Staff Reporters
Nov 10, 2021

40 Under 40 2021: David Hornby, Mailman Group

Over the past decade Hornby has been responsible for bringing many of world’s top sports brands into China, while building a digital sports-marketing powerhouse.

40 Under 40 2021: David Hornby, Mailman Group
Proven performers with plentiful potential in the APAC marcomms industry

David Hornby

VP of sports
Mailman Group

From the first hire of Mailman Group's sports business to vice president of sports, David Hornby’s past 10 years in sports marketing in China has been anything but dull. After joining in 2011 as a graduate of Manchester University studying Chinese, Hornby has since partnered with numerous legendary sports brands in China, such as Liverpool FC, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Chelsea. 

Hornby has built the sports business at Mailman not just by winning big new high-profile sports clients like David Beckham, World Table Tennis and Cristiano Ronaldo, but by playing an important role in the acquisition of Seven League in 2018 and the acquisition of Mailman Group by Endeavor China.

Hornby compiled the first 'Red Card Report' ranking the top global football teams on their digital performance in China, which some consider to be a 'bible' and benchmark for football clubs in the market. Under his leadership, the sports business now amounts to 95% of Mailman's clientele.

A career highlight was when Mailman won the International Olympic Committee as a client. Having served as IOC's consulting agency in China and then its marketing agency to deliver an entire digital-marketing program for the Tokyo and Beijing Olympic Games, Mailman Group has already grown up from a startup 10 years ago into a leading sports digital agency in Asia.

Hornby played an important role in driving Mailman’s global vision, which led the company to acquire a digital agency in London and launch the Southeast Asia business, together with five existing clients expanding business in the rest of Asia. He also presented at various industry conferences across the globe, from Soccerex Miami to World Football Summit in Malaysia.

With Hornby, Mailman in China also has a clear goal to inspire Chinese kids to get involved in sports every day. Building a strong in-house team is also important to him; he recently started Mailman's mentorship program for staff under 30 to cultivate future industry leaders. And as the company's reigning champion for both karaoke and ping pong, Hornby brings an enthusiasm and a knack for fun that helps unite his diverse team.

Proven performers with plentiful potential in the APAC marcomms industry


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