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Mike Burton Group appoints former Lancs Cricket exec as COO

Sports focused ticketing firm Mike Burton Group has appointed former Emirates Old Trafford and Lancashire Cricket executive Justin Hopwood as its chief commercial officer.

As part of the move, Hopwood (pictured) will also join the board as a director alongside chairman and founder Mike Burton and chief executive Ian Edwards.

Hopwood previously worked for Mike Burton Group from 2005 to 2015 as head of sales and marketing, successfully delivering the official supporter travel programme at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

In his new role, the former Lancashire Cricket executive will work alongside Edwards to lead on the day-to-day and long-term commercial and new business strategy for the company, which specialises in sports ticketing and hospitality.

Edwards said: “We’re delighted to announce Justin’s appointment. He will bring a wealth of knowledge and understanding to the business that will complement the ambition that we have for the coming years. Justin joins following a hugely successful 2019 and will play a key role in defining and implementing the future commercial strategy and direction that we head in.”

In addition, Hopwood will assume a position on the boards of Lions Rugby Travel and England Rugby Travel, the two joint venture companies that the Mike Burton Group currently operates with The British & Irish Lions and the Rugby Football Union.

He will also be on the boards of Sports Travel and Hospitality Group (STH Group), the company’s joint venture businesses with Sodexo that deliver official ticket inclusive travel and hospitality programmes for rights holders in sport. The firms currently operates the Team GB Live with The British Olympic Association, All Blacks Tours with the New Zealand Rugby Union and ICC Travel and Tours with the International Cricket Council.

Hopwood said: “I am incredibly excited to be joining the business at this time, with the success of Rugby World Cup 2019 fresh in everyone’s minds, and everyone’s immediate attentions now on the Olympics in Japan later this year and the Lions Tour in 2021.

“The Mike Burton business is hugely ambitious in what it wants to achieve and I am thoroughly looking forward to working with some great people on the existing high profile projects, as well as looking to grow the business.”