Howell has held the ECD post since April 2016, when he returned from a 4-year stint as a Creative Director at Droga5 New York. During his time at the agency, he created high profile campaigns for brands including Under Armour, New York City FC, Kwiff Sports Betting, Amazon and Strongbow. Prior to this, he worked at Saatchi & Saatchi London, where he was responsible for T-Mobile's ‘Dance’, the Liverpool Street Station flashmob, amongst many others. During his 14-year career, he has won over 20 Cannes Lions and back- to-back British Arrows Grands Prix.
The hire comes after a series of big wins for Dark Horses: earlier this year, the agency picked up all of Nissan's global sports communications, before beating Karmarama to Just Eat's World Cup brief and seeing off VCCP and The & Partnership to launch premium fitness brand Peloton. The agency has also created work for Under Armour, Wiggle and Southampton FC.
Howell said: "I’ve had an incredible time at Droga5, on both sides of the pond, and I will always look back with very fond memories. But the time is right for a new challenge and as a sports fanatic, this opportunity was simply irresistible.
I’m very much looking forward to working alongside Simon and the Dark Horses team, shaping the agency's culture and helping it achieve its massive potential.”
Dark Horses founder Simon Dent said: "It's testimony to our success and ambition that we've been able to attract someone of Steve's calibre. We think there is a huge opportunity to raise the creative bar in this sector and hope this signing serves as a statement of our intent."
Dent founded Dark Horses in 2016, with backing from the Lucky Generals founders, Helen Calcraft, Andy Nairn and Danny Brooke-Taylor. Those individuals remain involved as investors and the two companies share office space but Dark Horses was not included in Lucky Generals' sale to TBWA and remains completely independent.