James Nesbitt, England Rugby Stars Form Folding Pocket


Actor James Nesbitt and former England rugby stars Mike Tindall and James Haskell have co-founded Folding Pocket, a new multimedia storytelling company.

A podcast-led brand-building venture, Folding Pocket is using original programming as the centerpiece for multiplatform digital channels. Folding Pocket will sit within Platform, a newly formed group of media and technology companies that collaborate to build brands and audiences.

The programming lineup for Folding Pocket includes The Good, The Bad & The Rugby, starring Tindall alongside Haskell and presenter Alex Payne. Joining Folding Pocket’s flagship show are the recently launched Brydon &, Rob Brydon’s new interview podcast, and Inside Fighting, starring former two-weight world champion boxer Carl Frampton.

Matthew Sherry, CEO of Platform, said: “Podcasts are growing exponentially, but we’ve heard consistently from brands that they don’t know how to activate within them. There is also an issue of standing out in a saturated market when the only real shop windows for podcasts are the apps that distribute them. The Platform model solves both issues, as illustrated by The Good, The Bad & The Rugby. Not only is GB&R probably the biggest nonlinear rugby programming in the world, the brand is on course to deliver significant commercial media value in its first year.

“We use our cross-section of companies to transform podcasts into premium brands that deliver audience, fame and value. What results is distinct audiences on different platforms, and a funnel of discoverability that goes from the full show to magic moments breaking to a wider audience via social video, all the way to memes and no-context reactive content that embeds our programming into culture at large. This strategy has already led to impactful programming that has both created and captured the news of the day.”

Tindall said: “We only launched The Good, The Bad & The Rugby eight months ago and it has become the world’s biggest rugby podcast. But we wanted to create something that was more than just an audio experience and use it as a model for what is possible across a variety of different sectors. As a result of all the work we have done this last year, we have already created a successful offshoot centered around women’s rugby—with current England star Emily Scarratt.”

Nesbitt added: “When I first saw the plans for what was coming together here, I knew I had to be involved. A couple of things excited me above all. One, the business model—it’s as ambitious as it is unique in the market, and it will prove to be incredibly attractive for earning the attention of the highest caliber of talent. And, secondly, the quality of the programming. Looking across the board from the sports and entertainment projects to the narrative journalism and scripted fiction, the concepts and formats that have been devised here are exceptional. And, specifically in drama, the scripts for some of Folding Pocket’s upcoming productions are innovative, thrilling and beautifully written.”