When asked what colleagues most admire about David Mackay, there are a few themes that resonate including David’s natural leadership, refreshing and intelligent directness, and an unflappably calm demeanour in his approach to life and work. This becomes evident when we reflect on the man, his accomplishments and family.
David has forged a unique professional profile over many years and is recognised and admired for it by peers and associates across a range of industries spanning sports, leisure, entertainment, technology, retail, consumer and education.
Prior to SPP, he worked at some big-name companies and firms including Gadens law firm, Fujitsu, and Toll, where he built on various skills in technical engineering, IT, cybersecurity, high-level project management and strategy.
David joined SPP in September 2008 as a Senior Consultant, soon after he completed an MBA at The University of Melbourne where he was awarded Dean’s List honours.
He was quickly promoted to Associate Director, and has been a key figure in SPP’s growth over the last 10 years. From an operational perspective, he has taken on many significant internal roles including resourcing, recruitment, ICT and professional development to ensure that the SPP team is equipped with the optimal people, processes and systems to thrive and grow as a firm.
David has also steadily grown the firm’s Sports, Media & Entertainment, and Leisure & Tourism practice over the years with many new and exciting projects for clients including major sporting organisations, theme parks, performing arts centres, film festivals, broadcast media, and tourism bodies.
David was promoted to Partner in May 2017. Ever the academic, in 2017 he also completed studies in a Master’s Degree for Sport Business and Integrity where he was awarded Most Outstanding Postgraduate Student.
David has put these skills directly to use reviewing the integrity functions of major sporting codes and advising on a breadth of integrity challenges including competition integrity, animal welfare, and participant wellbeing.
Gaming and esports have been a recent area of focus, allowing David to combine and apply his technology, business and entertainment knowledge to an exciting growth area.
"David is a great story-teller in his consulting output,
and always calm and client-focused. After 11 years at the firm,
David’s legacy is SPP."
Phil Noble, Managing Partner, SPP
David spent four and a half year in Sydney establishing and building SPP’s office presence there. David made the difficult choice to leave Sydney and return home to Melbourne in October 2018, largely due to his growing family needs and the desire to be closer to extended family members.
David’s wife Kylie ably runs their hectic household, which is a feat in itself with their four young children aged 10, nine, six and two. Their weekends are filled with Saturday sports runs, kids’ parties, catching up with family friends, and somehow David has managed to find time to umpire his children’s soccer matches and fit in parkrun when he can.
Strategy consulting is a complex thing to explain to people. And when we asked David what his children thought he did for a living, he laughed saying responses range from “I don’t know” to “He spends a lot of time in front of computers”, but his second eldest aptly says “He spends time helping other businesses”.
Therein lies David’s secret sauce. With the 11-year anniversary of consulting at SPP, his true passion has always been and continues to be “working with organisations that are really complex and often under-resourced, and finding ways to help them improve.”