Nike chooses UK and Ireland marketing chief

Nike has promoted Benj Fearn, urban marketing and brand initiatives manager, to marketing director for UK/Ireland. He replaces Rod Connors, who has left the US sportswear giant to set up a marketing consultancy (MW August 21).

Fearn, who starts in the role next month, will oversee all forthcoming marketing and advertising campaigns for the UK and Ireland. He will report to UK managing director Jim Tucker and will work closely with Nike’s vice-president of marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Phil McAveety.

Fearn joined Nike last year from Diageo, where his last position was marketing director for venture markets. He will be replaced, although an appointment has yet to be announced.

Connors was poached by Nike from rival sportswear brand Adidas, where he was head of consumer marketing for less than a year before leaving. He also worked as a global marketing manager for Lever Fabergé. He is understood to have been keen to set-up his own consultancy for some time.

Nike is the biggest brand in the global sportswear market and also the world’s number one footwear brand. Its influence in the shoe market has been further extended by the acquisition of retro shoe brand Converse. The deal, under which Nike has acquired all of Converse’s shares for $305m (&£193m), was completed on September 4.

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