Creative agency Ear to the Ground names Kieran Holmes-Darby as Business Director

Image of Kieran Holmes-Darby holding microphone in front of podium
Image credit: Ear to the Ground

Kieran Holmes-Darby, Co-founder of EXCEL ESPORTS, has joined global creative agency Ear to the Ground.

Holmes-Darby joins the agency as its Business Director to work with brands looking to increase their involvement in the gaming and esports industries.

ESI London 2024

Founded in 2003, Ear to the Ground creates promotional campaigns utilising the importance of fans. The agency has collaborated with the likes of PlayStation, Sony’s gaming brand INZONE, and clothing brand New Balance. It also worked with wellness technology manufacturer Therabody alongside professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to a release, Holmes-Darby will ‘drive impact for brands within gaming and esports’ in addition to assisting new brands enter the sector with the creation of fan-focused promotional campaigns.

Holmes-Darby founded UK esports organisation EXCEL ESPORTS in 2014 alongside his brother Joel Holmes-Darby. The organisation competed across several titles including League of Legends’ LEC competition, VALORANT, and Call of Duty. He left the organisation in January 2022 to become the Gaming Director of the all-electric motorsport series Formula E. In 2023, EXCEL ESPORTS merged with Spanish esports organisation Giants Gaming.

Holmes-Darby, newly-appointed Business Director of Ear to the Ground, spoke on the news: “Everyone who knows me knows I have a real passion for gaming and I am very excited about helping companies make entries into the space in ways that truly add value to the community.”

Alongside non-endemic agencies bolstering esports divisions, the trend of dedicated esports agencies opening shows no sign of slowing down. In January 2024, Dominic Müller and Marco Niemann co-founded the Bright Up Agency, aiming to connect esports and gaming stakeholders with endemic and non-endemic brands.

Jonno Nicholson
Jonno is a Freelance News Writer for Esports Insider and has been part of the ESI team since 2019! His interests include the rapid rise of sim racing and its impact on the wider industry.