Havas Media Group’s Francis Coady joins Surfing NSW board

Francis Coady

Coady said: “To be a champion of something that is so close to me and my family’s heart is very special”

Francis Coady, entertainment, content, and communication expert, is preparing to ride a new wave with Surfing NSW.

In addition to his role as Havas Media Group chief marketing and content officer, he will join the Surfing NSW board in December to champion his support for the Olympic sport. 

Surfing NSW chairman John O’Neill and the board were delighted to welcome Coady as the first full non-COVID summer in two years kicks off. 

“Surfing in NSW has never had more opportunity than it does leading into 2023,” said O’Neill. 

“Since our inception in 1963 we’ve been working to build better communities through surfing and now we’ve proudly educated 11,000 surfers through the Surfers Rescue 24/7 program and are delivering more inclusive participation and elite pathway programs than ever before.

“We’re excited to welcome Francis to the board ahead of our 60th year. He has such an incredible portfolio of creative, content and partnership experience. His perspective and expertise will be valuable to help move us into new areas to help more people engage and become involved in surfing,” he added.

Coady is not a stranger to the sport, having been one of his life-long passions for more than 20 years.

Coady’s experience across TV, film, broadcast, digital content, music, and the marketing communications industry will be complementary to the existing board members including Felicity Conlan, former CFO at Adslot, and Ben Rolleston, the country manager of Audible, who are also new appointments in 2022. 

Coady said: “Surfing and the ocean are very important to me, and to be a champion of something that is so close to me, and my family’s heart is very special.”

“There are two major areas that Surfing NSW is leading the way in making the sport more accessible – Surfers Rescue 24/7 and the Her Wave initiative – this world is new and exciting. 

“I can’t wait to connect my love of surfing and my profession to help continue the journey to egalitarianism in surfing. It’s an organisation that is creating a real shift and effecting change along the coastline with mental health, empowerment of women, and water safety,” he said. 

Francis Coady’s long and successful history in award-winning content creation, partnerships and live event activations are sure to boost the state sporting organisation’s community impact, media reach across live broadcast events and broader commercial relationships. 

“Content creation and partnerships have been a large part of my working life. One thing I’ve learnt is if you get it right, you can connect to the passions of your audience at scale and ignite it,” he said.

“There’s a unique and genuine enthusiasm within the Surfing NSW team. It’s powerful and infectious and I’m looking forward to lending my expertise in content development and partnership strategy to support them and the board. I aim to dial up the collective excitement and bring it into the fore with other organisations and brands,” Coady added.

Francis Coady joins the Surfing NSW board in December 2022. He will join John O’Neill (chair), Harry Hodge (deputy chair), Mark Windon OAM, Felicity Conlan, Ben Rolleston, Lyndel Gray and Robert Smith.

Top image, left to right: Luke Madden, Francis Coady, Kate Cass and John O’Neill

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