GroupM launches sports/entertainment agency ESP

groupmESP Properties will be dedicated to serving sports and entertainment rightsholders. GroupM, the world’s leading media investment management company, today announced it is expanding its sports and entertainment offering under a new global agency brand, ESP.

ESP is made up of two separate businesses: ESP Properties and ESP Brands. Both businesses will be part of WPP’s media investment management company GroupM, but remain independent of its media-buying operations.

ESP Properties will be GroupM’s first company dedicated to serving rightsholders from the worlds of sports and entertainment, including federations, leagues, events, teams, publishers and venues. It will offer a thorough assessment of their commercial programs, and advise how to grow the revenue they generate through a full range of services across data, digital and content development. It will also offer global partnership sales on behalf of rightsholders, both to existing WPP brand clients and beyond.

ESP Properties will be formed through new hires, the integration of existing GroupM business units including leading sponsorship agency IEG, and the acquisition of data-driven sports marketing agency Two Circles. It will collaborate with specialists from the WPP network to deliver a full range of marketing services. It will also work with GroupM Entertainment on new programming concepts and, where mutually beneficial, provide direct finance for new projects.

ESP Properties will launch with over 150 staff in hubs across New York, Chicago, London and Singapore, plus additional teams in Los Angeles, Sao Paulo and Dubai amongst others. It launches with a roster of globally recognised clients including the All Blacks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Valencia CF, England and Wales Cricket Board, Pele, and City Football Group.

The launch is part of WPP’s growing commitment to content, demonstrated by its investments in MediaPro, VICE, Indigenous Media, FullScreen, MRC, and, most recently, Bruin Sports Capital.

For the full press release read WPP and comment read FT.Com

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