Premier division football club Sunderland AFC has promoted its top
PRO to the board.
Communications manager Lesley Callaghan has taken up the executive
director level post and will now oversee all media and PR work.
In her main role, she will report to CEO John Fickling. She is also
tasked with overseeing the club's new media venture, safc.com. In this
role she reports to that division's chairman David Chance.
Callaghan joined the club six years ago and has built the communications
department from scratch.
In her old job, she helped with the club's move from its old Roker Park
ground to the new state-of-the-art home at the Stadium of Light.
In the new post, she will lead a PR team of three, and a further three
in the new-media office.
Financial PR work with incumbent agency Buchanan Communications is
expected to continue, she added.
'My new role includes responsibility for managing all aspects of PR and
developing the Sunderland AFC brand nationally and internationally
through increased exposure,' said Callaghan.
She said the industry was undergoing 'unprecedented change', and the
creation of the post reflects the need for greater media links.
'Media and PR will focus on enhancing communications with supporters and
stakeholders through traditional media and new media.'
Callaghan was the driving force behind the first ever competition
launched by a premiership club to offer a fan the chance to be signed as
a professional player by the club. The club received responses from
around the world within hours of making the offer earlier this year.