– UK, London – Gfinity plc (AIM: GFIN), one of the world’s leading esports companies, announces that experienced sports executive and current Non-Executive Director Garry Cook is appointed Executive Chairman of the Company with immediate effect.

Garry will bring his extensive experience of leading global businesses in the sports, media and entertainment sectors to spearhead the development and delivery of the next chapter of the Company’s global growth. Garry’s expertise will position the Company to capitalise on the strong position it has already created in one of the world’s fastest growing entertainment markets.

Prior to joining the Company, Garry held a number of high-profile leadership roles including Chief Global Brand Officer for the mixed martial arts organisation the Ultimate Fighting Championship (‘UFC’) where worldwide consumer growth and engagement was driven under Garry’s leadership. UFC was sold in 2016 to a consortium led by WME-IMG for a reported $4 billion. Prior to joining UFC Garry was CEO for Manchester City Football Club following a successful period as President of Nike Inc’s ‘Jordan Brand’.

The Company also announces that Tony Collyer will step down from the Board with immediate effect, having successfully overseen the first phase of Gfinity’s growth strategy. Tony served on the board for four years, including a period of three and a half years as Chairman.

Garry Cook, Executive Chairman, said: ” I would like to thank Tony for leading the Board in developing Gfinity to its current leading position within the esports industry.

“There are many aspects of traditional sports that apply to the esports world.  Some of the largest global sporting franchises are now engaging in this space and taking interest and participation to new levels.

“There are multiple opportunities for Gfinity in a rapidly developing sector, one that is forecast to grow to $1.65bn globally by 2021. The Company is well positioned for the next chapter of growth, both in the UK and internationally and I am looking forward to establishing Gfinity as one of the world’s major sports media brands.”

About Garry Cook

Garry Cook has a track record of business success throughout his career. He joined Nike in Oregon in 1996, rising to President and General Manager of International Brand Jordan in 2005. During his tenure at Nike he held a wide range of management positions from overseeing the management of Nike Team Sports in the US to leading the pan-European commercial strategy for Nike apparel EMEA.

After 12 successful years with Nike, Cook became Chief Executive of Manchester City Football Club in 2008 and led the organization during a period that saw tremendous change and achievements both on and off the pitch. The club won both the FA Cup and Barclays Premier League, its first league championship for 44 years, and Cook was responsible for creating and executing a global strategy focused on media and global market development resulting in unprecedented growth.

Cook joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in September 2012 as the Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa. In 2014 he became the UFC Chief Global Brand Officer based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was responsible for all brand, communications and creative direction, additionally leading international business development as the company became the fastest growing company on the sports landscape.

He returned to the UK in October 2016 following the sale of UFC to WME/IMG for $4.0Bn, which was the largest single takeover transaction in the history of the sport sector.

Since then Cook has been consulting on multiple sports industry projects relating to strategy, brand management, acquisition, commercial performance and organisational management.

About Gfinity

Gfinity has established itself as one of the world’s leading esports companies. The London-based business enjoys strong relationships with game publishers, players and the wider esports community and has built a solid reputation for delivering high quality competitions, in addition to producing industry leading esports broadcasts.

The Gfinity Esports Arena in London is the home of UK esports hosting and broadcasting regular tournaments, including the Company’s flagship “Elite Series”, with competitions based upon the full range of competitive games. Beyond its own tournaments Gfinity is a recognised global esports solution provider for brands wanting to create their own esports tournaments and has staged premium esports events worldwide for leading publishers and brands including Formula 1, Microsoft, Activision, EA, Xbox, Gillette and HP.

For more information : https://www.gfinityplc.com

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