Former Springboks captain Bob Skinstad joins Elixirr

05 July 2023 3 min. read
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Rugby World Cup winner Bob Skinstad has pivoted to a life of entrepreneurship, since hanging up his boots in 2007. His knowhow from both worlds has now been tapped by consulting firm Elixirr, which has hired the South African sports star turned businessman as a partner, helping to build its sport and media services network.

Over the course of a decade-long career in professional rugby, Bob Skinstad represented South Africa at all levels. Having captained the under 21 Springbok side in 1996 and 1997, he ascended to the adult team as a replacement on 29 November 1997 against England. He would go on to play 42 tests for the Springboks, scoring 11 tries – and captained the national side to its second Rugby Union World Cup in 2007, before retiring.

Since then, Skinstad has turned his hand to entrepreneurship. He launched his own sports management company, Esportif, as a joint venture with Saatchi & Saatchi, from the firm’s London headquarters. After the sale of that brand, Skinstad joined private equity firm Knife Capital, and founded its UK partnership, as well as co-launching the Section 12J entrepreneurs fund, KNF Ventures.

Former Springboks captain Bob Skinstad joins Elixirr

At the same time, Skinstad has stayed abreast of the world of contemporary sport, working as an analyst and occasional presenter covering the Super 14, Currie Cup and NPC Tournaments for Sky Sports. Both sets of experience made him a key target for UK headquartered consultancy Elixirr – a firm which prides itself on its entrepreneurial culture, as well as some South African roots of its own.

Elixirr CEO and co-founder Stephen Newton, who is originally from Cape Town, said of Skinstad’s arrival, “Bob brings with him a unique skillset and background. It’s evident that the qualities which enabled him to be such a successful athlete and team leader have been carried over into his entrepreneurial endeavours. Bob comes with expertise and a strong network in industries where we are seeing a lot of growth and change, and as a client-led business, we continuously seek to expand in areas where we are seeing demand. Bob’s presence will support this, and I look forward to seeing the impact he has as part of the partner team.”

As a partner with the firm, Skinstad will draw on both his unique sporting background, and his decades of boardroom and advisory experience to evolve Elixirr’s business development capabilities. In particular, he is tasked with bolstering Elixirr’s sport and media services network, which is growing to meet heightened demand. 

Looking at the shifting landscape, Skinstad commented, “Private equity in sport is one of the fastest-growing areas right now. As a result, we’re seeing the advent of multi-club portfolios and investment from all around the world. That has to be done with quality as the priority, which Elixirr – and its brands – have the expertise to support. We’ve also seen the proliferation of media forms in sport over the past 20 years, with technology presenting a whole new opportunity for how organisations connect teams, fans and sponsors globally. It’s an incredible nexus to be at and there is a huge opportunity in this space which I look forward to being a part of at Elixirr.”

The move comes after a string of other senior appointments at Elixirr, including new partners Ian Stuart, Dan Coral and Rory Farquharson. The appointments come as Elixirr looks to maintain a rich vein of growth, which saw revenues hit £70.7 million in the firm’s latest financial year.