GroupM acquires research and sponsorship firm IEG Inc.

MUMBAI: WPP's GroupM has acquired Chicago-based IEG, Inc., which is a provider of research, analytics, strategic counsel and training on sponsorship, strategic alliances and promotional partnerships.

IEG's metrics embed predictability and accountability into sponsorship, allowing companies to value, maximise and measure their participation in sports, arts, entertainment, experiential, on line, affinity and cause marketing.

"Sponsorship is tailor made for a world where consumers are in control. It communicates without interrupting and allows brands to build financial and social capital by partnering with the organizations and experiences that their customers love," said IEG co-founder Lesa Ukman, who will now become IEG's chairman.

"IEG's ability to transform sponsorship from an intangible expense to a measurable investment is spot-on with GroupM's commitment to increasing the productivity of client expenditures through integrated, channel-neutral communications," said Mediaedge:cia executive chairman Charles Courtier, on behalf of GroupM North America.

"We selected to work with the GroupM agencies over the other bidders because their leadership, capabilities and geographic reach are simply unmatched," said Laren Ukman, who becomes CEO of IEG. She will report to Courtier. All IEG employees will be retained.

IEG also created the protocol for determining the fair market value of sponsorship. The IEG Valuation Service has valued more than 1,000 opportunities--from televised events like FIFA World Cup and X Games to destinations, associations, websites and causes like Pebble Beach, AARP, Boys Choir of Harlem, Chicago Park District, and World Wildlife Fund.

The company works with some 5,000 organizations each year, from the NFL, Kennedy Center and the American Heart Association to Credit Suisse, Verizon Wireless and General Motors.

IEG does not sell sponsorship or collect commission. Its objectivity combined with its vast electronic databases, highly specialised staff and work with leading sponsors and rightsholders, provides the company unduplicated access to the newest and best practices from both the buy and sell sides of the market.

IEG also has broken new ground in Strategic Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility, providing both corporations and not-for-profits strategies, tools and training to leverage and maximise community affairs and philanthropic budgets.

DeSilva & Phillips, LLC, a New York investment broker specialising in mergers and acquisitions to the marketing communications, media, interactive and information services industries, represented IEG in the transaction.

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