James – who has been co-leading H&K’s work on London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics – will join Four, whose parent company is Four Gritti, next year. He will run his own company, which will be badged Four Gritti Sports & Sponsorship.
James has a six-month notice period at H&K and details of his departure are being finalised.
He is expected to start at Four in April – and could well continue to advise H&K on London2012 issues after his exit.
In his four years at H&K, James has overseen growth of its sports sponsorship arm from around four staff to approximately 18 employees.
James has known all of Four’s founding partners from his days at the former Charles Barker in the early 1990s. Prior to H&K, he was head of communications at the International Tennis Federation.
Four joined forces with marketing and brand consultancy The Gritti Partnership to create a holding company in May.
* In a separate sports PR move, Ketchum has hired Nick Propper to lead its London sports practice.
Propper replaces Steve Martin, who quit in February to join M&C Saatchi Sponsorship.
Propper joins from sports marketing firm Benchmark Sport, where he was a director.