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Embargoed until 08:00 11th February 2016: Bigballs Media has hired
James Kirkham as the head of Copa90 and the chief strategy officer for
Bigballs Media Europe.
Kirkham, the former head of mobile and social at Leo Burnett Worldwide
and co-founder of Holler, has a remit to help build and grow the Copa90
brand, audience, and revenues globally.
He will immediately develop innovations in mobile and social, create
partnerships with emerging platforms, further develop current brand
partnerships with advertisers, such as Hyundai, and build the Creator
Network, the channel’s network of fans around the world.
Leading a team of fifty in the UK office, Kirkham will report into Tom
Thirlwall, the chief executive of Bigballs Media.
Kirkham was previously Leo Burnett Worldwide’s head of mobile and
social. He was promoted to the role in 2013 and left the company in
November last year.
During his time at Leo Burnett, Kirkham led the combined social media and
mobile capabilities of the advertising network, which has clients including
Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Kellogg’s, and operates
across 97 offices, in 84 countries worldwide.
Kirkham was the co-founder and managing partner of Holler, the digital
strategy agency he formed in February 2001 with business partner Will
Pyne. He joined Leo Burnett in 2010, after selling Holler to Publicis Groupe
and Leo Burnett London.
Following Kirkham’s promotion to head of mobile and social, Holler
expanded from its UK office into Leo Burnett offices around the world,
including Dubai, Moscow, Chicago and San Francisco. Holler worked with
Channel 4, Mercedes-Benz, P&G and Red Bull and was behind the critically
acclaimed and multi award-winning marketing for the drama Skins on E4.
Tom Thirlwall, the CEO of Big Balls Media, said: “James is a massive coup
for this business. He built one of the outstanding agency brands of the last
decade in Holler, worked with some of the most progressive global brands
and is a leading voice in media and innovation – he is therefore perfect to
lead the global expansion of Copa90 and, moreover, the growth of Bigballs
Media as the new player in the sports media landscape”
James Kirkham said: “I’ve been invited to help disrupt sports media around
the world, and to run the most exciting, progressive, football network on
the planet which is backed by some of the most respected investors in
media and tech. So I’m pinching myself.
“Football has never been bigger, yet a comically old fashioned media model
still exists, and it is nowhere near well enough equipped to satisfy a
modern fan. Copa90 has changed the game, and I could not be more excited
to lead it into the next era.”