MP & Silva's Nikolaou leaves for CNN role
Roland Nikolaou, MP & Silva’s group executive director, commercial, has taken up a role at CNN, the global news organisation, in a high-profile departure for the international sports marketing agency.
Nikolaou has assumed the London-based position of CNN’s senior director, content sales and partnerships in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).
The move brings to an end Nikolaou’s four-and-a-half year stint at MP & Silva, having joined from rival agency Sportfive in the summer of 2013 as head of sales in Western Europe.
Towards the end of 2014, he stepped up to the position of vice-president of global sales, and was promoted again at the start of last year as he took on the role within MP & Silva’s senior management team, assuming responsibility for the worldwide exploitation and monetisation of the company’s rights portfolio.
Nikolaou’s promotion 12 months ago tied in with that of Konstantinos Filippas, who became group executive director, content.
The agency underwent a somewhat turbulent time towards the end of last year as it was rocked by the loss of international rights to Italian soccer’s Serie A, a property it had been selling since 2004, and Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup (MP & Silva signed a minimum guarantee deal to market broadcast rights to the tournament in Italy).
Seamus O’Brien, former deputy chairman of the executive committee at Lagardère Sports, was named as MP & Silva’s new president and group chief executive ahead of October’s Sportel trade fair, replacing Jochen Lösch, and has been expected to recruit some new faces.
Originally from Greece, Nikolaou also speaks Arabic, English and French and joined Sportfive in May 2012 in a leading media sales role at the Lagardère-owned agency’s Geneva-based international operation. However, he was with the agency for little over a year as it revamped its business model to lessen the emphasis on media rights trading after losing money on its investment in Olympics broadcast rights in Europe.
Prior to spending five years at IMG Media, the media arm of the international sports and entertainment agency, Nikolaou worked for World Sport Group, the Singapore-based sports marketing agency bought by Lagardère in 2008.