IMG Appoint Barney Francis to lead Global Production Team

13 Oct 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

IMG has hired former Sky Sports Managing Director Barney Francis as Executive Vice President, Head of Global Production, to lead IMG’s production business.

Francis is well renowned for establishing Sky Sports as the leading UK sport broadcaster during his 20-year spell with the organization. As Managing Director, Francis grew the channel offering from 5 to 11, adding premium sports such as Formula 1 and the NBA to the portfolio, while also increasing the number of Premier League matches shown on Sky.

While 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-President of Media & Events at IMG, described Francis as a “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.”

Francis expressed his joy at joining IMG at a “pivotal moment” in the sports industry.

He added “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.

Prior to his role as Managing Director, 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 the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, the ICC Cricket World Cup and Test cricket.

Francis, who will start his new role in early November, served as a judge at the 2021 Sport Industry Awards and will have a seat on the Advisory Board at the upcoming Sport Podcast Awards.