James Kirkham
(Defected, Chief Business Officer, UK)


26 July 2021

Acknowledged widely as anauthority onall thingsmarketing, public relations and contentcreation, James Kirkham joined Defected Records as Chief Business Officer in January 2020.Making the move to theindependent labelfroman advertising andmarketingbackground,Jameshad just concludedfouryears at thefootballmedia company COPA90, where duringhis successful tenureas CBOheoversaw a100% increaseinrevenue year-on-year, andcoordinated partnerships with brands such asUber, Budweiser, Nike, Pepsi and EA Sports.

As well as his impressive work with COPA90, where James and his team built a vast audienceof young fans, peaking at 650 million monthly views in 2019,James has established himselfas a media innovator and specialistvoiceon theindustry, providing insightsfor news outletssuch asThe Guardian,CNN, Al Jazeera, Sky News and the BBC. As one of the world’sforemost media industry speakers, he has appeared on stage for a number of years at theCannes Lions Festival of Creativity, featured in BIMA’s prestigious Top 100 for three yearsrunning and was recently selected as one of the top Leaders Under 40 in the sportsbusiness. He was also named in Campaign Magazine’s esteemed ‘Power 100’ in July 2019.

Prior to COPA90,James founded his own digital advertising business Holler, the first agencyin the world to market a TV show using social media,andthe trailblazing nature of thebusiness was noticed by industry leaders Publicis Group, who acquired Holler in 2010.Jameswas promoted to Leo Burnett Worldwide’s Global Head of Social and Mobile, working withclientssuch as Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s.

In January 2020 James startedhis new chapter at Defected Records, joiningthe label asitenters its thirddecade. James is overseeing all social, content, marketing and PR activationsat Defected, and makes an invaluable addition to the company as it navigates its position asan industry leader in a new era for the music industry.

“A hugely respected record label, now alsoamedia company,we have one of the mostengaged audiences and fervent fanbases I’ve ever seen. Combine that with staging trulyincredible parties and events worldwide, it makes them the most exciting direct to consumerbusiness on earth.I want to help Defected dominate this decade.”

In March 2020 Defected launched their Virtual Festival,a standalone event that evolved intoa weekly residencyin response to multiple event cancellations due to the COVID-19outbreak. Within four weeks the online residency accumulated over 10 million views andgained worldwide recognition and acclaim, gaining media coverage inThe Telegraph, BBCRadio 2, 6Music,Evening Standard,Le Monde Franceand Sky News Italy.