James Kirkham

Founder , ICONIC

Acknowledged widely as an authority on all things marketing, James Kirkham's position as a cultural futurist has emerged from the backdrop of his career in social, digital, advertising, sports and music.   

James founded his own digital agency Holler at just 23. It was the first agency in the world to market a TV show using social media (Skins, on E4), and the trailblazing nature of the business was noticed by industry leaders Publicis Group, who acquired Holler in 2010.   Most recently, James was on the board at legendary house music label Defected Records as their Chief Business Officer, and oversaw all social, content, marketing and PR activations. In March 2020 Defected launched their Virtual Festival, a standalone event that evolved into a weekly residency in response to multiple event cancellations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Within ten weeks the online residency accumulated over 55 million views and gained worldwide recognition and acclaim, gaining media coverage in Creative Review, The Telegraph, BBC Radio 2, 6Music, Evening Standard, Le Monde France and Sky News.  

Before this, James concluded four years at the football media business COPA90, where during his successful tenure as CBO he oversaw a 100% increase in revenue year-on-year, and coordinated partnerships with brands such as Uber, Budweiser, Nike, Pepsi and EA Sports.   He has appeared on stage 8 times at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, featured in BIMA's prestigious Top 100 for three years running and was recently selected as one of the top Leaders Under 40 in the sports business. He was also named in Campaign Magazine's esteemed 'Power 100' in July 2019 and A-list.  

In 2022, James went back to his entrepreneurial routes and started again; his business ICONIC being the embodiment of all the knowhow he acquired for over twenty years, giving brands a queue jump to the front of popular culture.