PFA President Simon Colosimo today announced the appointment of leading marketing executive John Poulakakis as the non-executive Chairman of the PFA.

“John’s appointment brings to the PFA important leadership, governance, commercial and football experience,” Colosimo said today. “The PFA feels John’s appointment will further enhance the standing of the PFA in the game, our relations with FFA, and the quality of the services the PFA provides the players. In addition John will help drive player involvement in the community and the role of football in promoting social responsibility.”

Poulakakis has a long time commitment to Australian football and the PFA. He was the inaugural Chairman of the PFA Advisory Board in 1999, and played an instrumental role in helping the PFA drive the game’s positive change agenda, especially its proposals for the reform of football’s governance structure and establishment of the new national competition in the early part of this decade. As such, he is held in high regard by the players.

With the appointment of Poulakakis, long-serving PFA head Brendan Schwab will continue to act as the PFA’s Chief Executive and General Counsel.

“John and I have worked together in building the PFA and contributing to the growth of Australian football,” Schwab said today. “I am delighted he has agreed to take on the role of PFA Chairman. His empathy for the players coupled with his acute awareness of what is required to make football succeed on and off field will ensure he is a great asset to the players and the game.”


John Poulakakis has spent 25 years building some of the most iconic brands in Australia including Target, AntzPantz, Holeproof No Knickers, Lipton Tea, Jeans West, and the ANZ. Half of this time was spent with Australia’s most renowned and awarded agency – The Campaign Palace, Melbourne.

As Managing Director of the Campaign Palace, John was also instrumental in some of Australia’s most enduring campaigns including the incredibly high profile “I’d like to see that” campaign for the AFL featuring super stars such as Shaquille O’Neill, Heather Lockyer and Carl Lewis.

In 1999 John started his own marketing consultancy with the aim of bringing strategic thinking to the business of sport, community and the arts. John was one of the architects of what is today known as the Hyundai A League and his clients included the Disney Corporation and LG Electronics as well as elite athletes such as Grant Hackett and Lisa Curry.

In mid 2003 John was approached by M&C Saatchi to establish a second agency network. DNA was established in December 2003 with the $30 million Medibank Private account as its foundation client.

In 2006 at the conclusion of his contract with DNA John left to once again concentrate on his own marketing consultancy Game Plan Australia.

John enjoys the unique honour of being on the advisory board of both the AFLPA and the PFA. He is also a Director for ‘Foundation 49’ the peak body for men’s health.