Highly experienced sports executive Brad Paatsch has been appointed to lead the commercial strategy and operations of the Western Force.

Paatsch has 20 years of experience in marketing, commercial negotiations and government liaison, particularly in professional sports.

He will initially focus on the development of the commercial strategy, procurement of media partners and sponsors and the implementation of a premium hospitality programme for the West Australian rugby team, with this role likely to evolve as the Force grows.

“I am really excited about building a new presence for the Western Force, alongside the high-calibre team being assembled,” Paatsch said.

“I have worked on some big projects throughout my career, but this new phase of the Force presents incredible potential and is an opportunity too good to turn down. I can’t wait to be part of another new venture at the heart of the WA community.”

Paatsch was most recently chief operating officer at Perth’s new Optus Stadium where he oversaw the development and implementation of the commercial program, including naming rights and venue partnerships.

Prior to that he spent five years as the general manager of strategic projects at AFL club Fremantle Dockers, where he successfully delivered a world-class $109 million administration and training facility.

He has also worked with AFL Clubs Melbourne and Collingwood and in NRL and A-League Football.