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James Fenn

Brand Journalist at Hill & Knowlton Strategies Sports and Partnership Marketing

Brand Journalist and specialist in brand storytelling working in the Sports and Partnership Marketing team of Hill & Knowlton Strategies, advising some of the biggest brands and rights holders in the world of sport.

Donald Trump And The Great NFL Distraction

One of the more fun types of play you'll see during any NFL game, is the play-action pass. It is an elaborate fake, involving the QB pretending to hand the ball to the running back while actually concealing the fact they have kept the ball and intend to throw it downfield for a touchdown. When it's done well it's deadly, making the defender think one thing is going on, when they should be worried about something else entirely.
29/09/2017 14:00 BST

In Defence Of Institutions: The Danger Of Losing Faith In Sporting Organisations

The huge global events that are so irresistible can't exist without international bodies that can bring together all parties to bring out the best in the game. If we lose faith, we risk losing these bodies, and the value they bring to our sport. So for the sake of sport's future, we must remain sceptical, remain inquisitive, but not lose our hope, not give in to cynicism. Sometimes having faith is more important than having doubt.
15/08/2017 14:58 BST

The Value Of Greatness

Just as Bond is one of film's most iconic characters, and one of it's most sellable, Federer is an aspirational figure. Talented, cool, but still moral, still respectable. It is these things that have cemented him as one of sports most iconic figures, and will continue to have him representing brands for years to come.
20/07/2017 14:49 BST

English Cricket Has Been A Great Innovator, But It Must Go Traditional To Secure Its Future

The idea of an entire Test series shown free to air now seems impossibly far off, but it shouldn't be, because as the pinnacle of the sport it is the product with the biggest upside for capturing national attention for a full summer. Cricket has been one of the most innovative sports around, but if it doesn't fully embrace free-to-air it may find its growth limited by a ceiling of its own construction.
28/06/2017 12:49 BST

Don't Believe The Hype: England Didn't Choke

We jump on these sporting narratives because they help us understand a complex set of circumstances and seem to make an unpredictable tournament seem more predictable. These narratives are continued by brands, media and rights holders because they successfully bring people closer to the game, but they don't necessarily speak to what is really going on. To truly judge England at major tournaments, the skill is getting behind the headline, and finding the complicated reasons, not the simple ones.
21/06/2017 15:58 BST

How Warren Gatland Threatened The Lions Very Existence

Of course in the short-term the Lions will continue to fascinate and entertain in equal measure. But the Lions is a precious concept, and for it maintain its appeal to fans and brands alike, the coach needs to defend the value of the shirt just as much as the players tasked with wearing it.
21/06/2017 15:56 BST

Jazmin Sawyers, And Realising I Was Part Of The Problem

Jazmin Sawyers once again shone a light on an issue that is chronically brushed under the carpet, despite affecting millions of female athletes from elite to amateur. If I have learned anything, it's how easy it is to become part of the problem.
08/06/2017 12:53 BST