Balfour appointed as new media head for 2012

From London 2012
Alex Balfour, the founder and former chairman of CricInfo, the cricket website, has been hired by Locog, the 2012 Games organising committee, as its head of new media.

Balfour, pictured, a former member of the Guardian website’s staff, will be responsible for developing’s digital “window on the world”, including an online community and mobile phone offerings.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to deliver the first truly digital summer Olympic and Paralympic Games and harness the power of the internet and new technologies to build digital communities around a unique brand,” Balfour said.

“London is a world centre for the digital creative industries and I look forward to working with leading digital businesses over the next six years and showing the world what we can achieve.”

Paul Deighton, London 2012 chief executive said: “Young people are avid consumers of new media. Our objective is to deliver the best-ever Games so our use and understanding of new media must be second to none. Alex’s experience in building world class new media businesses in a fast changing environment will go a long way to help us achieve this objective.”

As co-founder and chairman of CricInfo, Balfour built one of the world’s largest sports websites from scratch, with an estimated 20 million customers. Balfour sold CricInfo to John Wisden & Co in 2003. He has also been responsible for the first online government white paper consultation.

Balfour has alo co-founded a sports rights company called Investors in Cricket and developed and sold two new properties, an international Twenty20 cricket tournament and a reality cricket show for the Indian market.

This is the second significant recent media department appointment made by Jackie Brock-Doyle, the director of communications and public affairs at Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games). In July Locog recruited Joanna Manning-Cooper, the Financial Times director of communications, as head of PR and media.