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David McHugh – Director of Line Up Sports & Experienced Independent Non Executive Director

Breandan hEaghra
01 July 2021
Mason Alexander portrait – Dave McHugh. Picture Colm Mahady / Fennells – Copyright© Fennell Photography 2017

Sports marketing professional with over 20 years of hands on experience managing athletes, working with brands in sponsorship, communications & activation. Experienced in sports event management and strategic consultancy for athletes, brands & rights holders.

Managing the commercial rights of some of Ireland’s best sporting talent including Rob Kearney, Kellie Harrington, Greg O’Shea, Conor Murray, Paul & Gary O’Donovan, Tadhg Furlong, Annalise Murphy, Rachael Blackmore, Joey Carbery, Sean O’Brien, James Ryan, Ian Madigan, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Dardis, Sene Naoupu, Beibhin Parsons,  David Kearney, Donnacha Ryan, Dan Leavy, Ross Byrne, Andy Lee, Greg Callaghan.

Over seven year of experience as an independent non-executive board member with experience in sports governing bodies, hospitality, commercial property, asset management and restructuring project in collaboration with KPMG.

Q1.  Did you always want to become a consultant or did you fall into the role?

  • I created a business by combining my passion and purpose – as a high performance athlete, a term in high performance rugby management, it just seamed natural to combine these skills and experience and create a role that worked for me, versus taking a Job!

Q2.  What makes a good consultant?

  • Listening, understanding and being creative and authentic – we are privileged to work with some of the best sports people, brands and agencies in the sports marketing world. I also believe in continuous learning and always trying to stay ahead,

Q3.  Do you feel you manage yourself well or is it a case of ‘the cobbler’s shoes’?

  • Yes, I always try to live a life with balance between work, family and exercise – this balance includes rising around 0530 and finishing my working day in time to be home daily for 1700 and I build in exercise to my working week so I can be free to be with my family for the weekends. I am a keen student of science and always trying to incorporate the 1%’s from elite sport across exercise recovery, sleep and nutrition.

Q4.  Are there enough hours in your day?

  • Some days and other days not – time management is key, but also delivering unquestionably for our client base. If busy, ill work day and night knowing that in quieter times, ill be able to not be in the office and free to box or cycle or be at home..

Q5.  If you could magically stop your clients from making one mistake – what would that be?

  • No mistakes, no learnings – my job is to deliver but also manage expectations. My philosophy is that all athletes need a dual career and need to invest in their education, career and transferable skills throughout their performance life-cycle to assist them in their second curve career as best as possible.

Q6.  What do you find is the best way to market yourself?

  • By being the best we can be, mixed in with references and building a network., this of course is supported by online marketing and social connecting sites,

Q7.  What do you do to unwind?

  • Mountain Biking, boxing, sailing and surfing and of course watching sport!

Q8.  What advice would you give a starting consultant?

  • Identify your values, your value ads and work hard. Simple really!

Q9.  What’s your guilty pleasure?

  • Single malt and chocolate.. and more importantly, getting to spend time with elite athletes watching them train and getting in and trying whether its boxing, rugby, or anything really all with the aim of undertaking what they do, and how difficult it is!

Q10.  What’s your goal for next year?

  • Return the business to positive growth and we have some very exiting new strands to the business being roled out over the coming months in content and digital and Leadership!

David McHugh – Bio –