James Begley is an entrepreneur and former professional athlete who is the founder and CEO of PickStar, a marketplace that opens up access to sports stars for any engagement or experience imaginable.
James identified a critical market need during his transition from the sports arena to the boardroom, when he was working as a leadership consultant to large corporations and organisations. There was an enormous desire from business and the community to work with sports stars, and a willingness from athletes to engage with more opportunities, but the connection process was broken.
James joined forces with AFL champion Matthew Pavlich, building an online platform that provides fast, affordable and direct connections to over 500 sports stars. So far, PickStar has facilitated over 500 connections, working with some of the biggest brands, including Westpac, Uber and Deloitte, along with countless charities, schools and clubs.
James has a vision to truly democratise access to high profile people, worldwide. He is leading PickStar’s global expansion, which has begun in the sub-continent.
James’ foundations as a CEO have been enhanced through his work as the founding director of Tract Group, a corporate leadership and development company. James spent over a decade helping organisations such as Mirvac, Landcorp, Fremantle Football Club, Bendigo Bank and CGU develop and implement strategies to get the most out of their teams and emerging leaders.
James’ career has been dedicated to high performance from the moment he was drafted to AFL club St.Kilda as a 17 year old, where he learned how to succeed in pressure situations under the intense scrutiny of stakeholders.
Such demands are not dissimilar to those faced by corporate leaders, and James’ unparalleled experiences, leadership skills and insights have become an asset to his companies, investors and the clients he works closely with.
Founder and CEO
January 2013 – Present
PickStar is the marketplace to connect with sports stars for any engagement or experience you can imagine. We work FAST, with ANY budget. So far we’ve facilitated over 500 connections, working with everyone from the largest brands to the smallest schools. PickStar has direct access to over 500 sports stars (and our list is growing rapidly) and we have begun our international expansion.
August 2012 – Present
We provide lead indicator research and analysis of intellectual capital for companies focused on sustainability of high performance. Our service is applicable to a wide array of industries ranging from the financial sector to construction, and from child care centres to the resources sector
We run Leadership and high performance programs that combine facilitated workshops with cloud based tracking.
East Fremantle Football Club
November 2013 – November 2015 Perth Area, Australia
Director of Leadership and Culture
Lifeskills Coaching Pty Ltd
2009 – February 2011 (2 years)
Oversee business growth. Build the client base. Deliver the corporate leadership program. Oversee the design of the Executive Performance Program and Manage our 5 staff
General Manager, Leadership and Culture
Fremantle Football Club
November 2007 – November 2011 (4 years)
Delivered leadership and cultural programs focusing on Vision, Values and Behaviours. Ran the emerging leaders program. Established and oversaw the club alcohol policy and staff leadership group. Instilled a values based culture and drove feedback programs within the player group. Managed the player well being department.
Programs Manager and Leadership Facilitator
Leading Teams Australia
November 2006 – November 2007 (1 year 1 month)
Delivered corporate and elite sport leadership programs along the east coast of Australia and New Zealand
AFLPA (AFL Players Association)
2006 – 2007 (1 year)
Delivered the Cert 4 Apprenticeship program delivered to all First year AFL players
2002 – 2005 (3 years)
St Kilda Football Club
1999 – November 2002 (4 years)