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Spring Media adds Paunovic and ITF’s O’Hara to commercial team

Spring Media, the Stockholm-based agency, has strengthened its commercial team with the appointments of Slaven Paunovic, formerly of the MP & Silva and The Sportsman Media Group agencies, and Carly O’Hara, currently manager of media production and operations at the International Tennis Federation.

Paunovic has been named as the agency’s commercial manager for Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS, and will be based in Munich. O’Hara is to join next month as commercial manager for the UK and Ireland in a London-based role.

Commenting on the arrival of the duo, Spring Media chief executive Tobias Osmund said: “With our growing portfolio of rights and projects we see a need to expand and strengthen our commercial team. With their industry experience and impressive personal networks Slaven Paunovic and Carly O’Hara are just the type of people the company needs to continue developing.”

The agency’s commercial department was boosted earlier this year with the arrivals of Petter Werner, formerly of the EBU and Lagardère Sports, and DMC in Sports’ Craig Neilson, another former Stockholm-based commercial executive at Lagardère.

Paunovic arrived at MP & Silva in 2016 as its commercial representative in German-speaking countries and Eastern Europe, after leaving the role of head of the media-rights team at Sportsman following its takeover by Sportradar. He spent seven years at the Munich-based agency, initially selling rights to German football’s Bundesliga, but also distributing the rights to the Volleyball Champions League and German ice hockey’s DEL.

Paunovic also enjoyed four years at the Sportfive agency in media rights sales and spent nearly a year in Croatia helping to oversee commercial broadcaster RTL’s broadcast of the 2009 Men’s Handball World Championships.

The arrival of O’Hara follows on from the addition of English Premier League clubs Arsenal and Chelsea as Spring Media clients.

Earlier this year, Spring Media replaced MP & Silva as the distributor of Arsenal’s international programming in the wake of the agency’s financial collapse. The agreement to exclusively distribute Chelsea’s international programming block was then announced in August.

O’Hara is to manage the distribution of both clubs’ international programming offerings. She has been with the ITF for eight and a half years and was promoted to her current role at the start of 2018.

During a busy 2019 for Spring Media, the agency was also named as the exclusive international media rights advisor for Belgian football’s Pro League (until the end of the 2019-20 season).

Deals have also been agreed this year to distribute global media rights to the Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour and the new European Cricket League, along with the purchase of Fanseat, a sports streaming service created by Finnish telco Elisa.