Say hello to the Banana Kick team.
Originally from Leicester, Alex graduated with a First in Graphic & Communication Design from the University of Leeds in 2010. He loved Leeds so much he decided to stick around in the North.
He got a job with Bolser as an Art Director, the agency he did his internship with on his course, and began to learn his trade. Working on clients such as Nokia, Asda, Virgin, Sony, Call Credit and many more there was never a dull moment. Now at Banana Kick he is looking to grow as a designer.
In his spare time Alex is a bit of a sports nut. He plays American football at the weekends and even tried a bit of coaching for his old university team. He also loves basketball having played at university; and of course he loves following the mighty Arsenal – it’s been a tough few years for them but he keeps believing. Apart from sports there is nothing better than going out, festivals, raves or just a few games of FIFA with his pals.
Head of Creative
Hailing from the wetter side of the Pennines, Andy cut his teeth during a seven-year stint working for various agencies in and around Manchester. He eventually took the plunge and moved to sunny Yorkshire in 2004, and apart from the distance he now has to travel to home games (Man City) he’s never looked back.
During his time in Leeds, Andy’s honed his creative skills working for some of the city’s best known agencies and is proud to have eventually found himself in the senior creative role at Banana Kick.
Andy’s career has seen him working with some high profile brands including Great Universal Stores, Littlewoods, BUPA, Threshers, Punch Taverns and William Hill. He’s also worked with some great public sector clients such as The Department for Work and Pensions, Leeds City Council, Marketing Leeds, Welcome to Yorkshire and The Learning Skills Council. In his spare time Andy kicks back by watching football, playing golf, cooking hearty food and drinking nice wine.
Barney spent 3 years at Northumbria University studying Creative Media and Internet Technologies, where he got his first glimpse of how hard work pays off, achieving First Class Honours.
After University he decided to pursue one of his childhood passions, Skiing, spending a winter season in the Swiss Alps, working and just enjoying life up a mountain. Working with people is one of his great loves as well as all things digital.
Having worked in a Michelin star restaurant, Barney tends to think his cooking skills rival most well known chefs, whether others agree or not is the question; it is this competitive nature that contributes to his love of sports in general and more specifically Formula 1 and football, being a keen Middlesbrough fan.
Senior Account Manager
After studying Advertising, Media and Design Management at the University of Huddersfield, Donna started her career in marketing at Gratterpalm in Leeds, where she was introduced to one of her biggest accounts, Asda. Since then Donna has continuously worked on Asda, even completing a secondment for them before joining the Asda account team at Banana Kick.
Donna is a keen swimmer and in the past has won over 20 medals for her achievements. She is also a keen player on the Xbox Kinect and is so far unbeaten at Dance Central 2!
In her spare time Donna loves travelling, spending time with her friends, baking, reading, gardening and eating at Nandos. Her greatest achievement to date is being able to buy her own house and car.
Emma was at Loughborough University where she played Lacrosse and read Criminology… in that order.
Following her passion for sport she worked for a Sports Event Management company in London. Whilst there she was responsible for running high profile sports events and managing a portfolio of sporting and music talent, working closely with clients such as The PCA, The PRA, The LMA, Jason Leonard, Jonny Gould and The Bunbury’s Cricket Team.
Having grown up in Yorkshire she returned in 2009 to join the Banana Kick team. Emma says she loves the agency and the variety of accounts she works across. She also makes the best soup in the office (unconfirmed) which is why we love her.
When she’s not at Banana Kick Emma enjoys anything competitive, particularly running the Jane Tomlinson Run For All 10k’s, being in the sun, traveling, laughing with friends, watching rugby and the finer things in life!
Originally from Leeds, Gary graduated from The University of Central Lancashire with a BA (HONS) in Graphic Design. After 3 years working at agencies in Leeds, Manchester and Huddersfield, Gary decided to spend a year travelling in Australia.
Gary returned and spent 4 years freelancing at numerous agencies around Yorkshire, working for clients such as Npower, First Direct, Bupa, BT, The British Council and Asda before settling down permanently with Banana Kick.
Spare time is spent supporting Leeds Utd (since birth!), reading, cooking and enjoying time with his partner and baby daughter, Eloise.
Having worked for a number of years client side at Coral and Bass, Gary moved to agency life to fulfill his passion for delivering innovative marketing ideas. At Poulters he created a highly successful sales promotion division with a national reputation before progressing to the role of MD.
In 2008 Gary became the Co Founder of Banana Kick a marketing agency specialising in sport, leisure and experiential campaigns. During the first 5 years the company has built a strong client base including Asda and Genting Casinos and now employs 35 people.
Outside of work, Gary is a lifetime supporter of Chelsea and was fortunate to be in the Nou Camp when Chelsea defied the odds and knocked out Barcelona and then attended the Champions League final beating Bayern in their own stadium - his two greatest sporting experiences along with seeing Kelly Holmes win gold in the Athens Olympics.
As a keen poker player his ambition is to one day take part on the world famous World Series of Poker in his favourite location Las Vegas.
After graduating from LCAD With a Visual Communication BA in 2004, Gavin worked freelance in community arts, events management and youth work in the UK and overseas. His clients included West Yorkshire Police, Round Rooms Production Company, Youth Services and the BBC.
In 2009, seeking inspiration and a new challenge, Gavin enrolled on a Graphic Design BA course. After graduating he joined the Banana Kick creative team.
Gavin has a love of music and over the past eight years he has promoted over 50 events showcasing an eclectic catalogue of artists from around the globe. He also enjoys snowboarding, hiking, photography, gallery visits and following Leeds United FC.
Originally from Kent, James graduated from the University of Leeds in 1998 and after spending a number of years honing his skills in the county, likes to think of himself as an honorary Yorkshireman (i.e. ale over shandy).
James started his career at the Yorkshire Post and then progressed to work with a number of agencies in the region including Kinetic and Brahm, culminating in an account management role with DLKW, working on a major retail account.
A passion for sport motivated James to become the UK’s first Inspire programmer in 2009. As part of Welcome to Yorkshire’s ‘Yorkshire Gold’ team, his role was to inspire organisations across Yorkshire to develop Games inspired projects, ensuring that they benefited as much as possible from official London 2012 recognition and resources.
Whilst competing at the Games was (sadly) never really an option, James is an armchair fan of most sports and loves nothing more than a game of football, or a good run, cycle or walk in God’s own county. All that activity gives James license to indulge in his other hobbies, namely good food, beer and wine.
Group Account Director
Jamie began his career in advertising almost 16 years ago in Manchester, moving to settle in Yorkshire at the start of the millennium. Jamie joined the Banana Kick team in December 2011 just 2 weeks after returning from travelling the world for 14 months – a gentle welcome home!
Working in agencies large and small on varied accounts including Shell Oils and Fox’s Biscuits, Jamie struggles to find a sector left uncovered. The same could be said for our very own Page 3 model, who stripped off for The Sun as part of a PR stunt for a previous agency.
Aside from travelling and modeling, Jamie is a keen rugby enthusiast and cook, claiming his dumplings ‘are to die for!’ Captaining Burley RUFC for an undefeated season, leading to a league victory in 2007 would have to be Jamie’s proudest sporting achievement to date, until sadly his 25 yearlong rugby union stint came to an end after a white water rafting accident and one reconstructed knee.
South African born Janice moved to Leeds joining Banana Kick on a freelance basis. Quickly proving an instant hit and invaluable member of the team, Janice soon became a permanent feature.
Working for large names such as Nestle South Africa, South African Breweries and the Aveng Group, Janice has a very impressive range of experience and expertise.
If she’s not helping her husband run his Sports Events Photography Business, Janice spends a lot of her free time watching her two sons play sport, in particular Cricket, Rugby and Water polo- her dedication even won her a trophy as ‘Cricketing Mom of the Year’ in 2007!
When the rare opportunity of the warm indoors arises, Janice is a talented embroiderer and used to make wedding dresses and evening wear. A good book, or film and a glass of wine are also top of the list!
Senior Account Manager
Whitehaven born and bred Jordan has enjoyed marketing agency life in Leeds for the last 5 years. After completing a degree in Marketing Management from Northumbria University and taking a year out in 2010 for a spot of globetrotting, he joined Banana Kick in 2012.
Sport and music enthusiast Jordan is no wallflower, once staring in a Johnstone’s Paint ad shown during half time on the big screen at Wembley. More of a rugby man himself, Jordan admits that although his playing days are now few and far between he is still an avid fan and has especially enjoyed watching the State of Origin Rugby in Sydney and El Superclassico in Buenos Aires over recent years.
Always keen to travel for his passions, too cool for school Jordan’s love for vinyl’s and screen-print gig posters has lead him far and wide, most recently to Paris- where he enjoyed spending a bit of time with his polaroid camera too.
Josie graduated from Leeds University with a degree in Economics in 2010, originally from Newcastle she has stayed in Leeds. Just close enough to keep a season ticket at the Stadium of Light.
After graduating she joined CAPITA Financial as a NAV Production Analyst, which proved to be a valuable experience as her first job in the professional world. After a year of watching the stock market lose money she decided to change career path. Following her passion for sport she has now joined Banana Kick to get back to what she enjoys!
A keen runner for Morpeth Harriers and Leeds University, she competed at BUCS whilst at Uni and also qualified as an assistant coach. After football and running, Josie loves travelling and any kind of outdoor sports, skiing and mountain biking are just a couple to mention. She also has a secret love for Dr Who, now not so secret.
Senior Account Manager
Katherine was born in Carlisle and after studying Business at Northumbria University, moved down to Leeds to pursue a career in Marketing. She’s spent 10 years managing many diverse accounts from Finance and Charity to Leisure such as RSPB, RSA, Cumbrian Cottages and Jet2. Her experience includes CRM strategy, DM, POS, print and digital and loves the daily variety of working in an agency.
In her spare time she is part of a Jazz Choir and loves playing tennis, having recently picked it up again from her childhood days. She’s also partial to a bit of travelling and visiting new places and is looking forward to the next adventure!
Senior Account Manager
Lisa graduated from university in Liverpool in 2005 with a degree in Media & Communications and quickly settled into agency life. During her 7 years in the industry Lisa has enjoyed working with a host of well known brands and retailers including the likes of Asda, Reebok, La Redoute, Next, Kelloggs and Quorn to name a few.
Lisa loves shopping, Mojitos, laughing, dancing (badly) and cheese on toast (in that order!).
She wouldn’t describe herself as a ‘natural sports person’ but she was a keen netballer during her school days, has been known to dabble in the odd bungee jump and has ambitions to become a trampolinist (following a recent encounter with a trampoline whilst celebrating her 30th she thinks she’s found her calling).
Louise began her career in the industry in 2000 working as Production Assistant, and has since advanced through the roles of Production Manager, Account Manager and Senior Account Manager before joining Banana Kick.
With marketing experience across both B2B and B2C accounts, Louise has worked with clients in a wide variety of industries from Financial Services through to Retail, including: Card Protection Plan, Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, Green Flag, Daimler Chrysler and Tesco Mobile.
Louise enjoys Thai boxing training, running (participating in various 10K runs and Marathons) and ice-skating with her nephew. Being a Yorkshire lass, Louise also confesses that she enjoys watching the Darts and Strongman competitions.
Any spare time is spent with family and friends, or in the kitchen baking.
As a Sports Studies Graduate specialising in Sports Marketing, Luke has been through the youth academy and broken into the first team at Banana Kick!
Rising up through the agency working with a number of different clients, particularly The Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Punch Pub Company and Wagg Foods, Luke has managed to gain experience in a wide variety of marketing disciplines.
As you would expect from a Sports Studies Graduate working in Sports and Leisure Marketing, Luke loves his sports. As a Leeds United fan, boxing enthusiast, cricket lover and occasional darts match attendee, he will take any opportunity to be part of a sporting crowd (preferably with a pint!)
After completing an honours degree in Media Technology at Teesside Univerisity Matt moved to Yorkshire with his wife where he began working for a local Advertising Agency. Since then he has worked for a number of well-known Leeds based Agencies. After freelancing for some time he decided Banana Kick was the place he wanted to be part of as a Creative Artworker.
Outside of work Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. A member of local running club Otley AC, he enjoys spending much of his spare time running and enjoying the great outdoors.
Yorkshire born and bred, Megan fled her hometown of Hull to study Marketing and Advertising Management at Leeds Metropolitan University. Whilst at University she completed a placement year as Marketing Executive at a District Development Agency managing business networking events, handling marketing and social media.
After graduating Megan began her agency career at a full service marketing agency where she worked on a number of B2B and B2C accounts spanning fashion, health, transport logistics, print and events, before joining the Banana Kick team to focus on digital marketing.
Having recently invested in an apartment and a cat, she now calls Leeds home. Aside from her love of Mad Men and the industry, Megan is a competitive girl who loves sailing, travelling and playing table tennis, combining the three wherever possible.
Leeds born and bred, Michael officially joined Banana Kick in the summer of 2013 after studying Marketing at Leeds Metropolitan University. After already working for Banana Kick as an activator on events for ASDA and Genting, he jumped at the chance to join the team permanently when the opportunity arose. He has previously worked in Marketing, both agency and client side, and recently completed a management internship at the London 2012 Olympic Games!
A self confessed tech geek, Michael has a passion for all things digital, and is seldom seen without either his iPad or Samsung Galaxy close by! Along with technology, Michael is a massive football fan and a diehard Liverpool supporter. He's adamant that Brendan Rogers' footballing philosophy will put Liverpool right back on their perch!
In his spare time he enjoys keeping fit, running twice a week and visiting the gym whenever he can. A closet foodie, he's slowly working his way through the restaurants he finds on Trip Advisor and teasing the office with his extravagant home cooked lunches!
Nick’s a graduate in hospitality management and started his career with Allied Lyons working on their BAA account. Leaving the UK in the early nineties he worked in the leisure industry in both North America and Australia with a variety of operators.
On his return to his native Yorkshire he joined Whitakers Advertising. Two years later he took a position with Poulters where he stayed for 12 years, becoming a director of the business in 2004. In 2008 he left to set up Banana Kick, with Gary, combining his leisure and agency experience.
During his marketing career he’s worked with a broad range of well-known companies and brands including Manchester United, ITV, Punch Taverns, Morrisons and William Hill. He’s also advised clients across every imaginable market – from toys to public sector, travel to property, IT to FMCG.
Outside work Nick enjoys the simple things in life – the outdoors, camping, taking photographs, a bit of cooking and spending time with his family.
Senior Account Executive
Nick joined Banana Kick fresh from University having recently graduated after studying Sports Promotion and Marketing at the University Of Huddersfield.
He's already gained marketing experience across a variety of sectors. During his placement year he spent three months working for a soccer club in Boston, Massachusetts as a Marketing Assistant and coach before moving back to England to experience agency life for the first time.
Having represented his school at tennis, football, rugby and cricket, Nick fancied a change and turned his hand to Gaelic football when he started University – however his true passion lies with his beloved Mansfield Town Football Club, travelling home and away to watch the Stags.
Creative Services Manager
Phil has over a decade of experience in Creative Services and procurement having worked at a number of leading agencies, managing accounts such as Sony and Peacocks.
He’s a big Bradford City fan, a season ticket holder for several years. He was even a ball boy! Currently Manager of Junior Tykes U8s football team, Phil has an FA level 1 coaching badge and even entered into the betting for the England vacancy we’re told.
Married with two boys, aside from football Phil spends his time watching films, listening to music and the odd bit of cycling. He can also play the drums, but not all at the same time!
From graduating with a degree in business, Richard has gone on to work at a number of high profile agencies, dipping his toes in nearly every marketing discipline there is to offer. With past account experience such as William Hill, ASDA and Spirit Pub Company, Richard has the big client know-how – but has a love for small brands, where ‘you can really make a difference’.
A founder member of Banana Kick, Richard has proudly seen the business grow from ‘one short of a five-a-side team’ to the current large and talented squad it has today – and unsurprisingly uses a lot of sports analogies in work!
Outside of the office, you’ll find him watching or talking about sport, cooking up a storm/mess in the kitchen or planning a new travel adventure.
Sara studied at Newcastle University for four years, one of which was spent soaking up the culture (sun) in Spain at Universidad de Granada. Upon graduating she received 1st Class BA Honours in Marketing & Management and joined Banana Kick in October 2013, fresh from Uni. She is now getting stuck in to agency life and looking to grow in her new career.
Born and raised in her beloved Ribble Valley; this is where she fell in love with all things sports. Sara played football from a very young age and can now regularly be found pounding the pavement, playing tennis or in the gym.
She is a keen cook and also enjoys nothing more than watching a good old American drama series or great film in front of the fire. Sara’s love of travelling led her to take a year out before University exploring Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
A graduate of Criminology from the University of Liverpool, Scottish born Sian opted out of a life of crime for the brighter lights of marketing to join Banana Kick and she's never looked back.
A keen athlete both in and out of the water, Sian is qualified in her PADI Advanced Open Water certificate and has a track record of success in both running and high jump in her home county of Northumberland.
With a passion for travelling and festivals Sian is determined to cover the globe one day, having ticked off a fair few continents already. A lover of both sand and snow, when not on the beach you’ll find her on the piste or enjoying a spot of après ski!
Originally from Chester, Thea studied Graphic Design at Sheffield where she fell in love with Yorkshire.
She moved to Leeds for the opportunity to work for some great agencies on some big brands including Meadowhall, Asda, William Hill, Sainsbury’s, Bradford & Bingley, George and many more. She’s skilled in both artwork and design and has found her niche at Banana Kick as Artwork Manager.
In her spare time Thea loves being busy and enjoys circuit training, boxercise and mountain biking, but she gets the most pleasure in cooking for friends with a large glass of red wine! She’s a keen competitor for the BK ‘Souper League’ title and also makes a mean Victoria Sponge!
Tom holds a first class BA honors degree, a distinction at MSc in Accounting & Finance and professional accounting qualifications.
It seems a long time ago that Tom joined Banana Kick on a temporary basis to run a technical helpline. His skills proved invaluable and he became a permanent and established member of the team as Finance Manager. He loves his figures.
Outside of work, you are likely to find Tom training for charity runs and other worthwhile objectives.