Over the past year James, who joined BT in 2007, has had the enormous task of turning the company into a credible sports broadcaster from scratch.
In his biggest coup, James and his team got one over on the main opposition, Sky, when BT paid £897m for the broadcast rights to the UEFA Champions League.
BT Sport now has more than 2.5m customers and reaches about 4m homes, when its carriage deal with Virgin Media is considered.
It has been a defining year in James' career - he described it as "so busy it's brutal" - which has also included the evolution of the "Flatmates" campaign.
With a war chest in excess of £150m, James is one of the UK's most powerful marketers. Yet, somehow, he also finds time to invent things - The JetRest travel pillow is his creation.
The winner will be voted for by Marketing’s readers and will be presented with the award at The Marketing Society’s Awards for Excellence on 5 June.