James Francis first head of communications

The European Tour today announced the appointment of James Francis as its first Head of Commercial Communications.

Francis joins the European Tour after four years at Edelman, the world’s largest PR agency, where he was an Associate Director in its London office and advised a wide range of clients in the sports and entertainment sectors.

Prior to that, he worked in Downing Street as Head of Campaigns for the UK Government, and he also has previous experience in an in-house communications role for a global sporting brand from his time as Senior Communications Manager for the Williams Formula One Team.

His appointment as the Tour’s first Head of Commercial Communications, under Communications Director Scott Crockett, reflects the significant commercial growth reported by the European Tour in recent years.

Francis’s portfolio of clients at Edelman included DP World, and he will continue to work closely with the leading provider of global smart end-to-end supply chain and logistics solutions in their capacity as an Official Partner of the European Tour, alongside Rolex, BMW, Callaway, Emirates, Workday and Zoom.

He will also be responsible for the Tour’s wider commercial communication strategy which includes the Ryder Cup Worldwide Partner programme, with global brands AON, BMW, BP, RBC and Rolex.

James Francis, statements

Francis said: “The European Tour is an innovative global sporting brand which has been widely acclaimed in recent years for its creativity, award winning content and pioneering commercial partnerships. It’s an organisation that I have always admired and I’m looking forward to joining the Communications Team to help tell this success story to a global audience.”

Guy Kinnings, the European Tour’s Deputy Chief Executive, Ryder Cup Director and Chief Commercial Officer, added: “James will be a terrific addition to our Communications team, joining us at a key point in our commercial evolution.

“The Tour is more commercially robust than ever before, showing current sponsorship growth of more than 100% on projected new business in 2021 against a market predicted to be 25% down in Europe. We are also energised by the potential for further growth generated by our Strategic Alliance with the PGA TOUR, and James will be vital in helping us to communicate these positive stories as we continue to drive golf further.”