Meet the Team
Rod joined Paddy Power in 2007 to set up the Sports Risk Management Division and subsequently formed Airton Risk Management. Since 2007 Airton Risk Management has provided sports risk cover to some of the biggest brands in the sporting world, writing over one third of a billion euros in risk capacity.
In 2009 Rod recruited David Lyons and together they grew Airton Risk Management into the leading player globally in sports risk management. Prior to joining Paddy Power, Rod began his career and spent seventeen years in the Telecoms market, with fifteen of those being in the Mobile Communications market. Rod worked in the UK for almost nine years working for Cellnet in its formative years before moving back to Irish Mobile start up East Digifone. Rod spent most of his time in Telecoms as a Finance professional holding roles such as Financial Accountant, Technology/Commercial Finance Manager and Head of Business Planning.
He was also Head of Music and Head of Mobile Content for O2 Ireland. Rod is an Associate Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) and holds a BSc Mgmt. (Hons) from Dublin University and a Diploma in Advanced Business Studies from Dublin Institute of Technology.
Favourite Black Swan moment:
As horseracing is a passion of mine, my favourite Black Swan moment has to be Frankie Dettori’s through the card seven timer at Ascot in 1996. The odds of Frankie achieving this feat were around 25,000/1 and it cost the UK betting industry £30m when Fujiyama Crest, Frankie’s mount, won the seventh race. When asked that morning if he fancied any of his rides that day Frankie only fancied his mount in the third race!
For the last decade David has helped some of Sports largest clubs, associations and brands to manage their financial risk related to on pitch performance.
Previously, David joined the Sports Risk Management team in Paddy Power plc when the business was in its infancy and was a key contributor to its growth to being one of the market leaders in the sector.
During this time, he gained a deep understanding of the corporate sports risk market and developed a vast network within the industry. He now carries this experience over to Black Swan Sports. David holds a BBS and prior to his time in Paddy Power worked as Brand Manager for online rewards website Pigsback.com. A genuine sports fanatic, David has also represented Leinster and Ireland at underage levels in Rugby.
Favourite Black Swan moment:
In contrast to the upsets that happen regularly in team sports, tennis is a relatively predictable discipline. Wimbledon 2001 was everything I look for in sport. The legendary seven-time tournament winner Pete Sampras was beaten in the fourth round by a 19 year old Roger Federer (whom it turns out was a reasonable player himself). The Black Swan however in this instance was the three-time tournament bridesmaid and 150/1 wildcard Goran Ivanisevic who turned back the clock to achieve what at the time he called his “destiny” at the age of 30. You may also remember that superstition took over for Goran when serving at 8-7 in the final game of the fifth set when he kept requesting the same ball over and over again for each point.