Mindshare, Global Sportnet form new sponsorship co.

LONDON: WPP's global communications agency MindShare and its sports marketing agency Global Sportnet have announced their intention to rapidly scale their presence within the sports marketing sector. To this end they have announced the formation of a new company.




It will focus on providing new and existing clients with strategic consulting, identification and purchase of sponsorship opportunities, activation and measurement expertise of sponsor marketing campaigns. The company has been formed as a 50:50 joint venture between WPP's two entities.

David Stubley is the chief executive of the new entity. He has worked in television and sponsorship for over 18 years and has developed sponsorship campaigns in sport. These include the Volvo Ocean Race, Vodafone and Ferrari and Norwich Unions five year association with UK Athletics.

An official release informs that the business will combine the existing BroadMind/Global Sportnet consulting teams and open its doors with four offices in London, Hamburg, Stockholm and Milan. It plans to grow rapidly through a combination of organic growth and acquisition.

Stubley added, "I have always believed that the major communications groups are best placed to provide brands with strategic and independent advice on how to unlock value from an involvement in sport. WPP has recognised the opportunity and that the way to do this, is to create a focussed business within this arena.

"This new company will build on the firm foundations that exist with the joint venture partners and so benefit from access to the media and insight knowledge of MindShare, along with the sports marketing background and expertise of Global Sportnet. This is a unique and powerful combination and I'm delighted to have been chosen to lead this initiative."

Global Sportnet CEO Thomas Martens said, "Global Sportnet has over the past years developed a successful sports consulting business alongside its core sports rights business. Having joined WPP 20 months ago, one of the objectives was to bundle and make use of the synergies across the group for sports marketing purposes and after having experienced very positive results already we are pleased to now collaborate with MindShare on this joint venture. It will provide our clients with even greater expertise and I feel sure will facilitate further synergies across WPP".

MindShare is a global media investment management company with billings in excess of $18 billion. The network consists of 77 offices in 53 countries throughout the USA, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific.

Global Sportnet is a German-based (Hamburg) sports marketing agency. It specialises in the marketing of exclusive and worldwide broadcasting rights to European soccer matches and the sponsorship consultancy of blue-chip clients across various sports. The company owns the rights to more than 100 soccer clubs from 32 different European countries such as Juventus FC, FC Internazionale, S.S. Lazio, AC Parma, SL Benfica, PAOK FC and Slavia Praha, as well as various soccer associations. All of them have signed long-term contracts for the exclusive marketing of their broadcasting rights. Founded in 1995 by Thomas Martens, Global Sportnet claims to have quickly become a market leader in the European soccer business. Global Sportnet became a member of WPP in January 2002.

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