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Bastion Experience names James Bartold to take newly created role of group director for brand partnerships

Australia – The strategic partnership, brand, and experiential agency, Bastion Experience, has appointed James Bartold, former head of sponsorship, events, and commercial strategy at North Melbourne Football Club, to assume the newly created role of group director for brand partnerships.

Prior to his previous role at North Melbourne Football Club, Bartold has also worked as a management consultant across private and public sector clients and has held roles as a journalist at the ABC and AFL. He has been crucial in developing leading sponsorships across AFL and AFLW from ideation, leveraging strategy and execution, and leading a diverse team across sponsorship and experiential. Bartold has worked with clients including Mazda, Spirit of Tasmania, Hello Solar, and Ego Pharmaceuticals, as well as Chemist Warehouse and McDonald’s.

The appointment comes as a result of a renewed focus from Bastion’s clients on brand partnerships as part of their marketing strategy. The agency believes Bartold’s depth of experience, together with Bastion Experience’s decade-long ability to tap into real-world cultural, audience, competitor, and contextual insights will ensure that the business continually delivers best-in-class expertise to clients.

Commenting on his new role, Bartold said, “I am excited to be a part of a leader in the space that can help brands navigate the breadth of opportunities and provide solutions that build genuine partnerships that deliver for both parties.”

Meanwhile, Matt McCann, Bastion Experience’s CEO, commented that they have been heavily involved in the sponsorship industry for over 10 years and that they are encouraged by the current live conversations happening as brands look to further tap into the deep emotional connection between live events and partnerships. 

“After an in-depth search to find the right individual, we’re extremely excited about James joining the team. Five seasons leading the North Melbourne Club’s partnerships and commercial brand strategy brings a deep understanding of how to build, negotiate, deliver and measure effective sponsorship relationships. We are already seeing James’ impact on our team and our clients, which is brilliant,” said McCann.