2021/2022 season, the Club has ambitious plans for growth on and off the pitch and continue to build on these achievements. From a commercial perspective, the Club continues to look at innovative ways to increase its revenue streams and is now looking to appoint a Head of Commercial to lead the team in the new Championship-era and beyond. 

The role represents an enormously exciting opportunity working closely with the Chief Operating Officer to make a significant commercial impact at the Club. The successful candidate will drive commercial strategy and execution across a number of revenue streams, including sponsorships and partnerships, venue and hospitality sales, led by a digital first approach. 

The Role

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer and as the senior member of the management team, core responsibilities of the role will include but not be limited to: 

  • To develop and deliver a new and innovative commercial strategy with a direct focus on growing revenue through sponsorship and partnership, venue and hospitality sales as well as new revenue streams according to customer demand. 
  • To carry out a review of the current commercial practices, and introduce more fluid, automated processes across all sales activity, focusing on modernising the commercial methods and structures with a digitally focused approach 
  • Lead on overall budget management alongside comprehensive contract management to support all commercial revenue deals 
  • To engage with global brands to secure multi-year commercial partnerships and sponsorships, as well as building commercially viable relationships with local and national organisations. 
  • To consistently be up to date on market trends and identify innovative opportunities for new revenue generation streams. Conduct market research and analysis to create and implement plans for commercial business opportunities, that can be presented and reviewed by the leadership team and board.
  • To review and upskill the current commercial team, providing first-class leadership, management, and guidance to support the overall commercial function.
  • Introduce structured KPI’s to drive performance and growth across the commercial team, including proactive management of key commercial accounts for the club
  • Working closely with Heads of Domains to collaborate and work effectively, and to drive cross functional interactions 

The Person

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate previous experience of high-level commercial strategy and first-class sales delivery across sponsorship, venue, and hospitality sales. Through their previous experience, the ideal candidate will be a high-caliber, strategic yet hands-on and a commercially focused revenue generator, able to demonstrate the required skills and competencies to deliver the key responsibilities and accountabilities described. 

Applications are sought from candidates who can offer the following key skills and experience: 

  • Experience of managing a high-performance sales function and ideally, re-designing and implementing new sales processes to maximise commercial performance across all revenue streams.
  • A thorough understanding of the sponsorship sales process, including complex contract negotiation, and a significant track record of delivering multi-year, seven figure partnership deals, working with global, national and local brands, and overseeing the full sales cycle.
  • Demonstrable track record of delivering high value venue and hospitality sales figures against challenging targets. 
  • Pro-active and results driven with a hunger for success and a desire to help the club achieve its ambitious growth plans. 
  • Commercially savvy with a strong understanding of the impact that digitally led campaigns have with regards to improved revenue generation. 
  • Highly personable, with excellent communication and stakeholder management skills 
  • Previous leadership of managing a multi-functional commercial team and acting as a motivational leader and manager, to inspire revenue growth and personal development. 
  • A strong understanding of Sunderland AFC and the sporting landscape would be advantageous 
  • Ability to work in, or re-locate (if required) to the North East is essential 

To Apply: 

Please send a current CV and details of remuneration to

For an informal discussion please call Eddy Forshaw on 0207 970 9604.


Sunderland AFC is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to a policy of treating all employees and job applicants equally. Our aim is that all colleagues should be able to work in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying.


Sunderland AFC is fully committed to the safeguarding and welfare of children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups within the organisation. Sunderland AFC owes a duty of care to safeguard all children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups involved in activities as organised by the football club. Sunderland AFC makes provisions for children, young people, adults at risk and all vulnerable groups through adherence to the Safeguarding Policies and Procedures adopted by the Club.

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