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Former Sky Sports MD Barney Francis resurfaces in global production role at IMG

Sports, fashion and entertainment group IMG has appointed former Sky Sports MD Barney Francis as executive VP, head of global production.

Barney Francis

Taking up the role in early November, Francis has been hired to “lead IMG’s production business into a new era,” according to the global firm.

Francis will collaborate closely with Graham Fry, chairman of IMG’s production business, who is retiring at the end of 2022.

Prior to joining IMG, Francis spent more than 20 years at Sky Sports, where, as MD for more than a decade, he grew its channel offerings from five to 11, adding sporting events such as Formula 1, the Masters, The Open and the NBA to its portfolio.

Before being upped to MD, Francis was Sky Sports’ executive producer for football and cricket, producing a range of live coverage, support programming and sport news content.

His production credits include Premier League and UEFA Champions League football coverage and the ICC Cricket World Cup and Test cricket.

Francis said: “I’m proud to be joining the team at IMG at such a pivotal moment in the sports industry. As consumption habits continue to change, the offering we’ll debut will help teams, leagues and federations reach new and existing fans in creative and compelling ways. IMG is the industry standard for sport production and I’m really excited to join such an exceptional team.”

Adam Kelly, co-president of media and events at IMG, added: “Barney is a transformative hire for our media business. 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, multiplatform content that engages fans directly.

“His pedigree, drive and exceptional reputation are undeniable, and we are excited to welcome him to IMG.”

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