Melissa Robertson, the former founder of Now, has joined Dark Horses, the sports creative agency backed by the founders of Lucky Generals, as its first CEO. She will report into Andy Nairn, who is Chairman of Dark Horses as well as a founder of Lucky Generals. She will have a significant equity stake in the business.
Robertson first worked with the Lucky Generals founders at MCBD, where she was one of the agency’s first hires. She later became MD before co-founding Now in 2011.
During her 25-year career, Melissa has worked with some of the UK’s most successful brands including Waitrose, BT, Ocado and Department of Health. She has helped launch a variety of startups, was a Non-Executive Director of online magazine The Pool and the IPA, and has been a vocal supporter of gender equality.
Robertson’s brief will be to continue growing the agency, alongside Creative Partner Steve Howell (who joined from Droga5 last year) and Strategy Director Matt Readman (who joined from Engine). It was shortlisted for Best Young Agency at the BT Sports Industry Awards, for the second year in a row, and was last year named 5th fastest growing agency in the world by Adweek. Clients include Nissan, Peloton and Vanarama.
At the same time, Dark Horses founder Simon Dent will step down as MD and take a Non-Exec role from January using his industry knowledge and network to identify additional new business opportunities.
Robertson, said: “I was looking for an exciting new challenge that capitalised on my experience but stretched me in different ways. Being reunited with Andy and co in a category that I love is exactly the kind of happy serendipity you can only dream about. Dark Horses is a brilliant young agency filled with sports experts with ambitious plans, and I can’t wait to help the team achieve them.’
Nairn, said “The agency has experienced stellar growth over the last 4 years, thanks in no small part to Simon. Now, the sports industry faces new challenges and opportunities and we’re delighted to have Melissa on board. We have known and loved working with her for many years and think she’s the perfect person to write the next chapter of our growth.”
Source: Dark Horses