IMG has hired former Sky Sports general manager Barney Francis as executive vice president, responsible for global production, to lead IMG’s production operations.
Francis is well known for making Sky Sports the UK’s premier sports broadcaster during his 20 years with the organization. As Managing Director, Francis has increased the channel offering from 5 to 11, adding premium sports such as Formula 1 and NBA to the portfolio, while increasing the number of Premier League games broadcast on Sky.
During his time at Sky, he also oversaw continued technological innovation with developments in 3D, Ultra HD, Virtual Reality and the continued growth of Sky Sports’ digital, social and online presence.
Adam Kelly, co-chair of media and events at IMG, described Francis as a “a transformative hire for our media company ”.
“As a key member of my leadership team, he will play a catalytic role in our strategic growth and development plans as we evolve our model to better empower rights holders to develop and deliver innovative content. and multiplatform that directly engages fans.. “
Francis expressed his joy at joining IMG at a “pivotal moment” in the sports industry.
He added “As consumer habits continue to change, the offering we’ll be launching will help teams, leagues and federations reach new and existing fans in creative and compelling ways. IMG is the industry standard for sports production, and I am truly delighted to join such an exceptional team.“
Prior to his role as Managing Director, Francis was Sky Sports’ executive producer for football and cricket, producing a range of live coverage, support programs and sports news content. His production credits include the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, ICC Cricket World Cup and the Cricket Test.
Francis, who will take up his new role in early November, was a judge at the 2021 Sports Industry Awards and will sit on the advisory board at the next Sports podcast prices.