Play Sports Group (PSG), the company behind Play Sports Network (PSN) – the leading creator of cycling and triathlon digital video content, via channels such as Global Cycling Network (GCN) – has appointed James Pope as its Events Director.
In this newly established role, Pope will ‘focus on developing the Events Division within the rapidly-expanding business.’ PSG added that it will create new and exciting event concepts; the first of which are to be launched later this year.
Having spent over 15 years in the cycling industry, James Pope has a wealth of experience under his belt. He previously served as CEO of Face Partnership; and as founder and Managing Director of the Nocturne and Revolution Series cycling events in the UK he has managed more than 100 international events from conception to delivery, ranging from televised elite races to mass participation experiences.
GCN alone has an audience in excess of 8 million cyclists and there are over 2.77 million YouTube subscribers across PSG’s portfolio of channels, including Global Mountain Bike Network (GMBN), Global Triathlon Network (GTN) and Electric Mountain Bike Network (EMBN).
By expanding into the events sector, PSG adds that it will bring the excitement of the channels to life by providing tangible experiences for fans across the world.
Upon his arrival with PSG, James Pope said “I’ve been incredibly impressed by the growth of Play Sports Group so I’m delighted to join the team at an exciting time in the development of the business. GCN has had a massive impact on the cycling media landscape over the last few years so I’m looking forward to emulating this in the events sector.”
Simon Wear, Founder and CEO of Play Sports Network, said “I’m absolutely delighted to be able to welcome James on board Play Sports Group. The senior management team here have long since admired his abilities, insight, ideas – and style – and look forward to applying them to the brilliant brands and amazing audiences that we have here across GCN, GMBN, GTN, EMBN and the tech channels.
“His experience and success with cycling events over the last two decades is second to none, and we look forward to how these will apply to our brands. In line with the rapid and sizeable growth we’ve seen across our channels, we have ambitious plans over the coming months and years for Play Sports Group’s new Events Division which James is heading up.”
Play Sports Group is home to Play Sports Network (PSN) and SHIFT Active Media. It is billed as the world’s leading creator of cycling digital video distributed on YouTube and Facebook, reporting 68% year-on-year growth in video views to over 395 million in 2017.
PSN operates seven market-leading YouTube channels, Global Cycling Network (GCN), Global Mountain Bike Network (GMBN), Global Triathlon Network (GTN), Electric Mountain Bike Network (EMBN), GCN Tech, GMBN Tech and the recently launched GCN en Español, with over 2.77 million subscribers and millions of fans across associated social media platforms.
In total, the channels have accumulated 6,188 years and 256 days of watch time, 8.6 million video likes and an average of 36 million monthly views, creating ‘the world’s largest online video cycling community’.
SHIFT Active Media is an award-winning cycling media agency, which works ‘alongside some of the biggest, most high profile brands in the cycling world.’
Headquartered in Bath, England, Play Sports Group is backed by an investor group that includes Discovery Communications, Andrew Croker (Perform, IMG), Oli Slipper, John Gleasure and Stef D’Anna (Perform), Tony Ball, (Sky & BT), Paul Bolwell and Humphrey Cobbold (Pure Gym & Wiggle).