Great North Run organisers Nova International are to drive forward growth plans with the appointment of a new group chief executive.
The Newcastle-headquartered firm behind the Great Run Series has appointed Mark Hollinshead, the current chief operating officer at The Journal’s owners Trinity Mirror.
Mr Hollinshead, who is expected to leave Trinity Mirror and take up his new role next summer, has been a non-executive director with the sports events company for two years but is now poised to accelerate the firm’s growth strategy.
As well as organising the Great North Run series – including its flagship event and Europe’s biggest mass participation event The Bupa Great North Run – the firm owns TV Sports Production company Film Nova and is also planning to grow its well-known brands.
Brendan Foster, chairman of Nova International, welcomed his appointment.
He said: “Mark uniquely combines a strong interest and knowledge of running and athletics and vast experience in marketing, publishing and strategy development.
“As market leaders in mass participation events, the company is in a strong position to grow both in the UK and internationally, and Mark is hugely committed to driving the growth agenda.”
Mr Hollinshead, a former chairman of Scottish Athletics Ltd and a UKA Council Member, said: “Nova is a world-class business with a great team and a market leading portfolio of events and TV production services. The whole sports marketing and events sector is growing rapidly and I am delighted to be joining the team to further develop our Great brand in the UK and international markets.
“I’ve had a great career at Trinity Mirror and worked with some of the best people in media. I’ll be sad to leave but pleased I am doing so when the business is in such good shape.”
Simon Fox, chief executive of Trinity Mirror, added: “I am enormously grateful to Mark for his 17 years of service to Trinity Mirror. I am sorry to see him leave and he will be greatly missed. However, he is moving on to develop his career in sports marketing and mass participation events, about which he is so passionate, and we wish him every future success.”